Professional cleaners say you could save a sh*tload of money with any of these clever tricks
Mar 10, 2023
A cleaner home and a bigger bank account? Heck yes.
There's something that makes cleaning and household chores even more annoying to do each week: how expensive it is to keep all of my go-to cleaning products stocked up. It's even worse when I spend money on viral cleaning tools or try out new sprays, and they don't actually work.
So, I decided to ask professional cleaners how to save some serious money on my cleaning routines and what things really work. Luckily, they all have a ton of super clever tricks that are guaranteed to save a ton of money — all while keeping a home spotless.
Clorox spokesperson and TikTok's "Queen of Cleaning" Vanesa Amaro highly recommends this huge pack of Mr. Siga microfiber cloths, which have over 62,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. "They’re more absorbent than paper towels, long-lasting and you can throw them in the laundry to clean and disinfect them," she notes.
These fan-favorite cloths come in a budget-friendly and colorful pack, so you can color-code which ones you dust bookshelves with and which ones you dry dishes with. They also have reinforced stitching to ensure that these machine-washable cloths stick around in your cleaning closet for a long time.
"For sponges, I swear by Scrub Daddy sponges," says Amaro. "They’re made to dry within an hour, so they don't mold or hold onto odors like other sponges, and you can throw them in the dishwasher to clean and sanitize them."
The smile-shaped scrubbers in this three-pack are made of a seriously durable polymer foam that holds its shape more than a classic sponge (but also won't scratch up your appliances or dishes). They also have a little happy face cutout to clean utensils and add grip, and they won't get all smelly hanging out by the sink.
Amaro recommends reaching for white vinegar to tackle grimy sink faucets, but you’ll need to grab this bulk pack of food storage bags first. "Fill a Ziploc bag with vinegar and use a rubber band to secure it around the faucet (like this). Allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes then use a bristle brush and dish soap to scrub any remaining grime," she explains. After you clean up your sinks, these BPA-free bags with a triple-sealed top are obviously also helpful for airtight food storage.
When you’re ready to scrub the sink faucet after Amaro's soaking trick, she suggests reaching for a bristle brush. Not only does it have nylon bristles and a scraper to get rid of all of the faucet's build-up, but it also has a dish soap-dispensing design. The entire handle is a refillable soap container, so you can clean your faucets and a ton of dishes before needing to refill it.
Clorox bleach is, of course, on Amara's list of go-tos, and this concentrated pack is perfect because you get two bottles of this super versatile disinfecting formula for a low price. It's designed to pour a little on your clothes or on a sponge to scrub and sanitize a countertop without splashing all over the place.
"In addition to using for laundry to keep clothes and linens whiter for longer, you can use bleach to clean and disinfect around your home, sanitize dishes and food containers [...], eliminate odor from trash cans, and even keep flowers fresh for longer," she says.
"Clearing away bottles of unused, old, and almost-empty products will help you to avoid buying duplicates of products you already bought but can't find," says Diane Eisenstein, founder and COO (Chief Organization Officer) of The Tidy Abode. "Streamlining your cleaning supplies and keeping them organized will allow you to quickly locate what you need, and you won't be tempted to buy unnecessary products since everything will be at your fingertips."
These washable plastic storage bins are perfect for this tidying project because they have a transparent design that makes it easy to spot the cleaner or sponges that you need. When you’re ready to clean the bathroom or kitchen, simply use the handles to carry these stackable bins to each room.
To avoid spending a ton on broken appliances Irina Nikiforova, the owner of Rocket Maids in Los Angeles, says, "I would suggest to keep filters clean and do not forget about maintenance cleaning. For example, dishwasher needs to be cleaned and descaled every month."
So, pop this pack of dishwasher-cleaning tablets under your sink to make this monthly chore seriously easy. They fit right into the detergent tray and take care of all of the descaling and cleaning that Nikiforova recommends to keep your dishwasher happy. These citric acid tablets also come with a lemon scent to take care of a smelly dishwasher, and the 24-pack will last you an entire year.
To take Nikiforova's advice on appliance upkeep, grab this fluffy vent cleaner to stay on track with your dryer maintenance (and avoid a pricey cleaning service or dangerous house fire). You simply pop it on a drill (or use it on its own), and this 40-foot brush will spin around your dryer vent and grab all of the lint.
