Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or expensive task. With a few clever DIY cleaning hacks, you can streamline your cleaning routine and save money. These simple and effective tips can be easily incorporated into your regular cleaning schedule, making it more efficient and budget-friendly. Whether you implement these hacks every week or just from time to time, you’ll find that maintaining a spotless home becomes much more manageable. Here are some of the best cleaning tips to help you keep your home spotless without breaking the bank.

Why Use DIY and Green Products?

Using green cleaning products is beneficial not only for your home but also for the environment and your health. Traditional cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can contribute to indoor air pollution, cause skin irritations, and trigger respiratory issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many household cleaners release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can have adverse health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, and even damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system​ (US EPA)​.

Green cleaning products, on the other hand, are formulated with natural ingredients that are safer for humans and pets. They reduce the risk of chemical exposure and are less likely to cause allergic reactions or other health problems. Additionally, these products are typically biodegradable, meaning they break down more easily in the environment and reduce pollution. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) highlights that using green cleaning products can improve indoor air quality, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy living environment​ (Office of General Services)​.

Kitchen Cleaning Hacks:

  1. Steam Clean Your Microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and a few tablespoons of vinegar. Microwave it on high for 5 minutes. The steam will loosen grime, making it easy to wipe clean with a cloth.
  2. Lemon and Salt for Cutting Boards: Sprinkle coarse salt on your cutting board, then scrub with a halved lemon. This natural method deodorizes and sanitizes the board.
  3. Baking Soda for Ovens: Mix baking soda with water to create a paste. Apply it to your oven’s interior, let it sit overnight, and wipe clean in the morning. This hack avoids harsh chemicals and is cost-effective.
  4. Clean Blender with Soap and Water: Fill your blender halfway with warm water, add a drop of dish soap, and blend for a few seconds. Rinse thoroughly to remove any food residue and soap.
  5. Stainless Steel Shine: To clean and shine stainless steel appliances, use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Spray the solution onto the surface and wipe with a microfiber cloth. For stubborn spots, add a few drops of olive oil to a cloth and buff in the direction of the grain.
  6. Deodorize Garbage Disposal: Cut a lemon into small wedges and run them through your garbage disposal with a handful of ice cubes. The lemon deodorizes while the ice sharpens the disposal blades.
  7. Non-Stick Pan Cleaner: Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply the paste to any stubborn residue on your non-stick pans, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a sponge.
  8. Clean Refrigerator Coils: Unplug your refrigerator and gently vacuum the coils on the back or bottom of the unit. Clean coils help your fridge run more efficiently, saving energy and extending its lifespan.

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks:

  1. Vinegar Showerhead Soak: Hard water can leave mineral deposits that clog your showerhead and reduce water flow. To tackle this, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it around your showerhead with a rubber band. Let it soak overnight to dissolve the mineral deposits. In the morning, remove the bag and run the water to flush out any remaining residue. This simple method keeps your showerhead clean and functioning efficiently without the need for harsh chemicals.
  2. Toilet Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda: Toilets can accumulate stubborn stains and odors over time. For a natural and effective cleaning solution, pour 1 cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, add 1 cup of baking soda. The mixture will fizz and help break down grime. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and flush to reveal a sparkling clean toilet. This method is not only cost-effective but also eco-friendly.
  3. Squeegee for Pet Hair: Pet hair can be a nuisance, especially in carpeted areas. A rubber squeegee, typically used for cleaning windows, can be a great tool for this problem. Simply run the squeegee over the carpet, and the rubber edge will gather the pet hair into an easily disposable pile. This hack saves time and is highly effective, making it easier to keep your home pet-hair free.
  4. Mirror Cleaning with Vinegar and Newspaper: To keep your bathroom mirrors streak-free, use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Spray the solution onto the mirror and wipe it with a crumpled newspaper. The newspaper helps prevent streaks and leaves the mirror sparkling clean. This method is inexpensive and avoids the residue left by some commercial glass cleaners.
  5. Bathtub and Tile Cleaner: For a deep clean, sprinkle baking soda on the surfaces of your bathtub and tiles. Then, spray with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a sponge or brush. The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive to remove soap scum and grime, while the vinegar helps dissolve mineral deposits.
  6. Disinfecting Bathroom Surfaces: Use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect bathroom surfaces. Spray it on sinks, countertops, and toilet handles, and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping clean. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant that can kill bacteria and viruses without leaving a harsh chemical residue.
  7. Drain Cleaning with Baking Soda and Vinegar: To keep your bathroom drains clear and free of clogs, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizz and help break down any buildup. After about 15 minutes, flush the drain with hot water. This natural method is safe for pipes and helps maintain a free-flowing drain.
  8. Smell Hack for Fresh Bathroom: To keep your bathroom smelling fresh, place a few drops of essential oil on the inside of your toilet paper roll. Each time the paper is used, it will release a pleasant scent. This is a simple and cost-effective way to keep your bathroom smelling great without using synthetic air fresheners.

