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Clean Using Ordinary Household Items

Updated on October 10, 2017

Cleaning Tips and Tricks

There are plenty of cleansers on the shelf that promise to take away mold, make windows shine, and even make the house smell good for 30 days. These products probably will produce said results; however, they might also release harsh chemicals into the air. Here are a few ideas, using ordinary household items, which are “greener” and produce the exact same results – sometimes even better results.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE is fantastic for cleaning kitchen work surfaces.

  • Keep some in a spray bottle and instead of spraying a chemical cleanser, spray hydrogen peroxide and wipe clean with your dish cloth. Fun experiment – if you have something really dirty on the counters, pour some hydrogen peroxide on it and let the children watch is bubble!
  • Wooden cutting boards breed bacteria’s such as salmonella. To help kill these germs in between a hot dishwasher cleansing (or for those of you who do not have a dishwasher) clean the cutting board and rinse with peroxide.

RUBBING ALCOHOL is an inexpensive alternative to a chemically harsh glass cleaner.

  • Eliminate grim on glass shower doors by cleaning with rubbing alcohol. Transfer the alcohol into a spray bottle and spray the walls and doors, let sit for about 1 minute and wipe clean with a soft cloth. You do not need to rinse because the alcohol evaporates. I spray each day to keep the soap residue to a minimum.
  • Teachers swear by rubbing alcohol. Fill a spray bottle and you have a fix for removing the build up from dry erase boards, the Yuk on the computer keyboards, and the germs from the desks of the little angels in their class. My ex husband's wife is a teacher and she uses rubbing alcohol throughout her entire classroom to reduce germs and aide in cleaning.
  • Use a paper towel (or soft cloth if you are green) and clean the fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen with rubbing alcohol. It makes the fixtures shine. Tip: if you are expecting company, just spray, and wipe. They will think you spent hours cleaning because of the shine.

NEWSPAPERS are for more than just reading.

  • Roll a piece of newspaper into a ball and clean the mirrors in the house. Leaves a great clean shine, no streaks, and no left over remnants like you get from paper towels and cloths. My grandmother taught me this trick and it really does work. Recycle when you can!
  • There is no need to buy fire starters and kindling from a store if you receive the newspaper. Roll newspaper sections and tie them with twine. They make perfect fire starters. Take about three pieces of newspaper (none that are colored - they put off toxins), roll them up, tie them, and set them in a nice container. Enlist the children, they will have a blast!

COTTON BALLS are not just for taking off your fingernail polish, they have multiple uses.

  • Take a cotton ball and saturate it with your favorite scent: essential oil, perfume or body spray. Tuck it in your vacuum cleaner bag or cylinder and as you vacuum the scent will be released throughout the house. If you have animals, you know the vacuum starts to stink after awhile. This really works beautifully.
  • Make the refrigerator smell fresh. We all keep baking soda in the fridge to eliminate the smells; however, that sometimes doesn’t seem to be enough. Douse a cotton ball in vanilla, coconut, or orange extract and place it in the refrigerator on a shelf.

CORN STARCH is not just for thickening sauces.

  • Use it as a carpet deodorizer. Instead of using a powdery product that makes the house smell nice, consider sprinkling corn starch on the carpet instead. It absorbs the smells that linger in rugs and carpets and it doesn’t contain chemicals which could ultimately hurt your children and pets. Mix 1 part baking soda with 2 parts corn starch (corn starch goes a long way) - sprinkle, wait, and vacuum. If you want the house to smell nice, read about the cotton ball and fragrance above.

  • To clean the children’s stuffed animals just sprinkle corn starch on them, rub it in, wait a few moments and wipe it off. I usually take the vacuum hose to remove the corn starch. It works beautifully in getting the smells out of stuffed animals.

  • Have a dog or a cat with long hair that gets knotted? Rub some corn starch into their fur and brush as usual. It detangles the fur and makes it easy to manage.

HAIRSPRAY is for more than keeping your beehive hairdo looking lovely.

  • Have an ink mark on your favorite shirt? Spray hairspray on it, let it sit, then wash. DO NOT wash and dry the shirt BEFORE spraying; otherwise, the ink will set in and it will be very difficult to remove, if at all possible.

© 2011 bellartdesigns


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    • Etherealenigma profile image

      Sandra M Urquhart 

      7 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      You have some great tips here. I am going to start using some of these ideas. Thanks.

    • bellartdesigns profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Thank you to all who commented!

      Brittanytodd, homesteadbound and MarloByDesign - The newspaper trick really does work. Thanks for reading and look for more useful tips.

      homesteadbound - thanks for the tip on using peroxide to remove blood from clothes - I will note that in my files.

      Victoria Lynn - I just used the cornstarch trick with my Persian today. It is amazing how it de-tangles the hair - try it - you will like it. As for the rubbing alcohol - I am addicted to its uses. There are so many!

    • brittanytodd profile image

      Brittany Kennedy 

      7 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      I never tried the newspaper thing and will definitely try it! Thank you for sharing these great tips! Voted up, useful, etc.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Newspaper is great for cleaning windows. Peroxide is good also for removing blood from clothes. Great hub!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Corn starch for detangling pet hair! I'll have to try that. I love all the uses you've listed for rubbing alcohol. I can hardly wait to read more of your hubs. Voted up and several other things. Will share this hub!

    • MarloByDesign profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      I will try using newspaper next time I clean my glass or windows - thank you!


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