Nikiforova says a hack that's saved her a bunch of money is keeping a concentrated multi-surface cleaner, like this Mrs. Meyer's concentrate, in your cleaning closet. She suggests — "I love Mrs. Meyers products. Their spray bottles look and work great but they also have concentrated all-purpose cleaner that can be diluted with just warm water! You can make quite a few bottles of an all-purposes cleaner and save money."
Not only does this concentrate look adorable next to your other cleaning supplies, but it's packed with essential oils to avoid any chemical smells on your countertops. It also works for pretty much any surface in your home, like counters, hardwood floors, tiled surfaces, and more.
"Pro-tip: if your favorite cleaner comes in a leaky bottle, just buy an empty spray bottle," Nikiforova says. So, go ahead and pair this pack of durable (and completely leak-proof) spray bottles with all of your concentrated cleaners. Not only will these bottles fix the leaking issue, but you can also spritz them all around the house without them getting clogged up. They also come with labels, filling funnels, and three spray modes to choose from.
Nikiforova also highly recommends swapping those plastic mops for this professional mop with a set of reusable microfiber pads. While it may seem a bit pricey, she says, "A professional mop will last you a lifetime (I have had mine for seven years already)."
The microfiber pad in this set is surrounded by fluffy trim, so it will even catch all of the dust under appliances or in the corners of baseboards. It will work on all of the hard surface floors in your home, and the adjustable stainless steel handle is durable enough for everyday mopping.
With this pack of reusable mop pads, you’ll always be stocked and ready to clean the floors (even if you haven't done laundry in a while). You can also use them dry, and the unique and fluffy microfiber fabric will grab onto pet fur.
Karina Toner, the operations manager at Spekless Cleaning, suggests keeping a pumice stone with your bathroom cleaning supplies. The unique material is durable enough to scrub away rings, rust, limescale, and more. Plus, you won't even have to buy pricey toilet cleaning sprays that run out way too quickly.
"Pumice stones are also reusable and can last for a long time with proper care, so you won't need to purchase new stones frequently at all, further reducing your cleaning costs over time," she says.
Toner also has the best tip when it comes to cleaning those time-consuming windows: reach for newspaper, brown paper bags, or coffee filters to leave behind a streak- and lint-free finish. "Simply spray the surface with a vinegar and water solution, then wipe it clean with crumpled-up newspaper in circular motions, and you’re left with clean windows and mirrors without any streaks or lint left behind. Alternatively, you can also use old brown paper bags or coffee filters to achieve the same results," she explains.
In particular, these filters have a seriously sturdy design with reinforced ridges, so they’re durable enough to clean all of your windows and mirrors. They’ll also save you from using (and buying) way too much window cleaning solution.
To save on expensive sponge erasers, Toner says, "just buy melamine foam sponges and cut the foam into your desired shape and size." This pack of melamine sponges is perfect for stocking your cleaning closet with customizable cleaning sponges. After you trim them into the perfect dishwashing or baseboard-scrubbing shape, this 50-pack of sponges will last a while.
When you’re ready to clean, Toner says, "Wet the melamine foam with water then squeeze to drain the excess. Now you have an effective cleaning tool to help keep your home looking its best without breaking the bank."
Fantastic Service's cleaning supervisor Lily Cameron highly recommends using white vinegar "to clean and disinfect a wide variety of surfaces in a house, such as countertops, floors, and bathroom fixtures."
So, go ahead and grab this huge bottle of distilled white vinegar that's perfect for your cleaning closet. To use it, Cameron says to mix the 5% acidity formula with an equal amount of water, The result takes care of unwanted smells, mineral deposits, and all of the everyday griminess on surfaces when you clean with it. It even takes care of stains without buying super pricey laundry supplies.
"Another pantry ingredient that can work wonders in cleaning tasks is baking soda," says Cameron. "It's like a DIY magic eraser that saves you a lot of money." This container of baking soda gives you enough for your cleaning closet and to save some for trying out fun new baking projects. The container is airtight, so you can keep it around for a while, and it will still be fresh enough for cleaning days. It also has a wide opening for scooping it out and onto your go-to cleaning sponge or brush.
