This Cleaning Products Super Page contains a growing list of our favorite money saving Cleaning Product Tips!
3 Easy Ways to Remove Sticky Sticker Residue
Adhesive left from removing price stickers from book covers, DVD / CD cases, tins, toys and other household purchases can be a sticky mess and difficult to deal with.
What type of cleaning products can get off sticker residue?
Just know that the longer a label is left on, the harder it is to get the remaining adhesive off. Over time the glue hardens and crystallizes rendering it almost impossible to remove. Removing stickers immediately after purchase is your best bet to getting the adhesive off.
Video: Watch this video as Steve tries 3 different solvents to remove sticker residue from DVD cases
Here are three easy ways to remove adhesive residue in a few seconds, using common household cleaning products.
1) Cooking Oil. It doesn’t really matter what kind you use. It can be vegetable, olive, canola, cooking oil spray. Most adhesives are oil based and by using another type of oil, it simply dissolves the adhesive. Caution, don’t use oil on uncoated paper or cloth products, it will leave a stain.
2) Motor Oil or WD40. If you don’t have any cooking oil one of these two products will work. We like WD40 because it is lighter, spray-able and stores well. Simply apply a little of the oil to a rag or paper towel and rub the adhesive residue until it dissolves.
3) Denatured Alcohol. This is one of our favorite household cleaning solutions. It removes adhesive residue easily without staining. It also removes magic marker from plastic, metal and coated (shiny) paper, and it removes paint spatters from woodwork without removing the finish or older paint.
What do you use to get sticky, sticker adhesive off? If you have another solution, please leave a comment below. Steve – Scottsdale, AZ
Baking Soda and Vinegar for Cleaning Products?
We no longer buy drain cleaners. We use a combination of 1 cup of baking soda poured into the drain then 1 cup of vinegar on top of the baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes then run hot water down the drain. If it doesn’t get all the clog try again and let it set longer before running the hot water. You’ll get clean drains w/o the harsh chemicals and they smell so much fresher too. Mona Trett – Viola, AR
Editors’ Note: We’ve done the baking soda and vinegar trick on our drains and it works great. When the kids were younger they loved seeing and hearing the hissing foam come up from the drain.
Cut Rate Sponges
Whenever I use a sponge I always cut it in half, right down the middle with a scissors. I only need half to wash with. The sponge lasts twice as long. Angela – Hartsdale, New York
Double Duty Vinegar for Coffee Makers
I use vinegar to clean my coffee maker — but I get double duty out of it. After I run the vinegar through the coffee maker, while it is still warm, I go to each bathroom sink and pour in? cup of baking soda and then a little warm vinegar — then I let it sit. Afterward, I run some fresh water through the coffee maker to rinse out the vinegar, and then pour the warmed water down the drains to rinse out the baking soda and vinegar. Tracy Bernero – Highlands Ranch, CO
Dilute Laundry Detergent & Dish Soap
When I get low on laundry detergent, I add a little bit of water, shake and use this when I wash clothes that aren’t really dirty.
I also use this same strategy with dish soap. Mayer – Quakertown, PA
Cutting Your Dish Soap in Half
I find that a squirt of full-strength liquid dishwashing detergent is usually too much for my needs. So I fill an old bottle of dish soap half-way with detergent and then the other half with water. Now I have two bottles full of detergent for the price of one (it’s even less expensive because I usually use cents-off coupons). Elaine Ribar – Pittsburgh, PA
Read what this “Domestic Lab Rat” wrote about the most powerful cleaning chemicals out there and why you can scientifically get by with using less soap and more water.
Making My Own Dish Soap
I make my own laundry detergent. 3T borax, 3T Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 2T Dawn(original blue), 1 capful of Purex Scent beads(blue bottle) and water and that’s it! Makes one(1) gallon. Probably costs about .50 a gallon.
Here’s how I mix it: Pour borax, washing soda, dawn and scent beads (if desired) into a one-gallon container. Add 4 cups of HOT water and stir to combine ingredients. Once combined fill container to top with cold water. DONE ! It doesn’t create much lather…but it cleans like a champ !! It also can be used in High-Efficiency washers. I just love this stuff !!
And my own Fabric Softener: 2 cups Suave Conditioner (I use 1.00 bottles), 3 cups white vinegar, 6 cups of water. Mix all together. DO NOT STIR !! Use the same amount as you would normally use. I love this stuff too !! Natalie G – Las Cruces, NM
Frugal Dryer Sheet – Sock Your Fabric Softener
A small bottle of fabric softener lasts me about 8 months. Take an old sock or washcloth and add 1 teaspoon of fabric softener. Throw it in the dryer and you have an instant dryer sheet for almost no cost! Cheryl Feathers – Summerville, SC
Cheap Window Cleaner
Instead of buying a (Windex) type of window cleaners I use the one for your car windshield. It costs around $2.00 for a gallon. I pour it into a refillable spray bottle I saved from another product. Roberta Stetson – Bay City, Michigan
Cleaning up Spills a new way!
