July 25, 2009

Why Store Cleaning Supplies in your Food (Home) Storage?

(Updated 5/6/12)
There are several reasons why I stock up on cleaning supplies. First, to save money, and second to use in an emergency such as job loss or disaster.

I try to stick to the basics as this is financially easier for our family. I buy most items in bulk from Sam's Club or Costco, but not everything. Sometimes shopping at Dollar Tree is just fine. I am not suggesting how much you should buy, or what brands you should buy, rather what I buy to keep our family of five-at-home stocked with a year's supply. Obviously we might use more, or less of these items in a year's time, but so far this works for us. Consider your finances, and needs; then purchase over time. You might need smaller containers because of limited storage space and family size. And you may already have most of these in your supply.

Here is a list of the basic cleaning supplies I store, and why:
  • Disinfectant Cleaner (12M) 1x 28 oz. $1.99 Walmart - Inexpensive cleaner for floors and bathrooms. Useful as a disinfectant during illnesses and epidemics. Add small amount to trash bag lined toilet in a disaster if water supply is shut off.
  • Clorox wipes (12M) 4/78 ct. $11.98 Sam's Club - For bathrooms and quick cleanups. They're convenient, disposable and useful during disasters where water could be limited.
  • Baby Wipes Refill Pack (1M) 1 per person $1.25 Walmart Besides the baby, these are useful cleanup wipes during disasters, campouts, and traveling. As well as a personal wipe if you cannot shower. If you buy a large package, divide into quart-sized Ziploc bags for individual use, so they stay moist for a long time.
  • Dish soap (12M) 1 gal. $4.18 Sam's Club - An inexpensive way to wash dishes, cars, and other items. Useful during power outages and disasters. Pour a small amount in a smaller bottle for easy use.
  • Dishwasher Detergent (12M) your choice - Wouldn't it be nice to have this in stock if you suddenly become unemployed? It is a convenience though.
  • Glass Cleaner Refill (12M) 1 gal. $4.70 Sam's Club - An inexpensive way to clean glass, windows, etc. Cheapest to buy in a large bottle and refill smaller bottles. However, Streak Free with ammonia from WalMart ranked as Consumer Reports best buy.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner (12M) 4/32 oz. $6.98 Sam's Club - Useful for cleaning toilets. Pine-sol Disinfectant cleaner can also be substituted and is cheaper.
  • Comet w/bleach (12M) 6/28 oz. $5.98) Sam's Club - Useful for cleaning sinks and showers. Consumer Reports top ranked shower cleaner.
  • Antibacterial Hand Soap Refill - (12M) 1 gal. $8.23 - Necessary for hand washing to prevent the spread of infection. Useful for cleanup in disasters, and illnesses. Economical if you refill your own bathroom soap pumps.
  • Laundry Detergent - (12M) 5x 180 use $15.88 - Use and replace regularly. Essential during illnesses, and every day. To figure out how much laundry detergent to store, multiply the number of weeks by number of people by 3.
  • Unscented Bleach (1M) 1x96 oz. per person - Sounds like a lot to have on hand, but after a disaster you will be glad you stored it. Can purify water, disinfect items affected by flood waters, clean eating surfaces, etc.
Keep dangerous items out of reach of children.

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