DIY Cleaning Hacks: Only 5 Ingredients for a Spotless Home

Have you ever felt overwhelmed walking down the cleaning aisle of your local supermarket? With so many products to choose from, each with its own claims of effectiveness and eco-friendliness, it's so easy to get confused.

Do you REALLY need a specific cleaner for the kitchen, bathroom, or other surfaces throughout the house? Not necessarily!

What if I told you that you could make most of your household cleaning products yourself using only a few ingredients? Below we explain how you too can easily make any number of household cleaning products.

The Fab Five

You can clean most of your home with just these few natural non-toxic ingredients:

  • White Vinegar
  • Bicarb. Soda (or sometimes baking soda)
  • Castille Soap
  • Lemon Juice
  • Natural Fragrances (optional)

The heroes in this list are white vinegar and baking soda. While most people know that baking soda is a helpful cleaning and deodorizing agent, and that vinegar packs serious antibacterial and rust-fighting powers, when these two substances are combined, they become even more powerful. Mixing vinegar and bicarbonate soda produces a foaming reaction that releases carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles), as well as liquid water, acetate ions, and sodium ions. This reaction can be used for cleaning purposes, and it's easy to do.

So, now that you know a bit about the science it's time to find out how to use it to your advantage. Here are some common DIY cleaning products that can be made at home using these everyday ingredients:

How to Make Your Own Cleaning Products

All-Purpose Cleaner 

  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Optionally, add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance or some lemon rind or rosemary sprigs

If you’re looking for something to clean your kitchen surfaces, bedroom furniture, bathroom and general odds and ends with then look no further! This general, all-purpose household cleaner will freshen up, scrub and naturally disinfect all in one handy mixture.

Bathroom Cleaner

  • Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup liquid castile soap and enough water to form a paste.
  • Optionally, add a few drops of tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties.
  • Apply to surfaces, scrub, and rinse well.

Drain Cleaner

  • Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain.
  • Follow with 1/2 cup white vinegar.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes, then flush with boiling water.
  • Let sit for a further 10 minutes, then flush out with hot water again

Glass Cleaner 

  • Mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle.
  • Optionally, add a few drops of dish soap for extra cleaning power.

Fabric Softener 

  • Mix 1 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil if desired.
  • Use as you would commercial fabric softener, adding to the rinse cycle of your laundry.

Oven Cleaner 

  • Mix baking soda with enough water to form a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the interior surfaces of your oven.
  • Let it sit overnight, then scrub and wipe clean the next day.

Clean Pots and Pans

If you accidentally burn your food at the bottom of a pot or pan, don't worry. You can easily fix the problem by using baking soda and vinegar.

  • First, pour some water into the bottom of the pan, and then add about one cup (240 millilitres) of vinegar.
  • Heat the pan until it simmers, and then remove it from the heat.
  • Add two tablespoons of baking soda and let the pan soak until there are no more bubbles.
  • Finally, use a scouring pad to scrub the pan, and you will see the crustiness disappear.

Dishwasher Maintenance Cleaner

  •  1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup baking soda

Instructions:

  1. Empty the Dishwasher: Make sure your dishwasher is empty before starting the cleaning process.

  2. Sprinkle Baking Soda: Sprinkle the baking soda along the bottom of the dishwasher.

  3. Pour in Vinegar: Pour the white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe container or bowl and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher.

  4. Run the Dishwasher: Run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle. The combination of baking soda and vinegar will help break down limescale and remove buildup from the dishwasher's interior.

  5. Wipe Down: Once the cycle is complete, carefully remove the container with vinegar and wipe down the interior of the dishwasher with a clean cloth or sponge to remove any remaining residue.

  6. Optional Rinse: If there is still visible buildup, you can run another hot water cycle with a small amount of dishwasher detergent to help rinse away any remaining residue.

  7. Regular Maintenance: To prevent future buildup, consider using this DIY dishwasher cleaner once a month or as needed, and make sure to regularly clean the filter and spray arms of the dishwasher according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Stainless Steel Sink Restorer

To restore the shine of your stainless steel sink follow the below steps.

  • First wet the sink. Then, sprinkle baking soda all over the sink and scrub it thoroughly using a brush or cloth. Rinse the sink with water.
  • Next, soak some paper towels in white vinegar and place them all over the sink. Let the towels rest on the sink for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the towels and rinse the sink again to get a shiny and clean stainless steel sink.

Revitalise Towels

Towels can lose their softness and develop an unpleasant odour due to the repeated use of detergent and fabric softener. The accumulation of soap residue can make the towels less absorbent and give them a rough texture. To restore their softness and freshness, you can use a combination of baking soda and vinegar. This method will help eliminate any residue on the towels and leave them smelling fresh and feeling soft.

  • First, wash the towels in hot water with 1 cup of vinegar but without any detergent.
  • Then give them a second wash with 1 cup of baking soda and hot water.
  • Finally, dry the towels in a dryer without using fabric softener.

Deodarise the Toilet

Even if your toilet is already clean, you can still benefit from this hack.

  • Pour one cup of baking soda into the bowl, followed by one cup of vinegar (some people use a half cup of each instead).
  • Close the toilet lid and allow the mixture to fizz for around 30 minutes. Afterwards, use a toilet brush to scrub the bowl and make it sparkling clean.

A Final Word of Advice 

Always test any new mixtures or cleaners you make before using them fully. Find a small spot to do a test and make sure it doesnt cause any damage to the surfaces you intend to clean.

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