House Cleaning Mixtures/Tips
House Cleaning Mixtures/Tips
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by Yankee Magazine
- wet the bed ~ sprinkle cornstarch on area, spray to just dampen. this draws out the urine and there is no lingering smell.
- White, Bright Tennis Shoes
- When washing tennis shoes, add a quarter cup of lemon juice to the final rinse of the washing cycle, they'll come out sparkling.
- Winter Boot-Saver
- Remove salt rings from boots and galoshes in a snap by wiping them with a cloth dampened in a solution of vinegar and cold water. They'll look like new.
- To quickly remove the dirt and grime that collects on the bottom of your iron, sprinkle a few tablespoons of salt onto the ironing board and run the hot iron over it.
- It calls for: 3 cups Borax 3 cups Washing Soda 1/2 cup powdered laundry detergent (you might be able to get away with less) Store in a dry place. It cleans very well, but be careful not to use too much! Use not much more than one tablespoon per load and make adjustments from there, if necessary. With this recipe, less is more.
- The mixture goes a long way. It leaves my dishes much, much shinier, whereas the plain borax and washing soda left a bit of a "chalky" or "dry" feel to my dishes. D.B. editor's note: washing soda is typically found with other cleaning products. Not all stores carry it, so you may have to ask at your favorite store.
- Removing Urine Smells My mother has an older cat and she ended up urinating on my new mattress. If you put witch hazel in a spray bottle, soak the spot, let it dry and repeat several times, it will completely eliminate the odor. I can put my nose to that area, and I do not smell a thing. My cat hasn't even noticed it. Witch hazel can be bought in the pharmacy section near the rubbing alcohol.
- I have a bathroom in the middle of my house (no outside walls) and we put in an extra strong fan to suck out the steam, and it still gets mold in the shower, ceiling and wall joints. We are also on a septic system, so I don't like to use the chemicals if I can avoid it. I finally found an environmentally friendly, cheap solution. Mix two cups of hot water, one tablespoon of borax and two tablespoons of vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake and spray on. I used a toothbrush (to scrub) and rag (to catch the drips running down the walls) and the mold is gone. I also have started to use vinegar to clean my toilet.
- Remove mold from bathtubs Mix 4 or 5 drops of clorox bleach, 2 tsps of dish detergent and 1 tsp of washing liquid. Then apply this mixture on the area with mold. Let stay for some time then wash away.. it keeps mold from coming back for at least 5 days
- Use two cups and let sit overnight to do the initial cleaning. Then just use a bit once a week to keep it up.
- Cleaning products are so expensive and take up an unbelievable amount of space to store. We mix equal parts of vinegar and water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid into a spray bottle to use as everyday household cleaner.
- For a spray freshener, dilute citrus or lavender oil in water and place in a spray bottle with a fine mist setting. Lightly mist the air, but avoid wetting fabrics and upholstery. - To recreate the warm cinnamon smell of popular air fresheners and candles, mix one cup of applesauce with 1 1/2 cups of cinnamon, roll out onto wax paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into small squares or even decorative shapes with miniature cookie cutters. Air dry for 48 hours or until hardened. This is a particularly moist mixture, but dries out nicely. Place dried pieces in a bowl or jar, mixed with marbles or river rock for color. Trying some of these alternatives to expensive, toxic commercial cleaning products can prove to be both budget and environmentally friendly. You can purchase most of the ingredients in any grocery store. Borax is most frequently found near the cleaning and laundry products, while lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar are usually found near baking supplies.
- This works great on sinks, shower stalls, tile and linoleum floors, counter tops, etc. Plus, it saves a ton at the discount stores at check out. This "recipe" also is a germ killer too. Double duty!
- It seems as if society has forgotten that old-fashioned soap and water actually cleans. Rather than spraying chlorine bleach or ammonia based products on kitchen and bathroom surfaces, consider the following alternatives. - Mix one tablespoon of Ivory or natural dish soap with hot water in an 8-ounce spray bottle. Spray surfaces and wipe with a damp, clean cloth, rinsing as needed. - Mix 1-2 tablespoons of borax with a tablespoon of vinegar in 16 ounces of water. Shake the bottle well, spray surfaces and wipe dry with a clean cloth. (Add 1 tsp. of tea tree oil to help prevent mildew.) Glass Cleaner - Mix 1/3 cup of vinegar to 2/3 cup of water for cleaning glass. For particularly grimy or greasy windows, you can mix equal parts of isopropyl alcohol and water. Both versions are extremely cheap to make and alcohol will act as a disinfectant when needed. Bathroom and Heavy Duty Cleaner - To cut through grime, mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water and add up to a tablespoon of borax. Mix well in a spray bottle and clean surfaces as you would with commercial cleaner. (Add 10 to 20 drops of citrus oil to create scent if desired.) Abrasive Cleaner Alternative - Create a thick paste with baking soda and vinegar. Works well on stainless steel. Just rub and rinse. - A similarly thick paste made with baking soda and lemon juice works well on other metal surfaces such as brass or copper. Laundry Detergent Alternative - You can create inexpensive powdered laundry detergent by mixing equal parts baking soda with borax. Store in an airtight container, using approximately one-half cup per regular load. Air Freshener Alternative -
Instructions:mildew. For almost any washable surface, add 1 quart of liquid laundry bleach to 3 quarts of warm water. Then add 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent -- a little less if concentrated -- and mix well. Scrub this solution on the fungus-darkened area, keeping it wet until the black mildew turns white. When it clears up, the mildew fungus is dead. Wear rubber gloves, protect your eyes and have plenty of ventilation.