Living Room and Bedroom Hacks:

  1. Lint Roller for Dusting: Use a lint roller to quickly dust lampshades, cushions, and other fabric surfaces. This hack is especially useful for removing pet hair and small debris. The adhesive surface of the lint roller picks up dust and hair effortlessly, making it a handy tool for quick clean-ups.
  2. Dryer Sheets for Baseboards: Wipe baseboards with dryer sheets to repel dust and keep them cleaner longer. The anti-static properties of dryer sheets help to prevent dust accumulation. Additionally, dryer sheets leave a fresh scent behind, adding a pleasant aroma to the room.
  3. Essential Oils in Vacuum Cleaner: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a cotton ball and place it in your vacuum bag or canister. This will leave your home smelling fresh as you clean. As you vacuum, the essential oils are dispersed throughout your home, providing a natural and refreshing scent.
  4. Tennis Ball Scuff Remover: Use a tennis ball to remove scuff marks from hardwood floors. Simply rub the scuff mark with the tennis ball, and it should come right off. This method is gentle on floors and eliminates the need for harsh chemical cleaners.
  5. Baking Soda for Carpet Freshening: Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets before vacuuming to neutralize odors and freshen up the room. Let the baking soda sit for about 15 minutes to absorb any smells, then vacuum it up for a clean and fresh-smelling carpet.
  6. Pillow Fluffing with Tennis Balls: Place a few tennis balls in the dryer along with your pillows to help fluff them up. The tennis balls bounce around and help break up any clumps, leaving your pillows nice and fluffy.

DIY cleaning hacks that I love!

  1. Multi-Purpose Vinegar Spray: Vinegar is an incredibly versatile and effective natural cleaner. Create a cleaning solution with equal parts vinegar and water. This mixture can be used to clean windows, countertops, bathroom surfaces, and more. Vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, making it an excellent alternative to commercial cleaning products. For more DIY multi-purpose cleaning solutions, check out our detailed blog post on multipurpose cleaning.
  2. Old Socks as Dusting Mitts: Don’t throw away those old socks! Repurpose them as dusting mitts. Simply slip a sock over your hand, spray with a little dusting solution, and wipe surfaces clean. This hack is perfect for dusting hard-to-reach places and is especially useful for items with intricate designs. It’s an excellent way to reduce waste and save money on cleaning supplies.
  3. Newspaper for Streak-Free Windows: Instead of using paper towels, use crumpled newspaper to clean windows. This method leaves glass streak-free and reduces waste. The ink in the newspaper acts as a mild abrasive that helps remove grime and fingerprints, resulting in sparkling clean windows. This is an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to disposable cleaning wipes.
  4. Microfiber Cloths for Dusting: Invest in a few good-quality microfiber cloths. These cloths are excellent for dusting because they trap dust and dirt instead of just pushing it around. They can be used dry or slightly damp and are perfect for a variety of surfaces. Plus, they are reusable and can be washed and used multiple times, making them a sustainable choice.
  5. Baking Soda for Odor Elimination: Sprinkle baking soda on carpets, upholstery, and even inside shoes to neutralize odors. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then vacuum or shake off the excess. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can be used in many different areas of the home to keep it smelling fresh.
  6. Lemon and Salt for Rust Removal: Use the natural acidity of lemon and the abrasiveness of salt to remove rust from metal surfaces. Sprinkle salt on the rusted area, then rub it with a lemon half. Let it sit for a few hours, then scrub the area with the lemon and rinse off. This method is effective for small rust spots and is a safe alternative to chemical rust removers.
  7. Reusable Cleaning Pads: Make your own reusable cleaning pads by cutting up old towels or t-shirts. These pads can be used for mopping floors, scrubbing counters, and cleaning various surfaces. They are washable and can be reused multiple times, reducing waste and saving money.
  8. Tea for Wood Furniture: Use brewed black tea to clean and shine wood furniture. Brew a couple of tea bags in boiling water, let it cool, and use a soft cloth to apply the tea to your wooden furniture. The tannins in the tea help bring out the natural shine of the wood, making it a simple and effective cleaning solution.

These cleaning hacks can make your routine more efficient and cost-effective. Not only will you save time and money, but you’ll also enjoy a cleaner, healthier home. Share these tips with friends and family to help them simplify their cleaning tasks too. Remember, Good Cleaner Co. is here to assist with all your professional cleaning needs in Ottawa.