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Home Remedies


Try these easy-to-mix home remedies, which can be alternatives to hazardous household products. Most of the cleaning products you hide from your children and pets can be replaced with the mixtures below. You probably already have the ingredients somewhere in your home.

All-purpose cleaner
Mix one-quarter cup of vinegar with one gallon of hot water. Keep on hand in a spray bottle.
Abrasive cleaner
Mix equal parts of salt and baking soda. Scrub with mixture and wet sponge. Rinse with all-purpose cleaner and then warm water.
Ant repellents
Place chili powder, talcum powder or powdered chalk at points of entry.
Bathroom cleanser
Scrub are with baking soda and wet sponge. Rinse with all-purpose cleaner (shown above).
Brass or copper polish
Mix one teaspoon salt, one tablespoon flour and enough vinegar to make a thick paste. Rub paste on surface and let dry completely. Rinse in warm soapy water and buff with clean, soft cloth.

Ceramic Tile Cleaner
A mixture of 1/4-cup vinegar to one gallon of water removes most dirt without scrubbing and doesn't leave a film.

Dishwasher Soap
Most automatic dishwashing detergents contain phosphates that pollute waterways. An environmentally preferred   alternative is one part borax and one part washing soda. If you live in a hard-water area, you may have to adjust the proportions to avoid scum forming on dishes.
Drain Cleaner
Pour one-quarter cup of baking soda down the drain: follow with one-half cup of vinegar. After "fizzing" stops, flush with boiling water.
Floor cleaner
Mix one-half cup of white vinegar with one-half gallon of warm water.
Furniture Polish
Mix together one-half cup of lemon juice with one cup of mineral oil. Rub on wood furniture with a soft cloth.
Beeswax Polish
Beeswax furniture polish with it's soft, satin shine is considered the ultimate in wood care. Note that there is very little difference between this formula and the formula for shoe polish.

4 ounces (weight) beeswax
2 tablespoons carnauba wax
2 1/2 cups odorless turpentine or mineral spirits

Melt the waxes on high in a microwave or in a double boiler. Remove the waxes from the heat and stir in the turpentine or mineral spirits. Apply the polish with a clean cloth and rub in small circles. Turn the cloth as it becomes dirty. Allow the polish to dry, then buff with a clean cloth. If more than one coat is desired, wait two days between applications.
General Cleaner and Disinfectant
Dissolve 1 cup borax in a gallon of warm water
Laundry Soap
Detergents were designed to clean synthetic fibers. Natural fibers can be adequately cleaned with natural substances. Use a mixture of half borax and half washing soda (the same mixture can be used in the dishwasher). To keep colors from fading, add a drop or two of vinegar in the laundry water.
Oven Cleaner
Let the oven cool, then sprinkle salt on the spill right away. Let it cool for a few minutes, then scrape the spill away and wash the area clean. Use baking soda for scouring.
Pet stain cleaner
Mix together one-quarter cup of white vinegar and one-quarter cup of liquid soap. Rub into stain and then blot. Rinse with warm water.

Scouring Powder I actually use straight baking soda- it's cheap and effective.
Sprinkle borax, baking powder,  or dry table salt on a damp sponge; scour and rinse. Or rub the area to be cleaned with half a lemon dipped in borax. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

To Clean baked on pans: Fill a large pot with water to boiling. Place dirty crusted-on pan into the pot. wait for the water to boil. Add in 3 TBLS of baking soda (be careful as the baking soda will bubbly up and can spill over the top.) Boil for 5 minutes, or however long it takes to get the crude off.

Silver Polish
Put a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of the kitchen sink and fill with two to three inches of warm water. Add one tablespoon each of salt and baking soda. Place silver in water, touching foil. Soak for one hour. Rinse in soapy water. Buff with soft, dry cloth.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Use a solution of baking soda and water or vinegar for the bowl. Sprinkle baking soda around the rim. Scrub with toilet brush as needed. This solution will clean and deodorize.


Window cleaner
Mix together three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of hot water. Put in spray bottle. Spray on windows and glass. Wipe off with crumpled newspaper or a squeegee.


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