Here are nine homemade cleaning potions — easy formulas for a healthier, safer home.
Scrubbing Tile Cleaner
Put some baking soda in a grated cheese container (the kind you find at pizza parlors) and sprinkle it on bathroom sinks, tubs and showers before scrubbing. For tough stains, make a paste of baking soda and a little water. Smear it on the spot, let it sit for half an hour and sponge off.
Instead of bleach, try adding ½ cup of borax or one cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to whites or one cup of white vinegar to colors (to prevent fading).
Try one cup of baking soda for clothes. For towels, add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. Fabric softeners can make towels less absorbent but vinegar deodorizes and softens them without compromising absorbency.
Scrub stainless steel pots and pans with baking soda. It won’t scratch and will give everything a shine. Nasty gunk at the bottom of a pot? Make a paste of baking soda and water, cover the gunk and let it sit for 30 minutes. Pretty up your stainless steel sink with the stuff while you wait.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 16 ounces of vinegar into the bowl at night; scrub away grime in the morning.
Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, then slowly add ½ cup of vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes, then flush with hot water.
Window, Mirror, and Glass Cleaner
Equal parts water and vinegar make windows and other glass gleam. In fact, if you rub a little on your specs, the whole world will get brighter.
Spray Kitchen Cleaner
Fill a metal spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide, then use to disinfect countertops, appliances and even wooden cutting boards. It’ll give your entire kitchen a clean, fresh smell. For even more anti-germ power, fill a second metal bottle with vinegar (either white or apple cider) and apply after the peroxide. A word to the wise: Don’t mix both liquids in the same bottle and don’t use vinegar on granite or marble.
Fill a heatproof deep pan with water, put it on the oven rack and warm until the steam softens baked-on grease. After the oven cools, use a paste of equal parts salt, baking soda and vinegar as a scrub.