No matter how much economists try to tell you the economy is improving, most people have not seen much evidence of it in their own finances. They are still pinching pennies and making them scream to try to get a little more out of them. Doing the simple things such as deep cleaning may cost more than you want to spend. Luckily, there are ways to thoroughly clean your home on a budget.
How to Clean on a Budget
Make your own natural cleaners. Store-bought cleaners are expensive. You can get the same quality of clean by making your own with a few natural ingredients. For instance, baking soda, white vinegar, bleach and lemon juice can be combined to create several types of cleaners. Here are some more recipes to make your own household cleaners:
- Homemade Shower Cleaner from Frugal Family Home
- Homemade Laundry Detergent from Crystal and Company
- DIY Dishwasher Detergent from Madame Deals
- Make Your Own Magic Erasers from Little House Living
- Homemade Glass Cleaner from My Mommy World
- Natural Scrubbing Cleanser from Northern Cheapskate
- DIY Natural Daily Shower Spray from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom
Use the supplies you already have. There is no need to go out and buy new cleaning supplies if you already have a ready supply of sponges, mops and cloths you can use, wash, and reuse. Using what you have will keep your money in your pocket.
Share with a friend. Perhaps you really need to clean the cobwebs from a vaulted ceiling, but your vacuum will not reach. Your friend has a vacuum that will extend to reach those cobwebs. You may have something she needs, as well. Sharing the cleaning can also make the task less stressful and much more fun.
Make your own disinfectant. Combine hot water, bleach and a bit of dish soap to clean and disinfect your floors. Be careful to clean in an inconspicuous spot to be sure the combination will not damage or lighten your floors. As an alternative to bleach, you may use a cleaner you already have like a pine cleaner.
Soften hard food particles. Clean your microwave by adding hot water and baking soda in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then allow it to sit for a while. This will soften any hard food particles and make them easier to clean.
Clean hard water stains. In the kitchen and bathroom combine, hot water, baking soda and lemon juice. Spray the stain thoroughly and then let it sit for 15 or so minutes. If the stain is still difficult to remove, you can spray it again and allow it to sit for 10 more minutes. Then simply wipe it clean. Use this mixture on every surface in your kitchen and bathroom.
Clean and deodorize carpet. Sprinkle baking soda evenly over your carpet, allow it to sit on the carpet for an hour or so and then vacuum it up. This will help clean the carpet as well as deodorize it. If you would like to freshen the air as you vacuum, you can add a few drops of essential oils in the baking soda, mix them well and then use as described.
Plan your cleaning strategy. Rather than blindly going from one room to another, it helps to have a plan when cleaning on a budget. Go through each room and decide what it is you want to accomplish. Make a list of each task and mark down how long you expect the task to take you. Once you know the tasks ahead of you, you will want to prioritize the rooms to ensure you get the most important rooms clean first.
Clean one room at a time. Clean everything in one room before moving to the next. It may help to carry a bucket with your cleaning supplies with you, but you may find it equally easy to keep a basic cleaning supply in each room. Get rid of items you no longer want or need while you are cleaning. Put a box for giveaway items in a central location so you can deposit them as you move from room to room. It would also help to have a basket or box for items that you should put in other rooms of the home. This will ensure everything goes back where it started.
When you begin cleaning your home, be prepared for it to take a while. You may find it helps to have a friend or family members help you. Remember, cleaning does not have to break your budget. By having a plan and using homemade natural cleaners, you can have a clean that is also healthy for your family.