Frugal Cleaning Tips
Cleaning Tools and Solutions
If you put a box of Baking Soda in your refrigerator to
keep it fresh, don't throw it out when you feel it is time for a new box. There
is still plenty of "action" left in the soda. Use it to clean, or one of the
many other ways you can use baking soda.
Here is a quick and fairly inexpensive way to clean your
bathtub. Use shampoo. Shampoo will quickly dissolve any ring left around your
tub. If you or your children like using bubble bath, rings around the tub
shouldn't be a problem, and you will have to clean your tub less often.
No need to buy fancy brushes to clean blinds and pleated
window shades. Just use a clean, soft bristled paint brush. Use it only on your
blinds, and shake out the dust when you are done. Another technique is to use a
fabric softener sheet. If you keep the blinds free of dust, the dirt will not
Get your money out of your Brillo pads by doing two
things. First, cut them in half before you use them. Then, if they are not used
up after your cleaning job, place them in a baggie. They should last for months.
Want your broom to last a long time? Always store it with the
If the bristles are made of plastic, you can clean them by soaking them in a
bucket of water and mild detergent for 20 minutes. Rinse dry, and then store.
Don't waste money on products to refresh your carpet. Baking
soda will do the trick. Just sprinkle it on, wait 30 minutes, and then vacuum.
Here's a substitute for spot cleaner for your
carpets. Try shaving cream. Spray it on and let it set a
few minutes. Then lightly scrub it with a brush. Let
dry, and then wash with soap and water.
Here is another things you can try to remove crayon
marks from walls. Try baby oil. Just rub it on the spot, and see if that will
loosen it so you can rub it off.
You don't need to buy Lysol or another pricey cleaning
product to disinfect your counter tops and bathroom. Just fill up a spray bottle
with water, and add a small amount of bleach.
Here is a good homemade alternative to the
commercial fabric fresheners. Mix a few Tablespoons of fabric softener with
about a quart of water and put it in a spray bottle. Shake well before using.
You can also use vinegar. Add a few cupfuls to the bottom of a spray
bottle, and fill the rest with water. Vinegar doesn't smell good, but it will
absorb odors, and the
vinegar smell goes away in a short time.
Don't waste your money buying expensive Pergo/laminate
floor cleaners. Vinegar will do the job, without hurting your floor. Just dilute
it with water, about half and half.
Newspaper print as well as baking soda will absorb
odors in your refrigerator. You will just need to change to paper more
While self-cleaning ovens are a great convenience, it will
prolong the life of your oven if you don't use this feature. In order for your
oven to clean itself, it must get very, very hot. This prematurely wears out the
heating element. Here is an economical and easy way to clean your oven. Fill a
glass pan with about a half inch of ammonia. Leave it in the oven over night
with the door slightly ajar. This should loosen the grease so that you can
remove it without a heavy oven cleaner.
Rubbing alcohol is a great item to have in your
cupboard. Not only is it used for medicinal purposes, it is a great cleaner. It
works especially well to clean stainless sinks and mirrors. It shines most
everything, and doesn't leave streaks.
If you accidentally keep your iron on your fabric too long without moving it
around, or have your iron too hot, you may scorch the fibers. If this happens,
try this. Immediately put the fabric in a bucket of ice water. Let it soak for a
day. Apply a stain remover and try washing it to see if it comes out.
Here is an easy way to cut down on the amount of
scouring power you use. Just cover some of the holes on the top with a piece of
tape. This is a really good idea if your kids help clean the house.
Here is an easy way to clean the oily buildup in your
bathroom around the shower, on tile, and on the glass doors. Use fabric softener
sheets. Just rub down the area with the sheet, and it should take off the grime.
You can also make Your own spray cleaner using vinegar and the product you put
in your dishwasher to keep your glasses from spotting. Fill a medium size spray
bottle with a cup of vinegar, and a couple Tbs. of the dishwasher rinsing fluid.
Then top the bottle off with water.
If you don't have time to make your own liquid soap, at least
take the time to make the soap you buy last longer. Dilute it with water, equal
Buy quality sponges, clean them often, and they will
be free of germs and last for a long time. To clean them, first wet them, them
put them in the microwave for one minute. Then run them through the dishwasher
and hot air dry cycle.
Stainless steel appliances are hard to keep clean,
and some of the cleaners are expensive. Here is something you can try that costs
less. Use baby oil. Wipe it on, and buff.
