Have a mess to clean and ran out of the right cleaner? Fear not, the ingredients you need are probably sitting around your home! Below we detail 5 commonly handy items most Aussie households have lying around that convert to superb cleaning tools. Use them to support your clean giving you that fresh new home feel or if you simply have spot or item to wash and want to limit the amount of chemicals used.
Traditional Baking Soda
Baking soda has long been revered for its cleaning abilities. It can be used as a non-harsh cleaner to boost your laundry detergent and brighten clothing in the wash. And did you know that it doubles as a polisher for silver and stainless steel? It’s ideal for cutting through oil and grease and useful for removing crayon and marker from your walls.
Furthermore, baking soda has traditionally been used as a deodoriser for things like kitty litter, refrigerators, and sweaty shoes. Mix baking soda with vinegar to form a powerful solution that will unclog your drains and sinks. It’s a powerful eco-friendly replacement for chemical agents that are unhealthy for you and your home.
Speaking of Vinegar
Vinegar has been used as a cleaning product for generations. It’s a natural acid that helps to clean and eliminate germs from surfaces and works as a brutish grease-cutter.
Adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your laundry acts as a great fabric softener as well. Skip the toxic chemicals used on your kitchen countertops where you prepare food, and instead try a combination of vinegar and lemon juice to clean your food preparation areas. The lemon helps to counteract the harsh smell of vinegar.
However, be careful not to use vinegar on fine stones such as marble and granite where the acidity can result in damage. If you want to know how to clean marble, we’ve got you covered here.
Lemons! Lemons! Lemons!
Mixing pure lemon juice into your cleaning routine yields some impressive results. Like vinegar, it’s a powerful cleaning tool that acts as an antibacterial agent as well as an antiseptic. It can even act as a natural bleach albeit with less strength. Lemons are cheap, portable and easy to pick up at your nearest supermarkets, so try squeezing some fresh lemon juice on your countertop stains, pesky food and cup rings, even and more stubborn stains like turmeric and coffee.
Lemons can also be used to brighten your white linens and degrease the interior of your stove, pots and pans. And if you’re into making your own cleaning solutions then lemon is a pretty good glass cleaner.
Mineral Oils to the Rescue of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a staple material of many modern kitchens and bathrooms. It’s a great material but it can be easily tarnished by greasy fingerprints, food spills, grime and general wear and tear. Luckily, stainless responds well to a plethora of household cleaning products that we wouldn’t usually think to use on the fridge or dishwasher. Like what you ask? Very glad you asked, these items include: olive oil, baby oil, and any mineral oil which refurbish the finish of stainless steel beautifully, as does most furniture polish, and even the carnauba wax that we usually reserve for the car.
Remember vinegar? Yes, trusty old vinegar also acts as a great polish and cleaner for stainless, as does flour strangely enough! Flour acts as a buffer and absorbs dirt and grime - just make sure your sink is completely dry before starting or you can end up with a doughy mess. Rubbing alcohol is no slouch when it comes to cleaning stainless as well.
Just like wood, stainless steel has a grain to it. Therefore, be sure to polish and clean your surfaces in the direction of the grain for optimal results. Never use a steel wool or an abrasive material to clean and shine your stainless-steel appliances, instead use a microfiber cloth that will protect the finish.
Usually found in the first-aid kit or the bathroom medicine cabinet, rubbing alcohol is a mighty-fine cleaner. Made with ethanol, or isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol is a solvent, meaning that it dissolves dirt and oil and can be used as a disinfectant.
Dilute by mixing one part rubbing alcohol and one part water, this concoction can then be substituted for a general disinfectant around the house. It’s also very effective at removing marker and ink stains from just about everywhere - a great cleaning hack for those with little ones running around.
Rubbing alcohol dries almost immediately, making it a prime substance to use when cleaning your computer mouse, keyboard, or cell phone. It cuts bacteria and grime, and you don’t have to worry about water damage.
We hope the above helps you the next time you need a quick cleaning solution at home. Are there any other household items you’ve used to great effect? Let us know below!