It seems that many are striving for a simpler way of life. If nothing else, a way to get things done but less expensively, like cleaning the house. Three things that most people have in their kitchen cabinet – vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice – will clean everything.
First, we will put vinegar to work:
Windows: Mix three tablespoons of vinegar, with 1 quart of water in a clean spray bottle. If windows are extra dirty, mix half a teaspoon of liquid soap with three tablespoons of vinegar and two cups of water. To be a true-green recycler, use old newspapers instead of paper towels to wipe clean for a streak-free shine!
General cleaning: Keep a spray bottle of equal parts of vinegar and water as an all-purpose cleaner. Add a sprinkle of baking soda for scouring power to clean toilets, sinks and bathtubs. Add lemon juice for a nice scent and extra shine.
Furniture polish: Mix equal amounts of olive oil and vinegar to clean and polish wood furniture.
Toilets: Your potty will sparkle with half a cup of vinegar to the bowl. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, then scrub. Alternately, sprinkle with baking soda inside bowl and scrub. To clean the outer surface, sprinkle baking soda on a wet cloth and wipe down.
Laundry: Do you have a naughty kitty that prefers to pee on your pile of clothes in the washroom rather than in the cat box? Pour half a cup of vinegar in the bleach tray of the washing machine to get the smell out.
Floors: Caution when using vinegar on floors. It will dull wood and linoleum floors and damage tile flooring with grout and waxed floors. I just say use something else, although others say vinegar works well on linoleum.
Second, try out baking soda:
Oven cleaner: Make a paste of 1 cup baking soda and water. Apply to grimy spots and let stand. Lift off large deposits with a spatula and scrub with scouring pad.
Tubs and sinks: Sprinkle baking soda on the tub or sink; use liquid soap (or even just water) on wet cloth and rub into baking soda. Rinse well.
Porcelain cleaner: For really tough spots, make a paste from baking soda and water. Rub paste into spot and let stand, wipe clean, and rinse. For extra-tough spots, carefully rub stain with fine grain wet/dry sandpaper (400 grit) with baking soda paste, and rinse.
Laundry: Add a cup of baking soda to the washer to remove crayon stains, even black. Use baking soda and water to get the crayon off the wall art, too.
Now, for the lemon juice:
Metal cleaners: Slice lemons and scrub tarnish from brass, copper, bronze and aluminum. For extra dirty or tough spots, sprinkle with baking soda first, then rub with lemon. To clean sterling silver, line a plastic or glass bowl with aluminum foil. Sprinkle foil with a little salt and baking soda, then fill with warm water. Soak silver and tarnish will migrate from items to the foil. Rinse, dry, and buff with soft, clean cloth.
Page 2 of 2 - Soap scum and hard-water deposits: Mix lemon juice with vinegar, or baking soda to make a strong cleaning paste. Scrub spots with paste.
There is something intrinsically satisfying about making your own cleaning products and standing back and seeing and smelling the results.
Reach Lynn Youngblood at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net.