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Everyday Cheapskate: Cleaning Tips and Tricks That Promise to Cut Costs and Save Time

Mary Hunt on

Cleaning is the one chore that most of us dread, but we all know it has to be done. And while none of these cheapskate cleaning methods pretend to make it fun, they do promise to cut costs and save time. Also, most of these tips can be implemented with everyday items you probably already have.


Salt and ice together are great for cleaning the stains from the inside of pots, carafes and thermoses. For really tough jobs, add either lemon juice or a couple of lemon wedges to the ice and salt. Whirl all of that together, being careful to not be so aggressive that you crack any glass that may be involved. The acid in lemon juice helps to break down all that gunk.


If you run out of cleanser, don't panic. It's only an opportunity to think outside of the can and try other materials such as baking soda. It works like a charm. It will even take care of the ring in the bathtub with amazing results. Use it as you would commercial cleanser by sprinkling a bit on the surface and scrubbing it with a wet sponge or cleaning cloth. Rinse well.



To make quick work of cleaning a nasty baked casserole dish, fill it with hot water and add a fabric-softening dryer sheet to the water. Let it soak for a while. The gunk will just slide out. You can even get extra mileage from a sheet that has already gone through a dryer cycle if you use this product with your laundry. Just make sure that when it's time to dump the water and tidy up the dish, that dryer sheet doesn't go down the garbage disposal! That would create an even worse problem. Trust me.


It's important to disinfect cutting boards and countertops, especially when working with poultry and meat products. Instead of buying expensive kitchen disinfectants, make your own. Combine 1/2 teaspoon liquid chlorine bleach with 1 quart of water. Dispense from a clean spray bottle. Flood the food-cutting surface with the solution. Allow to stand several minutes, then wash and rinse. More bleach is not better. This is the perfect ratio of bleach to water to kill bacteria and not leave bleach spots on kitchen linens.



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