‘Tis the season for giving your home a thorough scrub down. Spring cleaning is an important part of keeping your abode healthy and comfortable, but doing so can be pricey. Some people hire expensive home cleaning services, while others stock up on costly cleansing products — but that’s not the only way to clean house.
Click through to discover which spring cleaning products you can get for cheap — and how to hack anything that’s too pricey.
1. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Spring cleaning inevitably involves, well, a lot of cleaning. Buying cleaners from the store can add up fast, especially if you’re a fan of nontoxic brands. Thankfully you can make many of these products yourself.
For example, all it takes to whip up a batch of all-purpose cleaner and deodorizer is 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water, according to Good Housekeeping. A container of baking soda costs less than $1 at Target, allowing you to enjoy housecleaning at its cheapest.
2. Swap Old Rags for Paper Towels
Chances are, you have some ratty old towels and T-shirts taking up space in your drawers. Clean them out, but don’t throw them away. Instead, put them in the washing machine, and turn them into cleaning wipes.
This is eco-friendly, cheap and just as effective as paper towels — even more so with some cleaning tasks — making it an all-around win.
3. Make Your Own Patio Furniture Cleaner
Your patio furniture has been outside all winter, so cleaning it up for impending outdoor use can be a challenge. Instead of buying expensive cleaners or just giving up and investing in new furniture, take on this affordable DIY challenge and get rid of grime with a little dish detergent.
All it takes to get your patio furniture looking shiny and new is a squirt of dish detergent in a bowl of warm water, according to Good Housekeeping. Wipe your tables and chairs down with the solution, and hose it off. When it dries, it will be barbecue-ready.
4. Remove Lime Buildup With Vinegar
If one of your housecleaning goals for spring is to replace a lime-covered faucet, take a step back. You might actually be able to remove the lime buildup instead of having to buy a brand-new fixture — and with hacks like this, you could save major money over the years.
All you have to do is cover the faucet with paper towels, soak it in vinegar and let it sit for an hour, according to HGTV. When you return, the deposits will be softened, making them easier to remove.
5. Put Lemons to Work
More than just a delicious kitchen essential, lemons double as fantastic all-natural cleaners because they’re highly acidic. These citrusy fruits can be used to clean your microwave and cutting boards, freshen up your garbage disposal and even polish copper, according to home and kitchen blog The Kitchn.
So, if life hands you lemons this spring, incorporate them into your housecleaning strategy.
6. Don’t Spend a Fortune on Organizers
Storage bins, containers and other types of organizers play a huge role in tidying up your home, but they can add up fast. Keep costs to a minimum by shopping at budget-friendly stores such as IKEA and T.J.Maxx, where you can find quality, stylish items to get your home in order at seriously reasonable prices.
7. Cash-In Empty Bottles and Containers
There’s no shame in finding a lot of discarded cans, bottles and other beverage containers in your home because they can be turned into cash. Earn anywhere from 2 cents to 15 cents per item, if you live in a state with container deposit laws.
Housecleaning is a lot more fun when you’re essentially getting paid for it, so gather these items together and make a trip to your local recycling center when you’re finished.
8. Rent or Borrow Cleaning Appliances
You probably own standard cleaning equipment such as a vacuum and mop, but spring cleaning requires some extra effort. If you want to steam clean your carpet or polish your hardwood floors, see if you can borrow the appropriate appliance from a friend or neighbor. Even if you have to rent it, it’s still cheaper than buying a machine you’ll only use once or twice per year.
9. Use Towels as Furniture Movers
Spring cleaning often involves rearranging furniture, which is a fun way to freshen up a room. However, if you’re not careful, your floors can get scratched. Avoid doing costly damage to hardwood floors by folding two clean towels and placing them under each end of heavy pieces of furniture, so you can slide pieces around without worry, suggests Martha Stewart on her website.
10. Invest in Eraser Sponges
Some cleaning products aren’t worth their price tag, and others can be made at home, but eraser sponges are an affordable essential that can save you serious time and money. A 12-pack of Walmart’s Great Value Original Miracle Cleansing Erasers costs just $5.97, and they can be used to clean everything from scuffs on tile to seemingly permanent marks on walls.
11. Sell Gently Used Items
Part of the spring cleaning process is getting rid of items you no longer want or need, but your trash might be someone else’s treasure. If you’re getting rid of things such as clothing, shoes and accessories that are still in good shape, try selling them instead.
There are plenty of ways to peddle your used goods, including taking them to brick-and-mortar resale stores like Plato’s Closet or using sites like eBay to sell them online.
12. Earn a Charitable Tax Deduction
If you don’t have the time, energy or patience to resell clothing and household items that are still in good shape, donate them to a cause. Charitable organizations such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army accept a wide variety of goods. When you drop them off, an employee will give you a receipt for the estimated value of the items, which is tax deductible.
13. Freshen Up Old Items
It’s tempting to get rid of scratched furniture and stained clothing, but try to salvage these items before tossing them out. A little sandpaper and a fresh coat of paint can turn an old dresser or end table into a fabulous new piece. A little stain remover and some elbow grease can also bring a previously sullen item of clothing back to life.
14. Refresh Old Sneakers
Getting rid of nasty old shoes is part of a good spring cleaning, but buying new sneakers is expensive. Thankfully, Good Housekeeping has a few tricks to make your kicks as good as new. The magazine suggests sprinkling baking soda inside your shoes to eliminate odors — tap it out before wearing — and scrubbing the white parts on the outside with toothpaste to bring back their brilliant new shoe shine.
15. Make Spring Cleaning Entirely DIY
If spring cleaning is your idea of the worst time ever, you’re probably tempted to outsource it. In the moment, this might seem like a brilliant move, but the best cleaning services aren’t cheap.
When you hire home cleaning services, you’re forced to either pay a premium for top-rated professionals or take a risk on one with low prices and hope they do good work. Consequently, it’s much better to roll up your sleeves and tackle housecleaning with your own two hands. This ensures you’ll get the quality you need at a price you can afford — free.
Click through if you want to save even more money by using these energy-saving tips.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 15 Essential Spring Cleaning Hacks That Are Super Cheap