House Cleaning Essential #1:
Do you have ring-around-the-toilet? Does it cling even when you thought you had the “right cleaner” this time? Odds are, that isn’t dirt build-up or stains, it’s probably hard-water stains. My cheap and easy little secret? Fine drywall sandpaper or wet-dry sandpaper. Just put gloves on and cut a very small piece (big enough for your fingers to move it around is all you need, so this purchase should last you a good, long while!). Using almost NO pressure you are going to rub the sandpaper along the problem areas and flush.That’s all there is to it! While I don’t particularly enjoy sticking my hands in the toilet, this is the ONLY thing I have found that works as well.
Note: DO NOT USE THIS ON LIMESTONE! IT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!
House Cleaning Essential #2:
If you want to attack all of the build-up (lime, rust, food, etc.) around faucets, drains, sinks, and shower door tracks, this is the best I’ve found yet, and the cheapest! This is for all of your metal-shining needs. Just give all those nooks and crannies a good scrub (you usually don’t need much pressure), rinse, and dry and polish well.It will look just like new again.
You can also use these dry to lightly go over your shower doors and remove stubborn hard water stains when nothing else will work (but be very careful!). Then rinse and dry really well. To save more money, or to dispose after use, cut a piece with sharp utility scissors.
Note: I like the copper ones because they don’t leave a residue like aluminum or steel wool does, but if you want to go for these cheaper routes, the residue is fine as long as you IMMEDIATELY rinse it off.
House Cleaning Essential #3:
Plain Old Rags
While I do LOVE being able to throw really dirty clothes away using paper towels, this is probably the most money-saving idea I’ve had yet. I still buy paper towels for quick clean-ups or for when I would otherwise ruin my rags using them instead, however, I now prefer the alternative.
It all came to me one day when I ran out of the paper towels and it wasn’t quite time for a grocery run yet. I found our pile of old burp clothes (or prefold diapers) that my children are too old for now and I placed them in a box under the sink. At first, it was just a solution I made up to get by, but I had no idea of the many uses these could have. They are the ideal size, and absorbent so not only were they ideal for using cleaners on windows and counter tops, but they are also the perfect size for my Swiffer!
I hated buying Swiffer refills as they were the most expensive and frequently bought item on my cleaning lists. This was the perfect solution! Just have your favorite mop solution in a bucket on the side (here’s mine), and when you are done, throw the rag in the wash for future use.
Note: It doesn’t have to be a burp cloth; use what you have! If you are a sewer, sew several old pieces of cloth together (preferably with an absorbent center) and get cleaning =)
Stay tuned for My House Cleaning Essentials On a Dime Part 2. Here you can learn about products that last the longest for the cheapest amounts, including my homemade laundry soap recipe!