8 Clever Ways to Save Time, Money for Spring Cleaning

Two caucasian male hands cleaning kitchen grout of an old, dirty tile floor with environmentally friendly hydrogen peroxide, bak
By Emma Miller

That's right: It's time to tackle some spring-cleaning -- a process that has the potential to also clear out your budget, not to mention suck up your time. So we scoured the web to bring you our favorite, low-cost (and low-elbow-grease) DIY cleaning hacks that call for either items you already have at home or basic buys like lemons.

1. Freshen Your Garbage Disposal With Frozen Lemons

Want to rid your kitchen of funky smells? Start by sanitizing the appliance that vanquishes everything from old fish bones to rotten vegetables -- your garbage disposal. Simply place small lemon slices into each ice cube tray slot, pour vinegar over them, and freeze. When you're ready to clean, toss a handful into the garbage disposal and run it until the cubes are gone for a citrus-scented kitchen. To learn more, head to One Good Thing.

2. Deep-Clean Your Electric Oven With Bowls of Water, Vinegar

Given that a new oven can cost a few thousand dollars, it pays to keep it in tip-top shape -- like giving it a good scrub down from time to time. The problem is, the process usually involves a whole lot of elbow grease -- but with some extra-strength ammonia, you should be able to get that grime out with a swipe of a sponge. This method is not recommended for gas ovens.

Start by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off. Pour the boiling water in one oven-safe baking dish and the 1 to 2 cups of ammonia into the other oven-safe dish. Put each dish in the oven, placing the ammonia dish on the top rack. Leave overnight (about 8 to 12 hours) to let the ammonia tackle the caked-on grease. In the morning, remove the bowls and wipe the oven clean with a warm, wet sponge. To learn more, head to Fabulously Frugal.

3. Concoct Your Own Grout Cleaner

Did too many warm winter showers leave your tile looking worse for wear? The good news is that giving it some spring sparkle will take only about 15 minutes and cost less than $10-thanks to this hack. Mix ¾ cup baking soda and ¼ cup bleach until they form a thick paste, and apply the cleanser to the dirty grout lines in your shower. Wait 5 to 10 minutes. Then scrub the mixture into the grout with a scrub brush or old toothbrush After waiting another 5 to 10 minutes, wipe the tile clean with a damp rag. To learn more, head to Practically Functional.

4. Wipe Away Water Stains With Used Softener Sheets

Ready for one of the simplest cleaning tips ever? Remove those stubborn streaks on your shower door by repurposing used fabric softener sheets you were about to toss. Just lightly dampen each sheet with water and wipe away. To learn more, head to Practice What You Pinterest.

5. Descale Your Showerhead With a Plastic Bag

If the buildup on your showerhead is starting to resemble week-old pizza crust, it might be time to give this tip a try. Simply fill a plastic sandwich bag with vinegar and fit the bag over the spout so that it's completely submerged. You can secure the bag in place with a zip tie, rubber band or binder clip. Then leave it on overnight -- by the morning, your showerhead will look new. Be sure to run the water for a minute before taking a shower. To learn more, head to Bob Vila.

6. Dust Your Ceiling Fan With a Pillowcase

Normally, cleaning that thick layer of dust that's accumulated on your ceiling fan involves kicking up seemingly more dust than you started with. But this simple hack will save you from battling those flyaway particles. Just spritz each fan blade with dusting spray, and place an old pillowcase over each blade, one at a time. Press your hands down the length of the blade as you work to slip the pillowcase off. You'll collect all or most of the dust in one fell swoop. To learn more, head to The Thrifty Couple.

7. Suck Pet Hair From Carpets With a Squeegee

Special brand food, veterinary costs, grooming-having a pet can really add up. But what accumulates more quickly than these costs are the piles of pet hair. Ew. Simply combing a squeegee over carpets and fabric furniture can rid the surfaces of pet fluff. Best of all, you can snag a squeegee for as little as a buck at the dollar store. To learn more, head to Modern Mrs.

8. Lift Water Rings Off Wood With a Hair Dryer

Despite your best efforts to get everyone to use a coaster, it doesn't always happen. But water rings are surprisingly simple to remove. For this hack, just use a hairdryer to heat the stain for about 20 minutes-and watch it fade away. To learn more, head to Homemade Mamas.
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