- To rid yellowing from white appliances, try this: Mix together 1/2 cup bleach, 1/4 cup baking soda and 4 cups of warm water. Apply with a sponge and let set for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
- For quick clean-ups, clean with equal parts of water and household ammonia.
- You may also try club soda. It cleans and polishes at the same time.
- You can wax large appliances with car wax to make them shine and to remove small scratches.
- Instead of using commercial waxes, shine with rubbing alcohol.
Cleaning Pots and Pans
- To clean burnt and scorched pans, sprinkle liberally with baking soda, adding just enough water to moisten. Let stand for several hours. You can generally lift the burned portions right out of the pans.
- On non-stick cookware, stubborn stains can be removed by boiling 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 cup of water for ten minutes. Before using, season pan with salad oil.
- For copper pots, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add 3 tablespoons of salt. Then spray the solution on copper pot. Let stand, then rub clean.
- Rub on Worcestershire sauce or catsup, and tarnish will disappear.
- Or dip lemon halves in salt and rub.
- To rid cutting board of following smells: onion, fish smell, or garlic, cut a lime or lemon in two and rub the surface with the cut side of the fruit.
- Or make a paste of baking soda and water and apply generously, then rinse.
- Save time and money by using the cheapest brand of dish washing detergent available, but add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the dishwater. The vinegar will cut the grease and leave your dishes sparkling.
- To remove coffee or tea stains from fine china, rub with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda.
- To clean your dishwasher, run a cup of white vinegar through the entire cycle of the empty dishwasher to remove all soap film.
- When washing dishes by hand, add vinegar to the rinse water for a cleaner and brighter shine.
Cleaning Clogged Drains
- To keep your drains unclogged from grease, pour a cup of salt water and a cup of soda into the drain followed by a pan of boiling water. The grease will usually dissolve immediately and open the drain.
- Lye is just as effective as any Household drainer and less expensive too!
- Grind orange rinds or a half lemon in the disposal to remove unpleasant odors.
- Never put celery or other stringy matter in the disposal.
- If the disposal does not seem to want to turn on, shut-off the switch, and look at the bottom of the disposal for a reset button. Never put your hand into the disposal without disconnecting the electricity to it.
- When washing crystal, rinse in 1 part vinegar to 3 parts warm water. Air dry.
- If you must dry the glassware, use 2 day or older newspaper. You do not want to use new newspaper, as the ink will not be dry.
- The best way to pack glassware for a move is to wrap wet newspaper around the glassware and let it dry. It will act like a cast around the glass.
- Keep salt near stove in case of a grease fire. Following a spill, sprinkle with salt immediately. When oven is cool, brush off burnt food and wipe with a damp sponge.
- An inexpensive oven cleaner: Set oven on warm for about 2 minutes, then turn off. Place a small dish of full-strength ammonia on the top shelf. Put a large pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf and let it sit overnight. In the morning, open and air for a while before washing off with soap and water. Even the hard baked-on grease will wash off easily.
- To help eliminate odors, fill a small bowl with charcoal (the kind used for potted plants) and place it on a shelf in the refrigerator. It will absorb odors rapidly.
- An open box of baking soda will absorb odors for at least a month or two.
- A little vanilla poured on a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors.
- To prevent mildew from forming, wipe with vinegar. The acid effectively kills the mildew fungus.
- Pull the refrigerator/freezer out three to four times a year to clean underneath. Use your vacuum on the front of the coils and motor to remove dust and dirt. Keeping the coils clean will make your refrigerator last longer and work better. Don't forget to unplug the refrigerator while doing this.
- While cleaning, don't forget the door gaskets. This will make them last longer, but only clean with baking soda. Harsh detergents or bleach will deteriorate them.
- Baking soda or club soda is excellent to clean stainless steel sinks.
- To remove water spots from a stainless steel sink, use a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Spots on stainless steel also can be removed with white vinegar.
- If your kids leave toothpaste in sinks, take a washcloth and clean the sink and fixture with the paste.
- Rub stainless steel sinks with lighter fluid if rust marks appear. After the rust disappears, wipe with your regular kitchen cleaner.
- For a sparkling white sink, place paper towels across the bottom of your sink and saturate with household bleach. Let sit for 1/2 hour. Rinse. Never use bleach in colored porcelain sinks, because it will fade the color. Clean with mild liquid detergents, vinegar, or baking soda.
- Rubbing alcohol will remove the dull hair spray haze from your bathroom mirrors.
- Use rubbing alcohol or kerosene to remove scum and spots from bathroom fixtures.
- Glass shower doors will sparkle if cleaned with white vinegar once a week.
