Having a tidy and serene living space is the ultimate mood booster. But with such a huge range of beautiful looking and smelling cleaning products available on shelves today, it’s really difficult to know what to choose, meaning you might over-buy and over-spend. Suddenly, keeping your home clean and organised might feel like an expensive and stressful task (let alone the time investment of the housework itself!) – but rest assured, it doesn’t have to be that way.
The truth is that all these products aren’t always necessary and many of them do the same job. Yes, it is good to have a few favourite shop-bought essentials in your cleaning caddy such as washing up liquid, multi-surface cleaner, laundry products etc., but your cupboards at home probably already have a host of cleaning products that you’ve not even thought about using.
Cleaning is a chore and let’s be honest we all want to bash out the housework as quickly as possible. Having the right tools and products is essential, but don’t go over the top. To keep your home clean, all you really need is a good performing vacuum cleaner, a mop, an extendable duster, a dustpan and brush and these hacks…
Set a timer
Nobody wants to spend all day cleaning, so get yourself into a manageable routine by creating a household rota. One of my top tips is to work against the clock. Enter a room, turn off any distraction, set the timer on your phone to 5 minutes and just see what you can achieve. 5 minutes does not sound like a lot of time but when you’re motivated, trust me it is.
Work against the timer and do as much housework as you can in a room. It may be simple tasks like opening the window, straightening the bed, picking up clothes, and quickly running the vacuum around, but the difference will amaze you!
Then move onto another two ‘high traffic’ rooms and do the same. Aim to do 15 minutes of housework a day and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. This is not a deep clean, but it’s going to keep you on top of your home and make you feel so much better mentally. After all a tidy house is a happy house.
Repurpose what you’ve already got
Don’t waste money on those fancy scrubbing brushes - a recycled toothbrush makes a good cleaning tool for getting into those hard-to-reach areas and a pair of old tights is perfect for cleaning behind taps, shining them up and making them sparkle.
If you have a lint roller in your bedroom for removing pet hair from your clothes, you can also use this to remove dust from your lampshades, your headboard, and your sofas. It’s a really handy little tool and it’s so satisfying to see that dirt lift off surfaces.
A mop is not just for your floors. If you have one with a removeable head, use this to dry dust your walls or tackle your outside spaces such as your entrance doors, garage doors and your taller windows. A mop allows you to reach up high and makes these jobs so much easier and speedier.
Make lemons your new best friend
I am a huge fan of using lemons for cleaning. They have so many wonderful uses, smell amazing and improve shine. If you have used the juice of a lemon in your baking or cooking don’t throw away the leftovers.
Instead pop the halves on the top shelf of your dishwasher to add shine to your dishes, or pop one of the halves on the end of your taps to remove any built up limescale or hard water. Alternatively, along with your lemon, add some table salt and use to clean and disinfectant your chopping boards.
You can also use them to clean your microwave. Just add the halves to a microwave safe bowl of water, then pop on full power for 5 minutes. The lemon and the steam work together to remove built up grease and grime from the top and sides.
White vinegar is an essential
White vinegar is another absolute favourite of mine, and extremely cheap! Mix into a spray bottle with a little washing up liquid and water and you have a powerful universal cleaner that can clean up almost any surface in your home. And don’t worry if you don’t like the smell of white vinegar, it does disperse quickly.
If you do want a more perfumed smell when cleaning your home, you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oils. For the bathroom I often opt for eucalyptus as this is such a fresh smell and, in the bedroom, I add in lavender. It’s such a calming fragrance and helps aid sleep.
Clean with vodka
If you have a bottle of vodka loitering in the cupboard that no one is drinking, grab a recycled spray bottle, half fill it with water, add a quarter of vodka and a few drops of essential oils. Now you have the perfect home-made fabric freshener which you can use to freshen up curtains, upholstery, mattresses, and carpets. Remember, it’s always worth testing a small patch first.
Grab the shaving foam on carpet stains
If you spot any carpet stains whilst you’re freshening up and have an old can of shaving foam tucked away at the back of your bathroom cupboard, then you can use this as a carpet stain remover. Wet the carpet first using cold water, directly spray the stain, scrub in using a soft bristle brush and leave to work for 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at the results!
Tackle rising detergent costs with a bar of soap for laundry
And lastly a bar of soap makes a great liquid detergent for your laundry. Simply, grate half a bar of soap into a bowl of boiled water. Let the soap melt and the water cool, occasionally stir. Then add to a recycled bottle and when you next need to do a laundry load simply add 20ml to your washing machine.
So, there you have it, that’s my top budget cleaning hacks. With everyday prices rising, I hope these tips come in handy in helping your money go further.
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