If you run out of cleaning products, there’s plenty of alternatives and pantry items that are just as effective. We haven't always had such a raft of cleaners on offer for every type of mess or smell. There are many cleaning products your grandmother or great-grandmother used which were just as effective as today's products.
Here are some tried and true suggestions you may wish to try for yourself. Not only are you helping the environment, but you can also save money by using kitchen staples to keep your household clean.
- Remove fridge odours by placing a saucer of baking soda inside the fridge. Sliced lemons will also absorb fridge odours.
- Prevent cooking odours by boiling one teaspoon of cloves with three cups of water in a pot. Boiling vinegar has the same effect as does leaving several teaspoons of vanilla essence in a saucer overnight.
- Remove dishwasher odours by sprinkling a few teaspoons of baking soda on the base of the dishwasher.
- Remove strong smells from bottles and jars by filling with three teaspoons of dry mustard and cold water. Leave for several hours and rinse well.
- Remove the pungent odour of vomit from carpet and upholstery by placing a bowl of vinegar near the smell. Leave overnight. This also works well in cars.
- Remove shoe odour by sprinkling the insides with a little baking soda.
Clean around the house
- Clean stainless steel surfaces and sinks with a paste prepared from baking soda and water.
- If red wine is spilt on a carpet, blot dry with kitchen towels and rub in salt to remove the stain. An alternative is to pour over white wine, but this seems a waste!
- Clear an unblocked sink by pouring one tablespoon of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar down the plughole. Replace plug and remove after thirty minutes. Rinse with plenty of hot water.
- Remove burnt-on food from pots and pans by boiling with vinegar or lemon juice. Leave to cool for at least thirty minutes then wash as usual.
- Clean copper based saucepans by rubbing with salt and lemon juice or salt and vinegar.
- Shine saucepans by cooking rhubarb in them.
- Remove melted Gladwrap and plastic bag residue from stovetops and toasters by wiping with nail polish remover.
- Clean your oven using the following mixture: add three teaspoons of baking soda, two tablespoons of vinegar and one cup of water to a saucepan and boil for several minutes. Spread on oven walls, trays and racks. Heat oven to 180°C for a few minutes and wipe clean once cool.
- For streak free mirrors wipe off the cleaning solution with scrunched up newspaper.
Other useful tips
- Mix baking soda and water to a paste and smear on garlic and onion tainted chopping boards. Scrub and wash as usual.
- Rub mildew marks on shower curtains with a paste of baking soda and water.
- Keep glass shower doors looking smart by wiping with white vinegar.
- Remove soap scum from showers and tiles by wiping with white vinegar or a paste prepared from baking soda and water.
- Wash toilet bowls with vinegar to remove water marks.
- Keep vinyl floors looking clean by mopping with a bucket of water containing one cup of vinegar.
- Eliminate fly specks on windows and mirrors by rubbing with equal parts vinegar and water.
- Avoid musty cupboards by leaving cut lemons in cupboards for several days.
- Remove fingerprints from wooden furniture by wiping with a cloth dampened with vinegar.
- Remove dust from venetian blinds by wiping whilst wearing a damp sock on your hand.
- Get streak-free windows by rubbing with a raw potato and wiping dry.
- Shine gold jewellery by rubbing with fresh breadcrumbs between your hands.
- A mixture of baking soda and warm water acts as an effective jewellery cleaner. Whoever would have thought vinegar and baking soda were so useful…
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