How to Save Money on Cleaning & Housework – MoneyMagpie

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Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Homework can be a chore but it is something that we all must face sooner or later. You may feel that buying cleaning supplies isn’t a priority right now because everything is so expensive. But, there is no need to spend your money on expensive branded products. There are so many things you can do (like making your own) and simple items you can use (like a sock!) that will save you money.

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Here at Money Magpie we have put together a guide on how to keep your home dust free and clean without breaking the bank. We tell you what you need (the basics and extras); what you should spend; How to Clean Up on a Budget; And some fun tips and tricks are included.

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Just remember that when using home-made cleaning products, it’s really important to look at test surfaces before starting with a cloth soaked in lemon juice or vinegar. Always wear gloves, even if the one you are using is natural. (Some essential oils can irritate the skin.) Don’t use things like vinegar to clean—always put it down. Finally, read the box – things like soda crystals need to be used with care.

Time to ditch that apron…

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what you need

Before you go you need to check if you have the following. (If not, we’ve included a handy guide on what to buy and how much to spend below). Don’t forget, you can use microfiber cloths to save money. They are designed to work with just water. Also don’t bother buying specific products (like bathroom or kitchen spray), try a generic all-purpose cleaner or Pink Stuff. They work just as well but are versatile and will save you money in the long run.

Essentials: White Distilled Vinegar Bicarbonate of Soda Soda Crystal Empty Spray Bottle Lemon and Grapefruit An old or cheap toothbrush All-Purpose Cleaner Microfiber Cloth The Pink Stuff Extra: Shaving Foam Coffee Filter Essential Oil How much to cost

What is a Fund Supermarket?

You can get all the essentials (minus the shaving foam, coffee filter and essential oils) from the above list for under £10:

You can buy £1.50 from Wilco. I can buy 1 liter white distilled vinegar in

When it comes to bicarbonate of soda, don’t waste your money on those little tubes of bicarbonate of baking soda, they’re far more expensive per gram. You £1.65. You can get a 500 gram box of bicarbonate of soda from the poundstore online for

You from Sainsbury’s 80p. can get 1kg bag of soda crystals in

Lemon and Grapefruit – around 30p for a lemon and 50p for a grape

If you don’t have an empty spray bottle you can use (for mixing vinegar and water), you can buy one from Wilco for £1.50

Asda Smart Price Foil 20m . is only 68p for

Cheap Toothbrush – Asda . get two for 25 paise from

Tesco’s Own Brand 1L All Purpose Cleaner £1.25

Microfiber fabrics are 4 for £1 at the Poundshop

The Pink Stuff – Asda. £1 for 500 g pot of paste


If you want to add essential oils, you can get these from places like Poundshop and Chemist at Boots, or Nikura has an incredibly wide range with prices of around £2.30 for 10ml. You only need a drop or two, so it will last.

You can get a pack of 40 coffee filter papers online from Tesco for £1.20 (for cleaning the screen).

Tesco’s own brand of essential shaving foam costs just 70p. Is

How to use these products…

man holding cleaning supplies

Now you’ve got what you need – what can you do with them?

Vinegar to clean most surfaces 50:50 Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and water Use vinegar and water (50:50) to decontaminate your kettle. Make sure it’s unplugged and everyone knows you’re cleaning it! Leave to soak overnight, empty, rinse, fill, boil and discard that water and rinse again. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water in a 1:9 ratio – and use to clean your windows. Don’t do this on hot sunny days as the glass dries very quickly and you will get smudges. Use a microfiber cloth to shine. Bicarbonate of Soda (BiCarb for short) Clean your shower head with a freezer bag filled with vinegar and bicarb, seal with a plastic band, and let soak overnight. Remove and wash really well. Make a paste with bicarb and water and apply on the inside of the oven. Leave it overnight. Spray with vinegar the next day and then wipe off the grime. Clean the tannin stain with a spoon and mug by making a paste with bicarb and a little water, rub the round stain and then wash it thoroughly. Odor – Use bicarb to rakein in the fridge to get rid of the smell; Sprinkle it in the bottom of the bin to keep it smelling fresh; Deodorize pet bedding, upholstery and rugs by spraying and then vacuuming. Bicarb can also be used to soak gym clothes in a sink with cool water and 5/6 Tbsp Bicarb, rinse well and wash as usual. Scrub the grout with a bicarb/water paste and an old or cheap toothbrush. Then spread and spray with vinegar. It should start bubbling! Then scrub gently with a toothbrush (even an old electric one will work well). Wash thoroughly with clean water. Clean Tupperware, takeaway boxes and lunchboxes with bicarb. Sprinkle on a clean sponge and wipe or, for stubborn stains like tomato sauce, soak in a solution of 4 tbsp bicarb to a liter of water. Add bicarb to your washing liquid for extra oomph Naturally clean kids’ toys with a damp sponge dipped in bicarb (wash thoroughly afterwards). Remove crayons from walls with Bicarb Use Bicarb to clean mildew from windows and frames as well as shower curtains and tiles. Soda crystals can be used for: Cleaning/deodoranting the washing machine Removing the burnt bits from the pan Keeping the sink clean and tidy (and odor free) Opening the drains Removing moss/algae from the patio

