6 Unusual House-Cleaning Hacks That’ll Save Money and Impress Your Friends

House cleaning hacks
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Are you worried your house hasn’t gotten a deep clean in a few months… or years? Like, maybe you’re afraid to look behind the couch?

We feel you.

But we can’t just let you procrastinate like that.

We also don’t want you wasting money on pricy cleaning products, so we found some smart — if surprising — alternatives.

Here are some clever DIY housekeeping tricks that will actually save you money — and impress your friends while you’re at it!

1. Clean With the Magic of Vinegar

Have you heard about this? You can use vinegar to disinfect your microwave, scrub filthy pots and pans, shine dusty surfaces and de-scum your shower head.

White vinegar costs a fraction of the price of Lysol, Windex or Clorox cleaners that do the same thing. You just have to be OK with the scent of vinegar for a while. Or…

2. Try These All-Natural Cleaning Science Experiments

Take your DIY cleaning to the next level (and avoid the vinegar smell) by filling your caddy with homemade cleaning products.

Our writer Lisa Rowan experimented in her own home with all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, bathroom scrub, reusable wet floor wipes and air freshener, and she came clean with her results.

Do these recipes sound intimidating? I thought so, too. Then Lisa demonstrated how to make them on TV, and now I see how easy they are.

3. Raid Nana’s Medicine Cabinet

Bypass her prescriptions, and find the Efferdent — even if you don’t have dentures. Trust me. I cleaned my whole house with denture cleanser, even one horrific bathtub.

You can clean and disinfect your toilet, bathtub, sink, coffee mugs and other ceramic vessels with a tablet or two! Plus, instead of the stinging aroma of bleach, you’re left with a minty-fresh scent.

4. Say No to Antifreeze

You may be melting in the summer sun now, but winter always comes back. Prep for the inevitable freeze with alcohol. No, not booze. (Well, maybe also booze.)

Rubbing alcohol mixed with water can defrost your windshield.

Save money on antifreeze wiper fluid, and avoid waiting for your defroster to do its thing. (We know: Everyone’s looking for a way to get to work faster on Monday morning!)

5. Believe in the Magic of Rubber Bands

Here’s creative frugality at its finest: rubber bands for everything.

You probably have a few of these cheap, colorful, versatile gems wallowing in the corner of your junk drawer. You can use them around the house in place of expensive tools and accessories you’re bound to lose, anyway.

Here are just a few pricy things you can replace with rubber bands:

  • Non-slip hangers
  • Jar openers
  • Professional French tip manicures
  • GPS mount in your car
  • Selfie stick
  • Maternity pants

6. Stop Swiffering and Start Saving

We all know that magic duster and its endless refills are hard on the wallet. But you buy them anyway, because they make cleaning so easy.

Stop. You don’t need them. You can get the job done with dryer sheets.

Run a sheet along your baseboards or bookshelves to remove dirt and dust. Plus, your living room will smell like fresh, clean laundry! Mmmm.

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).