In this day and age many people are wanting to clean their homes and offices with much more environmentally friendly solutions. I have put together a few cleaning solutions so that you can rely less heavily on commercially created cleaning products. These mix-it-yourself cleaners use environmentally friendly ingredients — like baking soda and vinegar — and are quite inexpensive.
1. ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER AND DEODORIZER
Great for: Kitchen counters, appliances, and inside the refrigerator
• 4 tablespoons baking soda
• 1 quart warm water
How to use: Pour solution on a clean sponge and wipe.
2. HEAVY-DUTY SCRUB
Great for: Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs
• Half a lemon
• 1/2 cup borax (a laundry booster; find it in the detergent aisle)
How to use: Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub surface; rinse. (Not safe for marble or granite.)
3. DISHWASHER STAIN REMOVER
• 1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink
How to use: To remove rust from the inside walls, pour the powder (which contains citric acid or citric acid crystals) into the detergent cup and then run a regular cycle. Repeat as necessary
4. GLASS CLEANER
Great for: Windows and mirrors
• 2 cups water
• 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration)
• 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)
How to use: Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Spray on a paper towel or soft cloth first, then on the glass. Hint: Don't clean windows on a hot, sunny day because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks.
5. LAST-RESORT CLOTHING STAIN REMOVER
Great for: Badly stained washable or bleachable garments
• 1 gallon hot water
• 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
• 1 cup regular liquid chlorine bleach (not ultra or concentrate)
How to use: Mix and pour ingredients into a stainless steel, plastic, or enamel bowl (not aluminum). Soak garment for 15 to 20 minutes. If stain is still there, let it soak a bit longer, then wash garment as usual.
6. MARBLE CLEANER
Great for: Natural stone countertops
• A drop or two of mild dishwashing liquid (non-citrus-scented)
• 2 cups warm water
How to use: Mix the detergent and water. Sponge over marble and rinse completely to remove any soap residue. Buff with a soft cloth; do not let the marble air-dry. Caution: Never use vinegar, lemon, or any other acidic cleaner on marble or granite surfaces; it will eat into the stone.
7. GREASE CLEANER
Great for: Oven hoods, grills
• 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia mixed with enough water to fill a one-gallon container. (Sudsy ammonia, which has detergent in it, helps remove tough grime.)
How to use: Dip sponge or mop in solution and wipe over surface, then rinse area with clear water.
8. BRASS CLEANER
Great for: Non-lacquered cabinet pulls, bathroom appointments, and more
• White vinegar or lemon juice
• Table salt
How to use: Dampen a sponge with vinegar or lemon juice, then sprinkle on salt. Lightly rub over surface. Rinse thoroughly with water, then immediately dry with a clean soft cloth.
9. WHITE RING REMOVER
Great for: Anywhere you've accidentally left a water ring (but not on unfinished wood, lacquer, or antiques).
• One part white non-gel toothpaste to one part baking soda
How to use: Dampen a cloth with water, add toothpaste mixture, and rub with the grain to buff over the ring. Then take a dry cloth and wipe off. Use another soft cloth for a final shine. Polish as you normally would.
SAFETY TIP: NEVER!! combine ammonia-based cleaners with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach, such as powdered dishwasher detergent. The fumes they'll create are extremely dangerous. Before doing any mixing, read the product labels first.
All Hallows Eve
With Halloween quickly approaching the gremlins and ghouls will be swiftly going door to door and while some will be nice, others will be naughty and possibly give more tricks and be somewhat of a nuisance to your trees and exterior of your house. Now if you are unfortunate enough to have your tree or house toilet papered try to remove the TP quickly that night before the dew and damp air makes the paper moist and a lot less manageable. Using a rake with a long handle will allow you to take the paper down from the trees and do not allow the paper to sit on the ground as wet and soggy toilet paper is much more difficult to pick up when wet.
Another great trick for those monsters that come a knocking at your door, is being egged. If you happen to have this done and you know it occurred, take a garden hose as soon as you can to wash down the siding of your house or to wash your vehicle as the egg can stain both the house siding and the outer protective coating of your cars finish. Either way a timely intervention can greatly reduce the headache of having the egg damage your investments.
There are plenty of other issues that can rise up from the grave on this night of children and frightful creatures, but keep a clear and calm head and you will make it through. Children are delights but some can be a handful and patience and keeping a watchful eye out for those that decide to try their hand at redecorating the exterior of your house can reduce the risk of your house being a target. An ounce of prevention can stop a ton of work.
That is all for now, i will continue to bring you small snippets of cleaning ideas and run throughs. If you have any suggestions please leave feedback on our contact page.
Thank you for reading and i look forward to reading your replies.
Ian Blackburn is the business owner of Black Bear Custodial Services and 30 year veteran of the CAF.