Dollar store green cleaners can save you money and help make your home safer… if you know which items to purchase. Find out which green cleaners to buy and which to skip on your next Dollar Tree shopping trip.
Are Dollar Store Cleaning Products Good for Green Cleaning?
From white vinegar and lemon juice to microfiber cloths and scrub brushes, your local $1 dollar store carries many popular green cleaning supplies. But not all the green cleaners at these “one-dollar” stores are worth buying.
How I Compared the Green Cleaners
I found 14 green cleaning items that can be purchased at the dollar store, rate an A or a B on the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning, and can be used to mak one or more of my favorite natural homemade cleaners.
To compare price and quality I shopped for these items at my local Dollar Tree and then purchased the same items at my local Wal-Mart. I bought the same sizes when possible, if the same sized item could not be purchased I bought the nearest available size.
I evaluated each products and and then created a list of green cleaners you should buy at the dollar store, which supplies might be worth the money, and which should be skipped. Keep reading to find out more…
The best dollar store green cleaning products
These 8 green cleaning staples are a great bargain at the dollar store:
- Lemon Juice – Lemon juice can clean everything from rust to hardwater stains! The dollar store version is nearly identical to the big store version and is priced right for cleaning.
Cost – Big box store: $2.48 for 32 oz, $0.08/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 32 oz, $0.03/oz.
- Table Salt – Table salt adds grit to green cleaners and can be used to disinfect cutting boards. The product at the dollar store and big box store were identical.
Cost – Big box store: $1.48 for 26 oz, $0.05/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 26 oz, $ 0.04/oz.
- Kosher Salt– Gritty kosher salt can be used to scrub cast iron pans or make fresh lemon dishwasher detergent. The product at the dollar store and big box store were identical. Bonus: kosher salt from the Dollar Tree comes in a plastic shaker container that is convenient for under the sink storage.
Cost – Big box store: $1.48 for 16 oz, $0.09/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 16 oz, $0.06/oz.
- Quick Eraser or Magic Eraser– “Quick Erasers” are off-brand Magic Erasers available from the Dollar Tree. They are exactly the same as the brand name version. They have hundred of uses including cleaning scuff marks from painted walls and baseboards and scouring stains from porcelean sinks.
Cost – Big box store: $2.48 for 2, $1.24 each; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 2, $0.50 each.
- Reusable Rubber Gloves – Rubber gloves are great for protecting skin when green cleaning (always use them when using cleaners made with washing soda). They are also the easiest way to remove pet hair from furniture and carpets (just wipe your gloved hand across the surface). The good quality of the Dollar Tree gloves surprised me.
Cost – Big box store: $2.73 for 1 pair; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 1 pair.
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloths – Reusable microfiber cloths can replace disposable dusting cloths and floor cleaning pads which helps reduce household waste. Check out the variety of microfiber cloths available at each store to see which type works best for you.
Cost – Big box store: $2.99 for 1; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 2.
- Toothbrushes – Cheap toothbrushes are perfect for scrubbing grout clean, brushing dirt of of window tracks, and reaching bathroom nooks without damaging surfaces. Toss a few of these cheap ones your cleaning caddy.
Cost – Big box store: $3.49 for 6, $0.58 each; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 4, $0.25 each.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda is one of my favorite natural cleaners. I use it to make laundry detergent and naturally scented carpet cleaning powder. Both store versions were identical.
Cost – Big box store: $1.38 for 16 oz, $0.09/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 16 oz, $0.06/oz.
Dollar Store Green Cleaning Products That Are a Maybe
These 4 green cleaning supplies might be worth purchasing at the dollar store:
- White Vinegar – Vinegar is one for my favorite green cleaners! It can be naturally scented and makes a great homemade fabric softener. The dollar store version is a great buy if you want to purchase a smaller size bottle of white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar). I use white vinegar daily so I skip the dollar store and buy huge bottles at my big box store (128 ozs for $2.59, $0.02/oz.)
Cost – Big box store: $2.24 for 32 oz, $0.07/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 32 oz, $0.03/oz.
- Isopropyl Alcohol –Alcohol adds etra shine to homemade glass cleaner , can be used disinfect surfaces, and turns essential oils into natural air freshener spray. However, I prefer to use cheap vodka (ethanol) in most of my green cleaners since it rates well on the EWG scale and has virtually no odor. Isopropyl alcohol is a more affordable choice (but it rates a B on the EWG scale) and leaves behind a distinct odor. I do keep a small bottle of isopropyl on hand to remove ink stains from laundry. Use whichever alcohol you prefer in your green cleaners.
Cost – Big box store: $2.50 for 16 oz, $0.16/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 16 oz, $0.06/oz.
- Reusable Spray Bottle – Spray bottles are essential if you make your own cleaning products. I prefer to make upycled spray bottles when possible, but if you are in need grab one at the Dollar Tree. You can also look for glass or aluminum spray bottles in the beauty section for essential oil cleaners (Essential oils can cause plastic bottles to degrade, so stick to metal or glass spray bottles.)
Cost – Big box store: $1.57 for 1; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 1.
- Oxygen Bleach or OxiClean – Sodium carbonate peroxide (the active ingredient in both cleaners) can be used to whiten laundry, clean grout, and make homemade laundry detergent. The Dollar Tree version (LA's Totally Awesome Power Oxygen Base Cleaner) rates an A on the EWG scale. I give it a “maybe” rating because it appears to have a bit of blue dye added and may contain artificial fragrance (US law does not require all ingredients to be listed). I prefer to use OxiClean Free which rates well on the EWG scale and is free of dye and scent.
Cost – Big box store: $7.58 for 48 oz, $0.16/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 16 oz, $0.06/oz.
Dollar Store Green Cleaners to Skip
These 2 green cleaning supplies should be skipped at the dollar store:
- Olive Oil – Olive oil makes a great natural wood polish, can be used to “refinish” hardwood floors, and shine stainless steel appliances. However, the dollar store version is a actually an oil blend (94% soybean oil). Keep buying 100% olive oil at your favorite big box store.
Cost – Big box store: $1.74 for 8.5 oz, $0.20/oz; Dollar store: $1.00 for 8.5 oz, $0.12/oz.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide is a great green cleaner, stain remover, and laundry whitener. I use it to make all-purpose scrub, grout cleaner, and laundry stain remover. Skip the Dollar Store version, it’s cheaper at a big box store. (Bonus: you can find hydrogen peroxide in a small spray bottle at the Dollar Tree, grab one to treat laundry stains like blood and grass stain and refill as needed.)
Cost – Big box store: $0.88 for 32 oz, $0.027/oz; Dollar Store: $1.00 for 32 oz, $0.03/oz.
Total Green Cleaner Costs
Purchasing all of these green cleaners at the Dollar Tree cost $14.00. Buying the same products at my local big box store cost me more than $30.00. That’s a 46 percent savings!
I’ll continue to buy some of my favorite green cleaning supplies at the local dollar store to save some $$$!
Do you shop the dollar store? Which green cleaners are you favorite? Share your ideas below.