Summertime is the time for picnics, pools, and relaxing cash slots gaming on your front porch. You can’t neglect daily chores but you can save time and money if you take care of those household cleaning tasks using tried-and-true cleaning hacks using basic ingredients that you likely have sitting around in your pantry, fridge and medicine cabinet.
Use these simple cleaning hacks to free up your time for your favorite summertime activities.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
The combination of vinegar and baking soda creates a powerful chemical reaction that cuts through grease and lifts stains. Add some vinegar to baking soda and the resulting fizzing reaction will quickly convince you of its effectiveness in cleaning porcelain, plastic, fabrics and much more.
The baking soda and vinegar combination works because the acid in vinegar breaks down the baking soda which releases carbon dioxide gas. This helps to lift dirt from various surfaces. All this occurs without the harsh chemicals often found in commercially-made cleaners which can cause skin rashes, allergic reactions and more.
Never combine bleach with vinegar. Doing so creates chlorine gas, a potentially deadly combination.
You can use the baking soda/vinegar combination to clean your garbage disposal, washing machine, sinks, grout, shower mildew and mold, food that’s stuck onto the surface of a microwave or a sink, carpets, clothing and upholstery, pots and pans, oven, stovetop, cooked-on-stains, silverware, microwave, toilet bowl and bathroom sink.
By the way, if you have a clogged kitchen or bathroom sink, try baking soda and vinegar before you call a plumber. Pour hot water down the sink to warm up the pipe. Pour down a cup of baking soda (shove it into the sink hole) and then, over it, pour a cup of vinegar. Pour another cup of hot water down the pipe and cover the opening for 5 minutes to let the chemical reaction work to release the grease. You may need to repeat the process.
Take out that pile of stained clothing that you’ve stuck in the back of your closet and get to work. You can renovate your wardrobe by putting formerly stained clothes back into circulation. Different stains require different types of treatments.
If your clothing is stained with wine, turn the item inside out and run cold water on the “wrong” side of the fabric to force the stain out (club soda works as well as water, no better and no worse). Then, soak the item in a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water – overnight is best. Put the item in the washing machine and wash as usual.
Leverette recommends “flushing” the stain by holding the fabric wrong side up under running cold water to force the stain out — contrary to advice, club soda doesn’t work any better than plain water, she says. Mix a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water (or use a product with those ingredients) and soak the entire garment for at least one hour. “Four hours are better, overnight is best,” she says. Check the stains and wash as usual.
For a grease stain, go find your vinegar bottle which, as mentioned, is effective in breaking down grease. Mix 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water and apply it to the stain. If the stain is stubborn, soak the item in the solution overnight.
You may need to repeat the treatment but DON’T put the item in the dryer until the stain is completely gone – a cycle in the dryer can set the stain permanently.
Ink stains aren’t as common these days as they once were since people aren’t using pens as much. But they still happen and they’re still as stubborn as ever. If you get an ink stain on an item of clothing, dip a cotton swab in clear rubbing alcohol and then dab it on the ink stain to lift off the stain (as ink is absorbed into the cotton ball, throw it away and use a fresh cotton ball for the next dab, etc). Dab from the outside edge of the stain towards the center. Get as much out as you can and then wash.
Carpets and Upholstery
Use laundry soap and water and dab the stains to lift them out of a carpet. After the stain seems to have been removed, blog the area with plain water.
If you have urine odors in a carpet or piece of upholstery, mix vinegar and water and soak up the mess with a piece of paper toweling as soon as possible. Use an old shoe to press onto the paper towel in order to soak up as much of the urine as possible.
Don’t wait…..the longer the urine stays in the piece, the more set the smell becomes. Follow up by sprinkling baking soda on the affected area and then spraying with a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. If you have a dark carpet or upholstery piece, try the hydrogen peroxide/water on a small corner that is generally unseen to make sure that it won’t discolor the area.
If the carpet/upholstery stain is oil, sprinkle baking soda on the fabric, let it sit for a few hours and then vacuum. If a stain remains, rub on a mixture of white vinegar, dishwashing liquid, baking soda, and warm water.
To freshen up your bathtub, mix baking soda with liquid soap and a few drops of anti-bacterial soap. Rub that paste in the tub to clean it without using chemicals that can take off the tub’s finish.