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Bachelor on the Cheap: Don't pay too much for household cleaning products

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Some people like to clean because it's therapeutic.  Others like to clean just to keep their hands busy (and then there's that obsessive/compulsive thing, but I won't go into that).  Many folks hate to clean, but understand the need for it and like the sense of accomplishment once done.  I fall into the latter category.  Then there are the folks that just don't clean, but I won't go into that either because this article is about cleaning, NOT about not doing it.   But I digress......   Thursday is cleaning day at my place, the full gamut of sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, laundry, mopping and scrubbing.

So I have to ask, "Are you a name brand cleaning product kind of person?"

If you are, check this out, I've done a cost comparison for some common household cleaning products - name brand items purchased at Walmart vs. not name brand Dollar Tree.  I used Walmart in this comparison because I think most folks would agree that Walmart is on the low end cost-wise and popular for that reason when purchasing items like name brand cleaning supplies.

20170601_111938Typical products used for household cleaning were evaluated in this comparison, general cleaners, bleach, window cleaner, furniture polish, bathroom cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner.....  So what's better, the name brand stuff or the not name brand stuff?  As you probably already guessed, the Dollar Tree products are much less expensive, but are they as good, effective, last as long?  I'll give you a hint, everything pictured right is from Dollar Tree.

Cleaner Comparison

Clearly, the Dollar Tree products are far less expensive, it's a difference of $18.60, but that savings doesn't mean much if the products don't perform or if it takes two or three times the Dollar Tree product in volume to do the same job as the name brand right?

No worries, the Dollar Tree stuff performs.  Here's an item-by-item breakdown: 

Bathroom CleanerMr. Bubbles vs. Home Store - Mr. Bubbles is 'foamier' but does it really CLEAN better?  And yes, it's 24 oz. vs. 12 oz. here so the Mr. Bubbles will last a bit longer, but the Home Store stuff does just fine when it comes to scrubbing the shower down and making your faucets sparkle.  Spray for spray, I'm sticking with the Dollar Tree brand.

BleachClorox vs. Home Store - Bleach is bleach.  You're literally wasting almost $2 going with the name brand here.  And most folks keep their cleaning products in the closet, so nobody sees what 'name brand' products you use...   Don't be vain in cleaning.... 

Fabric RefresherFebreeze vs. Awesome - The Awesome stuff smells good and lasts just as long.  When I clean, I used to do a weekly spray with Febreeze, now I do it with 'Awesome' and I can't tell the difference.

Furniture PolishPledge vs. Home Store - Home Store is lemon scented just like Pledge is and does the same job for far fewer pennies....

General Cleaner409 vs. Spic & Span - Spic & Span used to be considered a name brand so I'm not sure what happened with that, but it's available at Dollar Tree for $1 and does a fine job.  The elbow grease needed with 409 vs. Spic & Span is the same.

General CleanerPine Sol vs. Home Store - The Home Store brand is not as strong as Pine Sol, but you WON'T go through three bottles of the knock off in comparison to one bottle of the real deal.  A bottle-and-a-half maybe two bottles of the knock off are about the same as one bottle of Pine Sol, so your actual savings is still about $1 to $1.47 with Dollar Tree.

Toilet Bowl CleanerLysol vs. The Works - This is the only name brand product in this comparison that I'll give the nod to.  Lysol does a more efficient job of cleaning the toilet, as 'The Works' is a watered down product.  You will go through two bottles of 'The Works' compared to one bottle of Lysol, but the cost works out the same.  So since I'm a Dollar Tree shopper, I'll stick with not making the trip to Walmart just for that.

Window CleanerWindex vs. Freshine - They both have 'with ammonia,' they both clean windows spray for spray.

So after taking in the information shared here, I have to ask again, "Are you a name brand cleaning product kind of person?"

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