And how do you use it? "Sprinkle a little bit into your palm, dip the corner of a damp sponge into it and tap it off. If you have a wall or a baseboard with a fingerprint, a mark or even a grease spot, give it a gentle scrub in a circular motion," Cameron explains. "After that, wipe the spot with a clean, damp cloth to remove the residue."
Cameron highly recommends using vanilla extract to make your fridge smell better. To use it, she suggests "[wiping] its plastic interior parts with a bit of vanilla extract on a paper towel. That helps neutralize bad odors."
If you don't want to wipe down your fridge with this hand-picked, cold-extracted bottle, Cameron also recommends "soaking cotton balls in vanilla extract and leaving them in an open-air bowl somewhere in the fridge."
To go with Cameron's vanilla extra fridge tip, you’ll need this budget-friendly bag of hypoallergenic 100% cotton balls to place on your fridge shelves. Their triple-size design is nice and oversized, so you can add a bunch of that luxurious vanilla scent without using a bunch of them.
"The first great way to make your whole house smell incredible is a stovetop simmer. Simply boil up some ingredients with nice scents in a pot of water. You can also do that in a slow cooker," Cameron suggests. "Whichever you chose, fill your vessel halfway with water, add any combination of ingredients with scents you like - e.g. orange slices or peels, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract, lemon, lavender, etc. Bring it to a boil or heat your slow cooker on low. If you’re doing it in the slow cooker, let it sit and simmer all day."
This budget-friendly slow cooker will pretty much make your simmer pot a zero-effort project. It comes with easy settings on the front, so you can truly set it and forget it. You can also pour out any leftover scented water and wash the ceramic bowl in the dishwasher at the end of the day.
Before you start your super easy slow cooker simmer pot, be sure to stock up on cinnamon sticks. They come in a huge budget-friendly bag, and these sticks are the easiest way to make your simmer pot scent feel even more luxurious. Plus, each one is a little under 3 inches, so you’ll only need a few for each simmer pot.
"You can save money on groceries by keeping your pantry organized and clutter-free," explains Christina Giaquinto, a professional organizer and brand ambassador of Modular Closets. "Clutter isn't just an eye sore — it is one of the biggest reasons why people overspend."
To make decluttering your pantry instantly easier, use this seven-pack of airtight food storage containers, which comes with four stackable sizes. Not only are they easy to arrange with interchangeable lids, but they’re also transparent, so you can easily see what you’re missing before spending money. Just be sure to stick on the reusable labels, to make it even quicker to check all of your ingredients before grocery runs.
"When your pantry is organized and clutter-free, you are less stressed and more inspired to cook! It makes you more aware and conscious of what you can use to cook and eat. This leads to less Uber Eats and more home cooked meals," Giaquinto elaborates.
For ingredients that aren't quite right for airtight containers, these transparent storage bins will keep everything easy to see and organized by type. Each one comes with built-in handles to pull them out and check how many protein bars or jars of your go-to nut butters you have left before a grocery store trip. These washable containers can also take care of cluttered ingredients in the fridge or even the freezer.
Giaquinto notes that "when you can see everything at a glance, you don't buy double of what you already have," and this two-level lazy Susan is the easiest fix for all of those annoying tiny things that get lost in your pantry. (I’m looking at you, spice jars and little active yeast packets.) The durable bamboo design will also add an aesthetic touch to your pantry next to the classic clear plastic bins.
To take care of any ingredients that tend to fall between your baskets and organizer or stuffed in the bottom of the pantry, reach for this sleek over-the-door organizer. It's lined with six slim and rust-resistant baskets that you can take off and carry to your counter whenever you’re cooking.
Alex Varela, the general manager of Dallas Maids of Frisco, has some simple advice: "Buy all-purpose/multipurpose cleaners. If you have specialized cleaners for all areas and surfaces in your home, you are going to spend so much money and it also makes cleaning more complicated."
Stocking up on multipurpose cleaner in bulk also helps save. This spray is versatile enough for your entire house, but will still take care of specific problems, like greasy appliances. Plus, each bottle has a clean French lavender scent that will easily work in any room you’re cleaning.
