Letter 8. Best Homemade Cleaning Solutions

My dearest Granddaughter,

There can be better ways to have fun I am sure my dear, but when you think of the end results it is worth it and should give yourself the kick start you need.

Be creative and mix your own anti-toxic best homemade cleaning solutions, and have clean fun.

Cleaning products are some of the most expensive commodities you can buy in the shops. There are so many to choose from. Each cleaning shelf at the shop has a huge collection of stock to choose from, all very toxic.

You normally stand there deciding which one to buy, the one makes more promises than the other.

Best homemade cleaning solutions and recipes, can be the answer and are just as efficient. The ingredients are normally natural products you have in your kitchen. Give it a try during your next cleaning routine!

SOLUTIONS AND IDEAS FOR DEEP CLEANING.

Using sturdy rubber handgloves will protect your hands and nails. A few spray bottles, wash cloths, soft polishing cloths, micro fibre  dust cloth, pink coloured cloth for the bathroom. Bucket and a mop. Scouring sponges and pads.

Let’s get going and start in the kitchen.

ALL PURPOSE CLEANING RECIPE

The Stars of the cleaning show are Vinegar an Baking soda or Bicarbonate of Soda.

Vinegar eliminates smells and dilutes fatty residue, while bicarb does the cleaning.

Be careful when mixing the two, keep the container in the basin because it fuzzes and boils over easily, making a clean mess!

Bottle of VinegarBox of Bicarbonate of Soda

To this mix you can add disinfectant, essential oils for a fresh smell, little liquid soap, scrubs of ammonia and salt or lemon juice.

Scrubs of ammonia is a non toxic substance you can use everywhere to clean with, dishes, clothes, bathroom, kitchen ect.

A very good all-purpose cleaner Mix the night before

Use a large spray bottle and mix the following

– 1 cup water

– 1 cup white cheap vinegar

– 1 t liquid dish washing soap

– 1/4 cup household ammonia

– 2-3 T bicarbonate of soda or baking soda, make sure the baking soda mix is dissolved, could jam the spray bottle. It will bubble over a lot, best to mix over the sink.

Mix and pour into your spray bottle  the night before for the bicarb can  solve.

For stubborn dirt use a stronger mix by adding less water or no water.

You can add drops of essential orange oil, lemon or peppermint oil to have a fresh aroma around the rooms, but is optional.

You can add a disinfectant such as Detol or Savlon, 2 bottle lids full per liter will be enough for a clinical fresh smell. In the bathroom it will work well.
Name the bottle ‘Disinfected All Purpose Cleaner’

Keep under the sink with a cloth.

CLEANING THE STOVE.

== SWITCH THE POWER TO THE STOVE OFF ==

Find the switch that supply the stove with power and make sure to switch it off.

Uses the all-purpose cleaner, scouring sponge and wash cloth.

• Stove top

Spray the stove top and oven, leave for a minute or two, scrub with your scouring sponge and wipe clean with a wet cloth.

Pay special attention and keep going around the rim of the four stove plates, rinse your cloth frequently.

If you use too much water or spray at the rim of the electric plates, the water might penetrate and the electricity will trip when you try to use the plate too soon. Leave an hour or so to dry then it will be good to go again. Your stove should never get that dirty though.

A greasy deposit can accumulate around the stove top where the frame fits into the shelf. Use a blunt knife and scrape it off lightly, wipe clean with your cleaner.
Have a shaker with Bicarb or baking soda powder handy to add more to stubborn greasy spots.

Clean it every night after cooking will make cleaning on a Saturday a breeze.

Look at the switches or knobs measuring the temperature of the plates, clean properly around them. You might have to take them off to clean.Electric stove

Carefully lift them with a knife and make sure you see how it fits, keep the little metal plate in the fitting hole intact. Clean the marks off the stove and wipe the switch in your hand clean around the rim and put it carefully back the way it was making sure the measurement gauge fits correctly. Press in to fit properly and never let it get this dirty again. Your stove top should shine like new.

If the stove has not been cleaned for a while repeat a few times until clean and then keep it clean every time after using the stove. Remember to wipe the sides of the stove too. Get someone to help you move the stove once in a while to clean the floor underneath it.

Oven

It is easier to clean the oven if it is just warm to the feel. Spray and then wipe thorough in all corners with your wet cloth, rinse frequently till all the dirt and grime is off. If your oven has been not been cleaned for a while put an oven proof container in the oven with some vinegar in it and heat the oven. Switch off and leave overnight.

The vinegar will soften the dirt and grime and will wipe off easily, repeat the cleaning process with the spray bottle till it shines before the next use.

