Microfiber cloths can be used in many situations to remove grime without chemicals. They are especially good on tubs, sinks and stoves because they won’t scratch the surfaces, but the tiny wedge shaped fibers will cut through dirt.

AIR
Air Freshener/Deodorizer

  • Baking soda in an open container will absorb odors in enclosed spaces.
  • Zeolite, a mineral, will absorb odors as well as heavy metals
  • Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.

FLOORS
Carpet Stain Remover – In a spray bottle, fill one-half the bottle with warm water and the rest of bottle with vinegar, to within one inch from top. Add 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap. Spray on carpet stains until stain is soaked. With a damp cloth, rub the stain out. Best if applies to stain as quickly as possible.

Rug Deodorizer – Deodorize dry carpets by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.

KITCHEN/BATH
Oven Cleaner

  • In a spray bottle, mix 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap, 2 teaspoons borax and warm water to fill bottle. Dissolve completely. Spray on, keeping nozzle close to oven surface. Even though these are natural ingredients, it is best to wear goggles and rubber gloves. Leave solution on for 20 minutes then scrub with nylon scrub pad and baking soda.
  • Scrub with paste of liquid all purpose cleaner and scouring powder. Make a paste of baking soda and water and spread on oven interior. Leave overnight with oven door closed. Remove with sponge or nylon scrub pad. A steel wool pad can be used to remove stubborn bits.

Lime Remover Paste – Add enough water to baking soda to make a paste. Scrub with a hard bristled brush or tooth brush.

Lime and Mineral Deposit Remover – Soak a rag in vinegar. Apply rag to lime deposits around faucet. Leave on for approximately one hour. Deposits will be softened and can be easily removed.

Shower Heads – Clean shower heads clogged with mineral deposits with undiluted white vinegar. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic bag and secure the bag to the shower head with a rubber band. Let stand from 2 hours to overnight, then rinse and buff the fixture to a shiny finish

Kettle Descaler – Boil one part vinegar with two parts water in kettle for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly then boil full kettle of water for 15 minutes to remove vinegar residue.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • To remove mineral buildup, put 1-2 denture cleaner tablets in bowl and let sit overnight, then clean .
  • Pour 1 cup of borax and 1/4 cup vinegar into toilet and let sit overnight before scrubbing.
  • Pour one can of Coke in toilet.
  • Use undiluted white vinegar to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl. First dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl and allow access to the sides. Pour undiluted white vinegar around the bowl and scrub with a toilet brush to remove lime, stains and odor.

Mothballs – Use cedar chips or a sachet with any or all of the following: lavender flowers, rosemary, mint, white peppercorns.

METAL CLEANERS
Aluminum Cleaner – mix 2 tablespoons cream of tartar and 1 liter water. To clean aluminum cookware, combine ingredients in cookware. Bring solution to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Wash and dry as usual.

Brass and Copper Polish – Make a paste with lemon juice and baking soda or cream of tartar about the consistency of toothpaste. Rub onto brass or copper with a soft cloth. Rinse with water and dry.

Brass, Copper, and Pewter Cleaner – Mix equal parts salt and vinegar then thicken with flour.

Chrome and Stainless Steel Cleaner – Dip soft cloth in undiluted white vinegar. Wipe surface.

Rust Remover – To remove rust rub with fine steel wool dipped in vegetable oil. The finer the steel wool used, the less noticeable any scratches will be.

Removing Tarnish from Old Copper and Brass – To remove tarnish from copper and brass work, while retaining it’s aged charm, lemon and salt can be used. Add a little lemon juice to a small pile of salt, take a cloth and polish the copper or brass. After removing the tarnish, rinse, and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Iron Cleaner – To clean the bottom of an iron, heat it on highest setting. Meanwhile, pour a small amount of salt onto a sheet of wax paper. When the iron is hot, vigorously run it back and forth over the salted wax paper. This will not only clean off melted fabric, etc. from the bottom of the iron, but leave the iron gliding as smoothly as when new.

Silver Polish

  • Toothpaste can be used as a silver polish.
  • For silverware, place silver on a piece of aluminum foil in a pot, then add 3 inches of water 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Boil for a few minutes, rinse and dry.
  • For jewelry, fill a glass jar half full with thin strips of aluminum foil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and fill with cold water. Keep covered. To use, drop items in jar for a few minutes, rinse and dry.

DRAINS
Drain Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup white vinegar
Boiling water

Pour baking soda down drain. Add white vinegar and cover drain, if possible. Let sit for 5 minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down drain. (The vinegar and baking soda break down fatty acids, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.) This method can be used weekly to help prevent drain clogs. Do not use this method if you have used a commercial drain opener and it may still be present in the drain.

LAUNDRY
Laundry Whitener – Add up to 1/2 cup Borax or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda to washer.

  • 1/2 cup coarse non-iodized salt (Can destroy elastic if left too long )
  • 1/2 cup baking soda. It will take a few rinses to fully remove baking soda. Baking soda may fade colors.

or

  • 1 cup vinegar

Soaking for an hour or two in coarse salt will also remove musty smells from cotton clothes which haven’t been worn for a while.

Grease Stains – Add one can of Coke to washer for severe grease stains.

Stains – Club soda will remove many stains. Rub into spot and clean off with a sponge. For tougher stains, mix baking soda with club soda.

Static Cling – A ball of aluminum foil in the dryer can reduce static cling without adding chemicals.

Furniture Polish – Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 pint of mineral or vegetable oil. Apply a small amount to a clean cotton cloth and wipe wooden parts of furniture.

Furniture Polish Polish with plain olive oil, almond or walnut oil.

Furniture Polish – mix 1 cup olive oil, almond or walnut oil and 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice. Shake well and apply a small amount to a soft rag. Spread evenly over furniture surface. Polish with a dry cloth.

Leather Protector – mix 1 ounce beeswax and 1/2 cup safflower oil, almond, walnut, or olive oil , or food grade mineral oil (petroleum based). Place beeswax with oil in a glass jar, and place in microwave on low or in a double boiler. Never put directly on burner, beeswax is very flammable. When wax is melted, remove the mixture from heat and stir. Apply to shoes when mixture is warm. Using a hair dryer or heat lamp as you apply protector will help keep it soft enough to apply and help it sink into leather. Safflower oil is more polymerizing than other oils, but others can be used successfully (e.g.: Grapeseed oil).

Shoe Shine

  • For a spur-of-the-moment job, rub leather shoes with the inside of a banana peel; then clean and buff with a paper towel or napkin.
  • To remove dirt and salt – Use a slightly damp cloth, then rub shoes with olive oil or Vaseline
  • Leather care – rub with olive oil to reduce drying and cracking