Best Frugal Cleaning Tips To Save You Loads Of Money

If you want to spend less money on cleaning products, I have the best tips for you!

cut up dish sponges

I recently spoke with a cleaning brand ambassador who told me something that surprised me. 

She said that cleaning products these days are produced around virality and not how well they clean.

Do you want to read that again? 

The biggest thing that cleaning brands think about when making a cleaning product is "How can we make this product go viral online! " 

One example: excessive foam.

Many products are formulated to create a lot of foam, which appeals to loads of people online, but it doesn't necessarily translate to better cleaning.

The truth is, we don't need half the expensive cleaning products we buy.

I love experimenting with different cleaning products, some offer speed and convenience (who wants to spend all day cleaning?).

However, if saving money is your goal, I'm here to show you some "cheap as chips" multifunctional cleaning solutions that will save you loads of cash.

Tip #1 - Dish Soap Cleans EVERYTHING

Most brands don't want you to know that dish soap can replace most store-bought cleaners.

When I was speaking to this brand ambassador I mentioned earlier, I told her that washing up liquid solves 90% of most cleaning problems.

Want to know what her reply was?

"Shh, don't say that out loud. We have products to sell"

Although this conversation was in the context of a friendly one to one, it reveals that we really don't need half of the products we spend so much money buying. 

Here are some of the best dish soap cleaning hacks:

graphic showing the different ways to use dish soap
  • Multipurpose Spray

You can easily replace your store-bought multipurpose cleaner with dish soap and water.

Mix 10% washing up liquid with 90% water in a spray bottle and you have a simple multipurpose cleaner that works on most surfaces. 

Use distilled water if you want it to last longer and if you want to add extra fragrance, add a few drops of essential oils.

  • Floor Cleaner

Whether you have wood or tile floors, a drop of dish soap is all you need to keep your floors clean.

Add a small drop of dish soap to water in your mop bucket and you have an incredible floor cleaner. 

  • Bathroom Cleaner

For cleaning my bathtub or shower, I squirt dish soap neat on the surface and use a sponge or brush to clean it thoroughly.

Rinse and just see how clean your tub looks!

  • Toilet Cleaner

Pour some dish soap down the toilet, distribute all around the sides of the toilet with your brush and let it sit for a few minutes.

Wash again and you have perfectly clean toilets. If you are dealing with brown stains or rust in your toilet, I have a cheap solution for you below. 

  • Window Cleaner

It's so easy to clean your windows with dish soap.

Simply make a bowl of warm soapy water. In this case, add a little bit more soap so that the water is very slippery.

Dish soap has degreasing properties which will help all the dirt come off your windows easily. 

Use a mop or a sponge and work in up and down or circular motions over your window.

Squeegee the soap off and dry the edges with a microfibre cloth

  • Wall Degreaser

Dish soap works really wall to remove grease stains from your walls and cabinets. 

However it works best when it is only a thin layer and can take ages if it is a more built-up stain. 

To use, add a few drops of dish soap to a bowl of warm water or fill up a spray bottle.

{READ: 7 Easy Ways to Remove Pen from Walls Without Damaging Paint

Using a sponge, work in circular motions over the surface.

Wipe with a warm damp cloth.

Tip #2 - Quality Microfiber Cloth

Another amazing cleaning tip that will save you a ton of cash is using microfibrE cloths.

I have explained many times on this blog that microfibre cloths have been proven to remove 99% of bacteria from surfaces. 

This means that many times, all you need to clean and strerilise your surfaces is not fancy cleaners, but water and a good quality microfiber cloth.

Can you believe that?

I know, I found it hard to accept when I discovered it too but the research proves that it's true. 

So next time you want to clean your kitchen countertops or even your gas hob/stove, just use a warm wet microfibre cloth and save yourself loads of money!

Tip #3 - Citric Acid

Citric Acid is AMAZING!

citric acid

It does a much better job of removing limescale from your toilet than even bleach.

I recently shared this story about how my friend was at her wits end with regards to her toilet.

I told her about citric acid and she happened to have some on hand. Look at how well it cleaned her toilet.

Citric Acid can do so much more than clean your toilets. 

