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10 Quick cleaning tips that cost less

Tiernan McKay is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Alive!, Occupational Health and Safety, Restaurants and Institutions, Tampa Bay and Arizona Woman. Right now, she is either ridi...

Green clean on a budget

Maintaining a household can be a full-time job, especially when it comes to cleaning. The process seems to take forever, and there are just as many cleaning products available as there are surfaces to clean. If you use separate products for each task, you could be throwing away a significant chunk of money (and time). You can make cleaning a less painful process for your schedule and your wallet by using these 10 quick tips that cost less.

6Lemon essential oil

Veggie washes are expensive, yet we all know we should clean our fruits and veggies thoroughly before we eat them. Rather than fork out the cash, add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a bowl of water to wash your apples, cucumbers and pears. It's natural and effective.

7Isopropyl rubbing alcohol

The retail cost of glass cleaners really isn't justified, considering you can make an equally effective cleaner at home. Pour a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and water into a spray bottle and clean away! A microfiber cloth or newspaper works best. Vinegar and water also work well.


Almost everyone has a can of WD-40 in her toolbox. It's terrific for eliminating squeaks, loosening bolts, removing gum from carpets, erasing crayon marks from walls and cleaning stainless steel appliances. Check out the WD-40 website to see a list of 2000+ uses (many of them cleaning related).

9Tea Tree Oil

If your shower grout is turning black with mold, try tea tree oil instead of bleach to get rid of the mildewy mess. While tea tree oil is a little pricey, this mixture will last indefinitely, and it's completely safe for your family. Combine two teaspoons of the oil with two cups of water, and spray on grout. Let it sit for as long as you can. This natural solution has a bit of a strong odor, but it works great, and the smell will disappear almost as quickly as the mold.

10Alka Seltzer

Cleaning the toilet is probably the least glamorous job a homemaker faces. Make it easier by dropping two tablets of Alka Seltzer into the bowl and letting it fizz for 20 minutes or so. Give it a quick swipe with a toilet brush, and your bowl will sparkle.

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