Nov 10, 2010

A natural cleaning alternative for much less $$$

I am a big fan of the Earth. I don't think anyone can say that they truly hate the Earth (unless you are an emo kid). But oftentimes when it comes to buying Earth-friendly products, we don't want to dish out the extra money...and it always costs extra money. But we don't want harmful chemicals fumes* in our home and going into our environment. What is the price we are willing to pay? Consider my green cleaning product of choice:

Green works by Clorox. It's all natural, cute packaging and I can usually find a coupon for it. The problem is, without the coupon, the product costs just under last week's pay. Okay, it's not that bad. It runs about $4.39 per 32 ounce spray bottle. That's almost 14 cents an ounce.

A Thrift World reader recently suggested a cost-saving, streak free cleaning alternative: ammonia. For about $1 you can buy a half gallon jug of the stuff equaling only $0.015 per ounce. Buy a spray nose for your jug or transfer to an old spray bottle and you're good to go! For some people, the smell is a bit a too much, so start by adding it to water and increasing the amount of ammonia to see how strong of a scent you are willing to deal with.

It's great for all surfaces including stove tops, windows, bathtubs, tile and much more. Plus, you can use it to unclog drains. A few articles I read said do not combine it with a product using chlorine, which is lethal. I'm suggesting you use ammonia only with water, completely avoiding mixing products.

Check out these two resources for more info on how to use ammonia to replace all your pricey cleaning products.
How to clean with ammonia
Using ammonia to clean

By the way, I added a new page to my blog called "In the News". This page is dedicated to recent news articles about thrifting. I'm always reading articles I want to blog about but don't have the time, so I'm posting them there. :)

*I have received some comments regarding the safety of ammonia fumes. I will say that although ammonia is considered natural, the fumes can still be harmful so it is best to use it within a well-ventilated room. Here is another article that specifies its hazards as I do not wish to overlook its dangerous capabilities: Is Ammonia the Best Oven Cleaner, Floor Cleaner, Microwave Cleaner? and Guide to Green Living: Natural Cleaning Products


  1. First of all how companies have manipulated the green movement is disgusting and can actually be counterproductive because people become leery and untrusting. Often green products are simply marketing and their environmental impact isn't much different from "regular" stuff. So you gotta shop carefully there.

    Anyway great post Ang, truth be told you really only need one kind of cleaner - windex or ammonia - its a simple all purpose cleaner not just for your windows.

  2. Great info about cleaning chemical free. but I love the e-cloth too much to try.\
    thanks for sharing !
    cleaning services calgary

  3. When I lived in Suwanee I used to use all natural cleaners all the time, but I have to admit, they just don't do as good of a job as the "bad" ones do. Nothing cleans windows and surfaces as good as good old fashioned ammonia does.

  4. Many of these machines have reservoirs to add cleaning solutions. This is a convenience. Before firing up the machine it is always a good idea to just do a quick visual check of the hose. If it is all curled up funny it can whip around and possibly hurt someone when the pressure fills the hose suddenly.


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