Money-Saving Cleaning Hacks To Make Life Easier
Keeping your home spotless can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming. Unless you’re one of those rare unicorns who find joy in spending countless hours cleaning your house, most of us would rather get this task over and done with as soon as possible and without breaking the bank with expensive cleaning supplies.
Thankfully, there are several ways you can make your cleaning routine a bit less painful. More often than not, you’ll only be needing things that you either already have at home or are readily available in most hardware stores or supermarkets. Without further ado, here are 40 genius money-saving hacks to help make cleaning easier and more cost-effective. Spoiler alert: prepare to stock up on some vinegar!
1. Use Coca-Cola as a Toilet Cleaner
Cleaning Solution: Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola isn’t just a refreshing beverage – it works great as a toilet cleaner too! Coca-Cola contains carbonic, citric, and phosphoric acids, which can help get rid of pesky stains and limescale buildup on the inside of a toilet bowl.
Simply pour some Coca-Cola around the rim of the bowl and let it sit for at least an hour to allow the soda to break down the stains. Grab a toilet brush to scrub away the stains, then flush. It’s that easy!
2. Scrub Your Grill with an Onion
Cleaning Solution: Onion
Rather than using toxic spray cleaners and detergent to clean your grill, why not use an onion instead? Onions have natural antibacterial properties, and the moisture and acid from the onion can help get rid of the residue on your grill.
All you need to do is warm up your grill, cut an onion in half, stick it on the end of a long grilling fork, then run the onion face down along the grates. Keep doing this until all food bits and dirt are removed.
3. Sanitize Your Garbage Disposal with Lemon Slices
Cleaning Solution: Lemons
Cost: $1 per lemon
Like most household appliances, your garbage disposal needs some TLC every once in a while. Garbage disposals are a natural breeding ground for all sorts of harmful bacteria and mold that can stink up your kitchen and possibly your entire house.
To keep this from happening, chop up a lemon into pieces and squirt a few drops of lemon juice into the opening. Then, run some water in the sink, turn on the disposal, and drop the lemon slices into the disposal one by one. This cheap hack will clean up your disposal and keep it smelling fresh.
4. Use Vodka to Remove Carpet Stains
Cleaning Solution: Vodka
Though vodka is commonly associated with parties and nights out with friends, this alcoholic beverage can also double as a carpet stain remover. Cheap vodka works just as well as expensive ones, but use unflavored vodka to get the best results.
First, blot the stain with a clean white cloth. Then, pour some vodka onto another white cloth or sponge, and dab it over the stain. Leave the cloth or sponge atop the stain for a few minutes, then rinse the stained area with water. Repeat if necessary.
5. Remove Permanent Marker Stains with Vegetable Oil
Cleaning Solution: Vegetable Oil
If you catch your child doodling on your laminate floors or countertop with a permanent marker, there’s no need to panic! You can easily wipe permanent marker stains off laminate or plastic surfaces – all you need is some vegetable oil.
Pour some vegetable oil onto a kitchen towel and rub over the stains in a circular motion. Afterward, wash off the oily residue with water and dish soap. For older stains, leave the oil on the surface for several minutes before rubbing.
6. Use Plastic Wrap to Unclog Your Toilet
Cleaning Solution: Plastic Wrap
Clogged toilets can be such a pain to deal with. It’s even worse when you realize you don’t have a plunger to unclog it. The next time you find yourself dealing with a toilet that just won’t flush, try this clever hack.
Cover the toilet bowl completely with plastic wrap, then flush. When the plastic wrap begins to bubble upwards, force the air down by pressing on it. The pressure from the air trapped inside will help force the clog through the pipes.
7. Clean Your Ceiling Fans with a Pillowcase
Cleaning Solution: Pillow Case
Have you ever tried cleaning your ceiling fans, only to end up scattering dirt, dust, pollen, and other particles all over the room? There’s a simple solution to keep this from happening, and all you need is an old pillowcase.
Simply slip the pillowcase onto each fan blade and gently slide the pillowcase toward you. This should trap all the dust and debris inside. Next, take the pillowcase outside, turn it inside out, shake out all the dust, and toss it into the washing machine.
