- Dissolve baking soda in hot water for a general cleaner.
- Mix 1 quart hot water, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil-based soap/detergent, 1 teaspoon borax, and 2 tablespoon vinegar. Vinegar is used here as mild acid to cut grease; borax is used as a water softener, good in areas with hard water, to prevent soapy deposits.
- Mix 1/2 cup vinegar in 1 quart of warm water.
- Weak acids like vinegar and lemon juice are good at cutting grease.
- Automatic dishwasher: Automatic dish-washing detergents have a very high level of phosphates.
- Hand Washing: Use vegetable oil-based soaps/detergents.
Products With Drain Openers
- Use a strainer on all drains to reduce plugged drains.
- Pour boiling water down the kitchen drain once a week to keep it grease free.
- Toss a handful of baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain, sealing in the carbon dioxide gas bubbles as they agitate your clog loose. Let sit 15 minutes. Rinse with 2 quarts boiling water. Follow with plunger.
- Most bathroom sink clogs are caused by hair. Prevent with a good sink strainer.
- Use a metal plumbers snake to unclog stubborn drains. A plumbers snake is a great investment.
- Roots in drains:
- Do not use copper sulfate-based root control products for drains blocked by roots. This product releases copper into the ground and surface water.
- Have drains cleared by a professional who uses mechanical root removal techniques or non-metallic, foaming herbicides.
- Have breaks in sewer lines repaired to prevent further entry of roots.
- 1/4 cup white vinegar / 1 quart water.
- A quality squeegee is the pro's secret to no streaks on windows.
- The pros use a squeeze of dish-washing liquid in gallon water.
- Mix 2 table spoons liquid dish soap and 2 teaspoons borax in 2 cups of warm water. Apply and let sit for 20 minutes, then scrub.
- Use a non-chlorinated scouring powder, like Bon Ami.
- Use a baking soda, salt, and water paste.
- Clean glass oven door with Bon Ami. Use razor blade or spatula for tough spots.
- Avoid aerosol oven cleaners. Easy-off brand has a non-caustic formula with no lye (sodium hydroxide).
- Don't use any abrasive cleaning materials on self-cleaning ovens.
- Periodically clean the oven with baking soda and water.
- Protect oven floor from spills. Always place a cookie sheet or foil pan under pans to catch drippings.
- Scrub mildew spots with borax/water with a nylon scouring pad. If plaster wall is penetrated by mold, leave a borax/water paste on the wall for a couple days. Vacuum off.
- Try scrubbing mildew with a vinegar and salt paste, if problem is not severe.
- To clean mildew from a shower curtain use a mixture of 1/2 cup borax/1 gal water
- Or, try vinegar full strength, then rinse.
- Or, machine wash curtain, with a towel. Add 1 cup vinegar to rinse cycle.
- Wash grout often enough so mold can't get established.
- Always air out damp areas.
- Seal grout after cleaning by painting grout with a water sealer.
- To inhibit mold and mildew, wash area with 1/2 cup borax/1 gallon hot water.
- Use a very dilute bleach solution of 1/4 cup to 1 gallon water.
- Keep a small squeegee in the shower.
Rug, Carpet & Upholstery
- Regular vacuuming will keep dirt from getting ground in.
- Clean up spills right away. You will be less likely to require high strength cleaners.
- Pour club soda on a spill and blot.
- Use a non-aerosol, soap-based cleaner.
- Mix 1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon vegetable-oil-based soap/detergent, 1 teaspoon borax, and a splash of vinegar; apply with a damp cloth or sponge and rub gently; blot.
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
- Use mix of 1/2 cup borax /1 gal. water to clean and deodorize.
- Let 1 cup borax sit in the bowl overnight.
- Coat stains in toilet bowl with paste of lemon juice and borax. Let sit about 20 minutes and scrub with bowl brush.
- Clean frequently with a solution of baking soda and water; sprinkle baking soda around the rim.
- Avoid solid toilet bowl deodorizers that contain paradichlorobenzene.
- Some toilet bowl-cleaning products contain acids (read labels). If acids are mixed with a cleaner containing chlorine (like bleach), toxic chlorine gas is released.
Tub & Sink Cleaner
- Use baking soda like a scouring cleanser. Use non-chlorinated cleanser (e.g. Bon Ami). Very effective and doesn't dissolve as fast as baking soda.
- Try fine grain wet/dry sandpaper (400 grit) to remove pot marks in porcelain sinks (gentler than common scouring cleansers).
- Chlorinated cleansers may still be necessary to remove stubborn stains in porcelain.
- Caution: chlorinated cleansers contain bleach which can react with other cleaners that contain ammonia or acids, to form dangerous gases.
- To remove mineral deposits around faucets, cover deposits with strips of paper towels, soaked in vinegar. Let set for 1 hour and clean.
Hard water means the water has a high mineral content (e.g. calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.). This often results in whitish mineral deposits left on faucets, shower doors, drains, windows. Vinegar, a weak acid, can dissolve many of these deposits.