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25 Budget-Friendly Cleaning Hacks

From time-honored, environmentally conscious natural cleaning options and recipes to “you can do what with WHAT?” swaps, these clever tidying-up tips will make your home sparkle with pantry staples and items you probably already own.

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Photo: Mick Telkamp

Mix Up Rosemary-Lemon All-Purpose Spray

Antiseptic, disinfectant and non-toxic, this delicious-smelling, three-ingredient cleaner is safe and effective for many kitchen and bathroom surfaces, appliances, glass, carpet and no-wax floors. How’s that for items you usually find in cocktails? (Okay, you don’t usually find white vinegar in cocktails, but you get our drift.)

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Photo: Ryan Reed

Make Your Own Cleaning Wipes

The next (and last) time you shell out for store-bought wipes, hang on to the plastic canister and refill it with make-at-home replacements that cost a fraction of what you’ll pay for their manufactured counterparts, and reduce plastic waste. Bonus: You can customize the canister and the wipes with wrapping paper and essential oils of your choice, respectively.

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Photo: Shutterstock/Juan Llauro

Clean Cutting Boards With Lemon and Salt

When a recipe calls for just half a lemon, put the remainder to work as an all-natural cleaning agent. Dip that second half in coarse salt, then scrub your wooden or plastic cutting board: The crystals remove stuck-on bits, while the acidic juice brightens and freshens the board’s surface. Once you’ve scrubbed, let the board sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse and condition with mineral oil.

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Photo: Shutterstock/neil langan

Polish Metals With Ketchup

Yup, you heard us right: It’s time to put that orphaned packet in your junk drawer to work. Grimy brass, copper and silver are no match for ketchup’s acidic tomato and vinegar. Rub the condiment on with a cloth, let it sit for 10 minutes (timed, if you please, since you don’t want to damage your metal pieces), then rinse and buff back to a cheery shine.

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