Common items that make your home sparkle for less

July 28, 2015

You can slash the cost of home cleaning products by using these cheap, readily available items. No doubt you'll have most of them around the house already.

Common items that make your home sparkle for less


Use household ammonia and water solution on windows, glass surfaces, mirrors, ceramic tiles and stove tops. Caution: avoid inhaling fumes and contact with skin or clothing.

Baking soda

  • Many people use baking soda to clean china, stainless steel, fridges and freezers, ovens and plastic furniture.
  • It can be sprinkled on a damp cloth or applied as a paste mixed with water for light scouring; or use as a solution in water when soaking china or washing surfaces.


  • Domestic or laundry borax softens water and breaks down grease.
  • It's good for cleaning enamel surfaces, ceramic tiles, windows and mirrors, and for dissolving grease in sinks and drains.
  • Borax will also clear tannin stains in teapots.
  • Use it dry, as a paste with water and vinegar, or in a solution with water.
  • Caution: wear gloves if you have sensitive skin.

Lemon juice

Applied directly or added to water, the acidity of lemon juice clears tarnish on brass and copper, removes limescale, rust and stains on marble and plastic worktops, and is combats against unpleasant smells.

White vinegar

  • You can use vinegar mixed in a solution with water or as a paste with borax and water.
  • Vinegar cleans windows, glass surfaces, ceramic tiles and wooden furniture.
  • It can help to remove hard-water deposits from taps, toilet bowls and sinks, and works as a descaler for kettles.

Furnishings, flooring and household fittings will last longer if they are cleaned on a regular basis. But there's no need to spend much money on store-bought cleaning products. Simply make many of your own household cleaners for a fraction of the price.

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