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Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

10. To clean gummed-up holes in a steam iron, mix well 1/3 cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Pour this into the iron and heat just until iron begins to steam. Turn off iron and empty. Fill and empty twice with warm water to rinse.

11. To clean ironwork before painting, apply a coat of white vinegar and let it dry. The mixture will evaporate, so you don’t need to rinse it off.

12. To clean leather, rub on a solution of equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil. Wipe off any excess with a clean rag.

13. To clean salt marks off boots and shoes, try a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water.

14. To clean suede, brush with a suede brush or steel wool, then wipe with a cloth dipped in white vinegar and wrung out almost dry.

15. To remove old wallpaper (nonvinyl), mix equal parts of warm water and white vinegar. Sponge a section of wall with the solution until the wallpaper is saturated. Let sit for 20 minutes, sop the wallpaper again, then peel it off with a broad-bladed putty knife.

16. Use full-strength white vinegar to clean tubs, sinks, and toilet bowls.

17. Wipe down counters and tabletops with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water to help keep away ants.

Baking Soda

1. A paste of baking soda and water makes an inexpensive but effective scouring powder for all sorts of cleaning jobs, from countertops to rolling pins to gold-trimmed dishes.

2. Clean painted woodwork with a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 gallon of lukewarm water. No rinsing is necessary with this solution.

3. Clean vinyl car upholstery with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda. Then wash with a mild solution of dishwashing liquid and water. Rinse thoroughly.

4. Did you run out of toothpaste? Substitute baking soda mixed with a little salt or baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide.

5. Do school thermoses already smell bad? Make a thin paste of lemon juice, cream of tartar, and baking soda; fill the thermos about a third full, and shake well. Allow to soak for about 20 minutes, then scrub with a cloth wrapped around a wooden handle. Rinse well.

6. Dog odor can be eliminated by sprinkling baking soda on the dog’s coat, working it into the fur with your hands, then brushing well. The dirt in the dog’s fur will come out along with the soda.

7. If a closet smells musty, wash it thoroughly (walls, floor, and ceiling) with a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda in a gallon of warm water. Repeat if needed.

8. It can take years for new cedar shingles to weather to match the color of old ones. To make them blend in at once, mix up a solution of 1 pound of baking soda and 1/2 gallon of water. Brush onto the new shingles, and they’ll turn gray in a few hours.

5 Responses to Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

  1. Patricia Goodwin January 19, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    PLEASE remember boiled linseed oil is highly flammable.

  2. Denise Mayer January 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    I think I remember reading, years ago, that mayonnaise would lift water rings from wood-anyone know if it really works?

  3. Ceil Petrucelli July 5, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Yes, it does work!

  4. Aussie February 24, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    First time I read that mayonnaise can be used for anything other than dressing and eating.
    Unorthodox question, can mustard or ketchup be used as a cleaner?

    • Brenda Darroch February 24, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Aussie,
      We’re not sure there’s an alternate use for mustard, but you can use Worcestershire sauce or ketchup to polish brass.

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