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Cleaning Hacks to Help DIY and Save Money

Buying a different cleaning solution for every room in your home can be pricey. Consider these all-purpose cleaning hacks to save a few bucks.

April 27, 2022

Let’s face it, cleaning your home can be time consuming, but also expensive. One walk down the cleaning aisle at your supermarket and you may think you need a different cleaning solution for each surface, finish and room. 

What’s more, Americans are cleaning and spending more money on cleaning supplies than ever before. In the past two years, household spending on cleaning supplies has grown by over 50%, and the average household spends about $170 annually on cleaning supplies. 

But what if you could spend a fraction of that without sacrificing a clean home? With a few common pantry ingredients, you can make your own all-purpose home cleaners, saving you money and cleaning your home without harsh chemicals. Ready to take on some cleaning hacks? Read on for recipes, recommendations and money-saving suggestions. 

What you’ll need

While the latest and greatest cleaning solution may seem promising (and pricey), chances are you already have the right cleaner sitting in your pantry — all you have to do is mix it. 

If you want to DIY cleaning solutions, you’ll need some or all of the following:

  • White vinegar

  • Lemon

  • Rubbing alcohol 

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Baking soda

  • Salt 

  • Borax

  • Cornstarch

  • Dish soap

There’s a good chance you have some of this sitting in a cabinet already, meaning you may not even have to spend money to start cleaning. 

All-purpose cleaner

Use for: most surfaces, cleaning hard water stains, wiping countertops and cleaning walls. Avoid using it on granite or stainless steel to avoid etching the surface. 

To make: Mix one part water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle, then shake. If you want a scented cleaner, add up to five drops of a favorite essential oil or a lemon rind to the bottle. 

Glass cleaner 

Use for: windows or mirrors for a streak-free finish.

To make: Mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup vinegar, a tablespoon of cornstarch and two cups of water, advises Martha Stewart. Vigorously shake the mixture in the bottle before using it to blend the cornstarch into the mixture. 

Heavy-duty scrub

Use for: grease stains in the kitchen and hard water stains in the bathroom.

To make: Mix equal parts of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and mix into a paste. Apply directly to the surface or use a sponge. Apply the paste, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse or wipe off the surface.  

Clothing stain remover

Use for: grease stains or other marks on clothing.

To make: Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap. Spray the solution on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a toothbrush. Blot the stain, let it dry and then wash it with your laundry. 

Granite Cleaner

Use for: marble, granite or other sensitive cleaning surfaces.

To make: Add a few drops of dish soap to a 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol. Shake in a spray bottle and wipe down your surface. 

Bathroom air freshener

Use for: freshening up a bathroom that smells “less than fresh.”

To make: Simply add a few drops of a favorite essential oil to the cardboard of your toilet paper roll. This’ll add a subtle scent to the room until the roll runs out. 

Reusable wet/dry mop pads

Use for: a replacement to disposable mop pads. 

To make: Sew a mop pad cover with leftover cotton fabric or purchase washable mop pads to avoid single-use mop pads.  

Ways to save on supplies

If DIY-ing isn’t an option, consider these cleaning hacks when purchasing supplies: 

  • Buy cleaning solutions in bulk or concentrate, and refill existing containers

  • Purchase store-brand cleaning supplies

  • Purchase multi-surface solutions and avoid single surface products when possible

  • Use the cleaning products you already have before purchasing new ones

Making your own cleaning solutions can keep your home clean using pantry staples you probably already have while saving money in the process.

If you’re looking for ways to polish your finances and credit card debt, Tally† can help. Tally is a credit card debt repayment tool that offers a lower-interest line of credit that can help you achieve debt-free living. 

​​†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.