Do Dollar Store Cleaning Products Measure Up?

  • Do dollar store cleaning products compare to more concentrated versions?

Who isn’t looking for a bargain? When you’re trying to get the most “bang for your buck,” dollar stores can be a great place to stock up on supplies, usually for a lot less than you might spend at other stores.

In fact, true to their name, you can usually get what you’re looking for at a dollar store for just about $1 – sometimes a little more, sometimes even less.

But what about when you’re shopping for cleaning products? Should the dollar store be your go-to spot when it’s time to restock your cleaning caddy?

It’s easy to see why dollar store cleaners can be appealing. After all, they may cost a lot less than cleaning solutions you’d find other places, like grocery or warehouse stores. And if they do the same job just as well as those more expensive cleaners? Well, then, what’s not to love, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work this way. It’s important to remember that the cleaning products you use have an impact – and they’re not all created equal. While dollar stores can have some great bargains (more on that in a little bit), there are at least two big ways that dollar store cleaning supplies might not quite measure up – effectiveness, and environmental impact.


With cleaning supplies, often, you pay for what you get. So, spend a little less, and you’ll likely get little less cleaning power in return. This isn’t always the case, but it’s often true.

It’s always worth asking yourself why discount cleaning solutions cost so much less. Sometimes, for instance, these products are significantly diluted, or watered down. This means that you’re likely buying a less effective cleaner. So, while it might cost less upfront, you might have to use a lot more of it to get the same impact that you would from a better product. If this results in you buying more of the product to do the job, those “savings” suddenly fly out the window.

Recently, a Sweeping Dimensions client told us all about how they tried to use a generic, dollar store oven cleaner on their greasy oven. They applied one coat, and nothing happened. So, they repeated the process again – and again. Ultimately, it took them a ton of the discount product to get the clean they wanted.

We told this client to opt for a concentrated oven cleaner next next time; with a more potent, concentrated product, you can use just a bit and wait, then wipe it off. Voila! A clean oven – without having to burn through an entire bottle of product (or more).

Now, you might hear some great reviews of dollar store solutions, and some definitely might work – but it’s important to think about finding what really works for you. In our experience, after one use, it should be easy to spot the difference between a quality cleaning product and a cheap knock-off.

Bottom line? When you buy better, more effective products, you can typically use less for each job, letting you keep your supply for longer  – so you may just actually end up saving money in the long run.

Environmental Impact

Here at Sweeping Dimensions, protecting the environment is a core part of our mission statement. We believe in using green, ecologically friendly cleaning products wherever possible, and minimizing the amount of waste, chemical runoff, and pollution that we create.

One huge way that everyone can make a difference is to use fewer plastic products. Often, the waste from these products ends up getting mishandled. In many, many cases, it even ends up in the oceans – where it harms fish and other sea life, and eventually filters back up the food chain, into our own food and water supply.

And this is one area where dollar store cleaning supplies can have a big effect – for all the wrong reasons. If you do have to use more of the same product to get the job done, then that means more plastic, paper, and water being consumed – and then thrown away. The more products you buy, the more wasteful plastics and other materials you consume.

Keep in mind that sometimes, when you buy certain cleaning solutions, what you’re really paying for is packaging! For example, think about aerosol cans. In many cases, these are little more than a lot of wasteful materials bundled together, which can actually cause you to have to use way more product than necessary to be effective.

One big step you can take is to seek out more concentrated cleaning products. With concentrated products, you can get just as much cleaning power, while using a lot less of the product every time. Plus, instead of spending more for one-time-use aerosols or bottles, you can use your concentrated solution with reusable spray bottles or cloths.

Taken together, all of this lets your solution last a lot longer, and can ultimately mean a lot less waste being generated! Even if it costs slightly more upfront, opting for more powerful, concentrated products can allow you to save over time. Compare the price of 50 aerosol cans of diluted product, to one long-lasting bottle of concentrated product. When you break it down, the cost comes out in your favor – and the planet will thank you, too!

Practicing Cleaning Minimalism

At SDCS, we believe in a philosophy of cleaning minimalism. We think of minimalism as an  invitation to be more thoughtful about the cleaning products and tools you use. It’s a way of cutting down on clutter, reducing waste, and saving money – while still making sure that you’re fully equipped to handle all of your cleaning needs.

There are three major components to minimalism, as we see it:

  • Don’t buy more than you need
  • Focus on what works – and what you’ll actually use
  • Create and organize a space for your cleaning products

Now, this is not to say that the dollar store can’t be a part of this philosophy! There are products that you can get from the dollar store that can help you tackle messes responsibly, including reusable spray bottles, microfiber cloths, sponges and scouring pads, dryer sheets, and plastic gloves.

Are you looking for help with cleaning, including routine housekeeping, deep cleaning, or one time service for a special event? Want to talk over green cleaning solutions with a team of expertly trained Chicago pros? Sweeping Dimensions can help!

Here at Sweeping Dimensions, we always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful! Ready to see what quality supplies and impeccable service truly look like? Drop us a line today to receive your FREE estimate!

Do you have any cleaning tips and tricks that you love? Solutions that you’d love to recommend to our community of clean home lovers? Be sure to keep the conversation going by joining Sweeping Dimensions on Facebook and Instagram! We’d love to hear from you.

2018-10-08T14:38:08+00:00 October 10th, 2018|Residential Cleaning|