8. Use Activated Charcoal to Deodorize Your Fridge
Cleaning Solution: Charcoal
Leaving spoiled food in your fridge for too long is one sure way to stink up your fridge. To get rid of the foul odor, you first need to empty your fridge, unplug it, and rinse the interior with water and a mild detergent.
After wiping the inside dry, place a container of activated charcoal inside the fridge. Activated charcoal is extremely porous, allowing it to absorb all odor-causing molecules in the environment. Leave the charcoal in the fridge for a few days or until the smell dissipates.
9. Tie a Plastic Bag Around Your Shower Head
Cleaning Solution: Plastic Bag & Vinegar
Cleaning your shower head may not seem as important as cleaning your toilet bowl or tub, but mineral deposits and dirt can build up over time and cause it to get clogged up or spray water in all directions.
Take a plastic bag, fill it halfway with white vinegar, then tie it around your shower head. Keep your shower head fully submerged in the vinegar for at least an hour before removing the bag and gently wiping it with a damp cloth.
10. Remove Mattress Stains in Minutes
Cleaning Solution: Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, & Dish Soap
Mattresses are constantly exposed to bodily fluids and oils from your skin or hair (or drool!), so it shouldn’t be that surprising to see stains appear over time. If you want your mattress to last, then you need to give it a proper cleaning.
To get rid of mattress stains, combine baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and a few drops of liquid soap in a spray bottle and apply directly over the stained areas. Use an old toothbrush to remove the stains, then wipe with a clean cloth.
11. Clean Your Blinds with Socks
Cleaning Solution: Pair of Socks
Window blinds collect dust and dirt quite easily, so it’s important to clean them regularly – at least once a week, if possible. While cleaning your blinds may seem like a tedious task, it doesn’t need to be!
Simply place a clean sock over your hand, dip it in a solution made with equal amounts of water and vinegar, and use your hand to carefully wipe each blind. Let the blinds air dry thoroughly, or use another clean sock to wipe them dry.
12. Make Homemade Toilet Cleaning Bombs
Cleaning Solution: Baking Soda, Citric Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, Lemon Juice, & Essential Oils
Cleaning the toilet bowl is hardly anyone’s favorite task, but using toilet cleaning bombs can certainly make doing it a little bit easier. Toilet cleaning bombs are not only super easy to make, they’re surprisingly fun to use, too!
Mix baking soda, citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and any essential oil in a large mixing bowl, then add the mixture to an ice cube tray. Leave this to dry overnight, then place the dried bombs in a sealed container near your toilet to use as needed.
13. Clean Glass Shower Doors with Shaving Cream
Cleaning Solution: Shaving Cream
Shaving cream isn’t just for shaving – it’s great for cleaning glass, too! Shaving cream contains the same active ingredients as most household cleaning soaps, which makes it perfect for when you need to clean your glass shower door in a pinch.
Gently apply shaving cream to the stained areas, then let sit for around five to ten minutes. Next, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the shaving cream off the glass, and voila – your glass shower door is now sparkling clean!
14. Wash Your Shower Curtains in the Washing Machine
Cleaning Solution: Laundry Detergent, Baking Soda, & Vinegar
Cost: $5 – 10
Don’t throw away those dirty or aging shower curtains just yet – in most cases, you just need to wash them and they’ll look as good as new in no time.
Fill your washing machine with warm water, then add some gentle laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda. Wash the shower curtains at the highest level, then add a cup of distilled white vinegar at the rinse cycle. Afterward, hang your shower curtains on the rod to dry.
15. Use a Rubber Glove to Remove Pet Hair
Cleaning Solution: Rubber Gloves
If you love having pets around at home but hate having to clean up all the fur that gets everywhere, we have a solution! This trick won’t cost you an arm and a leg – all you need is a rubber glove.
Simply don a rubber glove and spray it with water. Next, run your wet glove over the couch, window sill, table, or any other surface that’s covered in pet hair, and the hair should stick to your glove like glue.
16. Use a Coffee Filter to Clean Your Computer Screen
Cleaning Solution: Coffee Filter
If you want to clear away dust and fingerprints on your computer screen, reach into your kitchen cabinet and grab a coffee filter! These thin, cloth-like pieces of paper are lint-free, so they won’t scratch your screen and won’t leave behind any fibers.
