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Queen of Free: Spring cleaning basics on a budget

On 13Sunrise, the Queen of Free shared her favorite ways to keep costs down and your home shiny and bright at the same time.

INDIANAPOLIS — It's time for spring cleaning. Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free, said the cleaning product industry makes more than $30 billion annually. On 13Sunrise, she shared her favorite ways to keep costs down and your home shiny and bright.

Use what you already have

Rather hitting the store purchase new cleaning products, Cherie said to check your cabinets and closets first. You may find bottles of products you already bought on the shelves under the sink. Gather everything in one place, then evaluate what you can use up before you buy anything, including equipment. It's better to rent a carpet shampoo machine than fork out the money for a new one and have to find a place to store it.

Make your own cleansers

In her weekly blog, Cherie share her spring cleaning hacks, including how you can save money by making your own cleaners using basic ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, and borax. "Over the years, I’ve used these ingredients to clean everything from jewelry to my washing machine,' she said.

Laundry stripping

Over time, clothes collect chemicals like fabric softener, built-in grime, oils from perfumes and deodorant, and more. "You can actually soak your clothes for an extended period of time to remove all of the above," Cherie said. Using a combination of borax, washing soda, oxy cleaner, white vinegar, and Dawn dishwashing detergent, fill your bathtub and let the fabrics - start with sheets and towels - soak for several hours. You'll see the water turn color. Then wring them out and rinse in your washing machine. 

Cleaning the machine

Spring is the perfect time to clean your washer, dishwasher and refrigerator. Some appliance companies make and sell their own brands. Cherie likes LemiShine, but you can also make your own. "You’ll find that they run more effectively," she said, and you will extend the life of your machines because they won't have to work as hard, saving energy.

Scheduling delivery of some cleaning products on Amazon will help remind you to keep up with scheduled maintenance and may save you on store trips. Just be aware that subscription prices fluctuate and you may not save as much as you think unless you stay on top of those cost changes.

Cherie's other frugal cleaning tips 

  • Cut cleaning sponges and pads in half using kitchen scissors.
  • Sweep the dust off the coils of your refrigerator periodically to keep it running efficiently.
  • Substitute white vinegar for fabric softener in your wash to brighten whites and reduce static. You can also use it to descale your coffee maker once a month.

Watch Cherie's Sunrise segment in the video player.

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