12 Non-toxic homemade household cleaners
Hydrogen peroxide can lift carpet stains, act as a laundry bleach, eliminate mold and mildew, be used as a whitening agent, removes stains from white porcelain, and disinfects kitchen cutting boards.
Olive oil can be used to polish wood furniture, shine stainless steel, polish shoes and eliminate door squeaks.
Some organic essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties. As an added bonus, essential oils can create an aromatic and inviting home atmosphere. When using essential oils make certain the oils are not synthetic but pure oils derived from flowers, fruits, leaves, roots, grasses and trees. When making household cleaners or room deodorizers, add drops of your favorite essential oil.
Black tea can banish dust mites, remove mineral buildup on glass, clean wood furniture, and work as a dye in paint and stain.
Like essential oils, some herbs contain antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties useful in cleaning and brightening up the home environment. Burn herbs in the wood stove, add your favorite dried herbs to carpet deodorizers, and use in sachets to repel moths.
Use the cheap vodka, not the expensive vodka in the liquor cabinet. Vodka can be used to clean glass, keep cut flowers fresh, and as a base for a room deodorizer spray. In addition, try adding drops of lavender and chamomile oils to a spray bottle filled with vodka and distilled water. When you put clean sheets on the bed, spritz the sheets with the aromatic spray.
Club soda can be used to remove carpet stains, remove fabric stains, clean counter tops, remove rust, clean windows and glass, clean household plants. When you are done cleaning with club soda, give your plants a drink of the remaining club soda to keep plants healthy.
Baking soda is a versatile household cleaner. Some of the uses include: Clean cast iron cookware, remove scratches from counter tops, carpet deodorizer, remove carpet stains, buff out furniture stains, remove crayon marks from walls, unclog a drain, use as a laundry fabric softener, soft scrub cleaner, and toilet bowl cleaner.
White vinegar is amazing around the house. Entire books are written about the many uses for vinegar. Some of the uses for cleaning with white vinegar include: Remove mildew in the bathroom, fill a spray bottle with a vinegar solution to clean chrome and stainless steel surfaces, shine silver, give new life to old rugs, remove carpet stains, remove water rings on furniture, disinfect kitchen cutting boards, clean glass and mirrors.
A basic bar of soap kills germs. To make liquid soap, simply add bar soap shavings to a spray bottle filled with water, let set a few days and shake. Add a few drops of an essential oil for fragrance. Castile soap can be used as a bug repellent.
Lemon juice cleans and adds a refreshing scent to household cleaners. Some of the uses for lemon juice include: Room deodorizer, remove tarnish from brass and copper, remove refrigerator odors, and acts as a gentle laundry bleach.
Salt of the earth. So basic, so useful. Salt can be used as an antibacterial scrubber and a way to give new life to the old. Some of the ways to use salt to clean and disinfect include: Give new life to wicker furniture, remove wine stains and grease stains from carpet, give new life to sponges by soaking them in a salt solution, clean residue from glass, use as an ingredient in potpourri air fresheners, banish fleas, remove stains from enamel pans, and brighten cutting boards.
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A Word About Stains - There's no escaping it:
- Fresh stains are easier to remove than old ones.
- Avoid machine drying or ironing until you've exhausted all stain removal efforts.
- Time and heat can set some stains permanently.
- Laundry tests show using Clorox® bleach for stain removal produces the best results.
- For washable, non-colorfast clothes substitute powdered or liquid color-safe bleach
- Don't forget the prewash soil and stain removers like Stain Out®, that release stains and help detergents work more effectively.
Milk or Egg Products
Rinse well in cool water. Presoak with detergent and powdered Clorox 2® in cool or warm water. Follow Package directions for dissolving bleach. Launder in cold water with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach.
Rinse in cool water and pre-treat with Clorox Stain-Out or Ultra Clorox 2. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Launder in cool water with Ultra Clorox Bleach. Be sure to test for colorfastness. If fabric is not colorfast to regular bleach substitute Ultra Clorox 2.
Harden the wax by either applying ice or placing the garment in the freezer. Scrape off as much of the frozen wax as possible, then launder with Ultra Clorox 2 and detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric. Repeat the laundering procedure until all the color from the wax is gone. Do not dry the garment until the wax color is completely removed.
Soak in cool water. Pretreat with Stain Out or bar soap and rub gently. Wash with detergent and Clorox bleach, or Clorox 2.
Apply Stain Out or rubbing alcohol. Rub on detergent and launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. Repeat if necessary.
Ink- Felt Pen
May be impossible to remove. Apply Stain Out and rub on detergent. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. Launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. If stain has caused color change, try to restore by using ammonia on fresh stains, vinegar on old stains. Do not use ammonia or vinegar with liquid bleach.
Launder garment in the hottest water recommended for the fabric with Ultra Clorox Bleach and detergent. If the garment is not colorfast in regular bleach substitute Ultra Clorox 2.
Vacuum, do not brush, as much of the pollen from the garment as possible. Pretreat the area with Ultra Clorox 2. Launder normally with Ultra Clorox 2 and detergent.