Pay special attention around the oven light inside, but be careful not to disturb the elements while wiping. The cleaning of the stainless steel racks will be easier in the sink, using the same mixture and a scouring pad to get rid of the grease baked into the metal. Clean them one by one and in the corners too. Wipe with your cloth having a few drops of baby oil to help keep them clean.

Keep it clean every time you use the oven and you won’t have to deep clean soon again. Remember to switch the stove on again.

  MicrowaveMicrowave oven

  • Wipe the microwave clean with a soft wet cloth soaked in a solution of bicarbonate of soda or baking soda and warm water. No soaps or strong cleaning detergents should be used. Take the rotating glass plate and clean in the sink, dry and put it back.

  • If the microwave is spattered and dirty fill a bowl half with warm water, Cut a lemon in half and squeese the juice in the bowl and add the empty halves into the water too. Turn the microwave on for a few minutes on high. Leave over night to soften the grime and wipe clean the next morning.

  • Dishwasher

  • If you have a dishwasher rinse you dishes and pack to wash. Switch on at night and empty first thing in the morning while the kettle boils for you tea or coffee.

  • Cleanse every week by running the wash cycle with an empty machine with soap and vinegar and baking soda to clean the draining pipes too.

  • Wipe the rubber seal of the door clean and give it a rub with the baby oil cloth to keep it soft and flexible.

Stand back feel proud ‘Job Well Done!’

• KITCHEN CUPBOARDS

Uses the all-purpose cleaner, a wash cloth and a bucket of clean water.

Start cleaning the outside and inside of the cupboard doors. Spraying with your cleaner, wipe clean especially around the handles, move to the inside and wipe clean too. Rinse your cloth frequently.

Time for the inside, unpack each section on top of the cupboard, spray and wipe clean. If you have cockroaches or ants pestering you, make a dry mix of icing sugar and borax, add to the lid of an old empty bottle and place the lids with the mix in the corners at the back.

This is a mix to kill, be careful the borax is toxic for animals and will harm them, make sure to put the stuff where your pets cannot get to it.

 Wipe and dust your pots, pans, plates etc and pack neatly back.

• FRIDGE AND FREEZERPurple fridge

On your morning of cleaning switch off the fridge and freezer when you wake up, open the doors and put an old towel or a dirty one on the floor in front of the fridge and freezer to get all the water running out from defrosting. Leave the food and milk inside to stay cool. Go on with your cleaning and let it defrost. If it is hard to defrost put a fan in front of the open door of the fridge to speed up the process.

Clean the outside of the fridge and freezer with your all-purpose cleaner and a wash cloth. Wipe the sides clean too. Don’t forget to clean the rubber seal in the door, and wipe down with a few drops baby oil on a cloth to keep it flexible.

If the ice is hard to melt put a fan on and blow directly into the fridge. When all the ice has melted unpack the food and milk on the cupboard shelf. Take out the shelves of the fridge and wash in the sink. The inside of the fridge should never get harsh cleaner or soap.

Wipe the inside of the fridge and freezer with a solution of warm water and bicarbonate of soda or baking soda. It cleans and takes away any smells. When finished, put usable food back inside the fridge. Get rid of old food not used. Switch the fridge back on when done.

BATHROOM

Use the all-purpose cleaner for the bathroom especially with the disinfectant, an old toothbrush, a blunt knife and a different colour wash cloth and scouring sponge. I use pink ones and stay in the bathroom hanging behind the toilet seat on the water pipe.

Cleaning the basin, bath and shower, give special attention to detail. Look for lime deposits around the taps and on the tiles. Scrape off with a blunt knife and clean properly with your cleaner and scrubbing sponge. In older houses the tap inline of the water pipe leading to the water bowl of the toilet can be brass, make sure it shines. Make sure to clean the over flow of both the basin and the bath with your toothbrush and rinse well.

Clean bathroom

Brush and flush your toilet every morning, keeping it spotless. On a Friday night you can add a quarter of a cup baking soda and half a cup of vinegar to the bowl and leave to sit overnight. Saturday morning brush the bowl vigorously. Spray the cleaner everywhere and scrub with the pink sponge till clean and shining, remember the water tank too.  Remember to lift the seat and clean thoroughly. Rinse well and wipe dry with a soft dry cloth.

When finished polishing all the taps use a few drops of baby oil on a cloth and polish the taps and the flushing handle of the toilet It will keep it’s shine and the water will roll off.

Wash the bathroom mats too, but keep them separate, your tops will get fluff all over when washed together.

