DIY Network

Natural Suggestions for Household Cleaners

Household cleaners can make a difference in the environment. Learn about earth-friendly cleaning products and choices that are easier on Mother Earth.

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Some recommendations are as old as dirt, but they work and you don't have to spend a bundle on getting your home clean.

For Windows and Mirrors:
Mix 2 quarts warm water with 1/2 cup cornstarch. Apply with a sponge and buff dry for a sparkling shine.

For Sinks:
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, it also deodorizes the plumbing.

For Grease on a Wallpaper:
1. Blot with paper towels. Next, make a thick paste of cornstarch and water and apply the paste to the grease stain. As the cornstarch dries, it draws the grease into the paste. When completely dry, wipe or vacuum off the dried cornstarch.
2. If grease stains remain, pour rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel and use it to blot the stain. (Always test this method in an inconspicuous area of the wallpaper to be sure the alcohol won't cause damage.)
3. If the stain remains, spray hairspray on it, let it set for a few minutes, then blot with paper towels.
4. If grease stains are still on the wallpaper, take a brown grocery bag that has no writing on it and lay it over the stain. Iron over the bag with a medium-warm iron. The paper acts like a blotter, wicking the grease up into the paper fiber. Change the paper as needed until the grease is removed from the wall. To clean smudges off wallpaper, roll up a slice of white bread and use it like an eraser on the smudges.

For a Natural Odor Absorber:
Place a small dish of vinegar beside the stove when cooking fish. It will absorb the odors.

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