Sometimes it can feel like a trade-off between using greening your cleaning routine and saving money. When I choose the most eco-friendly cleaner from the store shelves, I want to kick myself at check-out when I hear the total. But then when I buy the cheapest bathroom cleaner, I instantly regret the decision the minute I accidentally breathe some in and start coughing. Why can’t we have green cleaning supplies without breaking the budget?
That’s a great question, friends! And I have an answer for you. It is possible to go green and save money (or at least not spend more money). The best part is you don’t even have to spend time making your own green cleaners with mixing cups and…whatever else goes into green cleaners. So, let’s begin with the top four things to save your hard-earned green while greening your cleaning routine.
P.S. Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links. This is at NO extra cost to you. I support these products because I use them and I believe in their quality. See my disclosure policy for more details.
Buy Cloth Napkins and Washcloths
First, let me introduce you to my family. We use paper towels for both cleaning AND as napkins at mealtimes…don’t judge us. As you can guess we went through tons of paper towels every month. Somewhere along the lines, my green guilt built up and I pushed our family to take the plunge. So, the first step to green our cleaning routine was to incorporate cloth napkins and washcloths into our household. I started this process by placing our paper towels in an absurdly inconvenient location. Next, I filled the cutest wire basket with a boatload of washcloths in an array of coordinating colors. Then, I filled an equally cute mesh basket with just as many rolled up colorful cloth napkins. (Tip: Buy your washcloths and napkins on clearance and use baskets you already have around the house.)
BEFORE: Paper towel roll = $2.00. Three paper towel rolls per month = 36 rolls per year. Annual cost for paper towel = $72
AFTER: After the initial expense of wash cloths, cloth napkins and wire baskets, the only expense is laundering of all your reusable materials. Annual cost is $10*. (*Sidenote: I still need paper towels here and there for BIG messes, so I estimated about 5 rolls per year.)
SAVINGS: $62 per year!
Puracy Laundry Detergent
The second step to green your cleaning routine is easy too. I can’t quite remember how I discovered Puracy, but I did and I LOVE them. Even better is that they are home-grown here in Austin, so I feel like a better human being for buying local. Why do I love Puracy laundry detergent? Let me count the ways.
- They are scent-free and made for sensitive skin.
- They are comparable in cost to other higher-end detergents.
- They have a two-pump system, so it prevents me from overfilling the detergent cup, thus wasting money with a heavy-handed pour.
BEFORE: We do approximately 400 loads of laundry per year. Store bought laundry detergent is $19.97 for 81 loads. Annual cost for laundry detergent = $98.
AFTER: Puracy Laundry Detergent is $15.99 for 96 loads. If you join Amazon Prime and enroll in Subscribe & Save, then two bottles of Puracy will cost approximately $22.09 for 192 loads! Annual cost is $46.
SAVINGS: $52 per year!
White Vinegar vs. Dryer Sheets
The third step to green your cleaning routine comes with a fun fact. Did you know that you can use white vinegar in the last rinse cycle of your washer and it acts as a fabric softener? Mind blown! Once I discovered this little trick I hopped on the bandwagon and never looked back. I already knew I wanted to ditch the dryer sheets and this gave me the final push to just do it already. So, repeat after me. Use 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser…Boom. Money saved and your family is greener.
BEFORE: Eco-friendly dryer sheets are $7.98 for 80 sheets. Annual cost is $40.
AFTER: 1/4 cup white vinegar per load (purchased in bulk from Costco) averages about $21/ year. (Tip: Add 10 drops of an essential oil into the vinegar, such as lavender, purification or lemon.) (Another tip: Throw some wool dryer balls or tennis balls into the dryer to help soften laundry even more.)
SAVINGS: $19 per year!
Force of Nature
The fourth step to green your cleaning routine will also set you free of under-the-sink cleaning clutter. You’re welcome. Have you heard of Force of Nature? Me neither. But, Force of Nature discovered me through a Facebook ad strategically placed in my feed. I clicked. I read. I was interested. I purchased. I fell in love. End of story. There is some fascinating science behind Force of Nature, so check out their site and read all about it. The super simplified version is electricity + water, vinegar, salt = a substance as effective as bleach with zero toxic chemicals. After you buy the starter kit (approximately $50), then you only need to purchase the capsules each year.
BEFORE: Glass Cleaner $2.48, Bleach $1.75, Grease Cleaner $2.76, Rug Cleaner $2.96, Soap Scum Cleaner $1.97, Odor Eliminator $2.97 = $14.89
AFTER: After the initial expense of purchasing the starter kit (approximately $50), you will need to purchase the capsules each year. Annual cost for 25 capsules is $18.99.
SAVINGS: You have a single bottle of green cleaner versus six bottles of non-green cleaners cluttering up below your kitchen sink. Welcome to minimalism!
How much money did we save making these changes? The short answer is we save about $133 each year! The longer answer is that we didn’t save much the first year given the investments we had to make to begin the going-green process, but now that we are deep into our second year of greener cleaning, we would never look back. We eliminated toxic chemicals. We produce less waste. We spend less money. We have less clutter.
Reach out and let me know if you decide to take the plunge to a greener cleaning routine. What products or methods do you love? Did you save some money?