Student savings: 5 household products you can make yourself

Students aren’t known for their show-home standard digs. But is it any wonder given the cost of essential cleaning products? So, to help the more reluctant scrubbers among you take a shine to all things sanitary, here are some homemade substitutes that will do your house proud and won't dig into your student loan. Rolled up sleeves at the ready!

Student Savings 5 household products you can make yourself

1. The cleaning rota must-have

Housemates: do your worst. There’s no need to fear your turn to clean up with this homemade hero. It costs a fraction of its shop-bought counterparts and makes light work of every job. The star ingredient is vinegar, which eliminates bacteria and mold thanks to its high acidity. Who knew? Just don’t skip the essential oil; it disguises the sharp smell of vinegar.

Ingredients:
1 part water
1 part vinegar
10-15 drops of any essential oil
Empty spray bottle

Method:
Pour everything into your spray bottle and shake well.

2. For washing as soft as Mum’s

Remember when your mum did your washing? Good times. But what magic did she invoke to achieve clothes as soft as ducklings? Fabric softener, of course! Unfortunately, on just a maintenance loan you can’t afford it. But it couldn’t be easier to whip up a homemade version that costs very little indeed. So there are no more excuses for taking a bag of dirty washing home at the end of term.

Ingredients:
340g of hair conditioner (the cheapest will do)
1.5 cups of distilled white vinegar
3 cups of really warm water

Method:
Mix well and add a ¼ cup per load.

3. The post-party lifesaver

We’re looking at you, carpet stain remover. For all those dropped slices of pizza and red-wine spills, there can be no better way to safeguard your housing deposit. But it’s a pricey purchase for cash strapped students. The good news is, it couldn’t be easier to replicate this product at home.

Ingredients:
Hydrogen peroxide

Method:
Pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a wet cloth and dab. Yes, it really is that easy.

4. The surprise parental pop-in

Student digs aren’t all roses. From smoky house parties to fourth-hand furniture, your home can end up smelling more pigsty than poo-pourri. One thing’s for sure: the aroma won’t impress your parents should they spring a surprise visit. Fortunately, there’s time to freshen up at short notice thanks to a homemade spray that works just like Febreze.

Ingredients:
1/8 cup of liquid fabric softener
1-2 teaspoons of baking soda
Warm to hot water
Empty spray bottle

Method:
Pour everything into your spray bottle and shake well.

5. End of year deep clean

Sometimes elbow grease just isn’t enough. Case in point: cleaning the oven after weeks of use by a house full of hungry students who love all food that spits, spatters and slops. Nobody ever volunteers for that job. Until now. Here’s a powerful, non-toxic oven cleaner you can mix up yourself, saving valuable pounds for a farewell Chinese takeaway.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp of borax
½ cup of vinegar
1/8 cup of dish soap
1 cup of boiling water
Baking soda
Empty spray bottle

Method:
Pour everything except the baking soda into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray a really thick layer of your solution all around your oven, and then sprinkle with baking soda. Leave it to work overnight, and scrub in the morning with a hot, wet sponge.