  LaundryWashing machine and laundry

Every time when adding soap to your washing machine for the next load add

  • 1/4 of a cup Bicarbonate or baking soda

  • 1/4 of a cup of  white Vinegar

  • You can even soak the clothes in it over night.

  •  You can crush and add about 6 aspirin or disprin, dissolve in 1 cup of water before adding to the washing. It will  keep your clothes white and bright.

Your washing will be brighter and cleaner with no nasty smell.

Separate the white and lighter coloured clothes from the denims and the black tops ect.  Wash separately.

If you have a delicate top or dress, hand wash is the best.

Never wash towels with your clothes, it will be full of white fluff from the towel.

Wash the dark clothes and old denims together. If you suspect there might be pieces of clothing that will stain the rest, for instance a brand new denim or top, keep and wash separate.

Wash linen, towels and face cloths together.

To much Stasoft will give your white clothes and the rest a grey colour. Use very little or none at all.

Treat all stains as soon as possible and before a wash.

• LOUNGE AREA

Clean and neat lounge

CARPET SPOTS AND STAINS

In this area you want to look for spots and stains. Have a good look at the carpet and furniture.

A good homemade carpet cleaner

– 3 Tablespoons liquid dish soap

– 2 Tablespoons vinegar

– 1 teaspoon baking soda or bicarbonate of soda

– 1 teaspoon of ammonia

Mix well with a hand blender

Use on the spot or stain and scrub lightly with a little brush. Press hard with a damp cloth to lift the dirt. Repeat the exercise leave for a few minutes and press dry again. Use clean water to rinse and press hard to dry.

Repeat the same process for pet urine spots. Spray white vinegar on the spot to eliminate the smell.

• If you have candle wax melted into the carpet after a romantic evening Lovely, make a few pads from rolled toilet paper and put one the spot keep the rest handy. Now add a double folded piece of newspaper larger than the size of the iron and place over the spot and the toilet paper. Heat your clothes iron and iron over the paper, be careful not to touch the carpet pile it might melt and leave a black mark. Have another double folded newspaper next to you to make the iron stand while you replace the toilet paper. Take out and repeat till all the wax is out.

• Treat the furniture made of material with the same mix. I would do a test at the back of the couch or chair to make sure it won’t damage the upholstery. A mix of just vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and a soft brush will also treat light stains with success.

Wooden furniture with upholstery

WOODEN FURNITURE

• Wooden furniture should get a polish spay like mr Min to keep it shiny and easy to dust. Spray and polish till dry and shiny. All solid wooden furniture should be oiled with furniture oil once a month, oil the bottom and back side of the table or chair too. When dry or soaked in, use a shoe brush to polish it  till bright and shiny.

If you have wooden furniture with water stains on, apply some mayonnaise thickly on the mark. Leave over night and rub in the next morning with a soft cloth, add more mayonnaise if needed. Put some furniture oil on and leave for a few days. polish as normal.

Outside wooden furniture should be treated with a water repellent varnish to protect the wood.

Cleaning Ornaments and Brass handles of windows.Cleaning brass ornaments

• Brass and Copper cleaner.

– 1 part vinegar

– 1 part salt

– 1 part flour

Mix equal quantities of vinegar salt and flour, keep the paste in a plastic container and name it ‘ Brass Cleaner’

Put the paste on the handle or leaver, leave a few minutes and use your scouring sponge to get the paste off. Rinse and dry. Use the baby oil and a cloth, add a few more drops and wipe-polish the ornament or handle, it will stay longer shiny and clean.

If you want the copper or brass to stay bright and shiny you can spray it with a clear varnish after cleaning and let to dry. It will keep good for much longer.

• Cleaning windows and glass ornaments.

Cleaning glass

– 1 cup methylated spirits

– 1 cup water

-1 cup paraffin

Shake well and bottle.

Rub on glass, polish off with an old newpaper when dry.

When living at the coast the paraffin keeps the windows sparkling, it keeps the salty spray of the sea at bay.

If you are a sceptic leave the paraffin and just mix the water and methylated spirits.

Mix in a spray bottle and name it ‘ Window Cleaner’.

 Spray the windows, swipe with a squeegee and wipe dry with an old newspaper. Make sure to buy one every week or ask a friend.

• You can use a mixture of water and 1/3 part vinegar to clean the windows too, but always use newspaper to wipe dry and clean.

Never use a cloth to clean windows, it leaves smear marks and never looks bright and clean. The printers ink of the news paper does the trick.

Use a safe step ladder when washing windows.

