supplies to clean with…
- WARNING: Never mix cleaning products containing bleach and ammonia as dangerous fumes will result.
- OVEN CLEANER
- 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
- 2 teaspoons borax
- 1/4 cup ammonia
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- Mix the ingredients together, apply to oven spills, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub with an abrasive nylon-backed sponge and rinse well.
- GENERAL-PURPOSE CLEANER
- 1 teaspoon borax
- 1/2 teaspoon washing soda
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
- 2 cups hot water
- Combine all the ingredients. If you don't have washing soda (generally found in the laundry section of supermarkets), use 1 teaspoon baking soda instead. For a more pleasant smell, use lemon juice instead of vinegar. Be sure to label the bottle accordingly.
- Polishing Cloths
- You can make your own polish-impregnated cloths to dust furniture. Pour some furniture polish into a large glass jar and shake it until the sides are coated. Pour the remainder of the polish back into the polish container. Place terry or other absorbent cloths in the jar and cover tightly. Leave overnight or until the cloths have absorbed all the polish. Store the cloths in the jar.
- Here's another method for making polishing cloths. Add 1/4 cup polish (such as lemon oil) to 2 cups hot water. Mix well. Soak dust cloths in the mixture, then let them dry before using. Save the mixture in a glass jar. When the cloths become soiled, wash them, re-treat them, and use again.
- EASY SCRUB
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup borax
- dishwashing liquid
- Combine the baking soda and borax. Mix in enough dishwashing liquid to make a smooth paste. If you prefer a pleasant smell, add 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice to the paste.
- JEWELRY CLEANER
- 1/4 cup ammonia
- 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid
- 3/4 cup water
- Mix all the ingredients well, then soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. Clean around the stones and designs with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Buff dry. (Caution: Don't use this with gold-plated jewelry; with soft stones such as pearls, opals, or jade; or with costume jewelry, because it could ruin the plastics or loosen the glue.)
- HEAVY-DUTY DISINFECTANT CLEANER
- 1/4 cup powdered laundry detergent
- 1 tablespoon borax
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup pine oil, or pine-based cleaner
- Slowly stir the detergent and borax into the water to dissolve. Add the pine oil (available at hardware stores and supermarkets) and mix well. For bathroom cleaning, use the mixture full strength. In the kitchen, dilute it with water.
- WOOD FLOOR POLISH
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil Mix the ingredients well, rub on the floor, and buff with a clean, dry cloth.
1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
1 cup lukewarm water
Combine the ingredients. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution over a large area, or use the solution to spot-clean nongreasy stains. (Don't use laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent in place of dishwashing liquid, as they may contain additives that can affect the rug's color.)
1 cup borax
1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice
Combine the ingredients to make a paste. Apply it to the inside of the toilet bowl, let sit for 1 to 2 hours, and scrub.
1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent
1 quart chlorine bleach
2 quarts water
Combine all the ingredients in a pail. Wearing rubber gloves, wash off the mildew.
FLOOR WAX REMOVER
1 cup laundry detergent
3/4 cup ammonia
1 gallon warm water
Mix all the ingredients together and apply to a small area of the floor. Let the solution sit long enough for it to loosen the old wax, at least 5 to 10 minutes. Mop up the old wax (or scrape it up, if there's a lot of it, using a squeegee and a dustpan). Rinse thoroughly with 1 cup vinegar in 1 gallon water and let dry before applying a new finish.
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon boiled linseed oil
1 tablespoon turpentine
Combine the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until blended. Dampen a cloth with cold water and wring it out until it's as dry as you can get it. Saturate the cloth with the mixture and apply sparingly to a small area at a time. Let dry for about 30 minutes, then polish with a soft cloth. Note that this mixture gets gummy as it sits, so make just enough for one day's work.
2 tablespoons ammonia
1/2 cup alcohol
1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
a few drops blue food coloring
Combine the ammonia, alcohol, dishwashing liquid, and food coloring, then add enough water to make 1 quart. If you prefer a nonammoniated cleaner, substitute 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice for the ammonia.
1 cup crushed dried herbs (such as rosemary, southernwood, or lavender)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
Combine all the ingredients in a large jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to blend. Sprinkle some of the mixture on your carpet, let it sit for an hour or so, and then vacuum it up. It will give the room a pleasant smell and neutralize carpet odors.
Excerpted from Clean & Simple by Christine Halvorson and Kenneth M. Sheldon. Copyright 1999 by Yankee Publishing, Inc. From "The Old Farmer's Almanac Home Library" series published by Time-Life Books; call 800-277-8844, or check your local bookstore.