Frugal Friday- Your Turn to Help Me :)

frugalfriday  After a few years of giving you all weekly tips on how to save money, I am turning the tables. I have been gradually letting my cleaning supplies get used up without replenishing them in the hopes that I would start gradually switching to a more earth and family friendly approach to cleaning. As in, make your own stuff with cheapo ingredients.

So the first thing to run out? Toilet bowl cleaner. This is a biggie. Because I don’t want something that is going to take a lot of elbow grease on my part when my previous routine involved squirting some blue stuff in and flushing. I really don’t want to be up to my elbows in toilet water scouring with a lemon for a half hour. I also don’t want you to pitch me your fabulous product that you sell that costs me a bunch of money I don’t care to spend (no offense if you sell such products, but I am BOTH lazy and cheap).

So hit me with your best shot internet peeps. And be specific please. I am one of those people who follows recipes to the letter. Although I married one of those people who can open up the fridge grab 3 random items and whip up something delicious. He might be able to do that in the bathroom, but since I typically do the toilets ’round these parts let’s cater more towards my need for specifics. Also, if you want to throw in book recommendations for cleaning green, I would love that too. Thanks in advance for your help. Each and every one of you is freakin’ brilliant!!

For actual frugal tips (instead of people just begging for help), head over to Life As Mom.


  1. Drop in a scoop (1/2 cup) of baking soda and pour some vinegar into the toilet. Um, 1/3 cup? I dunno. Til it fizzes enough to please you. Then scrub with brush as usual.

    “Better Basics for the Home.”

    can’t live without it.
    .-= Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae´s last blog ..How Hamburgers May Have Changed My Life =-.

  2. Ashley Taylor says:

    You can make some vinegar water to spray in the toilet. Vinegar is a natural sanitizer and it absorbs bad smells. I know vinegar doesn’t smell good itself but once it dries you don’t smell anything.

    Or if you want to buy something premade. Proctor and Gamble (the people who make Windex) make a green bathroom cleaner. I have never used it myself but it has been recommended to me by several people.

  3. Mix about a 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into toilet. Allow to set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and flush. I have also heard that a mixture of borax and lemon juice will work too! Check on the Borax box for recipe.
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Book Basket =-.

  4. If you take the vinegar advice add some essential oil to it ~ whenever I use vinegar to clean I add Orange essential oil and it smells YUMMY!

  5. vinegar and baking soda work but if you have tough stains, coca cola will do the trick. i’m not kidding. i’ve seen it work. pour it in and let it set for 10 minutes and then scrub away. whatever you do, the essential oil is a good idea to make everything smell clean and fresh.

  6. Michele says:

    I have nothing productive to add, but I’m so anal about recipes I verify the instructions on the box of mac and cheese. Every time.

  7. I guess bleach isn’t green, is it?
    I’d say vinegar, but the SMELL puts me over the top, sorry!
    .-= Lana´s last blog ..Pictures of The Dinner Party =-.

  8. What if you are choosing a charm for an older woman who is very important in your life? If she is your mother or someone who has acted like one to you, you might want to commemorate this relationship with something like a small gold heart with the word ?Mother? on it. This can let her know how you feel about her.
    Another thing that you might want to celebrate is her professional life. What jobs has she had, and what kind of jobs has she loved? Has she spent ten years as a journalist in a big city newspaper, or has she adored her job as a librarian for ages.

  9. Dittoing the straight vinegar!! If you have a tough stain, just let it set for 10 minutes before you get the brush out. We have hard well water and this has always worked for me.

    Organic housekeeping by ellen sandbeck is a great book.

    and btw- you can pretty much use vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide to do all your cleaning!!
    .-= Donielle@Raising Penauts´s last blog ..Just a lot of random =-.

  10. A big amen to what Amanda said! Just make sure you don’t use peach essential oil. I did that once and for some reason the combo of vinegar and peach is most definitely not a yummy smell.
    .-= Sarah @ Ordinary Days´s last blog ..Someone Please Keep Me From Ripping My Eyelid Off =-.

  11. MaryAnne over at Thrifty Crafty Mama did a post on Cleaning Tips:

    .-= Shana´s last blog ..A VERY Special Giveaway! =-.

  12. Put vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in separate spray bottles, then spray one after the other on any surface. Safe, green and kills more bacteria than bleach. Additionally, baking soda and borox are natural odor absorbers as well as apple cider vinegar. Just put any in a container and place under sink or behind toilet. Or if you just want to take a small step instead of a giant leap into environmentally safe toilet cleaning, Clorox Green Works makes a toilet bowl cleaner…but some might argue you still have the plastic container that its in and I’m sure oil (and therefore carbon emissions) is used somehow in the process of making some portion of the product. I’ve been trying to clean green for the last 2 years and have saved tons of money. Go for it chica!

