Flipping Houses: Cheap Tips for Cleaning Fixer-Uppers
Finding and financing fixer-uppers is only the beginning of the investment process. Whether you’re planning on renting or reselling a home, it first needs a thorough cleaning. Here are a few tips that can help you make short work of your next cleaning project.
If you encounter lots of scuff marks on the kitchen floor, try making a paste out of baking soda and a little warm water. It works as well as products costing hundreds of times more!
If you find the house’s sinks and bathtubs are full of ugly stains, soak paper bags with bleach and leave them in the sink or tub overnight. You’ll be surprised at the results.
If the house smells awful, and a lot of fixers do, you can make a homemade deodorizer spray by combining one teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of baking soda, and two cups of hot water. Once the mixture is complete, put it into a spray bottle and then use it to refresh the house, just as would use any commercial deodorizer spray.
Carpets are nearly always a problem when attacking a fixer-upper, and in order to make the most profit from the house, you’ll want to save the carpet if at all possible. Here are a couple ideas to try before you yank out old carpet.
If it’s smelly, as it often is, you can make your own carpet freshener very inexpensively by mixing one cup of borax, one cup of cornmeal, and ½ cup of baking soda. Then sprinkle the mixture onto the carpet and gently rub it in with a cloth. To get the maximum effect, leave the mixture on the carpet overnight. When you vacuum the carpet the next day, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much fresher it will smell.
If the carpet is stained, you can make your own heavy duty (yet cheap) stain removing compound by first sprinkling baking soda on an inconspicuous section of carpet. (In case the carpet isn’t color fast, you want to run a test where it won’t show.) Then pour on a small amount of vinegar. don’t be surprised at what happens next, because it’s going to bubble like there’s no tomorrow! Allow the mixture to dry, and then clean it up with a vacuum cleaner. Another common household product, spray window cleaner, also removes stubborn spots from carpet. The carpet should now be spot-free!
You can do an amazing amount of cleaning without having to spend a huge amount of money–by simply combining various easily-available and inexpensive ingredients.