Of course, a mild soap and water combination makes a natural pesticide on garden plants.
Instead of Drano, use the good old-fashioned tweezers (or coat hanger) method to unclog drains. Or you can pour hot vinegar, followed by baking soda, down the drain.
To make your own dishwasher detergent, mix equal parts borax and baking soda. (Other recipes recommend washing soda instead of baking soda.) Adjust according to the result, especially if you have hard water. You can also use vinegar as a rinse aid.
To get rid of ant piles, mix equal parts Borax and granulated white sugar and sprinkle around the pile. The ants will take the mixture down to the colony, where it will poison them.
To remove stains or neutralize the odor of a wash cycle, add vinegar. Hydrogen peroxide works like magic to remove blood stains. (I know that doesn’t seem like a common problem, but I have four boys. We have a direct route to the emergency room around here.)
Laundry soap, when I finally sat down to make it, was concocted in a snap. The kids thought it was great fun to grate the bar soap into large, snowy white piles. This is all you need:
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup soda ash (washing soda)
- 2 cups grated bar soap (I use an all-natural soap, but any brand will do.)
- Combine all ingredients in a jar or a box. To use in the wash, you only need about 1/8 cup, or two heaping tablespoons.
Lemon is great for refreshing drains, as is vinegar followed by hot water. And if you don’t like the lingering smell of vinegar when you clean (although it disappears quickly) you can rub everything down with lemon when you’re finished. Lemon also works to neutralize the odor on wooden cutting boards.
Baking soda is a great, non-abrasive cleaner. Use it to shine a white porcelain sink or a formica countertop. Combined with vinegar at the point of impact makes for a stronger cleaning combination. You can also sprinkle it on your carpets before you vacuum. It works as a deodorizer.
Alka seltzer tablets or denture tablets can be dropped into the toilet. They do the cleaning for you. All you have to do is scrub.
Vinegar (with or without the baking soda) can be used to wipe down counters or clean glass and mirrors. Really, it can be used to clean almost anything in your house. Make sure to rinse off tile, as it does disintegrate the grout over time.
See more articles and ideas from Tiffany Gee Lewis on MormonTimes.com.