We spend about 29 minutes a day cleaning our house. That’s not even taking into account food prep and cleanup, laundry, organizing, and other household activities. And with all that daily scrubbing, you might not be surprised to hear that we also spend about $42 a month on our cleaning products.
Cleaning your house has 2 big benefits
We’re right on the cusp of self-driving cars and self-cleaning houses, but sadly, we’re not there yet. In 2015, researchers from the University College London came up with a paint that can be applied to paper, clothes, glass, and steel to provide self-cleaning properties. It’s still working its way into the mainstream market.
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Until that wonderful day when most of our household products become self-cleaning, we have to do it the old-fashioned way. Cleaning products and elbow grease. And while it’s a chore to tidy up day after day, there’s solid evidence that, besides the cleanliness factor, keeping a clean house can have major benefits.
Here are two of the biggest:
1. Improve your health.
While it seems like a stretch, there’s some research behind it. Back in 2010, NiCole Keith, associate professor in the Department of Physical Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, took a closer look at the relationship between physical activity levels among urban African American adults and factors in their residential environments. The only thing that affected their physical activity in the study, said Keith, was the interior condition, or cleanliness, of their house. Among African-Americans especially, this increase in physical activity could help to reduce the risk factors for heart disease.
2. Improve your home’s value.
You can’t put a price on good health, but you can put a price on increasing the value of your house. When Consumer Reports crunched the numbers in 2015 to determine what exactly can increase a home’s value when it’s put on the market, cleaning and clearing clutter ranked high on the list. While a regular household cleanup before a showing is to be expected — with an estimated home value increase of zero dollars — deeper and even professional cleaning could hike a home’s price by as much as $2500. This puts the potential sales return for a clean and well-organized home at 3 to 5 percent.
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10 almost-free DIY cleaning products that get the job done
Spend any time on Pinterest, and you’ll see that DIY cleaning product recipes are all the rage. For most people, it makes perfect sense to put together a few ingredients and make your own cleaning products at home. Not only is it easier, but it cuts down on the potential use of harmful chemicals. And as we mentioned above, making your own cleaning products could save you money, to the tune of $504 a year based on the average spend of $42 a month.
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And if you’re wondering about the effectiveness of these DIY cleaners versus the commercial products, you’re not the only one. There are dozens of blog posts that pit DIY cleaners and commercial cleaning products head-to-head. Results may vary, but DIY cleaners hold their own and come out on top more often than not. One Good Thing by Jillee’s comparison between homemade and store-bought cleaners is one of our favorites.
So, back to the question at hand. What could you do with an extra $500?
Try one of our favorite DIY cleaning recipes to put that hard-earned money back in your pocket:
1. Air Freshener: 1 part baking soda + 1 part fresh lemon juice + small dish (**Set out mixture in dish to absorb odors in the house.)
2. All-Purpose Cleaner: 1 part water + 1 part white vinegar + spray bottle
3. Bleach Substitute: 2 cups water + 3 tbsp. liquid soap + 25 drops tea tree oil + spray bottle
4. Carpet Cleaner: 1 part white vinegar + 1 part baking soda (**Saturate stained area in white vinegar, sprinkle baking soda on top, let sit for 1-2 days, vacuum.)
5. Degreaser: 2 cups water + 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice + ½ tsp. liquid castile soap + 1 tbsp. baking soda + spray bottle
6. Dishwasher Detergent: 1 cup water + 1 cup liquid castile soap + glass jar (**Fill one dishwasher compartment with mixture and the other compartment with white vinegar.)
7. Floor Cleaner: 1 part water + 1 part white vinegar + mop
8. Hand Soap: 1 part water + 1 part liquid castile soap + 2-3 drops essential oil (optional) + foaming soap dispenser
9. Laundry Detergent: 1 bar shaved castile soap + 1 cup borax + 1 cup washing soda + glass jar (**Use 1 tbsp. per load)
10. Mildew Cleaner: 2 cups water + 2 tsp. tea tree oil + baking soda + spray bottle
For the DIYers who are always looking for a shortcut, we understand exactly where you’re coming from. Our loan officers are known for their speed and efficiency. This makes getting a mortgage rate quote free, fast, and easy. Contact us to find out how much house you can afford to buy — or how much you could save with a mortgage refinance.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.