Turn your computer screen off, then wipe gently across the screen in a sweeping motion to cover the entire surface. While you’re at it, wipe your phone or LCD TV screens, too! For a deeper clean, dampen the coffee filter first.
17. Use a Toilet Cleaner to Disinfect Your Trash Cans
Cleaning Solution: Toilet Cleaner
Without question, the trash can is one of the dirtiest items in your home. You need to disinfect it regularly if you want to keep yourself or anyone in your household from getting sick.
This is where your toilet cleaner and toilet brush come in handy. After your trash can has been emptied, spray some toilet cleaner on the inside and use the toilet brush to scrub away dirt. Rinse it with a hose, then let it air dry for a few hours before reusing.
18. Keep Your Shoes Clean with Rubbing Alcohol
Cleaning Solution: Rubbing Alcohol & Cotton Balls
Your shoes come into contact with dirt and all sorts of nasty germs every time you use them, and they tend to smell awful after a while. If you want your shoes to look and smell fresh, try this life hack!
Spray both the inside and outside of your shoes with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol, then use either a cotton ball or cloth to gently wipe your shoes down. Your shoes will look and smell brand new afterward!
19. Clean Baseboards with Dryer Sheets
Cleaning Solution: Dryer Sheets
Baseboards collect plenty of dust and dirt, which is why you need to clean them regularly. Though cleaning them can be rather tricky, you can make this task a lot simpler by using dryer sheets.
Grab a fresh dryer sheet from your laundry room and use it to wipe your baseboards. The dryer sheet will easily remove any dirt and grime, and it will leave a layer of anti-static residue on the baseboards to keep away dust and other particles.
20. Use a Swiffer Sweeper for Hard-to-Reach Areas
Cleaning Solution: Swiffer Sweeper & Cloths
Swiffer Sweepers first hit the market in 1999 and have since become a staple in many households. While most people use them to clean hardwood floors, you can certainly use them to clean other parts of the house, too!
Swiffer Sweepers are perfect for when you don’t have a ladder. Attach a dry cloth to the rectangular end of the Swiffer and use it to pick up cobwebs on your ceiling, or use it to wipe away dust on your walls.
21. Add More Indoor Plants to Improve Air Quality
Cleaning Solution: Plants
Cost: $10 – 15 per plant
Looking to give the air quality in your home a boost? Consider adding more indoor plants! Though you would need a ridiculous amount of foliage to fully eradicate toxins, every little bit helps, right?
Plants can help absorb common indoor pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde, and they can act as a natural humidifier to prevent your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs from getting irritated. They can even help reduce your stress levels, which is perfect for when you need to unwind after a long day.
22. Clean Irons with Salt and Aluminum Foil
Cleaning Solution: Salt & Aluminum Foil
If you’ve been noticing a sticky residue on the bottom of your iron, then it’s probably time for you to clean it. Like most household items, cleaning your iron regularly is a must if you want it to last.
Pour a tablespoon of kosher salt, rock salt, or sea salt onto a piece of aluminum foil, then turn your iron on to its highest setting. Finally, run the iron over the salt for about a minute, or until the bottom of the iron is clean.
23. Use Aquarium Gravel to Clean Long-Necked Vases
Cleaning Solution: Aquarium Gravel
It’s easy enough to clean a dirty vase if you can reach inside, but if the vase has a narrow neck, try this simple trick! All you’ll need is some water and aquarium gravel, which you can buy at any pet store or big-box store.
Fill one-third of the vase with water, then pour a handful of aquarium gravel. Use a funnel if necessary. Stir and shake the vase for about a minute, pour out the contents, then give it a rinse.
24. Make an All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner
Cleaning Solution: White Vinegar
Kitchen surfaces are bound to get messy, which is why it’s always a great idea to have a kitchen cleaner on hand. If you’d rather not use products that are filled with all sorts of chemicals, you can always make an all-natural kitchen cleaner!
