Use simple ingredients from the pantry to make cleaners. You'll save money, and homemade cleaners are healthier for your family and the environment.
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Some of these cleaning recipes are as old as dirt, but they work and you don't have to spend a bundle on getting your home clean.
A solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle can go a long way when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. "Mildly acidic white vinegar dissolves dirt, soap scum and hard-water deposits from smooth surfaces, yet it is gentle enough to use on hardwood flooring," according to cleaning expert Cynthia Townley Ewer, author of Houseworks. "White vinegar is a natural deodorizer — it absorbs odors instead of covering them up. And, no, your bathroom won't smell like a salad. The acidic aroma disappears when dry."
Homemade spray-cleaner recipe
Try this recipe to harness the cleaning power of white vinegar.
Mix in a spray bottle:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
Use this solution on:
"Used straight from the jug, undiluted white vinegar makes quick work of tougher cleaning problems involving hard-water deposits or soap scum," suggests Cynthia. "Use it to clean the inside of the toilet bowl. Before you begin, dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl and allow access to the sides. Pour undiluted white vinegar around the bowl and scrub with a toilet brush. Use a pumice stone to remove any remaining hard-water rings."
"Clean showerheads that have been clogged with mineral deposits with undiluted white vinegar. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic food storage bag, and secure the bag over the showerhead with a rubber band. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then rinse."
"Baking soda's mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh powders and cleansers," according to Cynthia. "Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to tackle grimy bathtub rings, scour vanity units or remove food deposits from the kitchen sink."
"Keep bathroom drains running freely and smelling sweet by pouring 1/2 to 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and dribbling just enough hot water to wash the solution down. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, and then flush thoroughly with hot water (do not use on blocked drains)."
Baking soda is an excellent choice because it is a mild abrasive. Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup borax and sprinkle in the sink. The mixture won't scratch the finish, cleans beautifully and, as a bonus, deodorizes the plumbing.