Saturday, May 1, 2010

Frugal Household Cleaning

Do you find that your tub has mineral deposits from your water, soap scum or those nasty bath rings that you find after everyone has finished bathing? Instead of getting out the harsh chemicals to clean with, here is an easy way to tackle it. Start by filling the tub with hot water, then add in 4 cups of regular white vinegar. Allow mixture to sit for several hours or overnight. Drain water and rinse. Your tub should now be clean and dirt free. 

The town we used to live in would "treat" the water lines quite often. In turn, our water would be rusty colored or even brown at times for days after they treated it. Yes, it was nasty!! You learned real quick not to do your laundry until at least a week later once the water has had time to run clear again or else your whites would be brownish orange. Then of course there was the issue of the toilet. How embarrassing it would be to know that after being used, the commode had in fact been flushed but because of the water it looked as if it had remnants of the last use in it. If you didn't warn your company first, it would be an awkward situation until they themselves flushed and saw that it was in fact the water. This nasty water would discolor the porcelain in the toilet, so you had to get the Clorox out or other chemicals to try and bleach the basin back to it's original state. It was so frustrating!!!! So trying an old method that my Grandmother had told me about years and years ago, I poured a can of Coca-Cola in the toilet. After it sat for several hours and then flushed it to rinse, I was surprised at how clean the basin was. Of course I didn't try this until after the water was already running clear, otherwise I was defeating the purpose. For any stains that remained, I only had to take my toilet brush and brush over the area and flush once more. Voila! Clean and stain free until the next city water treatment occurred.

This is one that I have mentioned before, but for those burnt on casserole dishes or pans, instead of working your elbow grease on cleaning it, spray it with oven cleaner. Allow the cleaner to sit and within 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the burnt on food) simply take your dish sponge and wipe the mess away; then wash as usual. It's so easy and it really works. Another method you can try is using a fabric softener sheet. Fill your pot or casserole with hot water and lay your drier sheet in the water. Let it sit for several hours, then wash as normal. The burnt/stuck on food will wipe away with ease. 

We have a set of crystal drinking glasses that unfortunately made their way into the dishwasher. The result was an etched cloudy look on the glass. I saw a tip and wanted to see if it really worked , so I tried it. I filled my sink with warm water and placed my glassware in the water. Then I tossed in a copper penny and swished it around a bit. Within 5-10 minutes, I pulled the glasses out of the water and rinsed. After drying them, I could notice that they were much shinier than they had been. It did help with the cloudy film that the dishwasher detergent had marred them with, but some had been etched by the detergent so they still had somewhat of a mar but they were much shiner. So if you have crystal that just needs a touch up clean, try pulling out your pennies and giving it a try. 

Who needs Draino when you have a clogged drain? All you need is jello. Mix one packet of jello with 1 c. of boiling water. Allow it to cool and then stir in 2 oz. of regular white vinegar and 1 c. of room temperature water. Place mixture in the icebox to cool but not fully set up. You are only looking for a gel like consistency. Pour jello down the clogged drain and allow it to sit overnight. Come morning, run hot water down the drain while the disposal is running. The clog should be cleared. Depending upon the nature of the clog you may need to repeat the process once more to fully clear it, but one application is usually enough for those everyday clogs.  (Source: Joey Green, author of Fix-It Magic)


Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

FABULOUS environmentally and pocket book friendly tips!


Caroline said...

I love storing tips like these in my home tending binder. Thanks!

Marmee's Pantry said...

EXCELLENT tips! Right up my alley. Thanks!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Amy said...

WOW!! The jell-o sink clog tip is just awesome!!! Thanks for the info! I just hate using the harsh chemicals like Draino.

Sheri said...

Great ideas! Thanks for alternatives to expensive and harsh chemicals. I've used the oven cleaner on the spiders that go on my gas stove top. It worked great there as well. That is one chemical cleaner that I don't think there is an alternative. I'm going to do the vinegar trick with my tub today! Thanks again.