SPRING CLEANING PRODUCTS ON A BUDGET

 In Around the Home, Budgeting

Spring is technically upon us in Australia, however reluctant the weather may be about it. There is nothing like the feeling of getting all spick and span after the winter, and getting your house ready for the upcoming social season.

We’ve done a bit of research around the costs of commonly available cleaning products to help you make some thrifty and informed decisions about your spring cleaning arsenal.

The spring cleaning field

The table below shows prices of cleaning products at Coles, Woolworths, and at Aldi, as well as costs of using DIY homemade recipes DIY Cleaning Products. We’ve included well-known brands, ‘own brands’, and eco-friendly brands where available, and have used regular, everyday pricing (not accounting for weekly specials and such). Pricing shows the total cost, but because cleaning products come in such a variety of sizes, we’ve broken it down into cost per 100ml or per wipe so you can compare them accurately. All prices are in Australian dollars.

  COLES/WOOLWORTHS ALDI DIY
CLEANING PRODUCT

NAME BRAND

OWN BRAND ECO-FRIENDLY OWN BRAND ECO-FRIENDLY
Multipurpose spray Ajax Spray ‘n’ wipe Earth choice
3.00 1.69 3.29 1.69 1.99 0.35
per 100ml 0.60 0.23 0.55 0.23 0.40 0.02
Shower and tile spray Shower power Earth choice
6.99 2.50 4.19 2.29 1.99 0.30
per 100ml 1.40 0.33 0.70 0.31 0.40 0.04
Floor cleaner Ajax Earth choice
3.50 2.00 2.99 1.79 0.35
per 100ml 0.47 0.27 0.30 0.23 0.14
Carpet cleaner Carpet power
7.87 2.27 2.99 0.15
per 100ml 1.57 0.45 0.60 0.03
Surface wipes Pine-o-clean
11.00 4.00 1.89 1.73
per wipe 0.09 0.04 0.04 0.02
Disinfectant Pine-o-clean
4.99 1.39 1.79 0.14
per 100ml 0.40 0.07 0.18 0.02
Bleach White king
4.29 1.19 1.49
per 100ml 2.15 0.60 0.60
Surface cream cleanser Jif Earth choice
2.99 1.80 3.25 1.69 1.30
per 100ml 0.80 0.48 0.87 0.45 0.43
Disinfectant wipes Pine-o-clean
4.00 2.29 2.29 1.73
per wipe 0.10 0.06 0.05 0.02
Glass and mirror spray Windex Earth choice
4.89 1.70 3.47 1.59 0.36
per 100ml 0.65 0.23 0.58 0.21 0.04
Mould remover Exit mould
6.79 3.00 2.59  
per 100ml 1.36 0.60 0.52

The Verdict: Best Value Cleaning Products

The DIY homemade cleaning products clearly stand out as the cheapest across the range of products, with all but one coming in at under 10c per 100ml/wipe. One thing to be aware of when making your own cleaning products is that you will most likely have to buy far more basic ingredients than you need for just one product, but bear in mind that you are likely to use those ingredients in several products, so overall you are still likely to save money. For example, white vinegar and bicarb soda are used in over half of these recipes, and the cost of one bottle of vinegar and one packet of bicarb soda comes to less than $3.

Not into DIY?

Now, not everyone is into making their own cleaning products, whether it be because they don’t have time, they’re not keen on making a mess while mixing the products, or they don’t trust the efficacy of the products themselves, so let’s also take a look at the best value in the ready-made cleaning products.

With the exception of Carpet cleaner and Disinfectant, Aldi’s own-brand range of cleaning products comes in at either the same or a cheaper price per 100ml/wipe than Coles/Woolworths own-brand products. What some people might not be aware of though, is that Aldi’s own-brand products are matched more closely in quality to leading name-brand products than they are to leading own-brand ones. You can read more about this at Canstar Blue research into Supmarkets. In effect, this means that Aldi’s own-brand cleaning products are ALL significantly cheaper than their name-brand counterparts at Coles/Woolworths. In fact, all but one (Surface cream cleanser) are half the price or less per 100ml/wipe than the name-brand cleaning products that we all know so well.

Can you save the environment AND your pennies?

Many people are now rightly concerned about their impact on the environment, and our choice of cleaning products is one aspect of our lives where we can make a conscious decision to reduce our household chemical output. DIY products are often the most environmentally friendly options, but as mentioned above, we know that’s not for everyone, so we’ve also looked how affordable commercially available eco-friendly products are.

Earth Choice is one of Australia’s best-know eco-friendly cleaning products, and is widely available. Whilst it is dearer than Aldi brand and homebrand cleaning products, it turns out it’s actually cheaper than all name-brand products, bar one (Surface cream cleanser). So, it seems that it is possible to keep your house clean in an eco-friendly way without breaking the budget: like so many other things, it comes down to an individual choice about cost vs ideals. It’s nice to know that it’s not prohibitively expensive though!

Conclusion

We’ve always expected name-brand cleaning products to be more expensive than own-brand products, but we were surprised by how much dearer they actually are. And seeing that switching cleaning products is one of the simplest ways to save a bit of extra money in your weekly budget, its heartening to find that often, the cheapest products are the best.

DIY cleaning products are definitely the cheapest to use, and eco-friendly products aren’t as expensive as you might think. But if you want ultimate best value for money in commercially available cleaning products, Aldi is the place for you.

Even if you are not a regular Aldi shopper, it’s worth popping in every now and then to buy your cleaning products, and while you’re at it, consider downloading the app or signing up to their newsletters, because they have Special Buy sales throughout the year (they do a couple of eco-friendly sales too, where they stock everything from bamboo cloths to carpet cleaner) where you can buy in bulk and save even more.

Because, lets face it: disinfectant’s not going to go off in the cupboard, so you may as well stock up!

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