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10 Inexpensive Tricks for a Cleaner Home

10 Inexpensive Tricks for a Cleaner Home
Written by Irina Vasilescu

There are few of us who like cleaning house, but almost all of us like living in a clean house, and hate living in a dirty one. So what’s the solution? Making the task of cleaning house as effective as possible without spending a fortune on products seems to be the best way to go – and if one can make it simpler and faster, that’s a bonus. After all, being thrifty with time is as important as being thrifty with money!

1. Be prepared and save your good clothes

Take on cleaning as you would take on any job and prepare for it. It’s best to try and do it in one go – the piecemeal approach of one area today and another three days later just means that overall everything is always at least slightly dirty most of the time.

As with any other job, dress for the part in comfortable and old clothing so that you don’t mess up your good clothing and have to go shopping to find a decent replacement. Then tidy surfaces in preparation so you don’t have to waste time by stopping midway to pick up a dog’s chew toy or the clothes your teenager wore last night.  Time is worth money, so the more efficient you are, the more you save.

2. Work smart – don’t waste time and energy

Gather the right tools for the job and pack the cleaning products so you can carry them with you as you move. Starting at one end, do everything needed within that area, moving as little as possible within that space before going on to the next. This will save a lot of time wasted in running backwards and forwards to fetch cleaning products or do another job in an area already partly covered. By working smart, you get more time off. How much is that worth to you?

3. If you want your house clean from top to bottom – do it that way!

Working methodically and systematically will result in the job being done right the first time. Those in the know say it is best to clean from top to bottom – it’s an age-old saying that makes sense. Dust cornices and high shelves first and work downwards towards the floor so that anything dusted off these areas is on the floor before it is vacuumed. You’ll save electricity and you’ll get valuable extra time off by being efficient!

10 Inexpensive Tricks for a Cleaner Home

Keep your house clean with a low-budget! Start by reading this: How to Save on Cleaning Supplies!

4. Be straightforward

Scrub, wipe and polish in straight lines (not circles) so that all areas are covered, including corners which have a habit of trapping dirt. And never hold back either by working from the corner of the room farthest from the door or room exit, whether you are mopping a floor or vacuuming. Otherwise, you might get yourself trapped with nowhere to go while the floor dries or end up tracking dirt over the freshly vacuumed rug in order to get out of there. Save cleaning products, energy and precious time.

5. Don’t be a doormat – use one

Keep dust and dirt where it belongs – outside. Have a mat inside and outside every external door, especially at the main entrance. Even if the mat says ‘welcome’, the sand and dirt outside is not welcome and most of it will stay right there, making it easy for you to just brush off one mat rather than dust and sweep the whole household. The less you have to vacuum, the happier you’ll be, and you use less electricity.

6. Give the old a clean start – and save

Your house is probably full of old stuff that can take on a whole new role, like old cloth diapers which become incredibly effective cleaning and dusting cloths – just fold them into a triangle a comfortable size to use. As each exposed area becomes a bit grungy, refold it to expose a clean area and pop it in the wash when done. Old socks, or the ones left single after a wash cycle also make ideal gloves for wiping down plants or surfaces. Why buy expensive cleaning materials when you don’t really need them?

10 Inexpensive Tricks for a Cleaner Home

Kids could lend a hand in the cleaning process. Don’t you agree?

7.  A treasure trove in your cupboard

Items like baking soda and white vinegar, probably sit in the dark cupboard waiting for a bake-off or a salad dressing to be mixed, while prettily-packed (and expensive) products adorn the shelves in the cleaning cupboard and take their toll on the family budget.

Yet these two products combined in water can take on a wide range of tasks. These include laundry stain removal and cleaning stoves and fridges as well as surfaces like floors, furniture and tiles. The mixture will also lift sticky burnt-on residue from pots and pans if added to hot water and allowed to stand for a while before washing. It’s cheap, it’s effective and you get to have a gorgeously clean house.

8. Sponge on, sponge off

A sponge is a handy cleaning ally. A sponge is a great clothes brush and can remove pet hair like a champion. Use it dry, or if necessary, slightly damp for tougher cling-ons. Sponges can also be useful for getting into small crevices and corners in normal household cleaning, and are wonderfully versatile as, if they’re too big for the task at hand, they can be easily cut to size with a pair of scissors. Halving sponges can also save cash – it’s two for the price of one and doubles the time before it has to be replaced.

9. Cleaning screens and monitors

Dust on laptop screens, monitors or flat screen TVs can be a real problem, but an unused coffee filter does the trick, leaving the screen safely clean and lint-free. Why buy expensive micro-pore cloths if you don’t really need them?

10. Finish the job

When the job is done, be sure to pack everything away, clean the cloths used and check on the levels of cleaning products – that way you will find it easier to do the job the next time – and you won’t find yourself hopping into your car and driving to the oh-so-tempting to spend money at mall just because you’re out of cleaning products.

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10 Inexpensive Tricks for a Cleaner Home

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.


  • I think it’s always important to have a plan whilst you’re cleaning, because if you simply just do one or two jobs at once it will never feel as though you’re really getting anything done, and you might not notice the difference in your home. So by making a plan you can ensure that you can see your home sparkling, and any visitors that you have to your home will notice the difference, too.

  • I did not know a unused coffee filter worked on screens! Thanks for sharing I have quite a few so I will be doing that since my screen is pretty bad! These are good tips. I always try to wear something falling apart when I clean old clothes with holes.

  • I didn’t know about the trick about using coffee filters to clean electronics. I just used a paper towel. I will definitely have to try using coffee filters the next time I clean. That way I can get rid of all the coffee filters that I have sitting in the pantry. I don’t drink coffee but my parents and inlaws do so we have them in the house and lots of them, lol.

    I also didn’t think about having a doormat inside as well as outside or at every door. I have one at the entrance to the garage and the front door. I definitely should probably have one at the door leading to the backyard. I will have to look into getting more doormats for inside as well. Probably have to look into having low doormats so that they don’t catch on the door. Some of my bathroom mats catch on the doors and end up moving all over and I have to straighten them. Anyway, I totally like that idea and will have to try it to catch any dirt that the outside doormat didn’t catch.

  • These are some awesome tips! I normally carry all my cleaning supplies with me as I go. I mean you see professional housekeepers doing this in businesses, so why should we not do it at home. However, it has never crossed my mind to use coffee filters to clean screens and monitors. I also was not aware that dry sponges will remove lint and pet hair. I am taking this advice and running with it. Hopefully, I will be cleaning my home in a more inexpensive manner from now on.

  • Great article. Using coffee filter to clean screens is new to me, but I’ll definitely try that (I hate fingerprint marks); same goes for the 4th point, I’ve always cleaned my desk and shelves in circles (I don’t know why, maybe seeing the dust gathering at the center made my feel like I did a good job?).
    Also, now I can make a use of all the old socks my sister left home before moving (and she left them in my room! Take that, sister!).

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