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
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
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?