When I look back at growing up with my two older brothers, it amazes me that my mom was able to keep up with the cleaning.
The amount of cleaning supplies must have been enormous because those two were down right messy, I however was as neat as a pin (hold on while I slap my knee and guffaw), and this was way before Wal-Mart had started popping up every three blocks.
In retrospect, I should have been paying more attention because one of my duties in getting rooms ready for “room by room” was cleaning all of those rooms. After Shari and I were done with all the painting, building and accessorizing, the room would start to look a little grungy. And it hasn’t changed a bit while working on our website mattandshari.com, messes just keep on coming, and they are as tough to tackle as ever before.
So I turned to dear Mom and she shared with me a list of her favorite homemade cleaning supplies. Some of these you may never have tried, or, if you’re like me, your mom was her own professor of clean.
Now go to your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and open up the fridge and grab the following home made ingredients and get ready to tackle your cleaning list.
The first item is probably the hardest working thing in your kitchen: Baking soda. I found numerous uses for this simple little box of dynamite. Baking soda is nontoxic, earth-friendly, multi-purpose and cheap.
To help eliminate carpet odors, sprinkle a full box full over a dry carpet, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then vacuum up the powder. It really does a terrific job, plus it helps to keep your vacuum cleaner smelling fresher. (photo of baking soda on rug)
Try using baking soda, salt and a little water to open a clogged drain. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup salt. Pour it down the drain and follow with boiling water. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, turn on the tap and let it run to flush down the clog. No harsh chemicals, and that’s a bonus right there. (pouring down drain)
Sprinkle in the sink and bath tub, make a paste with water it becomes a super safe scouring powder. (show paste)
Do you have black heel marks on your floor? Make a paste of baking soda and water; rub it on the mark and black heel marks are history. It works well on counter top stains, too. (paste on floor)
Add a ¼ cup to a load of laundry to help remove grease and freshen clothes. (laundry room)
Spill some grease during cooking? Put a bit of baking soda on the mess, rub with a dry cloth and rinse with water. (on stove)
And yes keeping a box in your refrigerator can absorb unwanted odors. Change it out every two months to keep your fridge smelling fresh.(Show in refring)
White Vinegar: Purchase a large bottle of this product and keep in a spritzer bottle for quick clean ups. White distilled vinegar kills mold, bacteria and germs and is a great way to avoid using harsh chemicals.
Before you step in the shower and turn on the water, spray the shower door with full-strength vinegar to help ensure hard water deposits won’t stick to glass.
Clean grout by letting full-strength vinegar sit on it for a few minutes then scrub with an old toothbrush. (scrub with toothbrush shower)
If you have a clog drain, clear it safely using 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup hot vinegar. Pour both down the drain, let foam for five minutes and flush with hot water.
And who would have thought that rubbing your tub down with white vinegar, and then using baking soda as a scouring powder would remove bathtub film? I didn’t, but people have been doing it for years. Just use a sponge for the vinegar, followed by the powder for a one-two punch on grime.
If you use your microwave a lot like I do and your reheated spaghetti sauce explodes, clean your microwave by bringing 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water to a boil inside (remember to use a microwave safe bowl). Anything inside will just wipe clean. (microwave)
And while you already have the vinegar out, dilute it with a little water to remove dirt from ceramic tile, brick and stone flooring.
Use club soda to polish your floors, whether hardwood or vinyl. And you thought club soda was just for stains on garment. Oh, how little we really know!
Olive oil also works great as a brass and stainless steel cleaner that will help prevent those surfaces from tarnishing.
And one last household item that is not just for your pearly whites. Use plain white toothpaste to clean crayon marks from non-porous surfaces and to scrub water spots from wood furniture. If you like to cook, you probably have olive oil on hand. Blend two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice to freshen up your wood furniture. Just wipe on and remove with a clean dry rag. And you never know – it may lower your furniture’s cholesterol.
Those are just a few of the things around the house that can help you spiff up your home. The great thing about all of these products is that they are safe for you and your family as well as safe for our planet earth.
Let me know your own homemade products, and we can add them to the list, just send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.