With the sun shining and the temperatures rising, there’s never been a better time to fling open the windows and start cleaning. But brace yourself, for this is no cursory clean. Spring cleaning usually involves bringing out the big guns like rental vacuum cleaners and pressure washers, along with all the biggest brand names in the cleaning industry.
Once you have a full arsenal of cleaning supplies, this can add up. If you don’t want to sacrifice your hard-earned dollars for the sake of a clean house, check in with this list of bargain cleaning options.
Borrow larger items
A certified clean freak will look forward to the day they have a walk-in closet stocked with a carpet cleaner, steam cleaner, tile and grout cleaner, plus any other gadget they can get their hands on. This may be a far-off future for you, but that doesn’t mean you have to do without costly cleaning equipment.
The sharing economy is a budget-friendly way to get your hands on tools and other devices otherwise too expensive for you right now. Check to see if your city has a Library of Things or a Tool Library. For a low annual membership, these groups share access to an inventory of items that would cost a small fortune to buy on your own.
Just remember most of these services apply a late fee just like any other library. They will also hold you responsible for any damages, so make sure you use borrowed items with care.
What happens in the worst-case scenario, when you may have to replace something? If this cost is more than you can handle on your own, you can find alternatives to payday loans like installment loans and personal lines of credit to help.
Check here to get informed about the latest loan options that work well in an emergency. When you understand your short-term options, you’ll be able to take on unexpected repairs faster.
Make your own cleaner
If you believe the commercials, you need a separate cleaner for wood, stainless steel, kitchen counters, bathroom counters, porcelain, and tile. With each of these cleaners running between $2 and $5 per bottle, you could run up quite a tab filling your cupboards with the appropriate detergent for each room of your home.
In reality, you don’t need most of these things to keep your home spic and span. A homemade all-purpose cleaner can replace most of these so-called necessities for a fraction of the price.
Using all-natural ingredients you might already have in your cupboards, you’ll be able to make this DIY cleaner for less than the cost of one store-bought cleanser:
- One-part distilled white vinegar (it’s a natural disinfectant)
- One-part distilled water
- 15 drops essential oils of your choice (optional — this helps mask the smell of vinegar)
Mix well and place in a spray bottle before using around the house and remember to wipe clean with a damp cloth. For added savings, reuse an old spray bottle from another cleaner, making sure to rinse it out before you use it.
Reuse old clothes
Plain old elbow grease is a remarkable tool against the messes in your home. The act of scrubbing is just as important as your detergent when cleaning bacteria-prone places in your home, like the kitchen and the bathroom.
So is your choice of scrubber. Research shows kitchen sponges are a hotbed of bacteria, sporting as much bacteria as your toilet. Cleaning them by boiling them in water or nuking them in the microwave isn’t enough — researchers suggest replacing these sponges every week to avoid transmitting bacteria from one surface to the next.
That’s pretty wasteful when you think about it. Rather than relying on a new sponge fresh from its package every time you want to clean, look around your house for old clothes you can turn into rags.
Old t-shirts, sweatshirts, and even pyjama pants act as good cleaning cloths once you cut them down into manageable sizes. Pre-soak them in bleach before tossing them into a load of laundry, and choose the sanitize setting if you have one. If you don’t, try hanging them up to dry in the sun. UV rays are a disinfectant.
The spring gives you the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner clean freak, but it doesn’t give you the excuse to bust your budget in the name of a sparkling home. Luckily, you can clear out the cobwebs and bring out the shine on every surface without investing a fortune in your cleaning equipment.