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Homemade cleaning solutions

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Counter tops

Fill a spray bottle nearly full with water and add a good squirt of Ivory liquid dishwashing detergent, says Findley. Shake just a bit. That's all you need. For some disinfecting oomph for the kitchen and bathroom, add 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol. This is safe to use on Corian counters, sinks and showers, tile and marble.




Pour a pot of boiling water or toss a handful of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain weekly. Also effective, particularly in preventing clogs, are many brands of enzymatic cleaners, such as Nature's Miracle (used to clean up pet "accidents"), found in pet stores. Live enzymes "eat" the bacterial matter that clings to the drains.




To clean the toilet safely, turn to your vinegar, says Findley. Fill a spray bottle with straight white vinegar. Pour a capful of vinegar into the toilet, then spray the sides of the bowl. Also, sprinkle baking soda in the toilet, wait 15 minutes, and scrub with a bit of baking soda sprinkled on the brush. Once a month pour one cup vinegar into the toilet and leave overnight. The vinegar dissolves any alkali buildup to prevent hard-water rings in the toilet. Whenever you leave for vacation, pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet to prevent buildup while you are gone.



  • To disinfect the toilet completely, wipe all surfaces with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol or with some of the alcohol-based hand cleaner available in stores.




Washing Machine

When researchers washed sterile cloths in non-bleach laundry detergent, they found that 40 percent emerged contaminated with E. coli bacteria -- with enough extra to contaminate the next load. The greatest risk from the germs comes when transferring wet laundry with your bare hands to the dryer. The solution? Try using rubber gloves when doing your wash, and add a cupful of hydrogen peroxide to your loads instead of bleach. Also, for germ control, wash your clothes on the hottest water setting.


Cutting Board

To get it clean, run it with very hot water, spray it with straight 5% vinegar and let it set overnight, microwave it on high for 30 seconds, or swab it with alcohol to disinfect it if you don't want to use bleach.

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Cool! I use a mix of vinegar and water to wash the windows. Instead of a cloth, I use old newspaper. You'd be surprised how well it absorbs and doesn't leave streaks. I used to watch a BBC show called 'How Clean is Your House' and they used a lot of less chemically concoctions too. It is a great show if you can find it.

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Question: We are on a well/septic and our toilets get really dingy from the water. I have found that only the harsh stuff seems to really work to get the dingy (and ring) out.


Is there a homemade product that will help with this?


Also, on another note, wouldnt' the Ivory (and does it have to specifically be Ivory?)make the countertops quite sudsy? I don't want to spend all my time getting soapy suds out!


Also, what about soap scum in the shower? Any easy solutions that won't require hours of scrubbing?



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Before we put in a water softener we used to get the hard water ring too. I used a pumice stone and scrubbed it off. Worked great! For soap scum, the BBC How Clean is Your House ladies used a lemon. They cut it in half and rubbed in right on the shower door and left it for a little while and then rinsed it off.

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