Cleaning with common household items
Cleaning does not always need to be a super scientific task involving the use of advanced cleaning solutions and chemical agents, available only in the superstores.
There are lots of simple things present in your house that can be used to clean almost anything from floor to ceiling and clothes to furniture. The cleaning solutions include vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and many others.
1. White Vinegar
Vinegar is a universal cleaning agent that can be used to clean and sanitize hundreds of things in your house. Vinegar contains acetic acid which acts as a clean and disinfectant. It can remove stains, mold growth and sanitize various things from clothes, carpets to tiles and other surfaces.
Prepare a mixture of equal parts of plain white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and you are ready to start cleaning.
It can remove a variety of stains from clothes and carpets. Dab stains on clothes with a mixture of white vinegar and water.
It can be used as a sanitizer and deodorant. Wash a bunch of clothes in the washing machine with detergent and a cup of vinegar to get rid of mildew smell.
It can be used as a disinfectant. Clean the glass surface, tiles, grouts and other fixtures in your bathroom with a vinegar solution to get rid of any smelly surface, mold growth and hard water marks.
However, there are some places where you should avoid applying any vinegar at all. Do not apply vinegar on countertops made of marble, granite or other organic stone material.
Due to its acidic nature vinegar can corrode the surface of marble or granite and make them rough and ruin the shine of the surface.
Also avoid vinegar on wooden floors and leather items. It can corrode the shine of these surfaces.
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is the best household cleaner, sanitizer, disinfectant and it is absolutely natural. It has numerous applications apart from just serving as a food ingredient.
Lemon juice contains citric acid which acts as the cleaning agent. It can be used to remove certain kinds of stains from washable fabrics like cotton and polyester. Simply make a paste of lemon and salt and apply on the stain.
Lemon is also used to clean kitchen utensils, pots and pans. Just use a used up lemon peel and rub it on the pans and other utensils, then wash with warm water and you should be done. Works best on stainless steel, brass and copper utensils.
However be careful with silver and gold utensils. The acid juice in lemon can potentially react with silver and corrode it.
A simple mixture of water and lemon juice is an excellent cleaner for plastic items like buckets, bottles and other things. Just use a sponge to rub plastic items with lemon solution and they should be clean and smell fresh.
Lemon juice solution is also excellent for cleaning sinks and clogged drains. Rub it on the sink and it will not only clean it, but also sanitize it and fight bacteria and other forms of germs.
Avoid cleaning any stone surfaces (like marble, granite), wooden surfaces, polished leather and iron objects with lemon juice. The acid in lemon can potentially react with these surfaces and spoil the shine and texture.
3. Plain Salt
Something as simple as salt can be a powerful cleaner if you know how to harness its cleaning powers. Here is a cool video on youtube that shows you exactly how to use salt to clean dirt and mess around your house.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is yet another very common household item that can be used to do cleaning tasks. Baking soda is alkaline in nature which is the reverse of vinegar and lemon.
It can be used to clean cookware, plastic tubs, buckets, wash basins, drainage pipes etc. Baking soda works best on dirt that consists of grease, oil, soil and organic matter.
Baking soda is also useful in cleaning the drainage pipe of your wash basin or kitchen sink. Simply pour some baking soda into the drainage making sure that it drips down into the pipe. Then pour some vinegar.
This will clean the pipe and wash away any organic and mineral dirt accumulated d
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol (methylated spirit) is mildly acidic and and excellent dissolving agent for various chemical compounds.
Rubbing alcohol is not a very powerful cleaning agent. However it is quite effective in removing specific stains like those of permanent marker, ink, wine, tea, coffee. Rubbing alcohol can be used on surfaces that have delicate coatings like polish.
Aftershave solution also has a similar effect like that of rubbing alcohol. It can be used to clean off permanent marker stains from leather sofas, furniture etc. It is also ideal for cleaning glass surfaces with mild dust stains.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another quite powerful cleaning agent. It is useful in removing strong and deep stains from clothes and carpets.
However, due to its strong acidic nature it needs to be used with caution. If you are using it on a fabric to remove stains, make sure to check the fabric type and read the washing instructions on the label.
It can also be used to disinfect plastic containers like buckets, tubs etc. You can also wash rugs and rags with it.
There are certain things you should avoid cleaning with hydrogen peroxide. The rules are similar to any other acidic cleaner like vinegar. Mineral surfaces, wood surface, iron, leather etc should not be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide.
Also avoid hydrogen peroxide on any delicate or non washable fabric like silk, linen or wool. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach the dye on the fabric, ruining the color.
6. Dish Soap
Dish soap is a common household ingredient that is useful beyond just washing dishes. Dish wash liquids can be used to treat many of the food stains.
Stains from chocolate, oil, grease can be removed using a little of baking soda and dish soap. Rub the little baking soda on the stain, followed by a little dish soap. Soak for few minutes, rub again and the stain should be gone. We talked about removing oil and grease stains from clothes in a previous post here.
Here are some useful resources that will explain you further about what are the different types of cleaners and which one should you use when.
[url]http://www.cleanfax.com/carpet-care/the-role-of-ph-in-cleaning/[/url] – This page explains about the pH level of various cleaners, and which one to choose depending on the situation
[url]http://modernstonecare.com/acid-vs-alkaline-what-why-and-when/[/url] – A nice explanation on the pH level of cleaners