Combine water and vinegar in equal amounts in a spray bottle, and use this mixture to clean countertops, tables, and other surfaces. If a spray bottle isn’t readily available, simply mix the water and vinegar in a bowl or cup and dip a clean rag in the mixture.
25. Clean Your Dishwasher with Vinegar and Baking Soda
Cleaning Solution: Vinegar & Baking Soda
You might think that your dishwasher can clean itself – unfortunately, it doesn’t. Bits of food and grease can build up over time, which can make your dishwasher smell awful and become less effective.
Give your dishwasher a thorough wash by placing a bowl of white vinegar on the bottom rack, then set it to run an empty cycle at the highest temperature. Once this is done, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short wash cycle.
26. Use Vinegar to Clean Your Microwave
Cleaning Solution: White Vinegar
It doesn’t take much to turn a shiny and clean microwave oven into a greasy, grimy mess. Lucky for you, there is a simple and effective way to clean your microwave with just water and vinegar, and it only takes a few minutes!
Mix 500ml of water and two tablespoons of white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl, then microwave on full power for about five minutes. Let cool for three minutes, take out the bowl, then wipe the inside of the microwave clean with a sponge.
27. Clean Your Blender with Ease
Cleaning Solution: Dish Soap
You’ve made your delicious smoothie – now you need to clean your blender. Blenders can be tricky to clean, but what if we told you there’s an easy way to clean them without scrubbing and taking them apart?
Simply fill your blender halfway with hot water, followed by a few drops of dish soap. Fasten the lid, then let the blender run for about a minute. Afterward, pour out the liquid, rinse, and allow it to air dry or wipe it down using a lint-free cloth.
28. Sterilize Your Sponges in the Microwave
Cleaning Solution: Sponge & Microwave
Cost: $200 for a new microwave
Sponges regularly come into contact with dirty dishes and silverware, so it’s important to clean them regularly. The frequency may vary depending on how often they’re used, but sponges should be sterilized at least once every three or four days.
To sterilize your sponges, simply pop them in the microwave for two minutes on full power. Make sure that your sponges are wet before placing them in the microwave, and don’t include sponges with plastic, metal, or steel wool components.
29. Remove Stains from Plastic Food Containers
Cleaning Solution: Dish Soap, Sugar, & Ice
When you use your plastic food containers regularly, they inevitably become stained or discolored. Though stained plastic containers may seem unsightly, don’t throw them out just yet – they can still look as good as new with this simple trick!
First, pour some sugar into the container, followed by a few drops of dish soap. Next, add six ice cubes, and let them melt. Then, add some water, and let sit for ten minutes. Finally, pour out the mixture, and rinse. Your plastic food containers are now stain-free!
30. Clean Cast Iron Pans with Salt
Cleaning Solution: Salt, Potato, & Vegetable Oil
Cast iron pans are known for their durability and reliability. However, they are also notoriously difficult to clean. If you have a cast iron pan that needs some cleaning, here’s how to do it safely.
Pour one tablespoon of vegetable oil or olive oil into the pan, followed by half a cup of coarse salt. Slice a potato or sweet potato in half, then use the cut side to rub the salt into the pan. Carefully scrub the bottom, sides, and handle in a circular motion, rinse, then dry.
31. Clean Baking Sheets with Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Cleaning Solution: Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide
After using your baking sheets to make cookies, it’s now time to give them some TLC! Regular dish soap usually isn’t enough to get rid of deep-seated grime, which is why you’ll need a stronger solution.
Add a layer of baking soda to the baking sheet, cover it with hydrogen peroxide, then top it off with another layer of baking soda. Let sit for a few hours, then gently wipe the mixture off with a sponge. If some stains remain, just repeat the cleaning process.
32. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Burnt Pots and Pans
Cleaning Solution: White Vinegar & Baking Soda
Scorched pots and pans may seem like a lost cause, but there is a simple and effective way to bring them back to their former glory. All it takes is a little white vinegar, some baking soda, and a sponge.
Fill your pot or pan with equal parts water and white vinegar, then bring to a boil. Drain the liquid, sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda, scrub away at the burnt parts with a sponge, then give it a good rinse. It’s a simple and cost-effective solution!
