My Cleaning Kit

my cleaning kit

Hey A Thrifty Mrs readers, how are you? Here is a blog post you’ve been asking for for a long time. This is my tote around ‘can clean basically anything’ box of tricks. I have a few little cleaning ‘out posts’ dotted around our flat but this essential kit contains the basics and is my go-to spot for most things I need.

A Basic Cleaning Kit

Ingredients/old fashioned

White vinegar – I’ve talked about this so many times that you may well end up being sick of me if I rave about it once more.

Bicarbonate of soda – Again it has so many uses, I tend to use it most days.

Borax – A little harder to come across than the above two cleaning recipe ingredients but it can work wonders on a blocked drain or keep your washing machine in check.

Olive soap – I use this to wash my clothes – but I’ll go into greater detail another time.

Soda Crystals – I use these to boost my wash and for many and varied cleaning purposes.

Toothpaste – Very cheap white toothpaste is a surprisingly good cleaning agent. I even showed how to use it to clean silver on Superscrimpers and in this video.

Caustic Soda - Great for big jobs and cleaning drains.

Bees wax – Perfect to polishing up and protecting wooden furniture – especially useful if you have vintage or antique items you’d like to preserve

cleaning essentials

The essential tools

Sponges  – I buy them in a pack of about 15 from Morrisons, they’re around 40p. They have yellow, pink and blue in a packet which gives us an easy system. Yellow goes in the kitchen then it is blue for the loo and pink for the sink/everything else in the bathroom.

Microfibre cloths – My favourite are E-Cloths which used to be pretty pricey but you can now pick them up in Poundland. I’ve tried other microfibre cloths but these have done the job faster and better.

Waffle cloths – I get the white waffle cloths again in Poundshops or B&M and they are great. They do their job really well, come out of the wash spotlessly clean and again they come in different colours so we always know which are for dishes, counter tops and various areas of the bathroom.

Duster – I actually won the floral Sarah Smith duster, they’re OK – nothing amazing. I usually use an old (washed) sock or rag.

Toothbrushes – I always keep old toothbrushes or even buy the value ones for around 10p for a packet of 2. They are endlessly useful.

Scrubbing brush – I like to have two different textures and an angled head to them and they must cost under £1. I got this one in Home Bargains.

Wooden scrubbing brush – This basically, is just ascetically pleasing. Please don’t buy one if you want to really clean or wash up with it. The wood will go mouldy, the bristles are useless and it won’t last longer than three months, plus they’re mega expensive for what they are.


Ecover/Eco washing up liquid – I prefer eco-friendly washing up liquid, I don’t like unnecessary bubbles unless it really makes a difference and with washing up liquid I don’t feel it does.

Stardrops – A bit of a wonder product and cheap to boot. It can clean just about anything – I find it best to dilute it before use though.

Other useful bits and bobs

Spray bottles – Use old ones from used up products or buy new from Ikea (under £1), they’re perfect for making your own cleaning agents.

Baby oil – Perfect for cleaning chrome.

Toothpicks – Great at getting into awkward spaces.

Chalk – Perfect for mopping up tiny grease stains.

Essential oils – Great for making air fresheners, multipurpose sprays and other cleaning recipes. I always have tea tree, lavender, orange oil and eucalyptus to hand.


P.S. This is the Wednesday task from #DHWP and whilst it might not be as task in itself hopefully it will give you some ideas and help you to clean out that pit of a cupboard under your kitchen sink. Come on, you don’t use most of it anyway – do you?

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  1. I just now found you on the world wide web! Love your instagram, love your BLOG!


  2. i think i’ll start buying eco-friendly washing up liquid from now on, i find the bubbles get in the way of me being able to see if my dishes are actually clean!

  3. Great ideas. I cut up my husband’s (old) trousers and make them into cleaning cloths as they are lovely and soft-I just hem the edges with a funky colour on my machine with a zig zag stich. As he wears them until they have holes and are unwearable it is a good use of the rags!

  4. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about Olive soap. My son is very sensitive to most soap so I bought a case (12) for him to use and we’re all tired of the way it turns to slime in the soap dish. I’d love an alternate use for the last 4 bars.

  5. You’ve put me in a mood to clean which happens very little.

    If your interested. My Blog : Ms Beaujoli

  6. Very useful thank you! I will def be using this as a guide to my cleaning kit! This is a weird one but if anyone knows the answer it will probably be you! My kitchen sides have basically gone all washed out and bleached looking, I assume the builders put in cheapy ones as we bought our flat brand spanking new! I have had a look online for some sort of colour restorer but can’t seem to find one, do you have any ideas what I good do to spruce them up? We want to sell soon and other than the appearance the kitchen tops are perfect so I would only want to replace them as a last resort!

  7. I love this post, it just goes to show you don’t always have to splurge on cleaning prodcuts. Fab tip on baby oil to clean chrome, I’m noting that done right now!

    Quick question, you don’t have any tips on how to freshen up/clean the inside of a washing machine? You seem like the best person to ask.

    :) XX

  8. I need to spend less time reading about cleaning and more time actually doing it! This post has inspired me though.
    Where is the eco washing up liquid from, I’d like to give that a try

    Laura x

    • The one in the post is Ecover which I think you can get at most supermarkets – however most of them now do their own eco cleaning range too and they’re just as good.

  9. I have the same housekeeper’s box but mine is red lol. I noticed a product in the hardware shop the other day called Borax substitute, is this just the same as Borax do you know?

  10. Thanks, this is a really handy list. I’d like to move much more towards natural/more simple cleaning products so this is handy as a reference guide. the new blog header! Although it’s probably been like that for ages (I’m working through a major blog backlog).

  11. Love this post – I am off to buy Stardrops and am intrigued to hear how you clean your clothes with Olive soap. Any other bargain products, then I would love to hear. I recently met a stallholder and my kids school fete who recycled old t shirts that she got from bargain buckets in charity shops, into dusters, t towels and even knickers!! They looked better than they sound honest!

  12. Great post! This will really help me out :)

  13. Great tips and ideas here ,any advice how to get whites bright again when they have been badly washed ?I recently bought a white tee shirt on ebay ,but it isn’t as white as it might be Jan xx

  14. I was going to ask you about clothes washing as I watched superscrimpers last night and saw a recipe for washing detergent. It is hideously expensive now – ariel gel stuff is about £7! How can anyone justify that?! To be fair I usually just buy whichever one is on offer or if we go to Aldi their own brand washing liquid is fairly cheap and just the same as all the rest – but I wondered if there is another way to do it and whether it’s worth the effort of making your own.

  15. I freaking love this post. I’m totally bookmarking this.

    I already have and use quite a few of those products but it’s so nice to see it all written down in one place.

    Oh, and I use olive oil soap to wash my face every day, ha!!

  16. Great and useful post :) xxx

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