Welcome spring. Well, that’s what the calendar says anyway. With spring, hopefully, comes opened windows, more light in the house and, unfortunately, the undiscovered dust from the cold dark winter days.
Good news, cleaning supplies do not need to be expensive. In fact, common and safe household ingredients such as plain soap, baking soda and vinegar can be ingredients for a number of homemade cleaning solutions.
When making your own cleaning solutions, first read and follow all safety labels on the ingredients before mixing. Some products, like chlorine bleach and ammonia, produce a toxic gas when mixed. Always mix solutions in a well-ventilated area. Place mixed products in new containers and label with name and the date made. Remember, even though homemade solutions are made from common household ingredients, they are still toxic. Store all cleaners out of the reach of children.
To refresh the air in your home, boil cinnamon, cloves or other herbs in a pot of water on the stove, instead of spraying store-bought air fresheners.
White vinegar and lemon juice are good at removing hard-water deposits, discoloration on metal surfaces or rust stains.
Here are two recipes below — one for window cleaner and one for toilet cleaner. Try them out.
Mix 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle.
(Fill container half with white vinegar, then fill remainder of container with water)
Label the spray bottle window and glass cleaner.
Wipe off with cleaning cloth. (Note: if unusual streaking occurs during the first time you use this solution, it is due to the wax that some chemical glass cleaners contain. Remove wax with a little rubbing alcohol and then clean with the above solution.)
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Use this just before bedtime and let sit overnight
1 cup borax
½ cup vinegar
Flush toilet to wet the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle borax around the toilet bowl. Spray vinegar on top of borax. Leave for several hours or overnight. Scrub with a toilet brush.
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.