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Take a wander down the aisles of your local supermarket, and you’ll find shelves crammed with cleaning products for every area of your house. Buying even just a few of these products can really bump up the cost of your grocery bill, however you don’t need a cupboard full of harsh, expensive specialised cleaners to keep your home sparkling. My top budget cleaning tips will keep your house clean and fresh, without draining your bank account.
For low-tox, cheap household cleaning products, you can’t go past stocking these household staples:
- white vinegar
- bi-carb soda
- washing soda
- scrubbing brush
- spray bottle
- microfibre cleaning cloths.
Here are my favourite budget cleaning tips and hacks to help you save time and money!
In The Kitchen
- Microwave: Fill a microwave safe bowl or jug with 2 cups of water and half a lemon. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Allow to sit for a further 5 minutes, then carefully remove from the microwave. Wipe the inside of the microwave out with a microfibre cloth.
- Dishwasher: Once the dishwasher is empty, remove the filter from the bottom of the dishwasher and give it a good scrub with hot water and dishwashing liquid (TIP: an old toothbrush is perfect for this!). Place the clean filter back into the dishwasher. Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of bi-carb soda over the base of the dishwasher, and fill the powder dispenser with white vinegar. Run on the longest and hottest cycle you can (usually the Heavy or Pots cycle). Once done, wipe the inside door seal with a damp microfibre cloth to remove any gunk that may have built-up there.
- Sink & Drains: This method is a time-saving two-in-one hack, cleaning both your sink and drain at the same time! Put the plug in your sink, add 1 cup of washing soda and fill with hot water. Add 1 cup of white vinegar and stir it all a stir. Let it sit for a few minutes, then carefully pull out the plug (a pair of tongs are perfect for this when the water is hot!). As the water drains away, use a scrubbing brush or cloth to wipe over any stubborn spots on the sink and draining board. Run some more hot water down the drain for about 30 seconds afterwards to work the mixture all the way through the pipes.
- Smelly fridge: Give the interior of the fridge a quick wipe over with a microfibre cloth, then place a small, open container of bi-carb soda on a shelf to banish those food odours.
- Smelly or stained containers: Food containers can often become stained or smelly after storing food, especially with things like soup and spaghetti. To overcome this, add 1 tablespoon of bi-carb soda into the container, pop on the lid and give it a good shake. Let the bi-carb sit in the container for 24 – 48 hours. Tip out the bi-carb and then wash the container as per normal.
- Oven: Want to reduce how much you clean the base of your oven? Line the bottom of the oven with alfoil to catch any spills and drips. Cleaning is as easy as changing the alfoil when needed.
In The Bathroom
- Blocked shower heads and taps: To get your taps or shower head flowing more freely, fill a snap-lock bag with white vinegar and use a rubber band to attach it over the shower head/tap. Leave for 24 hours to soak. For stubborn build-up of lime-scale, you may need to repeat again.
- Toilet: After flushing your toilet, sprinkle the sides of the bowl with bi-carb soda. Spray the entire toilet with vinegar, including the bi-carb. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then scrub the inside of the bowl with a toilet brush and flush. Wipe down the rest of the toilet with a cloth.
- Mould: This is a common problem in bathrooms, particularly in tile grout and silicone. Spray liberally with vinegar, allow to sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a brush.
- Bathtub and sink: For stubborn stain, mix a few tablespoons of bi-carb with a tiny amount of dishwashing liquid until it forms a thick paste. Spread this paste over the problem areas, allow to sit for a minute or so, then gently rub over the entire tub or sink with a soft cloth. Rinse the cloth well, then wipe over again to remove any excess bi-carb paste.
- Mirror & shower screen: Spray vinegar over the mirror or screen, let it sit for a minute, then wipe over with paper towel or old newspaper. For stubborn spots or build-up on the shower screen, mix up the bi-carb paste mentioned above and use it to help gently scrub off the problem areas. Wipe off with a damp cloth, and repeat with the vinegar for a streak-free finish.
Around The House
- Windows: Spray with vinegar and wipe off with paper towel or old newspaper.
- Skirting Boards: One of my favourite time-saving, budget cleaning tips! Wear an old pair of thick socks when vacuuming. As you move through the house, use your toes to sweep along the top of the skirting boards to dust them.
- Blinds: Another use for old socks! Place socks on your hand, dampen them slightly, then run along the blind slats, placing your thumb on the top and other fingers on the bottom of each individual slat as you wipe them.
- Dusting: Microfibre cloths are your best friend when it comes to dusting. Simply dampen one and wipe the dust away.
- Smelly carpet: For cheap carpet cleaning, sprinkle carpet with bi-carb soda. Let sit for an hour, then vacuum. If you happen to spill liquid on your carpet, apply a thick layer of bi-carb to the entire wet area to absorb all the moisture. Allow to sit for several hours or until the bi-carb feels dry again, then vacuum. This tip is also perfect for fabric lounges and chairs (especially if you have a toddler in toilet-training!).
Clutter And Tidying Up
- Clutter: Cleaning does not have to be time-consuming, however clutter can make this a lot more tedious than it needs be. Keeping surfaces clear of items and removing unwanted junk by selling or donating it can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of your home. Plus the less stuff you have to look after, the more time you’ll have to enjoy other interests! For more info on selling your unwanted items, check out my post here.
- 15 Minutes A Day: Spending just 15 minutes at the end of the day to tidy up is my absolute sanity-saver. Kitchen benches and the dining table are wiped down, the dishwasher stacked with dirty dishes, a quick vacuum and things put away in their correct place, means that my mornings start a whole lot smoother. Get the kids involved by setting a 15 minuter timer on your phone and make it a competition to get everything done together before it goes off!
For budget house cleaning, you really can’t go past bi-carb and vinegar for the best cheap cleaning products. I hope my dirt cheap cleaning tips have shown you that you really can save both time and money!
What are your best budget cleaning tips?