More efficient and less costly
10 Ways to Cut the Cost of Cleaning
by John Brasington
From dishwashers and tumble dryers to scourers, sponges and stain removers, cleaning your home can not only be time consuming, but expensive too. What you want is tried-and-tested cleaning tips and time-saving techniques that not only do the job, but save you money at the same time.
We've spoken to our team of domestic goddesses to find out the secret methods and materials they use to get their homes sparkling:
1. Coffee grounds
Wake up and smell the coffee by using the leftovers from your morning brew to help deodorize your fridge and/or freezer. Simply place a bowl of new or used grounds on the inside shelf and replace every two months.
2. Microfiber cloths
Swap paper towels for microfiber cloths. Costing around $5 for a pack of two, these reusable wipes can be used to sanitize and clean glass, tiles, floors and counters without the need for other cleaning products.
3. White vinegar
Make your own effective cleaning solution with the mother of all store cupboard essentials: vinegar. Mix one part distilled white vinegar with two parts water and a squeeze of lemon juice, and apply with a cloth to help cut through grease on all your kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
Get your saucepans sparkling with a cheap brand of cola. Simply pour a small amount into the pan, boil, stir, and remove from the hob. Any burnt-on food and stains will be removed with the cola, meaning all you have to do is give the pan a quick rinse and wipe with a clean sponge.
5. Daily disinfecting
One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to clean is to adopt a "little and often" approach. Disinfectant wipes are not only an easy and hygienic way to wipe down your bathroom and kitchen, but they're also extremely cheap to buy too.
6. Rubbing alcohol... not hairspray
Years ago, hairspray used to contain high amounts of alcohol and was consequently often recommended as a useful product for removing ink stains. Today, hairspray contains little (if any) alcohol. Therefore, your best bet is searching your medicine cupboard for rubbing alcohol. Dip a cotton pad in the alcohol and dab at the stain to absorb the ink, repeating until the stain has been removed.
At just a couple of bucks a bottle, sugar-free, alcohol-based antiseptic mouthwash doubles up as a perfect home disinfectant. From washing your toothbrush to cleaning the toilet and bathroom mirrors, a capful of mouthwash can be used in replacement of your traditional cleaning fluids to zap germs and leave surfaces sparkling. Mouthwash can even be used to clean vinyl or tile floors, simply pour a capful into a gallon of water and mop the dirt away!
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8. Free samples and coupons
Manufacturers often give away money-off coupons and free samples of new products, allowing you to stock up on cleaning items and save money on your household outgoings. Check the backs of products, manufacturers' websites, and the Sunday editions of newspapers for cut-out coupons and money rebates.
Find Savings: Get Free Samples and Coupons From the Brands You Love
9. Bicarbonate your carpet
Getting a new carpet is expensive, so why not breathe new life into your existing one instead with a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda? Simply scatter the powder over your carpet and leave for around 15 minutes to absorb the dust and dirt. Then give the room a vacuum, and you'll have clean carpet that's as good as new!
10. Circuit training
By circling your way around your kitchen, you can leave the dirtiest part of the room (the stove) for last and prevent spreading of grease and grime. If you also start out by soaking or spraying the dirtiest end-point in cleaning detergent, by the time you finally reach that point, it will be a lot easier to clean. This technique also works well in the bathroom, leaving the toilet for last.
Reviewed November 2017
Take the Next Step:
- Has you carpet seen better days? Try these frugal homemade carpet cleaning solutions.
- Never overspend for store-bought cleaners again. Use The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to Homemade Cleaners to find frugal, effective recipes for keeping your entire house and laundry clean and fresh.
- Find out how easy it is to make more room while making money with Decluttr.
- Start saving for your future today. Consider these 11 ways to save $1000 while living paycheck to paycheck.
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