How to make your own homemade cleaning products.

Candles, Telephones

Sponge with a piece of cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Carpet Freshener

Combine 3/4 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp corn starch, and 1/4 cup perfumed talcum powder. Sprinkle on dry carpet, let stand 5 to 15 minutes, then vacuum.

Cobwebs

For hard to reach spots, slip a sock over the end of a yardstick and secure with a rubber band, then sweep the area. This method works well for cleaning under radiators and refrigerators also.

Pet Urine

Dab area with toweling, wash with suds of liquid dish detergent, and rinse with 1/2 cup vinegar diluted in 1 qt warm water. Lay towels or paper towels over the spot and weight down to absorb excess moisture. Let stand 4 to 6 hours, then remove toweling, brush up nap and allow to dry completely. To speed drying, use an electric fan.

Ovens

Fill a small glass bowl with 1/2 cup full-strength ammonia, place in oven and close. Let stand overnight, then wipe loosened dirt with paper towels or newspapers. If necessary, rub surfaces with a suitable abrasive, such as fine steel wool, then wash with warm soapy water and rinse. Repeat process if necessary.

Homemade Window Glass Cleaner

1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water (or 2 tablespoons per quart) OR
1/2 cup sudsy ammonia to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)

OR

1/2 cup sudsy ammonia 2 cups rubbing alcohol 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent 1 gallon water (This one is less likely to freeze in cold weather.)

Pots and Pans – Burned, and Crusted,on Foods

Soak or boil a solution of 2 tbsp baking soda per qt of water in each pan. Let stand until particles are loosened, then wash as usual. Use a mild or moderate abrasive if necessary.

Discolored Aluminum

Heat a solution of 1 tbsp vinegar per qt of water or 2 tsp cream of tartar per qt of water in each pan until discoloration disappears.

Grease

Rub greasy spots with a mild or moderate abrasive, such as fine steel wool, and a dish detergent until they disappear.

Stained No-Stick Cookware

To remove stains from no-stick surfaces, pour a solution of 1 cup water, 2 tbsp baking soda and 1/2 cup chlorine bleach into the pan and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil or to boil over the side of the pan. Wash in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Apply a light coating of cooking oil. (Note: This formula may fade dark-colored surfaces.)

Drains

To keep drains clear, flush daily with scalding water. For grease buildup, dissolve 1 lb washing soda in 3 gal boiling water and pour down drain. To avoid burns from boiling water, hold water container close to drain and pour slowly and directly into drain. For heavy grease buildup, use a commercial drain opener. Exercise extreme caution when using and follow label instructions exactly. (Commercial drain openers can be used to clear hair buildup from bathroom drains, also.)

Disinfectant/Mildew Remover

Dilute 3/4 cup chlorine bleach in 1 gal of water. Apply to tile and grout and scrub; wipe shower stall and curtain; rinse thoroughly.

Fixtures

To clean stainless steel, chrome, fiberglass, ceramic, porcelain or enamel fixtures, dissolve 2 tbsp baking soda in 1 qt of water.

Rust Stain and Hard Water Deposit Remover

Apply full-strength vinegar or lemon juice and let stand until spot disappears, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Soap Scum

Apply baking soda dry or as a thick paste, rub vigorously with a wet sponge, then rinse.

Toilet Bowl

Pour 1/4 cup full strength chlorine bleach OR 1/2 cup full strength ammonia into bowl. DO NOT USE BOTH. Swish with a bowl brush and flush.

Combs and Brushes

Fill a basin with hot water, and add either 2 tbsp ammonia OR 1 tsp liquid dish detergent. Drop in combs and brushes and soak 10 minutes, then use combs to clean brushes. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

The Author:

Anne Field, Extension Specialist, with credit to MSU Extension.

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