Many “green” products are out in the market today promising to keep your home squeaky clean and shiny while keeping the environment safe…but at what cost? More often than not, these eco-friendly cleaning agents end up being a lot more expensive than the ones we’ve gotten used to. So what do you do to keep your house spic-and-span, yet stick to your grocery budget while keeping nature happy and healthy?
Raid your pantry, garage, or medicine cabinet for DIY cleaning ingredients, that’s what!
Image borrowed from http://tusb.stanford.edu/2007/06/eco-friendly_cleaning_part_ii_-_in_which_i_start_to_wash_my_hair_with_baking_soda.html
A lot of people like to throw old newspapers, empty bottles, and other seemingly useless things away, thinking they can no longer be of any use to anyone. However, old crumpled newspapers with a bit of water sprayed on them are the still the best DIY tools to clean glass and mirrors with. You don’t have to keep stacks of newspapers around just for this purpose, but keep a few old issues handy for whenever you see specks and grime on your glass, and you’re good to go.
When it comes to cleaning silver and aluminum utensils (even jewelry!), forgo the pricey silver cleaner. Turn to your trusty box of baking soda, instead. About a tablespoon of baking soda for every liter of water is all you’ll need to make even the most tarnished silverware shiny and looking new! You will need a saucepan big enough to hold all the utensils in. Place them in the baking soda and water solution, then slowly bring to a boil. You can fish out the hot silverware using a pair of tongs, then polish them to a dazzling shine with a dishrag.
If greasy counter and stove tops are the bane of your existence, fret not. You’ll just need some vinegar and your box of baking soda (again!). You’ll also need a spray bottle and some rags to wipe the surfaces with. Pour a small amount of undiluted white vinegar into the spray bottle and spray it on especially sticky stove tops (make sure the gas is off or the stove is unplugged when you do this). Leave it for a few minutes before wiping off the grease with a rag. Don’t mind the vinegary smell, it will soon evaporate into the air and disappear.
Greasy kitchen counters are to be expected especially after you prepare a meal. Again, baking soda can remedy this minus the harsh chemical smell and toxic fumes. Simply pour a bit of baking soda on a damp sponge or rag, then wipe all the greasy surfaces with it. You will see the grime and grease come off. Wipe again with a dry rag so you can get rid of the powdery residue.
Another awesome and unexpected DIY tool for cleaning is…chalk! It’s especially handy for laundry stains. Just rub the stains on a fabric with a chalk (lipstick, ketchup, industrial-grade grease…it doesn’t matter what kind of stain it is) before putting it in the machine with laundry soap. The chalk helps absorb the grease and aids the detergent to remove it faster.