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Old-School Cleaning Tips That’ll Save You Hundreds Each Year

Jennifer Birtles 23rd May 2020 One Comment

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Catching up on long forgotten cleaning and household chores has become a popular activity for people finding themselves with more time on their hands during lockdown. However, stocking up on new cleaning supplies can end up costing you a small fortune and no one wants to have to spend lots of their hard-earned cash on cleaning! These easy old-school cleaning tips will save you cash AND help you clean with ease.

At Moneymagpie we’ve compiled together our best cleaning tips that’ll save you money including easily creating your own products with items you likely already have in your cupboards.

Avoid Speciality Products and Brands

Old school cleaning tips help you save lots of money!

A simple solution to saving cash when purchasing cleaning supplies is to avoid buying branded items. Generally, there is little difference between products and you’re paying more for the name. Try out non-branded, or the supermarket’s own brand, cleaning supplies – your wallet will be grateful and it’ll do the job just as well.

Avoid speciality products as well, instead look at buying multipurpose cleaners (or make your own!) Speciality products can be expensive and the cost is unlikely to be worthwhile when a simpler multipurpose cleaner can be just as effective. They’re much cheaper and can be used all over the house, meaning you’ll save money by not having to buy a vast collection of different products.

Use Household Items

Old-school cleaning tips use many household items you’ve already got. They’re all multi-functional and the majority of your day to day cleaning can be done with a few simple items!

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a great stain remover, surface cleaner and descaler, it will quickly become one of the most useful items in your cleaning arsenal. It’s also a great substitute for some other cleaning products as unlike bleach, it is safe for the environment too.

Use it in the kitchen as a dishwasher rinse to remove spots on your dishes by adding a little to the rinse compartment, add a splash to the hot water when polishing your cutlery for an extra shine, boil a vinegar solution to steam clean your microwave and remove food residue.

Or use it in the bathroom to remove scaling and soap scum from faucets, showerheads, shower doors, and pour it into the bath to remove the bath film build up. Leave the white vinegar to rest and do its magic and then rinse away.

You can even use white vinegar in the garden! Simply pour it undiluted onto any unwanted vegetation and reapply as and when it’s needed. Fresh flowers also last longer with a little white vinegar and sugar added to their water but it works best if it’s changed every few days.


Lemons are a natural bleaching agent and because of the strong, citrus smell are great at removing unwanted odours.

Soaking a sponge in lemon juice and then leaving it the fridge will help to remove odours. Squeezing lemon juice onto your fingers and rubbing together after you’ve been cooking with garlic or fish will neutralise and stop any leftover smells lingering on your hands.

Lemon juice naturally removes stains on clothes and cooking utensils and surfaces. Be careful when using lemon juice on laundry as it can bleach some colours!

Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

Normally used for baking, this household item is cheap and easy to get hold of. It’s great for removing bad odours – fill a cup and leave it in the fridge, or sprinkle it on carpets and furniture to freshen them, hoovering it up afterwards, or use it to deodorize shoes by wrapping some in a thin cloth and leaving it to absorb the smells.

Also incredibly useful at cleaning stubborn dishes which have been scorched during cooking. Sprinkle baking soda into the pan, add hot water and bring to the boil. It loosens the dirt on the pan so it can be scrubbed off easily.

Make Your Own

Cleaning tips like lemons in the microwave will save money

One of the cheapest and easiest cleaning tips is to make your own! You don’t have to fork out on expensive cleaning chemicals – try these alternatives instead.

Wood polish

A wood furniture polish can be made simply by mixing two parts oil to one part white vinegar. Pour onto a cloth and rub into furniture in a circular motion.

Dishwasher Rinse

Make your dishwasher rinse last longer by alternating using a cup of white vinegar instead.

Microwave cleaner

A solution of one part white vinegar to four parts of water can be boiled in a microwave until steam appears on the window. Take out the solution and wipe the insides clean.

Window cleaner

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water to clean your windows. Apply with a sponge and then wipe clean with newspaper.

Stain remover

Squeeze lemon directly onto a stain, pour over a little salt and gently rub them in. Rinse with water and repeat until desired result.

Sugar Soap

A top cleaning tip is to use sugar soap. It’s cheap and very useful cleaning agent to have in your cupboards and can be bought cheaply from hardware stores. Sugar soap is used a lot to prepare walls and surfaces for painting, or to freshen up and remove scuffs and marks from already painted walls. Asides from decorating, it is also a great multipurpose surface cleaner and excellent at for removing grease and oil – think of the stubborn way grease builds up in a kitchen? This easily cuts through it.

It comes in either a powder, liquid, or as wipes. The liquid form is the easiest to use but the powder is more cost-effective if you have a large space you need it for.

Recycle and Reuse

Instead of working through masses of paper towels use washable cloths you can reuse, as it’ll work out cheaper in the long run. Even keep some of your newspapers to one side so you can use them for cleaning windows for a streak-free finish.

If you have a load of old worn down clothes that you’d otherwise throw out, turn them into rags to use for polishing and dusting instead of throwing them away.

More Useful Reading

If these cleaning tips have got you inspired for a deep clean and de-clutter, check out these articles for more ideas!

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3 years ago

Some great info. Will use the microwave technique today!

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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