Daisy Luther, Contributor
If you have these 6 items, there’s nothing you can’t clean:
- Baking soda
- Dawn dish soap
- Table salt
- White vinegar
Many of us have spent our valuable dollars buying the latest in cleaning supplies. What we’re really paying for is harsh chemicals (some of them carcinogenic) and artificial fragrances (many of which are also unhealthy). Instead, consider stocking up on these basic items, which will allow you to make any household cleaner you might need. Most of the time you can purchase these items on sale or in bulk quantities. As well, they all serve other purposes besides basic cleaning, which maximizes your storage space.
- Remove coffee and tea stains from mugs by soaking them in baking soda and hot water.
- Deodorize garbage cans by sprinkling baking soda in the bottom.
- Remove burnt-on food from the bottom of pots by covering the bottom with a layer of baking soda, topping with about 2 inches of water and bringing to a boil. Immediately remove the pot from the heat and leave overnight, covered.
- Clear clogged drains by pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down them, followed by boiling water.
- Removed stains from the tub with a scrub made from a thick paste of baking soda and water.
- Use a rinse of baking soda and water to remove pesticides from food.
- Add 1/2 a cup of baking soda to laundry when using bleach – this intensifies the effects of the bleach.
- Sprinkle baking soda in a stainless steel sink, then scrub with a damp cloth or sponge for a clean shiny basin.
Bleach is the only item on the list that is highly toxic – consider bleach the “big guns” when it comes to cleaning.
- Mix bleach and water in a spray bottle. Spray liberally on bathroom tile to remove mildew in grout.
- Use bleach and water to clean wooden or butcher block cutting boards, especially after cutting up meat.
- Sanitize secondhand kitchen items by soaking them in bleach and water.
- Disinfect garbage cans by soaking them in bleach (outdoors) and then rinsing them well.
Borax is a natural mineral compound. It can be used as a mold inhibitor, a deodorizer and an insecticide.
- Sprinkle it in your toilet bowl over night for quick easy cleaning in the morning.
- Make a thick paste of borax and water and apply it on mold. Leave overnight, then rinse well to remove.
- Make all-purpose cleaner by mixing 1/2 cup of borax with 1 gallon of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake well.
- Sprinkle borax in vegetable drawers and leave over night. Rinse well – this will remove any smells from the drawers.
- Sprinkle pets bedding with borax – leave overnight and vacuum the next morning. This will kill flea eggs.
- Neutralize urine odors by sprinkling the stain with borax, leaving for a few hours, then vacuuming or washing the item.
- The classic blue Dawn dish soap is a slightly different formula than the other varieties.
- Use Dawn to remove oil or petroleum jelly from hair.
- A drop of Dawn dissolved in water can be used in a spray bottle to rid your garden of mites and aphids – simply spray the leaves with the soapy water.
- 3 drops of Dawn in one gallon of water can be used to clean windows.
- When used as a pet shampoo, it kills fleas on contact.
- Remove grease from tools by washing them in Dawn.
- Pretreat oily stains on laundry with Dawn dish soap.
- Sprinkle on spills in the oven – allow the oven to cool then wipe out.
- Scrub cast iron cookware with a paste made from salt and cooking oil.
- Wash enamel cookware with salt and vinegar.
- Clean wicker by scrubbing it with salt, then allowing it to sit in the sun for the afternoon.
- Repair mars to wood with a paste made from salt and cooking oil.
- Mix 1 cup of vinegar with a bucket of warm water to clean kitchen floors – this will cut through the grease.
- Add vinegar to the rinse water for dishes to get glasses crystal clear.
- Make glass cleaner by mixing 1/4 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water and a squirt of dish soap.
- Get rid of fruit flies by putting out a small dish of white vinegar.
- To kill germs, spray vinegar full strength on door knobs, remotes, etc.
- Remove stickers and price tags by soaking them in white vinegar.
- Dampen a cloth with vinegar to get sink taps and faucets shiny.
- Soak citrus peels in white vinegar to make a pleasantly scented spray cleaner.
The best thing about these cleaners is that they are real multi-taskers. I live in a small house, so my storage space is limited. It helps me make the most of my space when I can use an item for many different purposes.
As well, my daughter is very sensitive to chemicals. I use the bleach very sparingly (and mostly outside). The rest of the items are non-toxic and cause no issues whatsoever. It is a far healthier way to clean than filling your house with petroleum based chemicals.
You can find some recipes for excellent home-made cleaning products HERE – the recipes use many of these 6 ingredients!
Do you make any old-fashioned cleaning products to keep your house sparkling? Please share your secrets below!
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4 Simple Ways to Minimize Household Chemicals
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org