Here are some of the best ways to use Citric Acid in your cleaning: 

  • Descale kettle and coffee pot
  • Remove limescale from shower glass, shower head and taps
  • Get rid of stains from clothes
  • Add to soap compartment of dishwasher to clean it
  • Clean kitchen counters and other surfaces

Tip #4 - Soda Crystals

I discovered soda crystals quite late in my cleaning and I am sad I did because it is incredible!

soda crystals

Here are the best ways to use soda crystals in your household cleaning and save yourself some money. 

Tip #5 - Steel Wool

I use steel wool a lot in my cleaning and one way to save money on them is to buy a big roll from a home improvement shop.

These are a lot cheaper than the soap-soaked type you find in most supermarkets. 

cut up steel wool

Don't yours as tiny as mine haha

If you do go for the ones from the supermarket, be sure to cut them in half.

I find that, half is all I need for one clean and that saves me on using a whole square.

Tip #6 - Glass Cloth for Streak free mirrors

If you want streak free mirrors without any extra products, try this: 

  • Wet a textured microfiber cloth and run over the mirror
  • Follow up with a dry glass cloth and buff over the mirror. 

Try it and tell me what you think!

You'll get the cleanest streak free mirrors ever. You can also try this on glass.

Tip #7 - Vinegar

Vinegar is coming up as my 7th tip because you probably already know how incredible it is for cleaning.

Here are some ways I use it to save on spending: 

  • Use white vinegar in place of fabric softener in washing machine
  • Use to descale kettles, showerheads and taps
  • Remove hardwater and soap scum stains from glass and hardware
  • Clean the dishwasher and washing machine with just a cup of vinegar

Tip #8 - Reusable Swiffer Covers

Swiffers mops or Flash mops are an amazing product to have but buying new pads frequently can add up.

Try a reusable microfiber pad instead. 

Also consider investing in a traditional microfibre mop and bucket system.

This can be a more cost-effective option in the long run.

Tip #9 - Bleach

A tiny bit of bleach can go a long way in your cleaning and save you a lot of money.

Use bleach to:

bleach pouring from a jug
  • Sterilise and disinfect surfaces. 10% bleach to 90% water will disinfect most surfaces
  • Clean the bathroom. You can use just bleach and dish soap to clean your entire bathroom
  • Clean the toilet bowl
  • Remove mould and mildew

Tip #10 - Oil to Degrease

My experience removing makeup with oil cleansers taught me a valuable lesson: oil repels oil.

vegetable oil

This principle makes oil an excellent 'cleaning product' for tackling stubborn oil stains on cabinets, wood, and laminate surfaces.

Try vegetable or olive oil.

Bonus Frugal Cleaning Tips

magic eraser pack

Here are some other ways I save on cleaning: 

  1. Cut your sponge in half: As an African mum, this comes to me naturally (haha) as it's something I saw quite often growing up.
  2. Buy generic brands: Instead of buying expensive brands, the generic supermarket brands most of the time contain the same ingredients.
  3. Magic eraser: Make huge savings on magic erasers by buying generic name brands of melamine sponges in bulk.
  4. Wash on cold: You can save so much on your energy bill if you wash on the cold water setting.
  5. Old clothes as cleaning cloths: Old towels and t-shirts make incredible cleaning cloths when cut up into large squares.
  6. Clean often: If you keep up with your cleaning, you won't need a massive spring cleaning which might require strong or expensive cleaning product.

Conclusion: Cleaning Doesn't Have to Be Expensive

By trying some of these simple tips and tricks in your cleaning routine, you can have a clean house even if you are on a tight budget.

Remember, the key is to use products that serve multiple purposes, invest in reusable tools, and try out generic name brands. 

Welcome to the world of affordable cleaning but don't judge if you see me buy some expensive cleaning products on Instagram

I am addicted..haha.


Hey you, I’m Torera

Hey there! I am Torera, a home care and cleaning enthusiast with a mission to make cleaning as fun and easy as possible for women like you. As someone who had to learn everything from scratch, I have the mindset of a beginner and know exactly how to take you from A to Z. Let us ditch the overwhelm and create a space that is clean, cozy, and totally you!