My Favorite Frugal & Re-Purposed Housecleaning Tools

Picture 3This week we are focusing on natural housecleaning in preparation for the Natural Housecleaning Carnival this Friday! If you haven’t heard about it, check it out and prepare all your tips and recommendations.

I wanted to share with you three different frugal and effective housecleaning tools. I am always looking for ways to re-purpose and reuse items after their original purpose been spent. Two of the three ideas accomplish that to the fullest extent!

Scotch Brite Scour Pads

Picture 1 Scotch Brite Scour Pads are very useful when you need a good scrubbing for various housecleaning tasks. I keep one at the kitchen sink for all my dishwashing needs. I have used many different scrub brushes over the years specially designed for the task but they don’t work as well. The Scotch Brite (or green scratchy as I call it) works so well on scrubbing all the leftovers off both my stainless steel cookware and my favorite hard anodized non-stick pan and everything else. I use it to scrub all the gunk off my stove top as well. When you have some dried food product on a glass or plate, the green scratchy saves me so much more time and energy because it scrubs effectively. No intense elbow grease needed here! I also keep one in my cleaning bucket for those tough water stains in the toilet or bathtub.

Make sure to get the variety that has the green heavy duty scour pads on both sides for ease of use and effectiveness. I have found the blue softer side on the other variety to be pretty worthless. They are very cheap and are available everywhere. Tip: You can wash them in the laundry multiple times before they start falling apart, thus stretching your dollar. Also, just make sure to wash the dishwashing pad from the cleaning bucket one. ;)

Re-Purpose an Old Toothbrush

Picture 4When your toothbrush has seen better days, before throwing it into the trash, consider adding this useful tool to your cleaning bucket or by your kitchen sink. A toothbrush is a good instrument for getting into all the crooks and crannies of housecleaning. Scrubbing around the toilet or sink, drain and cover, faucets, in the tracks of sliding shower doors or windows, tile grout, or any small hard to access places. Keep one in the kitchen for cleaning the wheels on your can opener, baby bottle lids or sippy cups,

Handy Dandy T-Shirts

When your old t-shirts have pass their prime, re-purpose them for cleaning your house! My husband’s old cotton undershirts are my favorite housecleaning rag! I just cut or tear each shirt into four rags. They work great for all my needs including windows. I have completely eliminated paper towels from my house because I didn’t like the waste, so t-shirts is my substitute. Surprisingly, they leave very little lint behind.

Those are my favorite tools. What are yours?

This post is a part of Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

26 Responses to My Favorite Frugal & Re-Purposed Housecleaning Tools

  1. Spongebob T shirt June 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    I normally don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, awesome work.. wonderful …

  2. Linda September 7, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    I was always using a squeegy after taking a shower as we have hard water. So after buying and using a product(expensive)I decided to make my own solution…which is much, much cheaper on the wallet! In a quart spray bottle I put a spritz of liquid dish soap (1/2 teaspoon or less and about 1 tablespoon or less of ammonia and fill the rest of the bottle with water. I hang the spray bottle on the shower caddy and spray the wall after each shower. That’s it! There is no need to do anything else. No scouring or any need for a squeegy or sponge. The walls of the shower will sparkle and no more water marks.

  3. Shannon Hazleton September 3, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Does anyone have a good alternative to the swiffer dusting/sweeping sheets? I love doing a quick sweep with mine but have quit using it b/c I don’t want to buy any more swiffer sheets just to throw them away. Anyone found a solution?

    • Lindsay September 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

      Have you looked into the Norwex Enviro products? They have a few options that might be a more lasting alternative.

    • Jana Pedowitz September 4, 2009 at 5:44 am #

      I put a microdust cloth on my swifter and when it starts to get grubby, I throw it in the wash. Hope that helps.

      • Pam T. September 8, 2009 at 10:34 am #

        I use a doubled piece of undershirt and attach it to the Swiffer the same as the sheets. Could also put elastic all around the edge so it would just slip on the Swiffer base. Lightly misting with plain water increases the dirt holding capacity of the cloth. Easy to throw in the wash after shaking out the loose dust and will last almost forever.

    • Linda May 26, 2011 at 6:08 am #

      I make home made dusting cloths that work on the swiffer too.

      You need:

      1. Some cloths, I bought 5 for a dollar but you can make your own out of 100% cotton t-shirts.
      2. Mineral oil
      3. Hot water.
      4. Lemon essential oil if you want for scent.

      Put 1 quart very hot water, 1/8 cup mineral oil and some lemon essential oil (if using). Shake to combine. Add the cloths and shake.
      Hang each cloth to dry.

