Thrifty Mom's Cleaning Recipes

Many common household items that you probably already
have in your home can be used to safely clean your entire house. 
Items such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, mineral
oil, and liquid dish washing soap along with a few inexpensive
items found at your local market like borax powder and
washing soda can take care of most of your cleaning needs.

Abrasive Cleanser/Scouring Powders
Baking soda, borax, or Bon Ami cleanser (non-chlorinated)
can be used safely with a damp sponge. Wipe with
vinegar to remove soap film. Mix 1/4 C. baking soda with a
small amount of vegetable oil-based liquid soap to make a
scouring paste. Use a scrub brush for tougher spots. Use
vinegar to soak off hard water and mineral deposits.

All Purpose Cleaner
Use any of the following with a damp sponge as a kitchen
or bath cleaner. Mix 4 Tbs. baking soda in 1 quart of warm
water, OR 1/8 C. washing soda, 1Tbs. liquid soap, 1/4 C.
vinegar in 2 gallons hot water, OR 1 quart warm water, 1
tsp. liquid soap, and 1 tsp. borax. Rinse all with water.
Reduce amounts for smaller cleaning jobs.

Bleach Based Cleaners
Add 1/2 C. white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice or borax
to whiten and deodorize laundry. Use dry bleach, borax, or
baking soda to deodorize and disinfect in general household

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners

Vacuum regularly. Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda, or 1 C.
borax and 2 C. cornmeal (let stand one hour/vacuum).
Shampoo: clean spills immediately with club soda or soap-based rug shampoo. 
Other options: mix 1 quart white vinegar with 3 quarts boiling water 
(apply to nap of rug),
OR mix 1/2 C. mild liquid dishwashing detergent with 1 pint
boiling water — allow to cool into a jelly and whip until
stiff (apply and rub gently-wipe clean).

Carpet Stain Remover
Absorb as much of the stain as possible before treating. 
For fresh stains, apply club soda generously to the stain OR use
1/4 C. vinegar with 1/4 C. of water. 
For older stains, try 1/4 C. borax mixed with 2 C. cold water – 
sponge on stain, let dry, and rinse with water.
Vinegar or borax may lighten carpet; test first in a small area.

Drain Openers and Cleaners
To open drains, try plunger first, then pour 1/2 C. baking
soda and 1/2 C. vinegar down drain, cover, then flush with 2
quarts boiling water. Repeat. If necessary, rent or buy a
plumber’s snake. To avoid clogs, use a strainer on all drains
and pour boiling water down drain weekly.

Floor Cleaners
(Ceramic, Linoleum, Wood)
For ceramic, brick, stone, and linoleum, mix 1 C.
vinegar with 1 gallon hot water, apply with a mop. 
For linoleum, 1/4 C. liquid soap, 1/4 lemon juice, and 2 gallons
hot water OR use 1/4 C. white vinegar in 1/2 gallon water.
For wood floors, use 1/8 C. vegetable oil-based liquid
soap in 1 gallon of water (apply with mop) OR mix in a
spray bottle a splash of vinegar in warm water. 
Spray and mop with terry cloth mop or cotton towel.

Furniture and Floor Polish
Try applying one of these combinations with a soft cloth.
For wood only, mix two parts olive oil or mineral oil to
one part lemon juice. 
Rub in toothpaste or walnut meat to treat water spots. 
For leather, mix 1/4 C. olive oil and a few drops of lemon oil. 
For vinyl, mix 1/4 C. vinegar, 1/4 tsp. vegetable oil-based liquid soap, and water. 
For unfinished wood floors, use small amounts of mineral or vegetable
oils, or vegetable oil-based liquid soap mixed with water.

Glass and Window Cleaner
Mix any one of the following combinations. With a lint-free
cloth or rag apply a mixture of 1/4 to 1/2 C. vinegar to
1 quart warm water, OR 1 Tbs. of lemon juice in 1 quart of
water, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. liquid soap, 3 Tbs. vinegar, in 2 C.
water. Dry with newspaper.

More Cleaning Recipes

(Disclaimer Use these recipes at your own risk, I have used all of them in my home with satisfactory results, but cannot guarantee the same in your home.)

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