I’m always on the lookout for tricks that make cleaning my house easier, but of course those tricks need to be cheap, too. If you feel the same, you’re going to love this post. Who wouldn’t want to clean their house in less time and with less expense? Many of these tips I’ve tried and use regularly, while some are still on my to do list.
For me, the bathroom and kitchen are the two biggest cleaning challenges, so several of these techniques focus on them, but you can use many throughout your home.
Greasy Stove Vent Filters
This one is not only impressive, but easy. If you’ve never looked under your stove hood — where the light and the fan are located — be prepared to be surprised. These filters are where all the greasy air and smoke go through and they can really get gross. Fortunately this way of cleaning them is simple.
Get a pot, large enough to fit your vent, and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil and slowly add 1/2 cup baking soda (note, it will fizz up). Place grate in the boiling water and just watch the grease boil right off. My pot wasn’t big enough, so I had to do half the vent at at time. I just used tongs to flip it. Once done, remove vent and rinse with hot water until water runs clear. Let vent try and pop it back into its spot. Easy peasy. I have to admit, I’m embarrassed that these got as dirty as they did, but thrilled they cleaned up so easily.
Bath and Shower Scum — I hate that ring around the tub or the scum on shower walls, but I also hate scrubbing it. Here’s an easy fix. Get one of those dishwashing wands, the kind where you fill the handle with soap and there’s a sponge on the end, like this one: Fill it half way with a grease-fighting dish detergent and half way with vinegar. Shake it gently to combine, or you can mix in a measuring cup and pour into wand. Now, after you bath or shower, while the surfaces are still wet, go around and scrub gently with the soap, then rinse off. The first few times you may need to scrub a little harder if you’ve got some build up already, but after that this is more of a preventative to keep the scum from building up.
Stinking Dish Rags — You know it, that musty smell dish rags and towels get. It doesn’t seem to matter how often you clean them, once they get wet, the stink is there. I tried lots of cleaning techniques, but this, to me, is the easiest and works great. Soak in vinegar for a half hour or so and then wash in hot water — voila!, stink is gone. To make it more convenient, I use a variety of rags so I only need to wash them once a week instead of soaking one here and there. This way, I can soak them all together in a dish washing pan I keep next to my washing machine and wash them all in one load. Also, I’ve found, and this may sound weird, Tide detergent works best for this. I know Tide tends to be more expensive than other detergents, so I buy a small container when its on sale and I have a coupon and I only use it for washing rags. I also buy a big gallon jug of vinegar for $1.99.
Grungy Tile Grout
This is another technique that really shocked me. It is somewhat time consuming just because you do a small section at at time, but incredibly easy. The section in the picture took about 5 minutes or so. For this, all you need is vinegar, cream of tartar, a toothbrush, and a sponge. I learned this from The Taylor House blog. If you’d rather skip making the simple recipe, you can also use OxiClean Versatile (you can get a 5 pound tub at Walmart for $8 and since you only use a small amount, it’ll last a long time), but to be honest, it didn’t work as well as the DIY version and took more scrubbing.
Swiffer cheaper — I love swiffer mops–they’re light weight and easy to maneuver. But I don’t love buying those replaceable pads all the time. Here’s a great alternative. Get a pair (or two) of those stretchy, chenille socks (I find them at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Christmas Tree Shop) for about $1 or $2 and pull one over your Swiffer head. When you’re done just throw it in the laundry basket. Or, if you’re at all handy with a sewing machine, I think these re-usable Swiffer covers are adorable too.
What your favorite cheap and easy cleaning tips and tricks?Here on Living on the Cheap, we’ve written a variety of tips on cheap cleaning that are worth checking out too.
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Check here for cheap and easy carpet cleaning ideas.
What your favorite cheap and easy cleaning tips and tricks?