These 10 budget friendly cleaning tricks are going to absolutely change the way that you clean your home!
Since we launched our vacation rental property, I cannot tell you how much I have learned about hospitality, house cleaning, and organization. The home hacks I’m going to share with you here all have to do with cleaning and they are too good for me to keep to myself! Here are my best tips for making cleaning your house easier.
1. How to keep towels and sheets white
So many people ask me about this because I am such a huge fanatic when it comes to white linens and towels. I personally love them on my own bed and I want to see them when I go to a hotel or a vacation rental too. They just ensure to me that what I’m sleeping on is perfectly clean, and I really want to give that experience to our guests as well. In the past, I have used regular bleach, but recently I’ve started using oxygen bleach.
I’ve been using OxiClean. I pop it into the machine with my load of white towels. Then about half an hour into the washing cycle, I pause the machine so that the towels can soak in the oxi clean solution for at least an hour. This will help lift out a lot more of those stains. It is not as easy but you can do something similar by soaking your white towels or bedsheets in a tub with the recommended amount of oxi clean.
Stain removal hack
Also here’s a little sub-hack (1b) for whitening! Use distilled white vinegar to pre-treat the stain. Spray it on, let it sit for a little bit, then gently blot it with a microfiber cloth. This method combined with the soaking hack gets out any stains I have dealt with on our white bedding and towels. Don’t dry anything that was stained, because drying will just set the stain and make it even harder to get out later.
2. How to deodorize a fridge
We put used appliances in our vacation rental to save some money. They are beautiful appliances but I wanted to make absolutely certain our fridge smelled nice and clean. I cleaned it thoroughly with bleach and the whole nine yards. Then my friend suggested a hack that I had never heard of before!
The newspaper hack (that actually works!)
She told me to put some balled up newspaper inside the fridge. This traps and takes in any of the excess odors that are left in the fridge. We actually left our fridge closed with the newspaper inside for well over two weeks to make sure that all of those odors were out of the fridge and into that newspaper. So if you have a stinky fridge, definitely try this method! It worked for me. After you take the newspaper out, you can put a little package of baking soda in the fridge to continue to make the fridge smell fresh.
Other ways to make a fridge smell good
You can also try something like coffee beans or grounds, lemon juice or slices, or vanilla. Anything like this will help your fridge keep smelling nice and neutral. This works especially well if you had a one-time incident of something stinky in your fridge that you got rid of and now need to get the smell out! Make sure you use a shallow bowl for whatever neutralizer you choose. This way more of the substance is easily exposed to the air in the fridge and will work more efficiently. For more ideas about how to use natural cleaners like lemon, vinegar, and a sprinkle of baking soda (ever wondered how to really clean grout?), check out this post right here!
3. How to fold a fitted sheet
It’s taken me thirty-some years to learn this one! I was one of those people who balled up my fitted sheet and threw it in my cupboard. Since launching this vacation rental, I have been determined to learn how to do this properly instead. I follow the Martha Stewart method and it’s actually a lot easier than I thought! Here’s to do it:
- Start by standing
- Face the sheet right side towards yourself
- Put a hand in each top corner of the fitted sheet; it doesn’t matter whether you do this for the long side or the short side of the sheet
- Take the corner in your left hand and fold it over the corner in your right hand. Make sure that the wrong sides of the corners are together
- Run your left hand down the edge of the sheet and grab the next corner
- Place your hand right into that corner and fold it over the corners you already have on your right hand. The right sides of the corners should be facing each other
- Then take your left hand, slide it down the sheet, and put your hand in that last corner and place it over all of the other corners of your sheet in your right hand. You should have the wrong sides of the corners facing each other
- Holding all the corners in your right hand, slide your left hand down the sheet and find the “corner” that’s been created in the folding process
- Make that into a proper corner by fluffing it out and then place your sheet on your bed or flat table surface
- Create a rectangular shape by folding in the elasticized edges and make sure the corner you created is nice and smooth
- Now you can either fold your sheet into thirds and then thirds again, or quarters and then quarters again. I find folding into quarters works well for a king sized sheet, and into thirds works well for all of the other sizes.
- Now you have the perfect little sheet parcel that’s easy to store and less wrinkly than the sheet using the balled up method!
