“Living on a budget”: can mean different things to different people. For some, it means financial discipline, while for others it means finding a way to pay the bills and make ends meet. But whatever category you put yourself in, almost everyone agrees that having a clean house or apartment is essential for healthy and happy living. Finding the best and cheapest cleaning solutions is a point everyone can agree on. Price is also a consideration since everyone likes to have more money in their pocket. Here we will take a look at five of the best cleaning solutions for your home or apartment.
 
You don’t have to be an environmentalist to like the idea of all-natural cleaning solutions. This is not about products that advertise themselves as “all-natural” or “eco-friendly” but products that are commonly found in your home and in many cases are very low priced. Some of the solutions have been tried and tested for years, so you can be sure of their effectiveness and safety. Also, there are many different surfaces you have to deal with, everything from kitchen counters to shower walls. It generally is not a good idea to take a one-size-fits-all approach to cleaning.

The Bathroom

The bathroom should always be the cleanest room in the house. This is the place that the majority of your personal hygiene takes place and the place where germs and bacteria can accumulate quickly. If someone asks why there is a fungus among us, the answer is usually in the bathroom. To treat the inside of the toilet bowl, put about one-half cup of baking soda into the bowl, followed by a one-quarter cup of vinegar. Once the fizzing starts you can scrub away the dirt. Vinegar is the best solution for tubs and showers. Simply create a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar, then wipe or gently scrub as needed.

The Kitchen

Cleaning cooking surfaces and countertops is not always the same as disinfecting them. Once again, the 50-50 solution of vinegar and water is the simple, easy way to get the job done. But a word of caution needs to be made here. If you have a kitchen countertop made of stone or marble, the acid level of vinegar is high enough to potentially damage the surface. The first step you need to take is to read the care instructions for your countertop or call the manufacturer for cleaning instructions. Sometimes the surfaces are coated, allowing you to use the cheapest cleaning solution. For cooking surfaces such as wooden cutting boards, lemon juice or an actual lemon will do the job. For microwave ovens, vinegar once again saves the day. Pour a small amount into a cup, turn on the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes, then wipe the interior walls with a soft cloth.

Your Windows

Having clean windows does more than just make your home more attractive. In the winter, clean windows can actually save you money by naturally heating your home through sunlight. The solution is a 4 – 1 water to vinegar mixture that you can use as much as you need. Some people recommend using a sponge or soft cloth, but old timers swear by an old fashioned newspaper (if you can find one). This cleaning solution is also great for mirrors around the house.

Varnished Wood

There are still carpenters among us who make their own furniture and prefer the varnished look. But care must be taken to preserve the look and protect the wood underneath. A simple and natural home cleaning solution is to mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and 1 quart of water in a large spray bottle. Shake, spray, and then wipe with a soft cloth.

Non-wood Floors

Floor made of tile, linoleum, and other non-wood materials can be washed using vinegar using a 2 – 1 mixture of vinegar and warm water. The biggest benefit for this cleaning solution is that no rinsing is required!
 
If it seems that you should have an ample supply of vinegar in your home for cleaning purposes, you are right. Vinegar has acidic qualities about it that make it very useful for almost anywhere in the house. Yet it mixes well with water and oils, making it a great foundation for all types of household cleaning. Some of these solutions require what many people call “essential oils” that should be in almost everyone’s home, mainly for cooking. A few mentioned in this article are olive and lemon. Both are relatively inexpensive, and combined with vinegar, give you a variety of natural cleaning solutions for every room in your home or apartment. We started you with five, now find the best of the rest!

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