Budgeting & Saving

Budget Cleaning Key takeaways

  • In 2021, the average consumer spent more than $800 on cleaning supplies.
  • Natural cleaning products like lemon juice, white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils can handle many different chores.
  • In addition to saving money, these DIY methods could get great results.

Financially speaking, 2022 was a tough year for a lot of families. As interest rates rose and everyday items became more expensive, people looked for ways to cut costs. Many discovered an easy way to save a little money and that’s by using budget cleaning methods.

In 2021, the average consumer spent more than $800 on cleaning supplies, which is down a little from the previous year’s price spike. During the first year of the pandemic, households increased spending by about 34% on cleaning, safety, and wellness products. Hand sanitizer led the pack with an increase of 838%, followed by soap (up 65%), and antiseptics and disinfectants (up 61%), and there remains a strong interest in keeping our homes clean and our health in good condition.

Fortunately, there are plenty of budget-friendly, homemade cleaners and supplies you can use. Instead of putting money into a retailer’s cash register, it could go into your emergency fund or vacation account. With these DIY cleaners, you could save money, get great results, and help your family feel safe.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use inexpensive and readily available natural cleaning products like lemon juice, white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils to clean everything from dishes and surfaces to clothes and appliances.

Once you clean your home, you could also do some financial house cleaning at Best Egg Financial Health. See your credit report, obtain insights about your financial wellness and explore resources to help you take control of your financial future.

DIY cleaning supplies and tips

You could avoid spending money on cleaning products by hiring a cleaning company, but those expenses will pile up quickly—especially if you have your home cleaned often.

The average cost of house cleaning services in 2022 was $45-$50 an hour, per cleaner. Of course, the end price depends on the size of your house and how deep of a clean you need. A general estimate for a total house cleaning or a first cleaning when you move in is about $180, but it could cost between $350-$400. And a move-out cleaning could run anywhere from $160-$250. If you have any special requests, like you want cleaners to use eco-friendly supplies, it might cost a little extra. When it comes to office cleaning, expect to spend up to $300 for a 2,000-square-foot office.

Let’s get back to how you could save money with homemade cleaners and by using common products in more creative ways. You might even come to prefer these DIY products because they’re easier on your nose and skin than the harsh chemicals often used in a standard cleaning products.

Here are a few budget-cleaning hacks to add into your cleaning routine — whether at home or work. If you’re renting, then you might want to take a look at your rental agreement before you try any of these tips, just to make sure you’re not breaking any rules.

1. Oil and citrus-based wood polish

Get the grime off your wood floors and leave them with a nice shine by making your own floor cleaner.

Ingredients:

½ cup white vinegar

1 gallon warm water

3-5 drops of lemon or orange citrus essential oil

2 gallon bucket

Considering that a gallon of white vinegar costs around $2-$3, you could make several gallons of floor cleaner with this recipe. Add in a few drops of lavender oil and you could help reduce stress and anxiety levels through aromatherapy, too.

2. Baking soda carpet cleaner

Not all stains require an electric cleaner. For spot treatments, this easy recipe could help you get your carpets looking new again. Just mix these ingredients up in a spray bottle. Move quickly, though, because vinegar and baking soda react and might generate some bubbles. Be ready to put the cap on your bottle. After you treat the stain with the mixture, just dab dry the carpet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp liquid dish soap
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp baking soda

A pound of baking soda is about $1—which will make more than 90 batches of carpet cleaner. And you could use that gallon of white vinegar you bought for the wood polish to make this recipe, too.

3. Upholstery cleaner

This recipe is similar to the carpet cleaner hack, and you could use it on furniture or car upholstery. Try testing it out in a small area on the back of the furniture or underside of a cushion first to make sure it will not discolor the fabric.

Ingredients:

¼ cup baking soda

10 drops of any essential oil

1 ½ cups warm water

1 tablespoon white vinegar

4. Oven and stove cleaner

This is a great way to clean the grease from your oven, and it only takes seconds and two ingredients to make.

Create a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the inside of your oven. For bigger messes, leave the paste on overnight. Then, use white vinegar on a rag to wipe the paste and grime away.

5. Use citrus to clean bathtubs and sinks

One easy—and inexpensive—way to get rid of soap scum might be a bit surprising, but it does leave behind a fresh scent. Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle some rock salt on one half of it. Then, use the grapefruit half like a scrubber to clean your bathtubs and sinks. Considering a grapefruit costs a little over a dollar, this is a quick and inexpensive fix.

6. Grout cleaner

Grout can be a tricky thing to clean, and it’s especially noticeable when it’s dirty. Try this recipe to clean and refresh the grout in your bathroom, kitchen, or mud room with ease.

Ingredients:

½ cup baking soda

¼ hydrogen peroxide

1 teaspoon liquid dish soap

Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and apply the paste to the grout. Leave it for up to 15 minutes, and then scrub it with a small brush or old toothbrush. Then, wipe it clean with a soft cloth.

7. Laundry detergent

When it’s time to focus on your clothes and bedding, this easy DIY laundry detergent will get the job done. While the ingredients will cost a couple bucks a piece, you’ll be able to make many, many loads of detergent.

Ingredients:

1 bar grated soap (Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Soap, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha are recommended.)

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda

1 cup oxygen bleach

Mix the ingredients in one large container and store in a lidded jar. Use 2 to 4 tablespoons of the mixture per load, depending on the load size.

8. Mold and mildew cleaner

For this simple mixture, you’ll need some familiar ingredients.

Ingredients:

¼ cup baking soda

2 cups warm water

10 drops of any essential oil of your choosing

Mix the water and essential oil in a spray bottle and treat the area. For heavy mold or mildew, spray the area with the mixture and leave it for up to 24 hours. Once the time has passed, pour ¼ cup of baking soda into a small bowl and make a paste with the water and essential oil solution. Then, apply the paste and use a small brush or old toothbrush to scrub. Rinse and dab dry.

9. Use old clothes as rags

The next time you clean out your closet, keep some old shirts to cut up and use as cleaning rags. Softer materials make a great alternative to microfiber cloths, and you can use them to dust or clean almost anything.

Polish up with budget cleaning

With these budget cleaning hacks, your home will surely sparkle and smell great, too. But they’ll also give you a little peace of mind because you’ll be cutting expenses and saving money. Who doesn’t want to save a little extra cash?

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial, tax or legal advice. You should consult a professional for specific advice. Best Egg is not responsible for the information contained in third-party sites cited or hyperlinked in this article. Best Egg is not responsible for, and does not provide or endorse third party products, services or other third-party content.

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