Did you know that the average American spends $42 a month on cleaning supplies?1 That’s over $500 per year.
Back in the day, people relied on craftiness to clean their homes. If you’re looking for clever ways save money, here are some cleaning hacks that would make Grandma proud:
It’s the ultimate cleaner; natural, inexpensive and kills everything from bacteria to mildew. Use it for:
- Microwaves - Pour a little vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and fill the rest with water. Next, chop up two lemons and put them inside the bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and run it on high until the water starts steaming. Turn off the microwave once it fogs up, let the steam settle for 10 minutes then wipe the inside clean with a rag.
- Showerheads - Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and place it around the shower head. Then, take a rubber band and secure the bag to the shower arm. Let it sit for one hour and run the shower to flush the vinegar out.
- Dishwashers - Remove any debris from the filter. Next, dump one cup of vinegar onto the bottom of the empty dishwasher and run the hottest cycle possible. Last, sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom and let it sit overnight. Run a normal cycle the next morning to rinse away the baking soda.
Savings breakdown: 1 gallon of white vinegar can be bought for under $3, while individual products for these tasks can cost over $5 each.
From cleaning to deodorizing, baking soda is another all-natural, all-purpose house cleaner. Grab a box and clean:
- Couches - First, wipe away any surface debris. Next, lay down a coat of baking soda and let it sit for 20 minutes. Last, use your vacuum and brush attachment to sweep and remove the baking soda.
- Stovetops - Begin by making a paste using warm water and baking soda. Then, spread the paste onto the stovetop and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Once the paste hardens, use a soft scrubbing sponge to remove the gunk.
- Shower grout – Start by making a paste of baking soda and lemon juice. Next, brush the paste on the grout lines and let it sit for 10 minutes. You can scrub it with a stiff brush if the job requires some muscle. Last, wipe away the paste with a damp towel and rinse with water.
Savings breakdown: 1 pound of baking soda can be bought for under $2, while individual products for these tasks can cost over $6 each.
Lemon juice has antiseptic properties that can sterilize and refresh most surfaces. Try it on:
- Varnished wood - Fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a little lemon juice. Simply spray it on varnished wood, such as cabinets and furniture, then wipe it off with a damp cloth.
- Glass shower doors - Cut a lemon in half and rub it over the build-up on the glass. If you have a few stubborn spots, a sponge might be necessary. Once you’ve covered the entire door, rinse it off with warm water.
- Chrome knobs and faucets – Cut a lemon in half and rub it over chrome hardware on furniture and appliances. Once you’re happy with the results, wipe off the juice with a damp cloth.
Savings breakdown: 1 pound (about four average-sized lemons) can be bought for around $2, while individual products for these tasks can cost over $4 each.
Being clever can pay off
Past generations used common sense and basic ingredients to keep their homes neat and tidy. If you add a few of these DIY tricks to your cleaning routine, you might earn yourself a pinch on the cheek and some extra cash in your pocket.
1. Statisticbrain. “Consumer Spending Statistics.” Statisticbrain.com.
https://www.statisticbrain.com/what-consumers-spend-each-month (accessed March 20, 2018).