Remember to read the directions on the box for quantity and how to use. Always wear gloves.

Foil Clean your iron with foil and salt – turn on the iron (without the steam function), sprinkle a little salt on the foil and let the salt remove the grime. Use tin foil instead of a Brillo (or other metal scourer). Roll it into a ball and use as a scourer. Use ketchup on tin foil to clean rust from stainless steel Lemon and grapefruit Use half a lemon to clean stainless steel Sprinkled with salt to clean soap scum from baths and basins Use halved grapefruit Clean chopping board with lemon juice, leave overnight and then wash thoroughly Coffee filter Use coffee filter to clean TV and computer screen. Cloth cleaners create static that attracts more dust. Shaving foam

Use inexpensive shaving foam to polish stainless steel, clean toilets, and remove carpet stains.

How to clean with items found around the house

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Use a hairdryer to remove dust, spiderwebs and dirt from radiators Use raw rice to clean utensils – swirl in hot water then dishwasher or insert denture tablet and leave overnight. Must wake up. Use an old damp sock to clean the Venetian blinds. Apply it on your hand and wipe it off… Use nail varnish remover to clean the product on the hair straightener (just a little on a cotton pad) Use cold tea to clean glass and chrome – Take a bowl, fill a liter of boiling water, add teabags and wait for the water to cool down. Then use this water to clean mirrors, faucets, oven glass doors and microwaves Another use for teabags – When soaking pots and pans, drop into a used teabag and help lift tannin residue. Do use a damp rubber glove to remove pet hair. Instead of investing in expensive bespoke products, pop on your marigold, dip your hands in cool water and scrub the carpet or upholstery to remove the hair. Don’t over-wet – you don’t want to create a watermark! Use toothpaste to remove coffee stains from mugs and tables More Tips and Tricks

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Use baby oil on stainless steel – hobs, kettles, splash-backs. The oil will prevent fingerprints and make it so much easier to clean them next time. You can also use baby oil to remove sticky labels (it’s cheaper than branded label remover). Use your dishwasher (if you have one) to clean racks, draining racks, and fridge shelves. It may sound obvious but use a doormat! You can reduce the amount of dirt and debris entering your home with a good doormat. Clean it regularly though or it will stop working too! (Take out and knock hard against a wall.) Be careful…!

Avoid using bleach for cleaning. Removing stains quickly can be tempting, but you’re only hiding them and you could damage the surface (as well as damage the environment). This is especially true with toilet seats—those yellow stains aren’t anything bad, it’s usually a buildup of limescale or the wrong cleaning products (like bleach!). Use bicarb and vinegar, apply with a toothbrush and wait hour and wipe off. Vinegar is great and popular for home cleaning – but be careful. It should never be used on natural stone, such as marble countertops or tiles, never use iron inside (for landing). If you’re not sure always test an area first – for example if you don’t know what your faucets are made of, be careful because vinegar can leave more marks than you remove. Never spray window cleaner or vinegar on your computer screen. Remove dust with a coffee filter or microfiber cloth and you can use a slightly damp cloth to get rid of stubborn marks if you must. Be patient, go slowly and don’t saturate the fabric or screen. Don’t use nail polish remover on anything (other than be very careful on hair straighteners!) – it can damage surfaces, such as polish or varnish on wood, or discolor such as plastics.

Contact us in the comments below and tell us how you got on with any of these ideas and let us know how you save money on chores too!

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