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How to Affordably Clean Your Home

Updated on May 22, 2014
Alison Graham profile image

Alison draws on many years' experience researching natural remedies and products to use for health, home care and cleaning in her articles.

Cleaning products cost the average American family around $650 per annum - make cleaning your home more affordable with our tips!
Cleaning products cost the average American family around $650 per annum - make cleaning your home more affordable with our tips! | Source

Ten Tips To Save You Money On Cleaning Your Home

We all need to save money on our household budget these days, so here are ten tips on affordable ways to clean your home that will keep your home sparkling clean. You will be able to save money as you will not be spending out on expensive, store-bought, commercial products and big-name, branded cleaning products

What you save by using these store-cupboard alternatives could save you a healthy sum each year. Did you know, for example that the average American family spends in excess of $650 on cleaning supplies each year? What else could your family do with that sum of money? I found that the annual spend does vary slightly, regionally but the amount spent Nationally amounts to around $69 Billion!

You may be trying to get rid of commercial cleaners in your home for other reasons too. While they may do the job effectively, more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of chemicals in these cleaning products. On top of the dangers, they can really take a chunk out of your budget.

There are plenty of natural, affordable alternatives to the commercial products and you probably have most of them already. These alternatives produce great results and are often much more Environmentally-Friendly than their commercial counterparts.

How To Use Affordable, Natural Cleaning Products

Top Tip, Get A Spray Bottle

Buy a cheap spray bottle and use it to hold diluted vinegar or lemon juice when cleaning!
Buy a cheap spray bottle and use it to hold diluted vinegar or lemon juice when cleaning! | Source

Top Tip, Save Those Old Tee Shirts!

When throwing out old cotton T shirts, either because they have become outgrown or mis-shapen, think again. These make wonderful, lint-free polishing and cleaning cloths and avoid buying cloths for this purpose.

Make Your Own Natural Cleaning Products

Top Tips for a Used Fabric Softener Sheet

Use a fabric softener sheet you have already used in the tumble dryer, to wipe over blinds to repel dust, rub over the fur of a soft toy to renew this, wipe over the screen of your tv to repel dust – and when you have done all that, pop it into a waste paper bin or the bottom of a clothes drawer to benefit from the remaining fragrance!

Top Tips for Using A Scouring Sponge and Microfiber Cloth

Use Bicarbonate of Soda directly onto a damp sponge for cleaning your cooker top. Dust your home the Allergy-kind way by using just a damp microfiber cloth to trap the dust.
Use Bicarbonate of Soda directly onto a damp sponge for cleaning your cooker top. Dust your home the Allergy-kind way by using just a damp microfiber cloth to trap the dust. | Source

Top Tip - Clean Little and Often!

A little bit of cleaning, done often, will avoid build-up of dirt or stains that would otherwise demand more drastic action. Doing a little cleaning every day rather than a major ‘blitz’ once a week will save you money on more powerful cleaning products and save you time scrubbing away at marks that could have been wiped away with ease if you had dealt with them when you first noticed!

Helpful Amazon Books on Affordably Cleaning Your Home

The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning
The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning

150 budget-stretching recipes for affordable, natural cleaning products you can make for your home. A great gift idea too!


10 Natural and Affordable Alternatives to Commercial Cleaning Products

Now, here are some tips for store-cupboard alternatives to the big-name brands that you can use in your home for great cleaning results – on a budget!

