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Homemade Cleaning Agents

Cleaning Emergencies Keep these essentials on hand for cleaning emergencies:

  • White vinegar: Cleans, neutralizes odors and removes soap scum and mineral deposits. Spray on, scrub in, or soak on stubborn stains.
  • Baking soda: Cleans, deodorizes, and acts as a mild abrasive. Sprinkle onto a damp sponge, pour right from the box or use as a paste mixed with water.
  • Lemon juice: Bleaches, disinfects, polishes and removes stains. Use undiluted or mix with water.
  • Club soda: Emergency spot remover—its carbonation brings spills to the surface and salts in the soda prevent staining. Pour on clothes or carpet as soon as possible, then blot with clean cloth.
  • Vegetable oil: Shines faucets and gets rids of scratches on woodwork.
  • Rubbing alcohol: Disinfects surfaces and removes stains and stickers.
  • Salt: Sprinkle on oven and stove-top spills, scrub burned pots and pans.
  • Bleach: Removes stains and disinfects. Never mix bleach with ammonia, vinegar or other cleaners. Use only in well-ventilated areas and be sure to wear gloves.
  • Old dryer sheets: Use to dust, polish and eliminate static cling and odors.
  • Spray bottle: Keep on hand for spraying your homemade remedies on countertops and windows.
  • Old toothbrush: The perfect-size scrub brush for loosening tough stains in tight spots.