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Save money on cleaning with these simple hacks

Jasmine Birtles 31st May 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Save money on cleaning with these simple hacks
Like everything else right now, cleaning products and cleaning services are rocketing with inflation. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to give your home a good spring clean. Follow our money-saving tips and clean your entire home for just a few quid.


Duvets and pillows

The majority of people rarely – if ever – wash their duvets and pillows. It’s important though to clean your bedding regularly to kill off any mites or bacteria living in these warm, moist bacteria-breeding grounds.
Dry cleaning your duvet and pillows each year is the obvious solution to keeping your bedding clean. But you don’t have to fork out £40 or more having them professionally laundered.
Instead, put the duvet in the washing machine – even if it’s a feather one – along with a small amount of powder or liquid. Set it on a low, relatively short wash, ideally with a cap of anti-bacterial laundry cleanser to help kill of any germs (Tesco’s own-brand, for instance, will set you back just £3 and is enough to do 19 loads). 
Don’t panic if the duvet or pillows look lumpy when you take them out. Simply put them them out to dry in the sun or on some form of dryer, shake them regularly, and after a day or two they should fluff up better than before.
Whatever you do, though, don’t try to dry your bedding in a tumbledryer (even with a tennis ball or other gadget that allegedly “helps” prevent clumping). The tumble dryer will almost certainly ruin the stuffing in your duvet and pillows.

Washing machines

Washing machines are costly when they start breaking down, so it’s important to not only regularly clean your washing machine’s drawer, drum, seal and door to prevent bacteria building up (mould and germs can quickly multiply inside a washing machine, even if you dry it out after every use) but to also help prevent the pipes “gumming up” from the grime and fibers released each time you wash.
This build-up can quickly block the pipes and result in a costly call-out from an engineer or plumber.
Prevent this by cleaning out the inside of your washing machine once a month. You can either do this using a specialist cleaning agent or by creating your own cut-price alternative using baking soda (£1.25 for 500g) and white vinegar (which costs just £8.49 for a 5 litre bottle). 
Start by spraying white vinegar around the inside of the drum, including the rubber door seal, then pour 500ml of white vinegar into the detergent drawer and set to a standard hot wash. 
Next, run a wash with about 60-70gm of baking soda in the drawer.
Finally, wipe the drawer and drum to make sure any residue is removed.
Repeat this every month or so and you should extend the length of your washing machine.


Forget expensive sprays and liquids, you can dislodge baked-in limescale in the toilet by simply pouring a bucket of hot water (not boiling) into the bowl, followed by a cup of citric acid (£2.30 for 250g at Ocado).
Leave it to soak for an hour, and you should be okay to flush.
For really tough stains, leave overnight if possible, and by the morning those calcified deposits should be gone.

Microwave and ovens

The best way to keep the microwave clean is to always cover whatever you’re cooking either with an old Tupperware lid or one of those inexpensive, plastic, microwavable covers sold in most stores (you can grab one at the tills in Ikea for just £1). You should also dry it out after every use, if possible, to prevent it from rusting or becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
If there is a build up of exploded food debris inside your microwave that you’re struggling to remove, simply place a glass bowl full of water, with two tablespoons of baking soda in it, and set on full power for three to five minutes.
It should produce steam that helps to dislodge backed-on dirt in all the corners that can then be easily wiped away. 
Cleaning the main oven is slightly trickier – although, again, you can help reduce the amount of cleaning required by wiping down the shelves, door and bottom of the oven after each use.
Steam cleaners are the best way to dislodged bakedin dirt, but if you don’t know anyone with one of those, you can create your own heavy duty oven cleaner for less than £1.
Start by mixing some of your leftover baking soda with water to create a thick paste. Smear the paste across the metal and glass in the over and leave it for 20 minutes. 
For the racks, place them in the bath with hot water and a few own-brand dishwasher tablets. Leave them to soak for as long as possible and wipe the grease and grime off.
Once you’ve cleaned and scrubbed the oven it’s helpful to put special lining paper at the bottom to catch drips and crumbs. Lakeland has a 50cm roll for £11.99.

Kettles and coffee machines

Descaling your kettle or coffee machine regularly will help to cut down the energy cost of boiling the water for your drink.
That’s why it’s important to tackle the problem at the first sign of any flakes.
Descaling a kettleeven with store-bought solutions, is relatively cheap: Ecozone descaler, for example, costs just £2.88 for three sachets.
However, you can do it even cheaper with the leftover white vinegar you bought previously.
Simply fill the kettle with half white vinegar and half water, boil the kettle as usual, then pour the water away. Next, refill the kettle and boil it again with water only.
Keep doing it until the limescale has gone.
Descaling the kettle this way shouldn’t cost you more than 50p a go – about half the price of an Ecozone sachet.


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Jasmine Birtles

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

Jasmine Birtles

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