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Green Tip #17 - Recipes and Remedies for Everyday Living - Homemade Household Cleaners

Updated on July 26, 2020
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Shauna believes that we can all take steps to bring ourselves and the environment back to good health using items you have in your pantry.

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Household items cost less and perform better than commercial cleaners.Organic cleaners don't harm pets.Bathroom tile grout cleaned with baking soda and water.Shower grout cleaned with baking soda and water.  (forgive the lack of symmetry - I replaced the tile myself!)
Household items cost less and perform better than commercial cleaners.
Household items cost less and perform better than commercial cleaners. | Source
Organic cleaners don't harm pets.
Organic cleaners don't harm pets. | Source
Bathroom tile grout cleaned with baking soda and water.
Bathroom tile grout cleaned with baking soda and water. | Source
Shower grout cleaned with baking soda and water.  (forgive the lack of symmetry - I replaced the tile myself!)
Shower grout cleaned with baking soda and water. (forgive the lack of symmetry - I replaced the tile myself!) | Source


Howdy All!

Boy, all this rain and humidity really puts on a sweat, huh? Not very lady like to say the least! We’re not alone in the after effects of dampness. Your tile and grout sweat, too– in the form of mold and mildew. Not only is it ugly, but very unhealthy for we humans to ingest. Consequently, so are most commercial cleaners on the market, targeted to ridding these surfaces of mold, mildew, soap scum and hard water deposits. So, today I’ll give you some alternative cleaning methods that will save you money and the danger of inhaling the fumes of commercial cleaners,bleach or ammonia.

Green Tip #17– Recipes and Remedies for Everyday Living– Homemade Household Cleaners

With a few ingredients you already have in your home, you should never have to buy commercial cleaners again. One of the most versatile and safe is baking soda. After all, if you can brush your teeth with it, it can do no harm elsewhere!

To clean grout, pour some baking soda in a bowl. Add enough water to make a paste. Take an old toothbrush and evenly spread the paste in the grout lines. Scrub it a bit and let is sit for a minute or two, then rinse and voila! - clean grout with no harsh chemicals to inhale or compromise its constitution!

You can also use this solution to scrub your tile floors, especially those with a rough texture of which the characteristic nooks and crannies are susceptible to mildew and/or discoloration. Simply spread it on, rub with a scrub brush and let it dry. Wipe clean with a soft cloth and water or a damp mop.

Baking soda also works great on the metal rings in your sinks. Sprinkle some on the ring, let it sit for a few minutes, wipe with a sponge or cloth and rinse. What a sparkle! Really, try it, you’ll see!

It works great on the ugly deposits that build up under the toilet seat lip, as well.

For cleaning porcelain tile, spray straight white vinegar on the surface, let it sit for a bit, then wipe with a dry soft cloth (you might need a little elbow grease or baking soda, depending on the extent of the build up). Rinse. Again, voila! It can also be used on windows and mirrors for a streak free shine.

Vinegar works wonders as a stain pre-treatment for your laundry. It’s cheaper, safer and will reduce the amount of laundry soap you need to use, reduces lint formation, brightens colors and keeps them from running and keeps the washing machine clean at the same time! Wow! And you thought vinegar was just for salads! OK, maybe not, but you catch my drift…..

Get this… you can use vinegar as a rinse after washing your hair! Mix ½ cup warm water with ½ cup vinegar and apply to your hair after shampooing, as you would conditioner. It will remove any shampoo (soap) buildup and will leave your hair shiny!

Use vinegar in your dishwasher instead of the commercial rinse aid products.Most new dishwashers, especially the Energy Star brands,recommend using a rinse aid for top performance. I bought a new dishwasher about two years ago. I found if you don’t use the rinse aid, the dishes don’t dry! Obviously a conspiracy, but what can you do? Ah, but what can you do?? You can thwart the conspiracy by adding vinegar rather than buy the manufacturer’s recommended product, that’s what! Your glasses will be spotless! (What’s in those rinse aids, anyway??)

Use vinegar as an all purpose cleaner by adding 1 part water to 2 parts vinegar. It can be used on almost anything but marble.

As a floor cleaner, brew one cup peppermint tea, squeeze in juice of half a lemon and add 1 cup vinegar (double or triple the recipe depending on the square footage you need to clean). The vinegar disinfects, the tea has antibacterial properties and removes marks and the lemon freshens and reinforces the vinegar as a disinfectant.

And lastly (for today, anyway!) make your own furniture polish. This is my mother’s recipe; she’s been using it for as long as I can remember. She and I both have an affinity for antiques, with their exquisite detail, history, character and workmanship. Not to mention they are made of real wood! So, here’s Mom’s furniture polish recipe:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1 Quart warm water

Mix well. Store it in a bottle, with or without a spray attachment– your choice. It works best when warm. You can heat it up in a pan of hot water before each use. Spray on your furniture and rub dry with a soft cloth. This will wash off dirt and dust and leave a light, conditioning oil film to protect the wood from drying out.

That’s it for this week, folks. My lawn is beckoning a trim before the storm!

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next time!



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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling

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