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10 Favorite Cleaning Hacks

Listed below are our 10 favorite cleaning hacks (which also happen to be green!) These sprays and soaks are examples of how natural household ingredients can successfully deal with some of our least favorite cleaning chores just as well, if not better than, toxic commercial chemical cleaners.

#1. All Purpose Cleaner

This mixture (#1 of the 10 favorite cleaning hacks) works especially well on built up soap scum on glass shower doors and also works well on fiberglass. It can even lift oil stains off a concrete driveway. It will work on walls too.

Ingredients

White Household Vinegar

Liquid Blue Dawn (not ULTRA) or Liquid Joy

Directions: 

Heat the vinegar in the microwave until hot and pour it into a spray bottle. (NOTE: Only use heat when mixing the ingredients, not every time you use the spray.)

Add the Dawn in a ratio of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part Dawn. If all you have is Ultra Dawn, use it in a ratio of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part Dawn.

If you would prefer Joy Dishwashing liquid (not Ultra) use it in a ratio of 1 cup vinegar, ½ cup water, ½ cup Joy. Shake the mixture gently. Spray it on, scrub, and rinse.

For really tough soap scum buildup, spray the mixture on and let it sit for up for at least an hour, up to overnight. You may need to scrub a little with a small brush. Wipe off with a microfiber cloth rinsed in warm water.

Caveats:

  • Beware of too many suds. Reduce the amount of Dawn or Joy if this happens.
  • If the area is too sudsy during rinsing, sprinkle a little bit of salt on the suds and they will disappear. Especially in a bathtub, you may want to sprinkle some baking soda on the tub after spraying this on to make it a little more abrasive to prevent slipping and falling.
  • Do not use this spray on granite or marble. It can cause pitting.
  • Do not use on brushed nickel faucets.
  • Could cause possible damage the caulking around the shower and tub after a few months.
  • If you would like to add a scent, try 20 drops of essential oil.

#2  Bathroom Mold Spray

This is a very easy to make and use spray which will erase mold from your bathroom! It is also great for cleaning wood surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.  

Ingredients:   
Hydrogen Peroxide (Not Chlorine Bleach) Water Directions: Mix 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide to 2 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on affected areas. Allow to sit. Then rinse with a damp microfiber cloth.

#3  Toilet Bowl Cleaning

TIP: The 3rd of our 10 favorite cleaning hacks goes back to the days when ABC had a full-service custodial division...

Dump a bucket full of water inside the bowl before cleaning. Gravity will make the water go down without refilling. This allows you to clean the bowl without the water getting in the way!

To clean and deodorize any toilet bowl, put ½ cup of baking soda in the toilet and then put in a cup of vinegar. The solution will foam and clean at the same time. Scrub well with a toilet brush, then flush.

#4  Messy Refrigerator Spills

Spray a solution of ½ water and ½ vinegar. Let sit. Wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth. No scrubbing needed!

#5  Removing Water Rings from Wood

To remove those nasty white rings from wood, rub a solution of equal parts vinegar and water with (not against) the grain of the wood.

#6  Cleaning Baby's Toys

Instead of wiping down toys with commercial chemical cleaners, try cleaning with vinegar instead. Adding a good amount of white vinegar to warm, soapy water will disinfect and clean baby toys.

Use an old toothbrush for hard-to-reach places. Rinse with clear water and dry.

Vinyl baby books and larger toys can be wiped clean with a damp cloth that has been soaked in vinegar.

#7  Soak for Cleaning Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Fill a clean sink with cold water. Add in vinegar and salt and swish around with your hands. Place produce in and let soak for approximately 30 minutes. You will find this soak will draw out bugs, dirt, and even some wax.

An added bonus...Your fruits and vegetables will last longer!

Please read our article, Should We Be Washing Our Fruits and Veggies Before Cooking or Eating? for more information on this subject.

#8  Fabric Softener

Use white vinegar to whiten and soften your clothes. The recipe is 1 cup of white vinegar to each load.

#9  Cleaning Scorched Iron Plate

Heat equal parts white vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub this solution onto the cooled iron surface to remove the stains.

#10  Bug Repellent Spray

Bugs are attracted to us because they like the way we smell! The toxic chemicals in commercial bug repellents work by masking our odor.

But apple cider vinegar does the same thing! The same goes for Witch Hazel, just in case you don't like the smell of vinegar (which diffuses rather quickly anyway).

Ingredients:

1/2 cup distilled water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or witch hazel

40-50 drops of a pleasant smelling essential oil

Directions:
Add the ingredients together in an 8 oz. spray bottle and it's ready to use. 

Caution:

You will need to reapply every hour or so if you plan to be outside for a long period of time.

For more cleaning hacks, see Green Cleaning Solutions and other articles on our website.

Also please follow us on Facebook.


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