To keep curtains out of the way
when you're washing windows
or sills loop them over a hanger, then hang the hanger from the curtain rod so the curtains will be protected from cleaning products.
To remove pesky rust stains from
sinks and tubs, try this: pour a few drops of hydorgen peroxide on the stain, then sprinkle it with cream of tartar. Let it sit for half an hour then wipe off with a sponge. The stains will be gone
keep a spray bottle of diluted laundry detergent in each of
my (very young) children's closets. As I change them, I treat
spots with the spray, so I spend less time pre-treating before
washing. I also find that we have fewer ruined pieces of clothing, saving time and money on replacing clothes. With the amount of laundry an infant and a toddler can go through in a week, it saves me a considerable amount! I am no longer buying the expensive stain products!
had black mold on my bedroom ceiling and walls near the bathroom doorway, presumably caused by the moisture from taking showers. I cleaned it once or twice a year with a bleach/water mixture, but it always came back. Finally I heard that borate would kill mold and prevent it from coming back. It worked! I used Borax detergent, which contains borate, and dissolved some in water in a bucket. I washed the mold from the walls and ceiling using a sponge, then wiped the area down one last time and let it air dry. Letting the borate air dry on the surface is the trick to preventing the mold from coming back. I've done this in two rooms in my house and it has worked great. I doubt it would be a lasting solution in a shower or tub that gets used on a regular basis.
He told me to put three to four drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid into a 30- to 32-ounce spray bottle. First spray and rub with a microfiber cloth to loosen dirt and oils. Then spray once more and use a squeegee.
WARNING: Never mix cleaning products containing bleach and ammonia as dangerous fumes will result.
2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
2 teaspoons borax
1/4 cup ammonia
1-1/2 cups warm water
Mix the ingredients together, apply to oven spills, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub with an abrasive nylon-backed sponge and rinse well.
1 teaspoon borax
1/2 teaspoon washing soda
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
2 cups hot water
Combine all the ingredients. If you don't have washing soda (generally found in the laundry section of supermarkets), use 1 teaspoon baking soda instead. For a more pleasant smell, use lemon juice instead of vinegar. Be sure to label the bottle accordingly.
You can make your own polish-impregnated cloths to dust furniture. Pour some furniture polish into a large glass jar and shake it until the sides are coated. Pour the remainder of the polish back into the polish container. Place terry or other absorbent cloths in the jar and cover tightly. Leave overnight or until the cloths have absorbed all the polish. Store the cloths in the jar.
Here's another method for making polishing cloths. Add 1/4 cup polish (such as lemon oil) to 2 cups hot water. Mix well. Soak dust cloths in the mixture, then let them dry before using. Save the mixture in a glass jar. When the cloths become soiled, wash them, re-treat them, and use again.
3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup borax
Combine the baking soda and borax. Mix in enough dishwashing liquid to make a smooth paste. If you prefer a pleasant smell, add 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice to the paste.
1/4 cup ammonia
1/4 cup dishwashing liquid
3/4 cup water
Mix all the ingredients well, then soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. Clean around the stones and designs with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Buff dry. (Caution: Don't use this with gold-plated jewelry; with soft stones such as pearls, opals, or jade; or with costume jewelry, because it could ruin the plastics or loosen the glue.)
HEAVY-DUTY DISINFECTANT CLEANER
1/4 cup powdered laundry detergent
1 tablespoon borax
3/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup pine oil, or pine-based cleaner
Slowly stir the detergent and borax into the water to dissolve. Add the pine oil (available at hardware stores and supermarkets) and mix well. For bathroom cleaning, use the mixture full strength. In the kitchen, dilute it with water.
WOOD FLOOR POLISH
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil Mix the ingredients well, rub on the floor, and buff with a clean, dry cloth.
Removing Pet Urine Smells
I had a tenant that had an older cat that sprayed and urinated
behind their entertainment center. After trying just about
everything, I decided to cut out the sub-floor. I had already
pulled back the carpet and padding (it was time to replace the
carpet anyway) when a neighbor stopped by and suggested I try
vanilla flavoring. All I had was pure vanilla extract, so I
poured it on. It killed the smell that was emanating from the
All-Purpose Cleaner 2 cups water 1/4 cup vinegar (distilled white) 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) Mix well and pour into a spray bottle (like an old Windex bottle). I've been using this for years on countertops, toilets, mirrors, windows, etc. It's a great all-purpose cleaner.
This recipe was submitted by one of our readers and has not been tested by our food editors. We are not responsible for errors in this recipe, but if you find one, please let us know.
Updated Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007