As every homemaker knows, maintaining a clean house takes time, effort and money. While there’s no getting around the fact that it takes work to keep up with your home, there are ways to cut costs. Saving money in your cleaning routine is all about knowing where to trim costs — and how. To help you save a little green in your cleaning budget, here are 10 key money-saving cleaning tips.
10 Money-Saving Cleaning Tips
1. Stick to soap. Despite all of the fancy specialty cleaners on the market today, the truth is that most stains, spills, spots and crumbs are cleaned up beautifully with good old soap and water. The same mild dish soap that you use to wash your dishes can be used to clean counters, wash veggies, spot-clean carpets or furniture, remove laundry stains and more. By using a single, inexpensive and reliable soap for many tasks, you save by not buying the higher-end products. A bonus: You simplify your cleaning routine.
2. Go with store brands. If you do have to buy cleaning solutions, know that while there are times when brand names are better, it’s not always the case. Buying a store brand can save you a significant number of dollars, while still arming you with equal or very similar cleaning power. Always compare products at the store by looking at their ingredients and evaluating whether the differences justify the additional cost.
3. Shop the sales. Take advantage of sales on cleaning products. If you always use a specific brand of soap and go through it relatively quickly, stock up when you see it offered at a discounted price. Likewise, if you’re thinking about splurging on a new vacuum or more expensive item, wait for a sale if possible.
4. Clip coupons. Right up there with waiting for sales is cutting out coupons. Manufacturer websites often offer coupons you can print out and bring to the store. Grocery stores have coupons in their mailers and in smartphone apps. By combining coupons with sales, you can achieve even greater savings.
5. Make your own cleaners. The beauty of DIY cleaning products is they often make use of household staples — baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. — allowing you to create effective cleaning supplies. Look into recipes for homemade laundry detergent, all- purpose cleaners and more. Not only can this save you money, but it also can give you better control of what’s inside the products you use.
6. Reuse cloths. Instead of constantly spending money on paper products, save money and reduce waste by opting for reusable cloths. Reusable PVA cloths are resistant to mildew, designed to soak up spills, good at creating a streak-free shine and, when dirty, easy to throw into the washing machine.
7. Stretch your products. Whatever soap, cloths, scrubbers and/or cleaners you use, strive to lengthen their shelf life with efficiency- boosting habits. Always measure your laundry detergent, for example, instead of pouring more than is necessary into each load. Spray your cloths instead of your surfaces with cleaner, so you use less and the bottle lasts longer.
8. Buy quality supplies when merited. It might seem counterintuitive to suggest buying higher-end products, but here’s the thing: Quality lasts longer. With long-lasting items such as brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners, spending a little more money upfront (preferably when the item is on sale and/or with a coupon) means owning something you can count on well into the future.
9. Fix things yourself. Instead of shelling out money to a repairman when your vacuum breaks or a plumber when your sink is clogged, see if you can figure out how to fix things yourself. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find “how-to” tutorials about all kinds of topics.
10. Stay on top of tasks. Make cleaning a regular part of your routine. When you wash dishes every day, clean the counters thoroughly each night, and regularly put things back where they go, staying on top of your cleaning routine becomes simpler — and less likely to result in neglect-inflicted maintenance costs. Discover what works for you, and stick to it! When it comes to cutting costs at home, every little bit helps. Simplify and save with the 10 tips above.
Carmen Fiordirosa is Director of Marketing at CleanTools. CleanTools provides a variety of drying and polishing products for home, automotive and marine use. When not at work, Fiordirosa stays busy cleaning her own home and taking care of her four children.