33. Clean the Bottom of Your Pan
Cleaning Solution: Salt, Dish Soap, Baking Soda, White Vinegar, Steel Wool, & Paper Towels
Now that you’ve cleaned the inside of your pan, it’s now time to get rid of the grimy layer on the outside! This time, you’ll be needing some salt, dish soap, baking soda, white vinegar, steel wool, and paper towels.
Run the steel wool up and down the bottom, then add some salt and baking soda. Apply dish soap, then rub with steel wool. Lay some paper towels that were soaked in vinegar, then let sit for a few minutes. Remove the paper towels, wipe the pan, and voila!
34. Clean Stove Grates with Ammonia
Cleaning Solution: Ammonia & Large Sealable Bag
Whether you’re a professional chef or someone who rarely cooks, your stove grates will become greasy and grimy over time. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get rid of that baked-on grease with no scrubbing required!
All you need to do is to place the grates in a resealable plastic bag or a large garbage bag, then spray some ammonia on the grates. Seal the bag, leave the grates to soak overnight to loosen the dirt, then wipe them down with a sponge in the morning.
35. Clean Pans with Dryer Sheets
Cleaning Solution: Dryer Sheets
Here’s an easy way to get rid of burnt-on food on your pans – use dryer sheets! Who knew that a laundry room staple can also help save you from hours of scrubbing in the kitchen?
Simply pour warm water into the pan and place a dryer sheet on top. Let the dryer sheets soak for an hour to allow the dirt and debris to lift from the pan and stick to the sheets. Afterward, pour out the water, throw away the sheets, and wipe the pan clean.
36. Fill the Gap Between Kitchen Countertops and Appliances
Cleaning Solution: Clear Tubing
If you have a freestanding oven in your kitchen, there will likely be a gap between your oven and countertop. If you don’t want bits of food to fall into that space while you’re cooking or eating, then you need to seal that gap!
Just grab some plastic tubing – available for cheap at any hardware store – and press it into the gap. Just remember to measure the gap before running to the store so you don’t accidentally end up buying tubing that’s too thick or too thin.
37. Clean Your Car’s Headlights with Toothpaste
Cleaning Solution: Toothpaste
Just as toothpaste can be used to get rid of plaque and bacteria from your teeth, you can also use it to get rid of dirt, grime, and oxidation on your car’s headlights. If you want a much safer drive, try this simple money-saving cleaning method!
Wash your headlights thoroughly with soapy water, rinse, then dry with an absorbent towel or chamois. Next, apply a coin-sized amount of toothpaste, then spread it using your fingers. Finally, scrub the headlights with a sponge in a circular motion, and rinse with warm water. This trick works best if the toothpaste has baking soda in it.
38. Use a Foam Brush for Your Car’s Air Vents
Cleaning Solution: Foam Paintbrush
Cost: $1 – 3
Your car’s air vents can be difficult to clean with a rag. However, foam brushes – available at art supply stores or dollar stores – can make the job a lot easier! Foam brushes provide extra reach so you can clean every nook and cranny of your car’s air vents.
Lightly dampen the foam brush with water, then gently insert it into each vent slot to get rid of dust and grime. Rinse the brush, then wipe the vents down with a dry brush.
39. Clean Dashboards with Olive Oil
Cleaning Solution: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cost: $5 – 12
Why spend so much money on dashboard cleaners when you can easily achieve the same result using something that you already have at home? If you want your car’s dashboard to look shiny and new, grab a bottle of extra virgin olive oil!
Add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil on a lint-free cloth, then gently wipe across your dashboard. The oil will restore your dashboard’s shine and prevent cracking or fading caused by harmful UV rays.
40. Have a Weekly Cleaning Plan
Cleaning Solution: Paper, Pen, & Your Imagination
Finding time to clean your house when you’re working full time and have kids to take care of can be a challenge. If you want to make things easier for you, then you need to have a weekly cleaning plan!
Spread your cleaning tasks over each day of the week so you have specific chores to do every day. Focus on one area of the home each day, and try to do similar tasks together. You can also assign certain tasks to other family members to lighten the load.
By planning ahead and using these money-saving cleaning hacks above your house can be sparkling in no time without breaking the bank with expensive cleaning supplies!