      You now have some wonderful dusting cloths. I use these daily to dust my furniture and attach them to the swiffer for the floors. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats, so it’s very helpful for the pet hair.

  4. Nicoline September 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    My Norwex cloths and mop!You only use it with water and it cleans well, better than anything else I have ever used. It is made of microfibre with a fine silver to make it antibacterial! It makes cleaning so much easier. Google it and find a representative, btw, I am not one!No cheap initially, but on the long run you will save.

    • Lindsay September 2, 2009 at 2:12 am #

      I have heard good reports on those cloths. I have seen them sold through Urban Homemaker. Looks like a wonderful option and good to hear a review on them. She is running a big sale this Friday if you get on her email list. For more info, visit here.

  5. Carla September 1, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    This does not sound “frugal” at first glance but… I am in love with my lambswool duster. It was about $14 at the local cleaning supply store and will last absolutely for YEARS. Now I find that I dislike getting my hands into dust if I have (ahem) waited a bit longer than I should have on this simple chore. The lambswool duster on a wand keeps my hands out of the dust and gives me a long reach into nooks and crannies and those high places I can’t get to without a ladder. It is washable in cool water and mild suds. You can snip it very lightly on the outer edges if some of the wool clumps together — in fact I recommend that you do. A classic tool which is outstanding, in my opinion.

  6. Shannon September 1, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    Newspaper works beautifully for cleaning windows without leaving lint — our local newspaper used to have four-foot rolls of leftover (unprinted!) paper, which they would sell for a dollar or so. That way there’s no ink to smudge your fingers!

    • Morgan September 1, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

      Coffee filters also work amazingly well for window/mirror cleaning. I would imagine, since tshirts don’t tend to leave lint behind, they would work also, which would be good on eliminating the waste. :)

  7. Anna September 1, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    What do you all use for scrubbing the tub? Would Scotch Brite work well for that too? I currently have a scrub brush that works pretty well but I could use something a little better. Any advice?

    • Lindsay September 1, 2009 at 11:50 am #

      Yes, I use the scotch brite for scrubbing my tubs as I mentioned above. It is the only thing I have found to work effectively.

      • Kristi September 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

        I recently read in a magazine to keep a sponge in the shower/tub. During each bath time simply put a tiny amount of baby shampoo on the sponge or spraybottle of vinegar and rub down the walls and floor of the tub/shower then rinse. I also keep an old tooth brush in the shower as well and use almost every time I shower to rub down the nooks and crannys. It keeps the shower from ever needing a major cleaning.

        • Carrie September 2, 2009 at 4:12 am #

          That sounds like a great idea, just do your cleaning while in the shower anyway!

      • Anna September 2, 2009 at 7:24 am #

        Sorry. I can’t believe I missed that one. Thanks.

  8. Aimee September 1, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Microfiber cloths…just get them damp and they clean glass beautifully!

  9. Christy September 1, 2009 at 6:15 am #

    in addition to old t-shirts, i also save old socks after they wear thin or get holes. i like to just stick my hand in the sock and then use it for dusting. don’t ever have to worry about dropping the rag, and it makes it easy to get in little cracks and crevices!

    • Lindsay September 1, 2009 at 7:16 am #

      Good idea! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Rosemary Evergreen September 1, 2009 at 5:36 am #

    I cut Scotch Brite pads into about 9 pieces. I find the smaller size easier to use, and each piece lasts a long time. I wash them in the silverware holder in my dishwasher.

    I use many rags for cleaning, and keep some handy in various locations – kitchen, bathroom, laundry room. Having a stash of rags in the kitchen has eliminated our paper towel usage.

  11. Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth September 1, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    I reuse old cotton tees as well. I cut them into one, long strip and crochet them into dish rags. They dry pretty easily and are the right texture to remove grime.

  12. Hallee September 1, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    I have also found that diapers – single-ply non-padded diapers – make the best dust cloths around. Most of my cloth diapers that I use on my sons are tri-fold and have a padding sewn in; however, we accidentally bought a package of single-ply one time. No other dust cloth I’ve ever used works as well as those diapers.

    • Sarah September 1, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

      I’m 20 and my mom still uses extra diapers from when I was a baby. They work especially well on glasses.

      • Pamela April 12, 2011 at 11:28 am #

        Ladies don’t over look your worn cotton panties they work nicely for dusting cloth. They also work nicely for polishing cloths I know anytime my start to get ragged my husbands is taking them to the garage for polishing rags.

    • Pamela April 12, 2011 at 11:27 am #

      You should try ripping the snaps off of onesies and using those for dusting they are great also.