- To clean shower surrounds without getting your hands wet, use a sponge mop. Dip mop into a solution of 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of clear ammonia, and 1/4 cup of baking soda and one gallon of warm water. After cleaning, rinse with warm water.
- Lemon oil furniture polish will remove water spots on metal frames around shower doors and enclosures.
- Make your own ceramic-tile cleaner by mixing 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and one cup ammonia to a gallon of warm water in a bucket. Stir and apply with a sponge or brush. This won't keep between cleaning, so you will need to make a fresh batch each time. This can be harsh to your hands, so always wear rubber gloves when using.
- Tea Kettle To remove lime deposits, fill with equal parts of vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and allow to stand overnight.
- Cleaning counter tops daily with a mild dish-washing liquid and water should keep them clean looking.
- Polish counter tops with club soda to make them sparkle. Pour club soda on counter and clean with a soft cloth, rinse with water, and wipe dry.
Do you know the most common items that can be found in a bathroom? The first things that come to mind are toilet paper, soap, and towels. But the 7 things you would mostly see in a bathroom is a scale, toilet, sink, toothbrush, toilet paper, trash can and a mirror.
- Clean windows with a solution of 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a bucket of warm water.
Shine windows with a newspaper. It's cheap and easy. For a really fine shine, after the windows are dry, rub a clean blackboard eraser over them.
- Clean windows on an average temperature day. Too hot of a day will cause windows to streak.
- Dry windows outside in one direction and inside in the other direction. If you see a streak, you will know if it is inside or out.
- To keep frost off windows, add 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol or anti-freeze to each quart of water used. Rub the inside of windows with a sponge that has been dipped in the rubbing alcohol of anti-freeze. Polish with newspapers or paper towels.
- Make your own spray cleaner by filling a spray bottle with 3 tablespoons of ammonia, 1 tablespoon vinegar and cool water. Add a drop or two of food coloring to look like the blue or green kind.
- Eliminate sticky windows by dipping a small brush in petroleum jelly and paint it on the inside molding once a year.
- To clean window sills, pour a little diluted rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the entire surface. The spots will disappear and the sills will look freshly painted.
- When washing extra muddy blue jeans, hose them down first with a garden hose before putting them in the wash. You won't be washing the mud into the other clothes.
- Keep a large pail, filled with a presoak solution. When clothes are going to need a soaking, place them in the pail till it's laundry time. When you do laundry, the clothes will be ready to wash.
- Rid perspiration odor from clothes with vinegar. Apply vinegar to odor and then wash.
- Vinegar also will rid shine from the seat of dark pants and skirts.
- To remove an old hem line from clothing, pour vinegar on a sponge, dampen hem line, and then press.
- To remind yourself not to put an article of clothing in the dryer, attach a note to your washer's lid. When you are removing clothes from the washing machine you'll be reminded of the article that you don't want to put in the dryer.
Cleaning Nontoxic Alternatives
Using nontoxic alternatives for your every day household cleaning can help reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and keep them out of the environment. Here are som great alternatives:
- White vinegar: White vinegar cuts grease and removes mildew and wax buildup. It can also kill weeds. Vinegar also will rid shine from the seat of dark pants and skirts.
- Baking soda: Baking soda cleans and deodorizes.
- Lemon: Lemon kills household bacteria and removes odors.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch can remove stains from rugs and carpet. You can also use it to polish furniture.
- Olive oil: Olive oild can be used to clean and polish wood.
- Wash walls from the bottom up, to avoid streaking.
- Use old socks as mitts for cleaning chair railing, crown moldings, stair castings.
- For the best wall cleaner, combine 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda to 1 gallon warm water.
- For cleaning rough plaster walls try using nylon or banlon socks instead of a sponge or cloth. No small pieces will be left behind.
- If you have a pellet stove, read this easy-to-follow guide to cleaning and maintaining your pellet stove.
- Take a water hose and spray the outside of your house. This will remove most of the dust and cobwebs from your siding. On textured siding attach a car-washing brush to the hose to remove dirt.
- Dust louvered doors by wrapping a cloth around a ruler. Spray cloth with dusting spray and run the flat end across each louver.
- If your microwave needs a good cleaning try this: In a cup of water add 2 tablespoons of either lemon juice or baking powder in a four - cup microwave safe container. Let mixture boil in microwave for about 4 to 6 minutes, then wipe walls and door clean with sponge or cloth.
- Wash small knickknacks instead of dusting. It will save you time and they will be cleaner. Swish them in soapy water, then rinse, set on towel to dry.
- To wash fragile objects, place them on a towel-covered tray and place in sink. Spray them with window cleaner, then with water. Let objects air dry on a dry towel.
- Before dusting wooden floors, spray a little wax on your dust mop. Floors will shine and dust will stick to mop.