It costs hardly anything ($2 a gallon on sale), it’s available in every grocery store in the universe and so useful around your home you are going to have a hard time believing it. That’s the power of vinegar. Yep, plain, cheap, 5 percent acidity, white vinegar.

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1. Instead of fabric softener or dry sheets, add 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar to last rinse in your washing machine (as you would liquid softener). Your clothes will come out soft because the vinegar helps to remove every trace of laundry detergent, which cause fabrics to stiffen.

2. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a quart of very warm water to make a good window cleaner. Wipe with crumpled newspaper or a coffee filter and your windows will sparkle.

3. Vinegar will dissolve hard-water marks like those on shower doors, faucets and in vases. If the vinegar is hot (heat in the microwave) it works even faster.

4. Instead of pricey commercial rinse agents, fill that little reservoir in your dishwasher with white vinegar. Your dishes will sparkle. Refill often. If your dishwasher does not have this feature, simple add 1/2 to 1 cup (depending on the hardness of your water) to the last rinse. Read more

Two women, different locations, same accident. Both women using an ordinary commercial toilet bowl cleaner, were not satisfied with the way it was removing stains. Each added household chlorine bleach and stirred with a brush.

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One died quickly, the other spent a long time in the hospital.

Here’s the problem: Whenever chlorine bleach comes into contact with acid or an acid-producing substance like toilet bowl cleaner or vinegar, there is a sudden release of chlorine gas. This is not a good thing. A similar result occurs when chlorine bleach is mixed with ammonia, lye or other alkaline substances. Chlorine gas is lethal.

Now that I have your attention let me assure you: If you stay clear of chlorine bleach, you have nothing to fear by making your own cleaning products. Why should you even consider doing that? The cost, for starters. You know that blue window cleaner sitting on your counter? You paid about 30 cents an ounce for it and it’s 95 percent water. Your own products will cost only pennies to make and will not contain toxic chemicals that could be harmful to your family and the environment. Read more

It pretty much kills me to spend money to pay for things I know I can make myself for less. Take cleaning products for example.  Knowing I can make specific cleaners for pennies that costs dollars at the store just makes me happy. It’s a no-brainer.

Here are three handy recipes to help you get started saving all that money you’ve been spending on household cleaners.

DIY Household Cleaners

Granite Cleaner

Countertops made of granite, marble, and stone are tricky because these materials are porous and stain easily. You never want to clean them with anything acidic, which means vinegar and lemon juice are both out.

Here is a homemade granite cleaner that will not stain nor is it acidic. It works like a champ to clean and shine these natural counters. 

Pour 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol into a 16-oz. spray bottle. Add 3 drops (only 3) Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent, 5 to 10 drops essential oil (this is optional, but will add a nice fragrance) plus enough distilled water to fill the bottle. Apply the spray top and shake to mix. You can use this cleaner to clean and shine your appliances as well. Read more

 

Have you checked the list of ingredients on those bottles of cleaning products under the sink? Can you even pronounce them? Yikes! I can tell you that a product name containing “petro” belongs at the gas station, not used to clean your home.

Girl Cleaning Lady sponge spray cleaner vinegar

Today I want to share with you a list of squeaky-clean, toxin-free cleaning tips using the three items very likely found in your kitchen at this moment—baking soda, white vinegar and lemons.

Clean up the coffee maker. Get your coffee maker back into new condition by running a cycle using white vinegar in place of water. The vinegar will break up mineral build-up and deodorize the machine at the same time. Be sure to rinse out every trace of vinegar before brewing up your next pot, by running plain water through it a few times. Read more

 

It costs hardly anything, it’s available in every grocery store in the universe and so useful around your home you are going to have a hard time believing it. That’s the power of vinegar. Yep, plain, cheap, 5 percent acidity, white vinegar.

Girl Cleaning Lady sponge spray cleaner vinegar

1. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a quart of very warm water to make a good window cleaner. Wipe with crumpled newspaper and your windows will sparkle.

2. Instead of fabric softener or dry sheets, add 1/2 (one-half) to 1 cup vinegar to the last rinse in your washing machine (as you would liquid softener). Your clothes will come out soft because the vinegar helps to remove every trace of laundry detergent, which cause fabrics to stiffen. Read more

Shopping for a vacuum cleaner can be a mind-numbing experience because there are so many makes and models to choose from and with price tags from $25 to $1,500 or more. But don’t worry.  Even the most neat-freaky of neat freaks need not spend four-figures on a vacuum to ensure a clean house.

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To identify the best inexpensive vacuum cleaner out there, I came up with this criteria: A great vacuum has to be lightweight, bagless, easily cleanable and most importantly—have consistent suction power.

Lightweight. The test for me is if I can pick it up with one hand and carry it up a flight of stairs. If it takes two people to lift, you know that’s a machine that will knock the paint off door jambs and slam into legs of furniture because it is just too heavy. Read more

 

I have this thing for clean windows. I love them, which means I have an equal but opposite disdain for dirty windows. And when I say clean, I mean the kind of clean that makes windows sparkle like diamonds in the morning sun.

If I could, I’d have a professional window-washing service come to my home every week to clean every single window—inside and out. But I have a two-story house so right there you can understand why I can’t and I don’t.

On a lark and only because I wanted my flower garden to look better through the window in beautiful new kitchen …

KitchenWindows

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Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. See a bottle of Original blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid? Say “Hello” to a very versatile and surprisingly multi-purpose household product.

ICE PACK.  Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, close and freeze. Just to be safe, double bag it. Freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack. Read more