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Homemade Cleaning Agents

Quick Fixes Personal Treatment

  • If you forgot to buy hair gel, dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of warm water. Refrigerate unused portion.
  • Out of hair spray, too? Chop 1 lemon, place in pot and cover with 2 cups of hot water. Boil until only half of liquid remains. Cool and strain. Add more water if needed. Refrigerate in spray bottle.
  • Perk up your pearly whites by brushing your teeth with baking soda.
  • Bug off! Dab a small amount of vinegar on skin to repel pests.
  • Eliminate static cling by swiping the inside of your skirt with a used dryer sheet, or apply a dab of hand lotion to panty hose.
  • Polish black or tan leather shoes with a few drops of lemon juice. Apply with a thick cotton cloth, leave on for a few minutes, then wipe and buff with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Clean baby shoes by sprinkling a little baking soda on a damp sponge. Rinse with a clean, damp sponge; dry and buff lightly.

Laundry Aid

  • Make your own stain remover by mixing 1 part rubbing alcohol with 2 parts water. Spray on spots and launder as usual.
  • To remove smoky odors from clothes, fill your bathtub with hot water. Add 1 cup vinegar. Hang garments above steaming bath water.
  • For homemade laundry starch, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1 pint cold water. Place in a spray bottle. Shake before using.
  • Eliminate soap residue by adding 1 cup of vinegar to your washer's final rinse. Vinegar also breaks down uric acid in babies' clothes. But don't use vinegar if you add chlorine bleach to rinse water. (It creates harmful vapors.)
  • Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your wash to soften clothes.