Matt Connelly, the founder and CEO of on-demand dry cleaning and laundry delivery service ihateironing, suggests using a cold or eco wash to save on electric bills when doing laundry. ""Not only is it better for the environment, but it also greatly reduces the amount of energy your washing machine is using during the cycle," he explains. "Cold washes (20-30°C) require less energy than hotter ones (nearly 30-60% less!) making it a wallet-friendly alternative."
This bulk pack of stain-removing laundry pods is specifically made for running every single cycle in cold water instead of using pricey warm water on your clothes. They’re also super concentrated to get rid of any smells without needing to use more than one in each load.
Connelly also recommends ironing your clothes when they’re still a bit damp, and this budget-friendly iron has a non-stick plate to make sure your clothes are protected. It also has a six different fabric settings and even a few steaming functions to take the guesswork out of ironing.
As for the benefits of this ironing trick, he says, "Ironing clothes when damp makes it easier to remove creases before they become embedded in the fabric, cutting down the time you spend on ironing (and the amount of electricity you use during the process.)"
To finish off your new ironing technique that Connelly recommends, you’ll want to keep this super compact ironing board around. It has a foldable tabletop design, so you can pop it right on top of a countertop or even your bed, toss your damp clothes on the padded top, and try out that ironing hack.
Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, president of ServiceMaster of Lake Shore, says, "I'm a big fan of towel stripping to remove buildup and residue from detergents as well as other gunk that washing your towels simply won't remove." To try out her easy towel-refreshing tip, you’re going to keep this budget-friendly box of borax in your cleaning closet. It works on stains and even handles any mildew or smelliness on your towels, so you won't be tempted to buy new ones all the time.
Rodriguez-Zaba's also has a few tips with this towel trick — "To strip your towels, you basically let towels soak in a mixture of 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1 cup laundry detergent, preferably in your bathtub, for four to five hours. Then, you run them through a rinse only cycle in your washer and tumble dry."
Rodriguez-Zaba also suggests "using ice cubes to clean garbage disposal and keep blades sharp," so keep this pack of ice trays stocked at all times (instead of expensive cleaners). "The ice helps get rid of residue and gunk that builds up and causes odors in your garbage disposal, and it also helps sharpen the blades. Just add a cup of ice to your garbage disposal along with a few lemon peels for a fresh smell," she says.
These best-selling trays create oversized cubes that are the perfect size to throw in the garbage disposal with lemon peels. It's also always easy to grab one during dinner cleanup with the flexible silicone design. With the included lids, you can even stack up all of your disposal-cleaning ice without taking up a lot of space.
Lauren Saltman, a professional organizer at Living. Simplified. recommends using reusable linens all over your home to save some money, and these cotton-blend cloth napkins is honestly the only pack you’ll need for the dining room. You get 12 of these quick-drying napkins (which are available in over 30 colors from neutral navy and gray to playful apple green and fuschia), so you can have a ton of diners or host brunch without running out of clean ones. They’re wrinkle-resistant, so you will never have to deal with wrinkly napkins before dinner.
"Yes, this will increase the number of items in your laundry each week, but you'll save money throughout the year when you no longer need to buy paper towels and paper napkins to use in your home," she says. "Bonus...this is also environmentally friendly!"
Lauren Doss, a cleaning guru and owner of Nashville Maids, recommends a lint roller, like this money-saving reusable one, to keep up with pet fur. "It's an easy, quick way to lift away those pesky fur balls without having to break out the vacuum cleaner every time," she says. The fabric roller is actually designed to grab onto all of that annoying fur that seems to cling to everything in your home. Plus, it pulls it into a large compartment in the back, so you can roll it all over your house before it's time to empty it.
When it comes to dusting, Doss says, "regularly dust ceiling fans, blinds, and other hard to reach surfaces. Dust buildup can cause air quality to decrease and lead to allergies or other health issues." To make all of that dusting super easy, keep this fluffy circle-shaped duster within reach. It's big enough to slide around fan blades and it even has an extendable 59-inch handle for every ceiling corner, high shelf, and other hard-to-reach space in your home.
Sometimes dust seriously sticks to each slat and between every single string on blinds, and this three-tiered cleaning tool is the easiest way to take care of it. You get five washable microfiber covers, so you can swap them out if they get dusty and grimy before you finish all of the blinds.