13 Housecleaning Hacks That Save You Time and Money

Woman cleaning her kitchen
Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

You probably spend at least some of your day wiping down counters, scrubbing the grill and cleaning the coffee grinder. If those chores feel like a pain, we have a slew of cleaning hacks to make your life easier.

They will save you time — and money to boot.

Use a caddy for your supplies

Vizual Studio / Shutterstock.com

It may not necessarily be a hack, but having a cleaning caddy is a smart move. When all your bottles, rags and other supplies are in one place, it makes it quick and easy to get the work done.

For more on making your own cleaning supplies, check out: “9 Expensive Cleaning Supplies You Could Easily Make for Pennies.”

Discover the many, amazing uses for vinegar

Pat_Hastings / Shutterstock.com

This isn’t just one cleaning hack. It’s six cleaning hacks, most of them very hands-off. Here are all the miraculous things a little vinegar can do.

  1. Microwave a bowl of equal parts water and vinegar for five minutes as a disinfectant for the microwave. Be very careful opening your microwave when the five minutes are up. Crack the door, and let it cool before using a rag to wipe down the inside.
  2. Soak the exhaust filters from above your stove in a mixture of vinegar and water to remove the cooked-on gunk. After soaking, rinse and return.
  3. Use a paper towel to rub vinegar on cloudy glasses to make them shine.
  4. Put vinegar in a baggie, and put it on your shower head. Use a rubber band to secure the bag and let it soak to remove buildup.
  5. Cover the bottom of a burned pan with vinegar and water. Heat to boiling, and then turn off and let it cool so you don’t burn yourself. Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, and scrub to make the pot shine again.
  6. Pull an old sock over your hand, spritz with vinegar and use it to wipe down dirty blinds.

The product is simply a miracle. Check out: “82 Amazing and Environmentally Friendly Uses for Vinegar.”

Clean your grill with an onion

elbud / Shutterstock.com

Rather than using a wire bristle brush, use a long fork to spear half an onion. Rub the cut side on your grill grates as an alternate way to clean them.

Use a potato on your cheese grater

Savelov Maksim / Shutterstock.com

If you still use a hand cheese grater, you know what a pain they are to clean. Depending on the cheese you’ve used, there’s a good chance it’s been mashed down in between the grates and is mocking your attempts to remove it.

Rather than losing your sanity trying to clean all the crevices, pull out a potato and grate that. Its flesh is stiff enough that it should slough away the cheese, and then you can easily rinse the potato off the grater.

Use stale bread or rice to clean your coffee grinder

Coprid / Shutterstock.com

Coffee smells fabulous in the morning, but when you shift gears and decide to grind spices or nuts, you don’t want them to remind you of your morning cup of joe.

For a blade grinder, use some stale bread or dry, uncooked rice to absorb the coffee smell and clean out your grinder. If you have a burr grinder (also called a burr mill), bread won’t work but dried rice might. A note of caution: Uncooked rice can be harder than coffee beans and may tax your grinder’s motor. Some companies say using rice as a cleaner will void the warranty.

Furniture polish will make stainless steel appliances shine

JR-stock / Shutterstock.com

Let furniture polish do double duty on your stainless steel appliances. Clean off any grime first, and then spray on the polish and wipe dry.

And speaking of appliances, if you’re faced with replacing one of these costly items, check out: “7 Ways to Save Big on Household Appliances.”

Make grease stains disappear with rubbing alcohol

attaphong / Shutterstock.com

To get a grease stain out of carpets or other surfaces, mix four parts rubbing alcohol with one part salt. Rub into the stain to lift the grease. Then let the surface dry and wipe up or vacuum up any leftover salt.

Bleach your cutting boards

Evgeny Karandev / Shutterstock.com

If only you could see the bacteria making itself at home on your supposedly clean cutting board.

Luckily, cutting boards are easily sanitized by soaking them in a bleach solution. Use 2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water for plastic boards and 2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon for wooden boards. You don’t need to soak them long — just a couple of minutes will do — and then rinse.

Try lemons and salt for a more natural clean

Evgeny Karandaev / Shutterstock.com

Of course, not everyone loves the idea of using bleach. For a more natural way to disinfect your cutting board, liberally sprinkle kosher salt on the board. Then, cut a lemon in half and rub the lemon (cut side down) on the board. The lemon juice should kill the bacteria, while the salt should scrub away any small particles of food that may be present.

Then, you can use the other half of the lemon to scrub your faucets to make them shiny and clean as well.

Roll a lint brush over lamp shades

Photology1971 / Shutterstock.com

Lamp shades come in all sorts of shapes and materials, which can make it difficult to figure out how best to clean them. A lint roller can be used on almost any shade to pick up dust and light dirt.

Blow canned air into exhaust fans

Mihancea Petru / Shutterstock.com

The exhaust fan in your bathroom could probably use a little TLC, but how on earth do you clean that?

Easy. Use some canned air — like the kind you would buy to clean a computer keyboard — and blow it into the fan to dislodge lint. Place a towel on the floor to collect the dust bunnies as they fall.

Even if you can’t see the dust in your fan, it’s a good idea to clean it on a regular basis. If too much lint builds up, your fan could burst into flames.

Remove dust from vents with a knife and rag

Thiti Sukapan / Shutterstock.com

Another way to remove dust from vents such as those on window air conditioning units is to cover a butter knife with a rag and run it along the inside of each vent. Despite what the commercials tell you, no special sham or wonder cleaning cloth is required.

Pull out dryer sheets to clean baseboards

FotoDuets / Shutterstock.com

Finally, give your dryer sheets another purpose in life by whipping them out when it’s time to clean your baseboards. Running a sheet along the baseboards will remove dirt and help repel dust. What’s more, they might just make the room smell temporarily fresher too.

What cleaning hacks can you add? Share your tricks in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Want a Healthy Retirement? Turn This Device Off
Want a Healthy Retirement? Turn This Device Off

A common behavior becomes increasingly dangerous for those who are 50 or older.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50
7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50

Simply avoiding these actions, or lack thereof, can improve the odds of a longer, more healthful life.

8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart
8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart

Are you aware of all these ways to boost your savings in Walmart stores and at Walmart.com?

These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over
These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over

Buy reusable versions of these household items, and you won’t have to spend another dime on them for years.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

Seniors With COVID-19 May Display This Unusual Symptom
Seniors With COVID-19 May Display This Unusual Symptom

Largely asymptomatic seniors may experience a symptom not commonly associated with the coronavirus.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

18 Early Black Friday Deals on Amazon Today
18 Early Black Friday Deals on Amazon Today

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

Never Buy These 10 Things With Your Credit Card
Never Buy These 10 Things With Your Credit Card

Credit cards offer many conveniences and protections, but sometimes it’s simply smarter to keep the plastic tucked away.

13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

8 Surprising Household Items You Can Sell for Fast Cash
8 Surprising Household Items You Can Sell for Fast Cash

Sometimes, the humblest household items are worth the most money.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.