  1. Vinegar. One of the most common natural cleansers is simple white vinegar. Add a quarter cup to a liter of hot water to wash mirrors and windows without leaving streaks, or spritz on carpet stains and then scrub out.
  2. Salt. Found in every household pantry, salt is an excellent abrasive. Use it to clean the oven by combining equal parts salt and baking soda, along with enough water to create a thick paste. Spread the mixture in the oven and let sit overnight, then wash out with hot water. This same mixture can be rubbed into carpet stains, allowed to dry and then vacuumed up.
    Salt and lemon juice left on a rusty pan for a few hours will help get rid of the rust. You can also use salt to scrub at particularly tough stains while washing dishes and dissolve in boiling water to clean a drain on a regular basis.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide. Usually found in the first aid kit as it is an antiseptic solution, hydrogen peroxide is a safe alternative to bleach and can be sprayed on grout to kill mold, or mixed with baking soda to form a paste which will get rid of stains on counter tops, clean faucets and even rid pots of their unsightly stains. You can also use it as you would bleach, to wipe down bathrooms and counters.
  4. Lemons. Lemons are also disinfectants and have the added benefit of smelling great. You can squeeze your own lemon juice, but may need to buy the oil, which is good for polishing furniture when a few drops are added to a cup of water. The juice can be placed directly on lime or hard water deposits and left to sit, then scrubbed away, or you can rub a cut lemon over any wooden surface to kill any bacteria and to help remove stains. Lemon juice can also be used to polish brass and bronze when applied with baking soda.
  5. Baking soda. Commonly used in baking, this white powder is a deodorizer and simply having some in a dish will help remove odors from the air. It can also be mixed with hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice to give you a strong cleaning paste that will work on nasty bathroom and kitchen stains. Sprinkle baking soda over grease stains on carpet, concrete or even wood and let sit for a moment to absorb the oil, then scrub away with hot water.
  6. Cornstarch. Another baking item, cornstarch can be sprinkled over grease spots and vacuumed up or scrubbed with hot water.
  7. Cream of tartar. Mix this pantry powder with enough warm water to form a paste and apply to aluminum items with a soft cloth to polish them.
  8. Aluminum foil. Rather than purchase expensive scrubbies, opt to use a crumpled ball of aluminum foil (previously used is fine, as long as it's clean), to clean those stubborn pots and pans. You can also use it to polish chrome by rubbing the shiny side against the chrome.
  9. Toothpaste. As long as you are using paste and not gel, you can use this bathroom staple to remove water rings in wood. Just apply and rub gently into the ring with a soft cloth and buff when finished. You can also use toothpaste to remove ink or lipstick from fabrics and crayon from your walls or doors. Use it to polish jewelry too!
  10. Hot water. This is the cheapest cleaning agent on this list, plain old hot water. You would be surprised at how many things you can clean with just a bowl of hot water and a soft rag. It can also be used in combination with other products on this list to boost the cleaning power, such as hot water with vinegar to wash windows.

What Do You Think

How much do you think your family spends on commercial cleaning products each year?

See results

Spend Less, Stay Green!

These simple and more affordable alternatives for cleaning your home, clean just as well, if not better, than most commercial products and they can save you a bundle. For children and pets, in particular, these options are safer as well.

Spend less, clean better . . . and stay green while doing it.


Submit a Comment
  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    5 years ago from UK

    Laura, thanks so much for your great comment and for the very useful tip and recipe for cleaning soap scum from the tub! Much appreciated and will definitely get tried out in the Graham household!

  • Laura Schneider profile image

    Laura Schneider 

    5 years ago from Minnesota, USA

    I'm with vocalcoach--awesome, useful, etc. This is SO helpful! I LOVE finding new make-at-home cleaning recipes and use vinegar and baking soda liberally already in my cleaning concoctions. You are SO right about the plain old hot water, too: it's the key to clean! Here's one for you and your readers: clean soap scum off your tub in a jiffy using a spray bottle filled one part white vinegar to two parts hot water--then add a drop of concentrated, enzyme hand dishwashing liquid (I use Dawn), shake gently to mix the ingredients up. Spray the whole tub/shower area, let sit for about 15 minutes (re-spritz if it starts to dry), then wipe clean. I think this recipe might work even better with some vinegar in it, but I haven't tried that (yet). I keep a big spray bottle of "soapy vinegar water" on hand at all times for cleaning the kitchen and bath--still works really well without hot water, but better if it's still hot.

  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    6 years ago from UK

    Thanks so much prasetio30 and georgescifo - I guess we are all looking to save money where we can and if we can spend less on cleaning products and get the job done, using less chemicals at the same time, that's got to be a good thing!

  • georgescifo profile image


    6 years ago from India

    hmm..these are really easy and awesome tips which helps to clean your home in the best and affordable ways. I have never been aware of majority of the tips mentioned and usually had to spend a hard time cleaning my home and associated items...

  • prasetio30 profile image


    6 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Very inspiring hub and I learn many things from this hub. You have useful advice about how to use some natural product like: lemons and salt. I had never heard about this before. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!


  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    6 years ago from UK

    Audrey, thanks so much for the really positive and encouraging comment. This was the last of my eight hubpages assignments for the first month of my apprentice program here. I am really enjoying the course and very grateful for the encouragement from fellow hubbers. Thanks again.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    Thank you for these very helpful and useful tips for cleaning with natural products. I voted this good hub up, useful, awesome and interesting. Will also share!


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