Whether you’re entertaining guests or selling your home, it’s essential to showcase your home at its best — this means uncluttered, stain-free, clean rooms. However, the high cost and toxicity of some home cleaning products have many consumers opting for homemade solutions.
Pantry Items Make Great Home Cleaners
Distilled white vinegar and baking soda clean almost anything. These are two pantry staple must-haves when transitioning away from commercial cleaning products. Other pantry items that can be used when cleaning include but are not limited to:
- Lemon juice
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Club soda
- Olive oil
Remove Hard Water Stains from Windows
Hard water can be found throughout United States, particularly within the Midwest. Hard water contains high concentrations of the minerals calcium and magnesium. When the spray from sprinkler system hits the windows of your home and you have hard water, spots and eventually a film can build-up. If hard water stains are allowed to remain on the window, over time they can actually etch the glass.
To remove hard water stains from windows mix a 2:1 vinegar and water solution. Combine 2 parts distilled white vinegar with 1 part distilled water into a spray bottle for cleaning the hard water stains from windows and glass shower doors as well.
Unclog Shower Heads
A clogged shower head means dribbles and drizzles instead of a strong force of water. Clogs happen particularly when your home has hard water. The mineral deposits in the water build up over time and water can’t flow through properly. Fortunately distilled white vinegar can fix this problem. Simply fill a zipper-lock, plastic bag (the 1/2 gallon size) with 1/2 cup white vinegar.
Submerge the shower head into the baggie so the vinegar covers the surface where the water flows. Secure it with a rubber band and allow it to sit for two hours. Remove the vinegar bag and rinse the shower head with warm water.
Safety Tip: Never mix vinegar with bleach.
Cleaning Solutions for Hardwood Floors
Different kinds of flooring can impact your home’s value in different ways, but keeping them looking their best is something everyone should do. Try this homemade solution for cleaning hardwood flooring:
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 gallon warm water
- Few drops of essential oil (lemon or lavender)
When cleaning hardwood floors, never saturate the flooring. Always make sure the mop has been wrung thoroughly of excess liquid or clean the floor with a damp cloth.
Freshen Drains and Garbage Disposal
When people are in your home, you want the kitchen and bathrooms to smell fresh and clean. Unpleasant aromas can waft from drains and the garbage disposal, but you can fix this with a solution of baking soda and distilled white vinegar. Sprinkle 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain or the garbage disposal and then follow it with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup white vinegar. It will fizzle and bubble — let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Rinse the solution with about 2 cups boiling water.
Polish Wood Trim
Revive the sheen and shine of woodwork, from baseboards to a stairway banister and kitchen cabinets, with a homemade wood polishing solution. In a clean spray bottle, combine 3/4 cup olive oil (any variety) with 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar; shake to mix and then lightly spray on the woodwork. Buff to polish with a clean, lint-free cloth. For a fresh scent, add 15 to 20 drops of orange essential oil to the solution.
Remove Carpet Stains
Club soda is a tried and true solution for removing wine or juice stains from carpeting. The key to removing any carpet stain is never to rub the stain as it can damage the carpet fibers. Avoid dumping water on a wine, juice, coffee, or other similar spill or wet stain as it can cause the stain to spread. Immediately begin dabbing/blotting with a clean towel. Another option if the stain is not fresh is to mix a 1:1 solution of baking soda and a mild dish washing liquid like Dawn. Gently dab it onto the stain, working it until the stain begins to lift. Rinse with clean water. Always test an inconspicuous spot before using any cleaning solution.
Whether preparing to sell your home or simply working to improve the quality of cleaning around the house, homemade products not only can save money, but they can be a chemical-free solution.