4. How to use vinegar for cleaning
I have fallen back in love with using vinegar for cleaning. It works so well whether for laundry or cleaning your home without harsh chemicals. So, this fourth budget friendly cleaning trick involves vinegar! If you have a foul or really strong smell left in your kitchen, you can combine one part water with one part vinegar in a pot on your stove and let that hot water mixture boil for 20-30 minutes. Remember to put your fan on so you don’t have to deal with moisture issues. When you’re all done, just pour the liquid down the drain! I find that this method really neutralizes any cooking smells. This is really handy if you’re showing your home or having friends over and want to get rid of any spicy cooking smells. It will make the house smell really clean and fresh with a neutral scent.
5. How to get rid of pet hair
This next budget friendly cleaning trick is more of an amazing product suggestion than a tip! This pet hair lifter sponge is fantastic! We have to make sure that when our doggie guests leave, there is zero fur or hair left. You use this sponge dry and wipe it over your sofa, bedding, or carpet. It will pick up any of those pet hairs that your vacuum cleaner might have missed. This is also fantastic for removing lint. I also love using it on window and door screens and blinds, because it lifts all of the lint and dirt that accumulates on these surfaces.
6. Use a lint roller
People know you can use a lint roller on clothing, but not everyone realizes you can also use it on things like sheets and floors as well. Having any kind of hair on the bedding or furniture when I stay anywhere is a huge turnoff, so I wanted to make sure my guests at our vacation rental don’t have this experience. So we make the beds and then we take the lint roller and go over all of the sheets and blankets to make sure that every single little bit of lint and hair is picked up. This is really quick and easy, and it works really well. You can also use lint rollers to pick up hairs in the bathroom that you might not have been able to pick up with the vacuum or cleaning cloth.
7. How to repel dust on your baseboards
Baseboards can be so hard to keep clean! Something that has worked really well for me is using a dryer sheet and wiping it gently over the top edge of all of the baseboards in our home. This really seems to repel dust nicely and make them much easier to clean. I use Mrs. Meyer’s laundry detergent as well as the laundry sheets. I love using them for both laundry and this baseboard hack.
8. How to clean your floors with a spin mop
Again, this is more of a product than a method: the spin mop from Vileda (or the O-Cedar Spin mop in the US). Oh my goodness! It works so well. Its shape is fantastic for those awkward corners in your kitchen, hallway, or bathroom. The best part of this mop is that you can get it really really dry with its spinning action. It has a foot pedal that causes the bucket to spin all of the excess water off the mop, so you can get a really good clean and the floors dry quickly afterward. We have vinyl plank at the lake house, and this spin mop is perfect for it. I also think it would be fantastic for laminate flooring.
9. How to use vinegar to clean your stainless steel appliances
More vinegar! I have a bit of a love affair with vinegar right now. Have you ever used distilled white vinegar to clean your stainless steel or chrome appliances? For some reason I had never heard of this hack until I read about it in a Martha Stewart book! She has some fantastic and simple tips for using vinegar and it’s worth a read. You can spray it full strength from a spray bottle directly onto your stainless steel, use a microfiber or other soft cloth or rag and do one wipe with the vinegar, then grab a dry microfiber cloth and do a nice dry polish. You’re really going to see that stainless steel shine, with not a single water stain in sight!
10. How to use a magic eraser (not for what you think!)
We all know to use magic erasers for getting random pen marks off the walls or little scuffs off your cabinetry. I’m talking about using them for cleaning the microwave! It cleans a microwave so quickly and makes it a much less dreaded chore. It grabs all of that grime and grease and gunk so easily with no hard scrubbing or elbow grease. This would work great on other appliances too, like the oven or dishwasher. This budget friendly cleaning trick would also work to take care of soap scum in the shower or bathtub too!
There you go! 10 budget friendly tricks for making your cleaning routine so quick and easy. Let me know if I’m the only one who didn’t know all of these already, or share your own life-changing cleaning hacks in the comments! If you are really in the mood for fun cleaning and organization tips, you can check out this video where I tried out TikTok cleaning hacks and found some really cool ideas. This includes using a few drops of essential oil in a way I had never thought of before! Happy cleaning everyone!