12 Cleaning Secrets Under $5

Psst! Can you keep a secret? We've gathered our favorite (and affordable!) cleaning secrets to make your home sparkle.

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Having a sparkling home doesn’t mean you have to spend money on the most expensive cleaning products. In fact, sometimes the cheapest option is the most effective. Check out our favorite homemade recipes, nifty tools and highly-reviewed cleaning products—all under five bucks.

Unclog a Drain with Vinegar

Don’t call the plumber just yet! Unclog any drain with this affordable and simple trick. Pour one cup baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of vinegar. Let the foaming mixture sit for about 15 minutes, then pour down one cup of boiling water. Repeat as needed.

Here are seven things you should never clean with vinegar.

Remove a Toilet-Ring Stain with a Pumice Stone

An unsightly toilet ring caused by hard water may seem impossible to remove. But the truth is, you can easily erase that stain, without chemicals. All you need is a pumice stone, like this Pumie Scouring Stick, which costs less than $2. Wet the edge of the stick and rub it against the stain. The abrasive pumice removes almost any stain without damaging the surface underneath, as long as you keep the surface wet.

If it’s your toilet tank that’s looking bad, here’s how to clean it.

Clean Tile Grout with Toilet Cleaner

Tile grout can be one of the most difficult surfaces to keep clean. Surprisingly, toilet cleaner with bleach works like a charm! The gel-like consistency and small application spout makes it perfect for squeezing onto thin grout lines. Let the product sit for about 15 minutes to work its magic, then scrub with an old toothbrush. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

If it’s time to completely regrout your wall tile, this guide will help you get the job done right.

Make Your Own Glass Cleaner

Your arsenal of cleaning supplies is not complete without a dependable glass cleaner. We love this inexpensive DIY version that only costs you about 48¢ per bottle. In a spray bottle, combine: 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup white vinegar, one tablespoon cornstarch (the secret ingredient!) and two cups warm water. Trust us. You’ll never go back to the blue stuff.

This simple hack guarantees fog-free mirrors.

Use a Dish Scraper

When it comes to dishwashing products, there’s a lot of focus on dish sponges and brushes, but have you ever heard of a dish scraper? The KOHLER Kitchen Pot and Pan Dish Scraper costs less than $5, and it will change your life. The hard nylon edge effortlessly scrapes away baked-on food, while the softer silicone edge works great on non-stick cookware.

Make Your Own Leather Cleaner

Cleaners made especially for leather can be pricey, so make your own instead. In a small bowl, mix together one part lemon juice and one part Cream of Tartar until you form a soft paste. Apply the paste to the stain with a microfiber cloth and rub in a circular motion. Wipe clean and repeat as needed.

If you have a tear or hole in a leather or vinyl car seat, here’s how to repair it. 

Dust Lampshades with a Lint Roller

Dusting lampshades isn’t a fun job. The dust flies everywhere and you end up with a bigger mess than when you started. Enter the humble lint roller. The sticky surface picks up the dust as you smoothly roll it over the shade for a mess-free dusting job. Once you try it, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before.

Fix Cloudy Shower Doors with Three Ingredients

You probably already have everything you need for this quick shower-door cleaner. Spray white vinegar on the door and let it sit for a few minutes. Then make a mixture of equal parts baking soda and salt and just enough water to form a paste. Spread the paste over the door with a damp sponge, let sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse well.

This is how to get sticking shower doors back on track.

Try This Highly-Rated Granite Cleaner

With about 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon, the people have spoken: Granite Gold Daily Cleaner Spray is the best product for your granite counter tops. It’s non-toxic and safe to use on all natural-stone surfaces, including marble and travertine. The best part? You can grab a bottle for only $4.95.

Make Your Own Linen Spray

Love to have a linen spray on hand to freshen up sheets, fabric sofas and curtains? Skip the expensive luxury sprays and make your own with this quick recipe. In a small spray bottle combine two tablespoons witch hazel, 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (try lavender and lemon for a nice clean scent) and six tablespoons of water. Twist on the cap, and shake to combine.

Erase Crayon Marks from Walls with Coconut Oil

Kids’ creativity is wonderful, just not when appears on your walls. If your little one goes rogue with a crayon, try cleaning up the mess with coconut oil! Simply dampen a cloth with the oil and wipe the marks from your walls. Wash away any residue with a sponge and warm, soapy water.

Remove Hard-Water Stains with a Lemon

If your once-shiny faucets are covered with stubborn hard-water stains, grab a lemon. The citric acid helps remove mineral deposits and can prevent buildup, and at about 50¢ a pop, you’ll definitely be saving money on cleaning products. Spray pure lemon juice on the faucet and let it sit for about an hour, then wipe away with a damp cloth. You could even cut a lemon in half and rub it directly on the faucet instead.

Check out this video for more ways to clean with lemons!

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.