If you have tile, either in your kitchen or
bathroom, here is the most economical way to clean it. After washing the surface
with a basic cleaning solution, use bleach. Use about 3 Tablespoons to a quart
of water. Start with a wet surface, and wipe the bleach on with a sponge or rag.
The longer you can keep it on the surface (especially the grout), the better
chance to make the surface look fresh again. If this doesn't work, you can try
plain vinegar or a commercial preparation- but in some cases the grout is so
discolored you have no choice but to apply a new coat of grout.
If you need to buy a new vacuum
cleaner, think about buying one of the bagless ones. They have a lot of suction.
They bring up so much lint and dust, it seems like they take up the carpet. You
just empty the plastic bin, (and clean the filters) and you don't have to spend
any more money on bags.
Here is a tip to clean those hard to reach ceiling areas which
collect cobwebs, without spending any extra money. Use an empty tube from a roll
of wrapping paper. Attach it to the end of your vacuum hose for extra length. It
should provide enough suction to remove them.
Also, do not let the brush that spins tighten up with hair,
thread, and other fibers it picks up from the carpet. You will burn out
the motor. If you are going to vacuum a room with a lot of thread on the
floor, like a sewing room, tie a piece of felt to the end of a yardstick, and
run it around the floor first to pick up as many loose threads as possible.
Vinegar is great for removing scum. Add some
vinegar to your dishwasher every few months. Not only will it clean the inside
of the washer, it will help clean all the metal parts and hoses.
If you've ever used ammonia on a no-wax
vinyl floor out of frustration trying to get it clean, you know what that does
to the surface of the floor. You simply can't use harsh chemicals or cleaners on
a no stick floor without ruining the surface. One thing that may help you with
the stubborn dirt is vinegar. Use it full strength on stubborn stains, and let
it sit awhile before you rub it off. Dilute it in water for regular cleanings.
Walls - Here is a good solution to wash down walls
1 cup of ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
Mix well in a bucket of warm water. This is a good solution, because you just
wipe it on the walls, and they dry clean. You do not have to remove the cleaning
Windows - The most inexpensive way to wash your windows is to use a squeegee
made for washing windows. They are inexpensive, and eliminate the need for paper
to dry your
windows. If you must use paper, use newsprint.
If you get wax on your
carpet, here is the way to remove it. Place a paper towel over the spot, and
then put an iron, set on medium heat, on top of it. The wax should come up and
go into the paper towel.
Here is another alternative solution for washing your
windows. Use automobile window washing fluid. It has an
advantage in that it doesn't streak.
Techniques and Strategies
Smell can be a wonderful, calming delight to the senses.
I love the new scented oils that plug into an electric socket. Another way to
get a nice aroma in your home is to use a fabric softener sheet. Just lay it
over one of your heater vents, and when the fan comes on it will spread the
You may save money washing
your car yourself, but you waste a lot of water if you do it in the driveway. It
may not look good, but if the soap you are using isn't harmful to the grass,
pull your car on your lawn before you wash it.
Be sure and keep a good supply of flannel in your cleaning
closet. You can buy it by the yard when it goes on sale at the fabric store, and
it does not cost much. Flannel is great for dusting. It picks up dust and
doesn't let go of it. It is also easy on the finish of your wood. You can wrap
it around long poles to dust high places, or run around your carpet to pick up
thread or other strings that may catch on the beater brush of your vacuum. Best
of all, when you are done, you can wash it and use it again.
Be sure and put toothpaste in your cleaning caddy. With the
addition of a little baking powder, is a powerful paste when you have a very
stubborn spot to remove from a hard surface.
Trash cans always seem to get dirty, even when you line them
with plastic bags. Here is an easy way to keep them clean- especially the one
under the kitchen sink. Use a two-can system. Most people have a bucket/can they
use for water when mopping their floor. When it is time to mop the floor, empty
the kitchen trash, and use it as your mop bucket, which will keep it clean. When
you are done, place it in the utility room to dry, and replace the trash can
under the sink with the clean one in the utility room. Just keep alternating the
cans when you mop, and they will both keep clean.
Here's a simple, but often neglected tip. If you want your
windows to stay cleaner longer, be sure and clean the screens when you clean the
windows. You can spray them with a hose, or run paint roller brush over them to
collect dust and grime.