There are several reasons why you may not want to use store bought cleaners. You may prefer natural cleaners, or you may be allergic to some ingredients in commercial cleaners. Maybe you just want to save some money. Vinegar and baking soda are your cleaning workhorses. They can help you with general cleaning and take on the really tough chores.
Vinegar is a great basic cleaner. Some are reluctant to use it because they are afraid of their neighbors walking in and smelling pickles.Vinegar does have a strong scent when wet, but when it’s dry, the scent magically disappears.
It’s great, diluted in equal parts water and vinegar, for cleaning windows and shiny surfaces to a streak free shine. It’s also great for removing fingerprints from walls and and dirt off your floors. Vinegar disinfects and cleans your counter tops and table tops, warding off disease.
When combined with baking soda, it turns into a grease cutter. Because of the chemical properties of baking soda and vinegar, you get nice bubble scrubbing action. Cleaning your kitchen drain is as easy as pouring ¼ cup of baking soda into the drain and following the soda with a cup of vinegar. It will bubble and foam and leave your drain clean and grease free.
Pet odors are tough, but vinegar is tougher. Even old pet odors can be treated with vinegar because it neutralizes the urine. If you have pet stains on cement or tile, soak the spot with full strength vinegar and let sit for several minutes. then vacuum it with a wet dry vac. Because of the porous surface, scrubbing it may just push it deeper into the holes making your tile dingy and the smell will eventually resurface. When you vacuum instead, it gets pulled out. You may have to repeat this several times to get it all.
Vinegar also eats away at soap scum and hard water spots. For cleaning toilet bowl rings, turn off the water at the base of the toilet and flush. Then spray straight vinegar in the toilet and let sit for a few minutes. Scrub away the rings and turn the water back on and flush again. No harmful chemicals for the environment and nothing harsh in your home.
Baking soda is a great deodorizer and cleaner. To polish your shiny fixtures, dip your wet rag into a bowl of baking soda and gently rub the surface. The slightly abrasive action will get hard water spots off of metal and glass without leaving scratches behind. Use the same method for scrubbing up soap scum from your sinks, tubs, and showers.
Keep an open box in your fridge to absorb odors and keep them away from your food. Smelly bins like garbage cans and laundry baskets benefit from a little sprinkle. You can even brush your teeth with baking soda. It tastes terrible but is great for cleaning your breath.
Vinegar and soda should be a part of every laundry room. Put a 1/4 in each load to get rid of perspiration and other odors and boost your detergent. Sprinkle into smelly gym bags to keep them fresh. Pour ¼ cup of vinegar into the final rise in place of fabric softeners. It’s perfect for people with sensitive skin and doesn’t gum up on your clothes the way commercial fabric softeners do.