Here is a way we save money around the house. We consider paper towels a luxury, so to save money and clean up spills, I use lots of rags and just rewash them. Emily W – Pocatello, ID
I made napkins out of white cotton (unused single fold cloth diapers) with plain surged edges. One visitor commented on how it was a luxury to have cloth napkins.
Martha T. – Columbia, MO
SOS: Half the Pad, Twice the Life
Going green for less
Question: What about “green”-conscious families, like mine, who are on organic/nonprocessed diets with recycled paper/plastic products, and non-toxic cleaners? They don’t have coupons for this stuff or carry it at warehouses. Do you have ideas to save money yet live healthy and environmentally-friendly?
Answer: We’ve seen several organic products and some environmentally friendly cleaning products at our local Costco. When buying “green,” the principles of establishing a buy price and stocking up still apply. Know your prices for items you purchase. Over time and through research, you’ll find sources for what you want. Then when you find a better price, stock up.
Minimize use of paper products. Disposable products are wasteful and costly. We use cloth napkins, cloth dishtowels and old shirts for rags. We use very few disposable products.
Consider making some of your own cleaning products. Visit makeyourown.net; they have recipes for everything from air fresheners to homemade soap.
The best way to guarantee organic produce is by growing your own vegetables or planting fruit trees in your yard. Look for organic produce at farmers markets or join a co-op. Greg Peterson, a local “green” expert, is the owner of the Urban Farm in Phoenix. Learn about his ideas here: UrbanFarm.org
Going green is more expensive. So decide what the non-negotiables of your lifestyle are, find the best prices and work on saving money in other areas.
Hydrogen Peroxide in the Laundry
I have used Peroxide in my laundry for several years and it works very well, however, I put it in with colored clothes also . . . just not as much. Should you really want clean clothes and to get rid of stains also, spray with a pre-conditioner for stains first, then wash with laundry detergent, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (in a large reclosable bag), Oxyclean, and lastly Peroxide. Start washer to put water in the tank, put in all ingredients, let agitate for approximately 5-6 minutes then fill the remaining water in the tub (I wash in cold water… yes, even for whites), and add clothes AFTER the mixture has had a chance to dissolve, as you do not want to pour Peroxide or Oxyclean directly onto the clothes, then wash as usual.
Should you want to really get more bang for your bucks: AFTER you have run the WASH CYCLE ONLY, start the procedure over again BEFORE the rinse cycle, etc., let the load soak for one (1) hour, then run it through as usual. This addition is mostly for those who have babies/small children. Sue Cozens – Scottsdale, AZ
Hydrogen Peroxide for Other Household Cleaning
Hydrogen peroxide – the 3 percent kind you can buy in a drug store – can be a useful household cleaner. Try some of these ideas for disinfecting and cleaning around the house.
For Kitchen Counters and Tables: You can wipe down counters and your tabletops with hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. Just put a little on a clean dishrag and wipe, or use a spray bottle and spray it on, then wipe it off.
For Cutting Boards: After washing your cutting boards, pour or spray on hydrogen peroxide and you’ll kill germs including salmonella.
For Bathroom Disinfecting: Fill a spray bottle with the 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution and keep it in your bathroom to disinfect down counters and toilets. In small amounts, hydrogen peroxide is safe to allow into septic systems, large amounts of it can affect the effectiveness of a septic system.
For Toilets and Floors: If someone is careless and has missed the toilet (guys) so that the floor and toilet are messy and started to smell of urine, you can clean it with your hydrogen peroxide spray and a paper towel or rag. The bacteria will be killed and the smell and filth will be gone in an instant.
In the Laundry: If you add a cup of hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) instead of bleach into a load of white clothes in your washing machine, it will whiten them like bleach. Also use hydrogen peroxide directly on clothing that has blood stains. Let it soak for a minute, rub and then rinse with cold water.
On Mirrors: You can use hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) directly on a clean rag to clean your mirrors. There are no streaks, just clean and shiny mirrors.
We use a special solution with hydrogen peroxide to keep our carpets clean. Read about our DIY Carpet Cleaner here.
Automatic Crud Buster
If you are planning on washing dishes right after your meal, fill the sink with hot water and put some of the pots and pans in it to soak while you eat. By the time you’re ready to wash them, most of the “crud” will be loosened, making your job faster and easier. It’s also helpful to put more dishes in the suds to soak while you’re emptying dishes from the rinse water. Jennifer Dahl – Bayard, IA
If you have a tip for saving money on Cleaning Products that would help others, please leave it in the comments below.