Save Money While Spring Cleaning

Perhaps the fresh Spring air has inspired you to strike back against the clutter and filth you might have allowed to accumulate around your living space in the bustle of the last several months. While looking to go on a cleaning rampage and make a fresh start, you can find ways to do the job more cheaply and efficiently.

Careful Cents offers this advice:

* Make your own cleaning solutions. Mix white vinegar and water for an effective all-purpose cleaner and olive oil with lemon juice to polish furniture.

* Use old clothes as cleaning cloths. Turn clothes you’d otherwise get rid of into cleaning rags for particularly nasty jobs that might ruin your nicer cloths or deplete your supply of paper towels.

* Don’t waste the good stuff. In your haste to keep cleaning, it’s tempting to toss out nearly-empty bottles of cleaning supplies. Instead, open a new bottle, use a little of it, then empty the remainder of the old bottle into the new one.

Save Money on Spring Cleaning With These 6 Tips [Careful Cents]


Edit Your Comment

  1. cmac says:

    Using olive oil to clean furniture or stainless steel appliances will leave them sticky. Not recommended.

    • vorpalette says:

      You would use olive oil/lemon juice on real wood and nothing else. It conditions the wood and brings out the shine.

      • SmokeyBacon says:

        And if you don’t have real wood to use this on it will make a lovely salad dressing so you can have a nice break from cleaning!

        • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

          Careful about polishing wood for too long… unless of course you have some old clothes instead of wasting money on paper towels for clean-up

    • iesika says:

      I wonder if this is why all the laminated press-board cabinets were so sticky when I moved in to the house I’m renting… I went through so much degreaser my first week there.

  2. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Hire someone of dubious immigration status to come do it for you.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      I’m so sick of people exploiting the Irish.

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        That’s why I have “No Irish Need Apply” signage posted clearly on my property.

  3. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Every springtime I throw $50 to the local volunteer fire dept – they send over a truck and three guys who come into the house with a four-inch hose. Thirty minutes later spring cleaning is over and I’m good to go for another 12-months.

    • iesika says:

      I wish indoor cleaning really worked like this. Outdoor cleaning, now… power washers are your friend!

  4. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    Is olive oil really less expensive than something like Murphy’s, Formby’s or Old English?

    • webweazel says:

      I’ve worked on furniture for many years.

      Murphy’s is a soap or a cleaner only, not a polish. But it is the best thing I have found to simply clean dirty furniture. Get an old clean spray bottle, add about 1/8 cup of Murphy’s and fill with water. Use this solution and a damp, clean rag to clean your really dirty furniture. Rinse the rag in a bucket of clean water.

      Furniture “polishes” only help to clean off dust and then totally evaporate, making the room smell nice. Nothing is left behind to actually protect the furniture itself. For polishing, use car wax. On tabletops use a good paste wax. On legs of items or areas with deep carvings, use a spray-on wax like Turtle Wax Express Shine.

      This will help waterproof the finish, prevent dirt from adhering as much, and prevent items from “grabbing” and scratching the surface. After waxing, dust with a clean, damp rag as needed.

      Apply more wax about every year, or 6 months if you clean/dust them often.

      Your furniture will last a whole lot longer in great condition.

      • Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

        Will the turtle wax thing work on veneer too? Those items seem to get scratched so easily…

      • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

        Turp and 0000 steel wool.

  5. cybrczch says:

    I prefer to clean with New Shimmer – it’s a floor wax AND a dessert topping!

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    “Perhaps the fresh Spring air has inspired you to strike back against the clutter and filth you might have allowed to accumulate around your living space”

    Too bad the Collyer brothers didn’t get a chance to read this article.

  7. j2.718ff says:

    “Perhaps the fresh Spring air has inspired you”

    hmm, I was too busy cleaning the snow off my car to notice the fresh Spring air.

  8. iesika says:

    Make your own window washing solution – a gallon of warm water, a cup of vinegar, a tablespoon or two of cornstarch (well dissolved). For the exterior, you can use a bucket and scrub with a rag and then spray off with the hose. Half of my mother’s house was windows, and this method saved my life as a teenager.

    • Cacao says:

      A bucket of water, a sponge and newspapers for drying is all you need to wash windows. And they’ll shine.

    • frugalmom says:

      Am I the only person who has never washed the outside of my house’s windows? Never saw a need. I do wash the outside of our storm door, but that’s because kids keep getting their grubby mitts all over it.

  9. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I do #3–reuse shopping bags as trash bags and recycle old towels for cleaning rags. #5–buying generic cleaners like scrubbing bubbles. The only time I don’t is when the name brand is on sale for less than the generic. And #6–use it until it’s totally empty.

    The only thing I do like to buy is those floor cloths for Swiffers, but I get generic ones. I have no carpets and use them on my wood floors. They work better than the broom. In a pinch, a couple of used dryer sheets work if I’m out of them.

    And I found washable dusters like swiffers at Walmart, but they took them out. A lambswool duster works the same way.

  10. corridor7f says:

    I like to dust with the bf’s tatty old tightie whities.

  11. gman863 says:

    Ahhh, vinegar and water.

    For those times when my house doesn’t feel “fresh”.