Skint Dad

Thrifty spring cleaning tips

Cleaning your home may not sound like it has anything to do with Skint Dad's favourite subject but that couldn't be further from the truth.

I am the one who does most of the chores around the house and, if I’m honest, I really dislike doing any of it. It’s not just the house work itself but the fact that everything seems to be messy five minutes after I’ve done it! I suppose that’s the price you pay when you have kids.

As spring approaches a full spring clean is in order. It's this spring clean that will preserve our home and help our appliances to last longer - so we'll save more money. Obviously some things need to be cleaned and tidied daily but for a slightly deeper clean, rather than doing everything all in one day, I focus on one room each day of the week. I think most people do this as it’d take too long to do everything in one day. 

Make your own cleaning products

To begin with saving money when cleaning, take a look at what you've been buying. Having a cupboard full of chemical cleaning products can be expensive as well as a big waste of space. Instead of buying all your cleaning products from a store, try making your own thriftier versions instead. Many products you need will already be around the house.

  • The humble onion is a great natural cleaner and (although slightly pongy) can be brilliant at getting mess off a BBQ grill, and leaves it tasting great next time you cook.

  • Vinegar is a powerful cleaner and is great for removing soap residue from sinks or the shower, as well as great at cleaning floors or surfaces. Plus a bottle of vinegar is really cheap and will last for ages!

  • Baking soda is also an all round good cleaner. Apply it to your sink to get rid of any dirty stains, or use it as a cheap oven cleaner. Simply combine the powder with a little water to make a paste and apply it to the bottom of your cooker. Leave it for a few hours and you’ll be able to wipe away the dirt.

  • When it comes to laundry, ditch your washing powder and swap it for soap nuts. Environmentally friendly and natural, they have been used for hundreds of years in India and Nepal to get clothes clean. It’s certainly worth a try!

Deep clean to save

Making sure you have a deep spring clean can actually keep your appliances in a good order. It will keep them working to their full capacity, that may help stop breakdowns occurring which could be very costly!

For your fridge and freezer, while cleaning the outside of the door and shelving is part and parcel of cleaning, you also need to get to the very back of it. Make sure to pull it out from the wall and clean the back too. Turn off the power briefly and vacuum and dust off the coils. It’s an easy enough task (although help may be needed to get it away from the wall). Just remember to turn it back on when you’ve finished cleaning the fridge! It’s also a good opportunity to defrost the freezer as the extra ice stops it working so well.

The same goes for other kitchen appliances or heavy furniture. Pull them out and have a clean. You might end up finding a few quid under the sofa so you'll have a double win. 

Cleaning up your money

Sorting out your finances is a bit like cleaning the house. You may not want to do it but things get messy if you don’t. Even as a money geek I don’t want to be spending ALL day dealing with my finances. I like checking things daily to make sure that my bank account looks as it should and save any spare pennies I have but I spread some of the bigger money decisions over the course of a year.

Take your time

Trying to clean every room in the house in one day is a mammoth task! Spread a deep clean over a few days so it doesn't feel like so much of a chore, and you can concentrate on other things too, like making a bit of cash while having a clear out. Can you see how it’s similar? Spending a whole day cleaning also means that I don’t get to concentrate on other things like having time with family which, in financial terms, is invaluable.