8 Cleaning Tips That Save

Staying ahead of household chores is a challenge for any busy person. In fact, 68% of people wish housecleaning took up less time. Still another challenge is keeping all your cleaning products to a minimum so you can save money, as well.

We met with Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute for some solutions.

Start With Your Sink

Forte's first tip to help you accomplish more in less time is to start by cleaning the sink. If you only have 15 minutes to clean, pick the one chore with the most impact, and, she says, that's your sink. It's inspiring to see quick progress, and it's also one of the top places in your home that attracts bacteria.

Stay Up Top

While you're there, here's another time saving trick: clean surfaces before floors. This way you're not wiping crumbs or dust onto your clean tile or rug.

See Also: Common Money Traps to Avoid

Take Your Shoes Off

Next, believe it or not, 85% of the dirt on your shoes comes off in your home, especially in those first few steps. A no-shoes policy in your household can save you hours cleaning the rest of your home.

Consider Steam Mops

The latest in housecleaning technology is the steam mop, which can save you time, effort and money on cleaning products, as it only uses heated water. The Good Housekeeping Institute tested 16 steam mops to find the best performing. Forte's bargain pick is the Bissell Steam Mop Deluxe, which retails for around $70. It's great on ceramic tile, and tough on greasy stains.

See Also: Guilt Free Homemade Snacks

Time Your Chores

When it comes to cleaning, sometimes saving time means finding the time. Get to know how long your chores actually take, by timing yourself. If you know it's only seven minutes to mop your kitchen or just three minutes to clear your desk, you'll be far more likely to just do it.

Double-Duty Dish Soap

Did you know dish soap can double duty as a carpet cleaner, and especially a stain remover? Dish soap contains all the ingredients necessary to get rid of stubborn food stains, especially grease.

Use Multipurpose Cleaners

Multi-purpose cleaners are economic because they do the job of three products in one - saving you time, money and storage. Forte's favorite is the Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, for all-around-the-house jobs.

Go All-Natural

All-natural household ingredients are the most safe and economical way to clean. Use baking soda as a substitute for soft-abrasive cleaners. You can also use 100% uncut vinegar to clean tough odors, hard water stains and bacteria, such as on cutting boards. Or, use diluted vinegar with 50% water for general cleaning like windows and countertops.

Compare Dishwashing Detergents

There are so many choices out there in dishwashing detergents from gels to powders and packs. Good Housekeeping tested over 35 kinds and found that for cleaning ability, convenience and bang for the buck, the Cascade Complete Pacs is the top pick, especially for normal and heavy loads.

What are some of the ways you're saving on cleaning? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hastag #Finfit.

Financially Fit Feedback:Take our Survey »

Follow Shine


What extra baking essentials do you purchase?

Poll Choice Options


  • Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013
    Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013

    Don’t let these bad financial habits keep you from your long-term spending goals. Identify your weaknesses and start remedying them. …