Cleaning. It’s a right pain in the… house. For most of us, buying branded cleaning products is a given household expense. Surface spray, oven cleaner, toilet blocks — you name it, we’ll buy it. The thing is, not only are these products often super expensive, they’re packed full of chemicals that may be bad for the environment and may harm your indoor air quality.
Little did you know, there are cheap, natural and miraculously effective cleaning solutions to be found in your kitchen cupboards. Here’s a rundown of our top choices and how much you could save. Just be sure to keep in mind any allergies you may have to any of these items.
1. DISHWASHER SPRITZ
If you’re lucky enough to own a dishwasher, you’ll know it can quickly build up a rotten food pong to rival any rubbish tip.
Fill a measuring jug with 250ml of regular white vinegar and place it on the top drawer of your washer. Run a cycle at the highest temperature. Once it’s done, sprinkle 200g bicarbonate of soda on the bottom and run the cycle again.
Dishwasher cleaner – £3.98 per use
250ml white vinegar – 25p
200g bicarbonate of soda – 77p
TOTAL – £1.02
You save £2.96 a clean!
2. COLA COMMODE
We don’t know about you, but getting down and dirty cleaning the bog is up there with our most loathed household chores. But someone’s gotta do it.
Combine one litre of diet cola and the juice of half a lemon and, using a gym bottle, squirt the mixture around the rim of your loo, into the bowl, just like you do with regular cleaner. Leave to sit for at least an hour, but ideally overnight.
Flush and scrub with a brush. The acid in the cola kills bacteria and removes stains, with the lemon leaving the bowl zingy and fresh. Make sure you use diet cola, as the sugar in regular will make the bowl sticky and attract bacteria.
Regular toilet cleaner – £1
Litre of own-brand cola – 8p
Lemon – 30p
TOTAL – 38p
You save 62p a clean!
3. FIGHT GREASE WITH GREASE
Greasy hobs, stove hood and ovens are the bane of every household cleaner’s life. Seems like sometimes no matter how hard you scrub, the grease just won’t let up. Here’s the rub.
Moisten a piece of kitchen roll with some vegetable oil and wipe the greasy area. You’ll see the grease sticks to the oil and comes off easily. Go over once more with clean kitchen roll to leave a thin layer of oil, preventing future grease buildup.
Anti grease spray – £1.20 per litre
Vegetable oil – 80p per litre
You save 40p per litre!
4. LEMON AID
Stainless steel sinks, stove tops, ovens and shower handles all attract stubborn water marks. Don’t be a lemon, splashing your cash on fancy steel cleaner.
Make sure the offending stainless steel surface is completely dry. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle it, and the surface if possible, with coarse salt. Use the lemon as a scrubbing brush to work away at the stains in a circular motion. Wash, then wipe again using a coarse brush if any residue remains.
Stainless steel cleaner – £5.50 per litre (approx 40p per use)
Half a lemon – 15p
You save 25p per clean
5. GRILLING WITHOUT THE TEARS
It’s the weekend, the sun’s shining, the weather is sweet, you go to get the BBQ going… only to discover a thick black layer of burnt on grease and muck. Here’s how the humble onion can help.
Once you’ve finished cooking, while the grill’s hot use a fork to rub half a white onion along the grill. This loosens any of the burnt on burger debris and, as onion is a natural antiseptic, makes the grill safe to use for the next time.
Grill cleaner – £3.50 for 500ml (approx 16p per use)
Half a white onion – 8p
You save 8p a clean