Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WFMW: Cheap & Green Household Cleaners (from stuff you probably already have!)

This week's Works-For-Me-Wednesday has a money-saving theme. See more financially conscious tips at We Are That Family.

My tip is not only frugal, but green. Below is a list of non-toxic cleaning solutions made from stuff you likely already have around the house. For those only mildly or not at all frugal and/or environmentally conscious, don't stop reading here.

The list would come in handy when you want something cleaned RIGHT NOW and are fresh out of whatever you would normally use, the story of my life!

Cleaning Solutions:

Furniture polish: three parts olive oil, one part white vinegar

To clean mineral-scale buildup in humidifiers – use distilled white vinegar

Soap scum removal: Apply baking soda (it is non abrasive). Scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. (Whatever you do, don’t try “Pam” spray for soap scum. I read that somewhere once and tried it, it didn’t work and made my shower greasy & gross!)

Granite & Marble Cleaner: 2 cups water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 tsp pure castile soap (peppermint, etc.), 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, 20 drops tea tree oil, 20 drops lavender or lemongrass essential oil. Mix all ingredients in a 32-ounce plastic spray bottle. Cleaner can be used to clean surfaces of acrylic, ceramic tile, wood, marble and granite

Carpet stains: Use cornstarch or club soda

Carpet deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda around the room. Optional: add some dried crushed lavender or basil. Wait about 1/2 hour, then vacuum

Grease stains: use cornstarch

De-yellow silk or wool: Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar in 1 pint of water. Sponge with this solution and rinse. Wash as usual

Silver polish: Rub silver with plain old toothpaste and rinse with water

To prevent odors/mold in garbage cans: sprinkle 1/2 cup Borax in the bottom of the garbage can

For Scratches: Mix equal pans of lemon juice and salad oil. Rub into scratches with a soft cloth until scratches disappear

Remove streaks from stainless steel sinks: Rub with olive oil

Remove metal rust: Mix 2 tablespoons salt with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Apply and rub well

Bathroom mold: Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower

Marks on walls and painted surfaces: Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse

Stickers on walls: I find Spiderman, etc. stickers all over my house. Everywhere. To remove, sponge vinegar over them several times, and wait 15 minutes, then rub off the stickers. This also works for price tags (stickers) on tools, etc

Water Rings on Wood: Water rings on a wooden table or counter are typically the result of moisture that is trapped under the topcoat, but not the finish. Try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp cloth and rub into the ring. Once the ring is removed, buff the entire wood surface


Jennifer said...

I've never come across a furniture polish recipe-- thanks!! =)

Andrea said...

Great tips! I use vinegar and baking soda (usually not at the same time, lol) to clean all kinds of stuff in my house.