Cleaning Tips Indoors & Out

9 Homemade Cleaning Products

Simple ingredients from the pantry can be used to make cleaning products that are kinder to the environment for a fraction of the cost.

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Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol provides the base for an evaporating cleaner to rival commercial window and glass cleaning solutions. Use it on windows, mirrors, chrome fixtures and for a shiny finish on hard-surface ceramic tiles.

Ammonia

An alkaline solution, clear ammonia creates stronger window and all-purpose cleaning recipes than acidic vinegar. Choose a nonsudsing type: Suds may look as if they're working, but they're tough to rinse and remove.

Green Cleaners

Homemade cleaning products offer many advantages to cost-conscious households. Using on-hand ingredients can be far less expensive than buying commercial cleaners, won't generate discarded product packaging, and the household avoids exposure to harsh chemicals or toxic ingredients. Try these cleaning recipes as a starting point, increasing or decreasing their strength as your household's cleaning needs require.

Homemade Spray Cleaner
Try this recipe to harness the cleaning power of white vinegar. Mix in a spray bottle:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Homemade Glass Cleaner
Try this recipe to harness the cleaning power of rubbing alcohol. Mix in a spray bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Try the following formulations for spring cleaning or tough chores.

Strong Glass Cleaner
Mix in a spray bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon clear, nonsudsing ammonia

Strong All-Purpose Cleaner
Mix in a spray bottle:
1 tablespoon clear, nonsudsing ammonia
1 tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid
2 cups water

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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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