Spring Cleaning

Reporter: Laura Sparkes

Each person would waste approximately hundreds of dollars a year on cleaning products that are not needed. "I've got cleaner for the splashback, cleaner for the stainless steel, I've got window cleaner, I've got every type of cleaner for every type of surface in the house" says Susan.

Former NSW Police Inspector Susan Trusty knows all about cleaning up the streets of crime but secretly behind the scenes at home she's also a self confessed Queen of Clean. "If I've seen advertising for a product that is going to guarantee get this mark off the wall or get this spot of the carpet I'll buy it because I believe it's going to work." Susan states.

Her bag of tricks - a multitude of cleaning products for every surface in the home. "This is all the stuff that's in my cupboard at the moment which is a little embarrassing I have to say particularly the ones with all the different coloured lids" But today she's about to learn behind the smart marketing and clever advertising of these brightly coloured, very expensive products lies a secret.

"People can buy things that are a lot cheaper and cut that cleaning bill to a $100 a year if that and still clean the home with the same disinfecting product without any chemicals" says cleaning guru Felicity Clothier. She is going to teach Susan the clean, green way to housework and help her save money at the same time. The secret 5 products our grandmothers used-natural antiseptic and antibacterials without loads of chemicals.

It's a tried method, most of the products, natural, today have been used for hundreds of years. Now it's getting to the stage where people are more serious about being environmentally friendly that the old tried and true methods are coming back. "We've just thrown out a $100 worth of cleaning products which I can give you the same cleaning products for about $10 which will save you money and it will safe your lungs" states Felicity.

"Essentially the products do the same thing-they clean" says Peter Applebaum from 'Tick Yes Marketing'. He says cleaning products put the skills of marketers to the test. "It's just a question of the marketer being able to convince the consumer when they walk past the shelf to pick me, as opposed to the other 8 alternatives" And the marketing works on Susan. The products have basically all got the same thing in them.

"I've got the deco glaze cleaner for the splashback and the stainless steel cleaner for the outside and range hood and the mr muscle which I use inside I think you can put all of those aside" says Susan."You've got your Method which will do the outside" demonstrates Felicity."But isn't that toxic?"""It's not toxic like an ammonia based cleaner. It has not got anywhere near the concentration of chemicals that the other ones you're using."

"For the inside of your oven?"A nice paste of bicarb soda" claims Felicity."Bathroom? We've got the BAM for the bench tops, the window cleaner, for the mirror, toilet products here and toilet cleaner. Well we can get rid of all of those and start with eucalyptus oil. When we come to the toilet? eucalyptus again, because remember it's got the antiseptic and antibacterial then for our shower screens and slight build up around showers just our vinegar."

So Felicity's famous 5 products to clean the entire house are Eucalyptus Oil, Vinegar, Bicarbonate Soda, Methylated Spirits and the one she didn't mention -Citric acid to clean saucepans and jugs price check $14.70 for the lot. For this array of cleaning products for every surface in the house $44.80 that's $30 more.

"I've been amazed, amazed by the savings, embarrassed at how many cleaning products I have, I couldn't believe it and the fact that it's so natural and so much better for you" exclaims Susan.But it's not the only natural way to go. Karen Rout swears by Enjo, "Water does clean you don't need chemicals. It is what we used hundreds of years ago and it still works today" says Karen.

Two years ago she outlaid $200 to buy the Enjo bathroom and kitchen mitts and floor cleaner. She hasn't bought any cleaning products since. "I would say I save a thousand dollars a year not buying cleaning products because I don't need it" says Karen.Susan too is looking forward to big savings "I spend far too much money on cleaning products that's for sure, using all the things she's taught me today I would save 100s of dollars a year in cleaning products which is just phenomenal"

If you want to read about more ways to save on your cleaning Felicity's written a book: 'Handy Housekeeping Hints.'