• The windows on the outside can be washed with liquid soapy water and a hard sponge, use the hosepipe and rinse, what fun! Wipe dry with your news paper. Use silicone spray carefully to polish the frames.

• If I were you my dear, I will get one large liter spray bottle with all purpose cleaner in the kitchen, and two smaller ones with all-purpose cleaner too, one in the bathroom and one in the lounge behind the curtains on the window sill with a small cloth. Handy when needed.

• Mark all the bottles clearly and add another sticker at the back with the recipe.

Once all is done it will be a breeze and a pleasure to clean your little nest.

Soon this will become common sense my darling.

**********

Workshop:

• Get some spray bottles and a small container for your cleaning stuff. There should be at least 4 spray bottles for the different cleaning mixes, and extra two for behind the curtains.

• Name them clearly and put the recipe at the back of each bottle fill your bottles with the different mixes.

Shopping list for mixes

– 2 liter cheap Vinegar

– 1 large box of bicarbonate of soda or baking soda

– 1 bottle of methylated spirits

– 1 small packet of self raising flour.

– Salt

– 1 bottle of Liquid soap

– Ammonia from the chemist if you can’t find it at the grocers

-1 small bottle of baby oil

– 1 small bottle of disinfectant

**********

Mixing your best homemade cleaning solutions are more save for the environment and your health, and cleans just as good if not better. Try it and see the difference it makes to your budget too.

Happy mixing my dear!

Your loving Grandma

Stella

13 Comments on “Letter 8. Best Homemade Cleaning Solutions”

  1. I love this post! With small kids I hate using chemicals in the house as everything ends up in their mouths. I honestly did not realise that I could be using vinegar and bi-carb. Going to get this a try. Any tips to stop 3 small kids from destroying a house 🙂 thanks for posting this great info.

    1. Hi Carolyn
      Vinegar and bicarb is an amazing mix!
      It can be a stain killer on clothes too. Hope you will find it useful.

      I remember when my kids were small, I stuck huge sheets of paper or in the beginning news paper against the walls in their rooms and along the corridor. Little ones have the tendency to write on walls and with that they could write and draw to their hearts content I just replaced it when getting too full.
      They knew that was the only place where they could draw on the walls, if not there was a penalty.
      Hope this little hint will help.
      Enjoy them while they are young!

      Stella

      1. That’s a great idea! My youngest is just starting to try to draw on walls, so I will give it a go!

  2. This is definitely a post to bookmark, was just thinking of mixing a baking soda and vinegar solution to clean up my stove and unclog the shower drain! I always dread the smell of vinegar, I never thought of adding essential oil! Now that’s a game changer! Thank you for these tips, will definitely try each single one, I hate the fact that I use chemicals all the time just because it is more convenient. Will definitely replace my methods with yours.
    Thank you again,
    Sahar

    1. Hi Sahar
      So glad you could get something from the post. I would suggest to have a disinfectant mix ready for the drains and toilet and a nice smelly one for the rest … orange or lemon will smell fresh.
      I appreciate your comment thank you!
      Stella

  3. Thank you for sharing all your great recipes! I am leaning toward making my own products as the natural ones I use are quite expensive. Will definitely give some of these a go. Great post 🙂

  4. I LOVE this, thank you! I’m going to implement some of this into my day to day life. You’re right, cleaning products are expensive, this is a much better way to go.

    1. Hi Kira
      It is so easy and so effective, once you are into it you can start experimenting with your own mixes.
      Natural non toxic is the way to go.
      Thank you for your comment.
      Stella

  5. I love these Stella,

    I’m definitely book marking it, as I’m all for non toxic cleaners that work. My question though is if they disinfect/kill germs? I never heard tell of aspirin to whiten clothes, I’m amazed.

    Where would you suggest to get the best quality empty spray bottles, I have bought many in the past that end up breaking or malfunctioning.

    Also I love how your addressing your Granddaughter, that is great and I bet she loves it!

    1. Hi Amanda
      Thank you for the compliment. Goods pray bottles that will last are a problem, I have bought many and thrown away just as much. Have you tried the ones in the garden department if the shops, think they might be more hardy.
      You can add any disinfectant for the bathroom and shelves into the mix or essential oils for a better fresh smell. Try it.
      So glad you like it Amanda
      Stella

  6. Hi Stella, this is another great post, I have learn a few things that can be useful in my house so thank you so much, your granddaughter is a lucky girl to have a granny like you.

    1. Hi Rose
      Cleaning house can be hard work, but it is so rewarding.
      Nothing better to walk into a clean fresh smelling house and a bed with clean fresh linen.
      Happy cleaning.
      Stella

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