Some Homespun Cleaning Recipes
One of our favorite subjects is cleaning. Ironically, it is a subject that generates the greatest interest among our readers. Thus, we thought that we would help you get a jump on your spring cleaning tasks by offering some of our good old-fashioned homespun cleaning recipes.
Safety is a common theme with all of the methods that we recommend. As a matter of fact, that’s the beauty of our cleaning concoctions. Most of our solutions can be made using common household products such as vinegar, cat litter and even cola. Ergo, most of the ingredients are less toxic than some store-bought cleaning products.
Bear in mind that although most of our solutions are less toxic, some contain chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Therefore, we recommend that you always wear rubber gloves, eye protection and have plenty of ventilation. With that, it’s time to roll our sleeves up and go to town cleaning.
Among the most frequent questions that we are asked is how to get rid of mildew. Our formula can be used on tubs, tile, showers, walls, ceilings and other painted or washable surfaces, inside and out. All you need is one third of a cup of powdered laundry detergent, one quart of liquid chlorine bleach and three quarts of warm water. Add the bleach to the water first, then the detergent and vigorously mix the ingredients. Although the solution can be applied with a cloth or brush, we suggest placing some in a plastic spray bottle and spraying on to the mildew-affected surface.
Allow the solution to remain for five to ten minutes until the black mildew stains have turned white. Rinse the are thoroughly with fresh water and towel-dry the area completely. More than one application may be required for really grungy areas.
Hard water spots and mineral buildup on faucets and showerheads can be removed using white vinegar. Soak a clean white cloth in the vinegar and wring it out slightly. Place the damp towel over the affected area and allow it to remain for thirty minutes to an hour. Spray additional vinegar on the towel to prevent it from drying out. Remove the towel and lightly scrub the area with a soft nylon brush.
Here’s a trick for cleaning a mineral-blocked showerhead. All you’ll need is a plastic sandwich bag, two thirds of a cup of vinegar and a rubber band. Half fill the plastic sandwich bag with vinegar and place it over the showerhead submerging it in the vinegar. Use the rubber band to secure the top of the plastic bag to the shower arm. Allow the showerhead to soak over night. Remove the bag and lightly scrub any mineral deposits that remain using an old toothbrush.
An alternative to the vinegar solution is pure sodium carbonate. It can be found in your local swimming pool supply store labeled as pH increaser or soda ash. Make a paste with water and scrub the affected areas with a soft cloth or sponge.
Pure lemon oil (not juice) is another great cleaning product. It works especially well on tile, grout and glass shower enclosures. Apply the lemon oil with a nylon scouring pad working back and forth vigorously. Once clean, wash the area with mild detergent and water and towel dry. For added protection apply a fresh coat of pure lemon oil using a soft dry cloth. The lemon oil will facilitate water shed and prevent mineral and soap scum build up on tile, grout and shower enclosures.
Keep your drains running clear and smelling fresh with a little concoction consisting of salt, baking soda, vinegar and water. Pour one cup of salt into the drain followed by one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Allow the vinegar to react with the salt and baking soda for about thirty seconds and add two quarts of boiling water. For maximum effectiveness, do this at bedtime when the sink or drain won’t be used.
If your garbage disposal has a fierce odor, fear not, we have just the solution. Vinegar ice cubes. Pour one cup of vinegar (any kind) into an ice cube tray. Fill the balance of the tray with water. Place the full tray into the freezer to become ice cubes. Remove the tray from the freezer and pour the vinegar cubes into the disposal. Turn on the disposal and grind the cubes. This process will keep your disposal smelling fresh, as a bonus, it will also keep the blades sharp.
Keeping fine wood furniture looking good is a concern for most people. Unfortunately, many of the spray furniture polishes found in the grocery store contain lots of water. And wood and water don’t mix! Our brew, consisting of equal parts of white vinegar, turpentine and boiled linseed oil, both cleans and moisturizes the wood. Mix the ingredients in a small container and dip a soft clean colorless cloth into the solution. Rub the polish onto the furniture and allow it to sit for a minute or so. Wipe off the excess using a dry soft clean cloth. You’ll be amazed at the results.
Unfortunately, the previous concoction won’t remove white rings on fine wood furniture, but what follows will. You’ll need mayonnaise, plastic wrap and a nylon scrubbing pad. Start by coving the wring with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Cover the mayonnaise with plastic wrap. Allow the mayonnaise to sit for about forty-five minutes to an hour. The plastic wrap will prevent the mayonnaise from drying out. Remove the plastic wrap and use the nylon pad to gently work the mayonnaise into the finish. Be sure to work only in the direction of the grain. Wipe up the mayonnaise with a clean soft cloth and finish the area with a coat of pure lemon oil.
We hope that our homespun solutions will make your spring cleaning tasks less of a chore and provide you with fantastic results.