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Homemade Cleaning Agents

How many times have you set out to do domestic duties and found yourself out of the right product for the job? Don't postpone the task. Instead, brew your own cleaning agents and cure your housework woes.
Kitchen Prescription

  • Fight germs with your own antibacterial spray. Mix 1 tablespoon of bleach into a spray bottle of water. Use it to disinfect around the sink and on countertops. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
  • Make your floors shine in no time with a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 gallon warm water.
  • Clean windows with equal parts vinegar and warm water or 1 tablespoon lemon juice with 1 quart water. Use undiluted vinegar to remove stubborn spots and streaks.
  • Keep the pipes clear by pouring 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar down a clogged drain. Let set a few minutes. Follow with hot water. For prevention, pour boiling water down drains once a week.
  • For an easy-to-clean oven and stove top, sprinkle with baking soda, then mist with water. Let soak, wipe clean.
  • Sprinkle salt on oven spills. Let salt set overnight and wipe clean next day.
  • Remove heat spots on stainless steel cutlery with undiluted vinegar or club soda.
  • Soaking burned casserole dishes? Add an old dryer sheet and let soak overnight. Wash and rinse clean.
  • For a sweeter-smelling microwave, zap a bowl of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for one minute. To get rid of food odors, put a few drops of vanilla extract in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Let it sit overnight, then wipe down.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup borax in the bottom of garbage cans to stop mold from growing.
  • For brilliant shine on faucets, buff with olive or vegetable oil using a dry rag. Rinse oil with club soda and wipe dry.
  • Disinfect cutting boards with salt and lemon juice—no sponge required. Use a lemon half (sprinkled with salt) to scrub, then rinse.