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18 Cleaning Tips That'll Save You So Much Money

Aka how to be clean...and rich! (Sorta.)

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Prevent buying a jug of Draino or calling a plumber to snake your drain by investing in a TubShroom you can use over and over again.,

This little tool costs about as much as two jugs of Draino ($15.02). Plop it in your drain and catch hair before it clogs pipes. When it's time to clean it out, it's easy to pull out the hair, nay, even entertaining (in a disgusting way).

Promising review: "Works really well. My hair collection has grown so much. I might have enough to make a hair friend soon. I shall try on the first full moon. Seriously though, look at all this dog hair that would have gone down my drain after just one dog bath. Yikes." —Kate Wills

Get it from Amazon for $12.99. / Also available as a SinkShroom.

2. And when you finally need a drain-cleaning solution, DIY one with white vinegar and baking soda. /

Remove your drain cover and any hair or stuff you can feel from the get-go. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain, making sure it all goes down the opening. Then pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain and cover the drain with a wet washcloth. Let it bubble like a third-grade science experiment for about 10 minutes. Then remove the washcloth and rinse the drain with boiling hot water. Plus, this is gentler on your drains than harsh chemicals!

Economy sized jugs and boxes of these multitasking cleaning items are a good investment for your cleaning supplies. This is just one of many ways you can use them.

Get them from Amazon: 64 oz. of white vinegar for $3.50 and 64 oz. of baking soda for $10.05.

3. Cut down on your paper towel usage with these reusable cleaning cloths.

Each cloth measures 12"x16". They're made of microfiber and can be washed hundreds of times. From cleaning TV screens to scrubbing kitchen countertops, they'll cover your cleaning routine in so many ways. While it will take you a while to get your money's worth versus rolls of actual paper towels, (16 XL paper towel rolls cost $27.99), they're still a good investment.

Get a 24-pack from Amazon for $13.75.

4. Transform regular household objects like a butter knife or broom into cleaning magic wands with these cloths. /, /

Get in between blinds (and lengthen their lifespan) by wrapping a cloth around a butterknife. Then throw said cloth in the wash and reuse it over and over. (Or, buy some specialty blind cleaners that are the actual tool version of this hack.)

Reach dust in the tip-topiest of places (and extend the lifespan of stuff like ceiling fans and paint jobs on window molding) by wrapping a cloth around a broom or golf club instead of buying a specialty duster. (Or, buy said extendable duster.)

Get them from Amazon: a dozen butter knives from Amazon for $8.95 and broom and dustpan set from Amazon for $19.78.

5. Clean out the lint trap in your dryer with a brush to keep your appliance in tip-top shape.

Do it about once a week to avoid the trouble, cost of drying a load of clothes a second time.

Promising review: "I was surprised by how well-built the brush turned out to be, considering how little I paid for it. It's quite flexible and the bristles are very stiff. Running it into my dryer and twisting it about resulted in a ton of old lint. A flashlight helps to see where you need to concentrate your efforts. I plan on making this an scheduled thing to do every couple months." —K. R.

Get it from Amazon for $14.90.

6. Scrub perfectly good hot hair tools of product buildup with a DIY solution of stuff you already own.

Nifty / BuzzFeed

And avoid dropping $40 (if you're lucky) on a new curling or flat iron. Get all the deets here.

And if you can't quite clean your old hair dryer, check out our top picks for the best hair dryers on BuzzFeed Reviews.

7. Try out generic versions of brand-name cleaning products when you can.,

Give a generic version of something you use all the time a go for once and if you don't like the generic, you can always go back to the original. For example, a box of eight Mr. Clean Magic Erasers is just slightly more expensive than a 30-pack of knockoffs.

Get them from Amazon: Mr. Clean for $6.34 and generic magic sponges for $7.90

8. Microwave sponges weekly to kill bacteria and extend their lifetime.

Fully saturate the sponge with water, (1/2 cup for cellulose and 1/4 cup for scrub sponges like the one pictured), stick it in the microwave on high (two minutes for cellulose and one minute for scrub). The sponge should be fine, but don't ever leave stuff unattended in a microwave!

Good Housekeeping tested six sponge-sanitizing methods and measured how much bacteria was left on a sponge afterward. The microwave method was the runner-up (with E. coli 99.83% reduced), but it's the top for money saving purposes because it requires only water. The top method requires using bleach (with 99.9% of the three bacteria strains killed), which costs money. The testers also recommend throwing away sponges every two to eight weeks, depending on how "shabby" they look.

Get a pack of six scrub sponges from Amazon for $8.99.

And check out our top picks for the best kitchen sponges on BuzzFeed Reviews.

9. Help your exhaust fan run more efficiently by spraying in canned air to clear out the dust. If you don't clean this, it's a also fire hazard!

And place a towel on the floor to catch dust bunnies as you dislodge lint. Then it'll run more efficiently!

Get a two-pack from Amazon for $13.59.

10. Bring tools back to life -- instead of buying replacements -- by removing rust with this DIY concoction.

Nifty / BuzzFeed

Get the cleaning recipe (made from stuff you already have) here.

11. Streamline your cleaning arsenal. That way you won't bother buying a super-obscure cleaner meant for cleaning only one thing when an all-purpose cleaner will do.

If you need a bucket to contain the cleaner, get this one from Amazon for $11.17.

12. Skip the floor cleaner concentrate and throw a capful of mouthwash in with a gallon of warm water to mop your floors.

Get a 1.5 L bottle from Amazon for $5.97.

Or, if the thought of this doesn't sit well with you, try out one of these top-rated floor cleaning concentrates: Method wood floor cleaner for $6.98, Granite Gold stone and tile concentrate for $5.04, and Polycare hardwood and laminate cleaner concentrate gel for $24.48.

13. Scrub your dingy sneakers to whiter brilliance with toothpaste to make them look brand new again and put off spending $$$ on a new pair.

Wearing a pair of kicks just a few times can leave the rubber sole looking dingy and gross, aka like you need to buy a new pair. Get some toothpaste (paste, not the gel kind), some steel wool or an abrasive scrubber, and use them to scrub the white rubber parts of your sneakers. The shockingly successful combo really gets in there to erase stains without ruining your shoes. Get the deets on Instructables here.

Get a two-pack of toothpaste from Amazon for $4.74.

If you still can't quite get them clean enough, check out our top picks for the best everyday sneakers on BuzzFeed Reviews.

14. Lengthen the life of your pillows and comforters by making sure you aren't washing them too often.

Three or four times a year will suffice. Set an alert on your phone to wash them when the seasons change.

Get this goose down-alternative comforter from Amazon for $40.80+. / Available in twin, queen, and king.

15. Avoid multiple cycles for the same load (and a higher water bill) by cleaning your dishwasher.

Check out the three-step process on One Good Thing by Jillee here.

16. Avoid pricey car-specific cleaning products or a pro cleaning sesh with a DIY car cleaner that'll scrub all the interior's surfaces clean.

Nifty / BuzzFeed

And it's made of stuff that's already under your kitchen sink! Get the how-to here.

17. Speaking of DIY solutions, whip up an all-purpose cleaner that'll work on appliances, kitchen counters, etc.

Simply mix 4 tbsps of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water in a spray bottle. Check out more DIY cleaning solutions from Good Housekeeping here.

Get a three-pack of 32 oz. spray bottles from Amazon for $11.95.

18. But when a DIY cleaning solution just won't do, use Flipp to find coupons for your tried-and-true faves. / Via

You can search for your favorite brands and check out circulars from 800+ local retailers. Read more info on the app's useful capabilities here.

Get the app for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


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