Here are a few of my personal favorite cleaning items that can be found around the house:
1. Baking Soda: Hands down my favorite thing to clean with. Baking Soda can power through dirt and stains like nobody’s business! It works really awesome on burned on pots, makes short work of old tea stains, and even removes paint from the floor! Did I mention it also removes dried up gummy grease stains?
2. Tin-Foil: Yes, tinfoil. I use this much the same way as a scouring pad. Just wad it up and get to scouring! Combine with Baking Soda and you’ve got a powerhouse cleaner. It’s particularly great for restoring shine to rusted out chrome. I tried it before on the chrome legs of some chairs I was restoring, and was amazed at the results.
3. Vinegar: Great for cutting grease and dirt. I use this to mop my hardwood floors (recipes below).
4. Oil: Great for shining hardwood floors and furniture.
5. Ammonia: In small doses, this works very well in all purpose cleaning sprays, as well as glass cleaner. DO NOT mix with any other chemicalsespecially bleach, as this could result in a chemical explosion.
6. Bleach: We all know this is a great germ killer that works great used neat to disinfect surfaces. See warning for Ammonia above.
1 Cup rubbing alcohol (preferably 91% Isopropyl)
1 C water
1 T non-sudsing ammonia
Mix and store in a spray bottle
1 T Non-sudsing Ammonia
1 T laundry detergent
2 C water
Mix and store in a spray bottle.
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Furniture/Hardwood Floor Polish
1/2 C white vinegar
1/2 C cooking oil (I use canola or ‘vegetable’ oil)
Combine and store in a bottle. Shake well before using. To use: dab with a rag and polish floor or furniture, following the wood-grain. The vinegar will keep the floor from getting slippery, so no worries about slick floors. The smell of vinegar quickly dissipates, so your house won’t smell like a salad. If you’d like, and if you have access, you can add a few drops of essential oils such as lemon, orange or lavender to your mix.
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Hardwood Floor Mop Mix
1 gallon water
Mix together and use to mop your hardwood floors. Follow with the floor polish above.
Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
3 pints water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap, grated
1/2 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda, please!)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
2-gallon bucket to mix it in
Additional hot water
Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints hot water and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to a two-gallon bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket to about 3 inches from the top with additional hot water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load. Note: This detergent will not make suds, which makes it perfect for front-loading HE washers.
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