Apply Stain Out and rub gently into stain; let sit 5 minutes. Then wash with detergent and Clorox bleach or Clorox 2 in the hottest water safe for fabric.
Apply prewash stain remover such as Stain Out and gently rub into the stain; let sit for 5 minutes. Then wash with detergent and Clorox bleach or Clorox 2 in the hottest water the fabric will tolerate.
If the damage is severe it may be permanent. Mild scorching can be treated to improve the color by brushing the scorched area and pre-treating it with detergent or Ultra Clorox 2. Then launder normally in detergent and Ultra Clorox 2.
Coffee, Tea, Wine, Soft Drinks
Pretreat with liquid Clorox 2. Launder right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Mildew can damage the cellulosic structure of fibers as well as many manmade fibers. If the fabric shows no sign of permanent damage treat the mildew by first brushing the area to remove as much of the organism as possible. Pre-treat the area by rubbing with Ultra Clorox 2. Launder in the hottest water recommended for the fabric plus Ultra Clorox Bleach. Test for colorfastness. If the garment is not safe in chlorine bleach substitute Ultra Clorox 2.
Grease, Butter, Margarine, Oil, Mayonnaise, Ice Cream, Chocolate, Cosmetics
Apply Stain Out stain remover and rub into stain. Launder with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Gravy, Mustard, Ketchup and Other Tomato-Based Products
Presoak in powdered Clorox 2 and detergent in warm or hot water. Launder with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach. If oily stain remains, use Stain Out on stain and launder again.
To remove crayola stains, the Crayola Company recommends: Place the stained surface down on a pad of paper towels, spray with WD-40, and let stand for a few minutes. Turn the fabric over and spray the other side. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent and work into the stained area. Replace towels as they absorb the stain. Wash in hot water with a laundry detergent and bleach for about 12 minutes (use "heavy soiled" setting if there is no minute timer on your machine), and rinse in warm water.
Fruit-Flavored Drinks, Juices
Soak in cool water. Rub bar soap into the stain or pretreat with liquid Clorox 2. Wash right away with detergent and Clorox bleach or Clorox 2 in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Dye That Bleeds
Dye transfer is caused when unstable dye colors "bleed" from one fabric to another. Their removal is often difficult. To minimize problem, sort loads by color, and always remove clothes from washer as soon as rinse cycle is complete. Re-launder affected items right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach. If color remains (on all-white fabrics only) use a packaged color remover or stripper sold under the "Rit" label.
Diaper Stains, Vomit
Rinse off soils. Follow presoak instructions (see sidebar). Launder in hottest water safe for fabric with appropriate bleach, To kill bacteria that contribute to diaper rash, add liquid bleach to the wash cycle.
Vitamins, Liquid Pain Relievers
Pretreat and let sit for 5 minutes. Launder in hottest water possible, using appropriate bleach.
Mayonnaise, Mustard, Salad Dressing
Pretreat, launder in hottest water safe for fabric, using appropriate bleach.
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10 Commandments of Carpet Care
1. Vacuum frequently and thoroughly. Most of the wear of carpeting is caused by dirt. Oily soils attract more oily soil and frequent vacuuming will reduce soil buildup.
2. Get at stains quickly, 99% of all stains can be removed by one cleaning agent or another if they are cleaned in the first few days. The longer a stain chemically reacts with the carpet the harder it will be to remove it.
3. Test carpet before scrubbing, extracting or spotting. All carpets are different. Some carpets are very sensitive to acid type cleaners and will lose their color quickly. Other carpet dyes are sensitive to harsh alkalis.
4. Use appropriate spotters starting with the mildest. Do not use harsh spotting agents unless absolutely necessary and always neutralize high alkaline or high acid cleaners after use.
5. Never dig or brush spots. The proper procedure is to scrape the spot towards the middle and then tamp the spot into the white towel or cloth using a brush or other tamping devices. A meat tenderizer makes a great tamping tool.
6. Do not overuse detergents, shampoos or spotters. Too much detergent will result in residual left in the carpet that even thorough vacuuming may not remove.
7. Do not overwet carpet. Our carpet detergents are chemically active enough so they do not need a tremendous amount of wetting. Over-wetting can cause brownout, carpet shrinkage, adhesion problems and all other kinds of nightmares.
8. Extract residual if possible. Rotary scrubbing will clean the carpet fibers the best by encapsulating dirt and detergent residue, which powders off the carpet. Periodic extraction will flush out this dirt and other organisms deep in the carpet.
9. Never "coat" a dirty or spotty carpet. After scrubbing or extracting a dirty carpet, if you are not satisfied with the results, do not apply a coat of carpet protector as this will result in "gluing in the dirt" making it harder to remove it the next time. Either re-scrub or extract the carpet or leave the carpet until the next cleaning cycle before you coat.
10. Vacuum frequently and thoroughly. It is so important it deserves two recommendations. Vacuum frequently and thoroughly. It is so important it deserves two recommendations.
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