Keeping your home clean isn’t easy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be tempting to reach for expensive cleaning tools and brands to make sure your home stays virus-free. But before you head for that Checkout button, consider how you can keep your home clean while also sticking to your budget. Here are four budget-friendly ways you can help to keep your home clean while saving money along the way.
Wash your hands frequently
This may seem like a no-brainer. After all, washing your hands is one of the top three ways to avoid spreading COVID-19. But washing your hands frequently is also a great way to reduce how often you need to clean and disinfect surfaces around your house. If you don’t wash your hands immediately after coming home from the store, for instance, you’ll need to clean and disinfect everything you’ve touched after coming in through the door. Washing your hands reduces the number of sanitary wipes and disinfecting wipes you need to use around your home.
Make your own all-purpose cleaner
It’s important to remember that cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. To disinfect a surface, you need to use chemicals to clean away germs and remove contaminants and viruses. For instance, the average elevator button harbors millions of germs and is one of the most common sources of COVID-19 in apartment buildings. An EPA-registered disinfectant can help to remove those germs.
When all you need to do is clean a surface in your home, not disinfect it, it’s a good idea to make your own all-purpose cleaner. In a spray bottle, mix 50% water with 50% vinegar. You can use this cleaner on porous surfaces such as wood countertops and it won’t damage the wood. If you need to disinfect a wood surface such as wood floors or countertops, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide in a separate spray bottle and spray it directly onto your countertops or floors. Let the peroxide sit for a few minutes before wiping it. Remember never to mix household cleaners, even DIY cleaners.
Don’t be sour about your stainless steel
Another DIY cleaner you can use for stainless steel, in particular, is a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda. Lemon juice is naturally acidic and, when mixed with a base like baking soda that’s naturally abrasive, it can help to remove watermarks. Start by removing any spots from your stainless steel with a paper towel or rag damp with white vinegar. From there, make a paste consisting of water and baking soda and gently tub the paste onto the stainless steel. Wipe the paste away and dry your stainless steel. Make another paper towel or cloth damp with lemon juice and rub across your stainless steel. This will help to remove any limescale from your fridge, counters, or other stainless steel appliances. Rinse the surface with water and wipe dry.
Be smart about which store-bought products you buy
When it comes to disinfectants, it’s sometimes better to opt for the store-bought kind. Hydrogen peroxide can only do so much. Of course, it’s important to make sure that you’re being smart about which products you buy.
Avoid choosing products solely based on their price. Cheaper brands can sometimes be less effective than their more expensive counterparts. Some pharmacy-brand creams, for instance, lose up to 50% of their antioxidant capability in just six months. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend an arm and a leg on pricey brands. You can typically find brand-name products like Clorox for lower prices at the Dollar Store or Big Lots.
Keeping your home clean is no easy feat. Fortunately, with the tips above, you can help to keep your home safe and sanitized while sticking to your budget.