  13. As I noted in my Thursday yesterday, I am also a fan of the vinegar. :) It’s ridiculously cheap to buy by the gallon and works better than anything. For a fantastic book, check out “Clean.”


    Also, if you will be at church tomorrow, PLEASE remind me to give you the check I have had burning a hole in my purse for weeks now… :)
    .-= anne´s last blog ..I Love Vinegar =-.

  14. I have heard wonderful things about Basic H. You can check it out here: http://www.shaklee.com/00015.html

    That’s what I’m going for after I use everything up.
    .-= Whitney´s last blog ..Bargain Hunting Thursdays =-.

  15. Baking soda for abrasive action, rosemary and vinegar for cleansing. Rosemary is a natural disinfectant. You can either add some essential oil to the vinegar or “simmer a handful of leaves in water to cover them. The less water, the more disinfecting power. Strain and use to clean.” (What Can I do With My Herbs by Judy Barrett) It helps with the vinegar smell and can also improve clarity in thinking… which could be great if you’re doing a crossword or sudoku in the bathroom later on ;)

  16. The closest I have come to greening the toilet cleaning is cleaning with borax. I literally flush, sprinkle, and let it sit while I clean other stuff (or overnight if its not the bathroom that’s going to be used at night). Then scrub it off in the morning.

    I am going to have to try some of these vinegar peroxide things people are saying. I typically use the borax until I get around to buying more toilet cleaner. I know, I know, I am a bad example. Maybe i need to pay the $20 and get some essential oils so my cleaners smell like something besides vinegar and soap.
    .-= Becca´s last blog ..Making the Trek to the Bishop’s Storehouse =-.

  17. Vinegar is NOT good for natural stone–especially marble. The second it hits it, it leaves a permanent etching (if you spill it on your marble floor, every drop where it hits the ground will show forever–unless you refinish your floor–which I have not done).

    I use borax and a scrub brush for cleaning textured tubs and showers.

    I use bleach in my kitchen sink to whiten it without scratching, and to kill the germs. I read that the germs in a kitchen sink are worse than the ones on your toliet. Considering that raw meat gets put in there, I can believe it. It’s cheaper than buying a cleaner WITH bleach.

  18. Ingrid says:

    I love it…..cheap and lazy. Sounds like me!! I use straight vinegar in the toilet, it works just fine. And it’s a bit of an investment, but over time works out to be a lot cheaper….check out Norwex. Google it-someone is bound to be selling it close to you. I don’t sell it (remember the lazy thing), but I use their cloths and mop all the time!

  19. I have to admit – toilet bowl cleaner is the one thing I go chemically with – it’s just so easy to squirt the blue stuff. But I LOVE “Clean: The Humble art of Zen Cleaning”) for other around-the-house cheap ideas (it only uses 5 household ingredients):
    .-= Heather H´s last blog ..Shopping DVD Winner =-.

  20. PolkaDotMommy says:

    Put down the bleach and back away!!! :)

    I haven’t used toilet bowl cleaners in eons… I just grab a scrub brush but we have gentle water now. On the old, hard, well water I used baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice. Honestly I just sprinkle it in and swish around then let it sit for a few minutes, brush and flush.

    I *heart* Squeaky Green (it’s a Method book, but has lots of good green tips).

    For disinfecting, I keep topical hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, spritz, let sit for 30, then wipe dry. Especially good on high chairs, sinks, around the toilet, kitchen sink, etc…

    To add a fresh smell, I add a couple drops of essential oil to the toilet bowl. We like tea tree for natural antiseptic properties.
    .-= PolkaDotMommy´s last blog ..Writings of an Almost Nine Year Old =-.

  21. It doesn’t get much more organic/green and safe than water. Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time. Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com with these you won’t even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still have toilet paper, you can even make it the soft stuff and not feel guilty since you’re using so little. It’s cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You’ll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. Now we’re talking green and helping the environment without any pain. Don’t Say It Spray It! http://davidstanleyblog.blogspot.com/

  22. Those are all awesome tips. I already use the vinegar and water thing on my mirrors and windows but never considered it for anything else. I will definitely be using it in my toilets after the disinfectant I have are done. Thanks for putting the question out there. I learned some new things.

  23. Well, I know this is a bit late and my suggestion isn’t all homemade… but I do like the GreenWorks by Clorox toilet cleaner. It smells nice and lemony without being too strong. And if you don’t wait a month to clean your toilet I don’t have any problems with having to scrub much! ;)
    You can get it at Walmart, Target, etc!
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Cutest Boy Ever =-.

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