Natural Home Cleaning Product Recipes

Avoid the plethora of expensive cleaning products on the market. You can clean most household items with a few simple old-fashioned materials.

Natural cleaning products - they worked for grandma, they will work for you. Bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, vinegar, washing soda, eucalyptus oil, paraffin, lemon juice, caustic soda and ammonia will do most cleaning jobs for you.

Sticky marks, such as those left behind by so-called removable sticky labels, are a menace. Left untreated, they attract dirt and mould spores, and look increasingly unsightly. They are easily removed with eucalyptus oil. Apply sparingly (it is very strong) and wipe off the surface afterwards, and wash your hands as it can be an irritant if left in contact with the skin for too long. In Australia it is now possible to buy small bottles of a substance based on citrus oil, which accomplishes the same task. It is based on an old-fashioned, natural recipe.

If you have baking tins with baked on food that simply cannot be removed, you can try soaking them in hot water with dishwashing detergent, and changing the water frequently. Or you can boil them up in a big pan with a large handful of washing soda, and then leave them to soak in the solution overnight if the baked on deposits are very stubborn. Wash as normal the next day. (Don't do this with aluminium, as the metal will become pitted).

Paraffin will clean stubborn tidemarks and lime scale deposits from baths. Unfortunately it smells horrible and needs much rinsing off afterwards. If the bath is extremely greasy, fill it with hot water and several cupfuls of washing soda, leave overnight, and scrub out the next day. Rinse thoroughly.

A mixture of hot vinegar and salt can be applied to brown crusty deposits left on bath taps, plugholes and shower coils. Apply with an old toothbrush, leave for about fifteen minutes, and then scrape off with the end of the toothbrush. Stubborn stains may need several applications. Don't scrape at it with a metal scraper or you will leave scratches that fill up with the deposits and are very difficult to clean.

Rust stains in baths can be removed in several ways. Apply a paste made of salt and lemon juice, borax and lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide.

Clean Venetian blinds by rubbing a doubled slice of new bread over each individual slat. Discard the bread as it becomes really dirty. Alternatively, wear cotton gloves and do the same things with your fingers.

Remove verdigris from copper items with an application of ammonia. Rinse it off thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.

Do you have an old-fashioned hairbrush with real bristles? Clean it the old-fashioned way. To a basin full of warm water add a little ammonia and a teaspoon of washing soda. Swirl the brush, bristles downwards, in this solution, without reaching quite to the roots of the bristles. Rinse the same way, in clean water, pat dry and leave to dry fully away from direct heat, bristles facing down again. Do not get the wood wet, if the brush is wooden, or the bristles will loosen.

Use the same technique to clean shoe cleaning brushes. Tap the brushes, bristle side down, in white spirit. Stand bristle side down on newspaper to drain, rinse carefully with a mixture of water and washing-up liquid, and leave to dry. Do not get the wood wet, or the bristles will loosen.

Do you get static electricity in your carpets? Spray them with a homemade anti-static mixture - fill a plant spray with a mixture of water and liquid fabric softener, about 1 tablespoon of fabric softener to five of water.

If soot is spilt on your carpet, cover it with a thick layer of table salt and vacuum after half an hour.

Ash stains in ashtrays are best removed by brushing briskly with a small brush like a pastry brush. This cleans them more effectively than washing them.

Caustic soda makes an efficient oven cleaner, but must be kept out of reach of children at all costs. Put 1 tablespoon of caustic soda into 1 pint of water in a plastic or Pyrex container. Wearing rubber gloves, use this mixture to clean the whole of the inside of the oven. It must not touch other surfaces or the floor, so it best to cover the floor with newspaper. Wear rubber gloves and make sure that the room is well ventilated and completely free of children and pets. Once the dirt deposits have softened, wipe them off. Rinse the whole oven extremely well. Once you are sure that all the caustic soda has been rinsed off, wipe the oven over with a solution of 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda to half a pint of water, and leave to dry.

If your sink starts to drain slowly and smell, pour neat bleach down it carefully. A regular application of washing soda washed down by a kettleful of boiling water helps to keep drains sweet and free-flowing.

Should you have a problem with wildlife attacking your garbage bins, sprinkle the inside of the lids with ammonia. Most animals hate the smell.

Clean your fridge with a cloth soaked in a strong solution of bicarbonate of soda and hot water. Charcoal will absorb fridge odors, or you can wipe it over with a cloth dipped in a solution of water and vanilla essence.

If your kettle has become all furred up with limescale deposit, half fill it with equal quantities of water and vinegar, and boil it. Once it has boiled, leave it to soak for some time, then empty and rinse out thoroughly. If the deposits are very thick you may need to repeat this procedure. It is worth doing regularly as your kettle will work much more efficiently without the scale, and you will not get bits of scum floating in your tea. Be sure to rinse the kettle very thoroughly before making drinks with it again. The taste of vinegar does not improve the taste of a fine cup of tea.

If your laminated kitchen top is stained, try leaving a little puddle of either lemon juice or washing soda dissolved in water on the stain, and rinsing it off after a few hours.

Remove rust stains from bathroom basins by leaving a paste of cream of tartar and water on them, rinsing it off after several hours.

If your thermos smells funny, leave a strong solution of bicarbonate of soda and water in it overnight (similar to that used to clean your refrigerator), then rinse out and wash normally. Otherwise leave an eggshell crushed in water in overnight, and rinse and wash the next morning.

Fill tannin-stained teapots with a solution of washing soda and water, soak for several hours and rinse thoroughly. Bleach and water will also do the trick.

Sometimes pots and pans and plastic containers retain the smell of the food cooked or stored in them. Pots and pans may be filled with water with a good slurp of vinegar and boiled up, then rinsed thoroughly. Plastic containers can be filled with a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water, left overnight and then rinsed and washed normally. If the smell persists in either case, repeat the process.

© High Speed Ventures 2011