Thursday, March 14, 2013

Money Down the Drain

Buying commercial cleaners is not only adding toxins to your home, it's throwing money down the drain.

The cost of cleaning can be just pennies.  Nontoxic ingredients are cheap, cheap, cheap...and they work just as well as the smelly, toxic cleaners in the store.  Vinegar, baking soda, and liquid soap do not have frightening labels telling you how to call the poison control center. 

Think about what you're buying when you purchase a commercial cleaner:
  • Advertising and Marketing - The companies must convince the masses that the product is essential for a clean home.  New, improved, will rev up your sex life, make your neighbors jealous...
  • Chemical Engineering - Someone has to figure out how to make ammonia smell like a tropical rain forest--and make it a lovely green color!
  • Packaging, Shipping, and Shelf Space - OK, the nontoxic ingredients have the same issues, but I don't think the vinegar companies go to quite so much effort as the drain cleaners in their packaging designs.

What's the Difference in Cost of Typical Cleaning Products Versus Nontoxic Cleaners?

Using simple math (the kind I'm best at), I've calculated the comparable costs of nontoxic cleaners versus store-bought toxic cleaners.  Check it out!  (And hey, those are rounding errors--not my fault!)  Want to save some money and have a clean, nontoxic home?  Make your own cleaners....  (See the Recipes page)

Glass Cleaner - Windex Original costs $3.69 for 26 ounces or $0.14/ounce versus a nontoxic homemade cleaner costs $0.52 for 26 ounces or $0.02/ounce.  That's 86% cheaper.

All-Purpose Cleaner - Simple Green (boo, hiss! Greenwashing at its worst) costs $3.79 for 22 ounces or $0.17 an ounce versus a nontoxic homemade cleaner at $0.44 for 22 ounces or $0.02 an ounce.  That's 96% cheaper.

Abrasive Powder - Comet costs $0.75 for 14 ounces or $0.05 an ounce versus baking soda at $1.69 for 14 ounces or $0.12 an ounce.  OK, OK, this is one that's cheaper to buy the commercial brand, but you already have baking soda in the cupboard--and if you bought baking soda in bulk it would cost less than what I've calculated.  That's 25% more expensive for the box type of baking soda.

Abrasive Scrub - Soft Scrub costs $3.49 for 24 ounces or $0.15 an ounce versus a nontoxic homemade cleaner at $2.64 for 24 ounces or $0.11 an ounce.  That's 15% cheaper.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner - Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner costs $2.69 for 24 ounces or $0.11 an ounce versus $0.48 for 24 ounces of white vinegar or $0.02 an ounce.  That's 96% cheaper.

Drain Opener - Liquid Plumber costs $3.99 for 32 ounces or $0.12 an ounce.  A vinegar and baking soda cleanse costs $0.30 for one application to keep your drain clean or $0.04 an ounce.  That's 93% cheaper.

So, if reading the tiny print on the commercial cleaners doesn't make your palms sweat, then maybe saving some cash will get you to convert to simple, nontoxic cleaning.  That can be 100% safer!

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