Our grandparents were resourceful, and stuck to methods that worked. Where many households today use consumable cleaning aids such as paper towels and bleach wipes, our grandparents used lint-free tea towels and a bit more elbow grease. Check out some of these natural cleaning tips:
1. White Vinegar
A mixture of water, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol creates a streak-free cleaner to cut through the grime, leaving windows sparkling. In a clean container, add one cup water and 1 tablespoon of both white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Swirl in a spray bottle to mix all three ingredients. Spray onto windows as you'd regularly use a commercial cleaner and wipe with a reusable cloth. It's worth the money to invest in lint-free cloths; simply use, wash, dry, and repeat!
White vinegar exists as an excellent, chemical-free weed killer as well. Keep pesky weeds at bay by dousing them with this vinegar. Interestingly, you can also add 1-2 tablespoons of this vinegar with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar to cut flowers to increase their life. Need a microwave cleaner? Mix 1 cup of water with a ¼ cup of vinegar and boil in the microwave. Afterwards? You'll be able to easily wipe away everything.
This versatile cleaner still proudly waits on grocery shelves to be discovered. Borax is ideal for cleaning both floors as well as freshening laundry. For floors, sprinkle a bit onto a sponge and scrub - a little will go a long way. For laundry, use Borax to rid clothes of stinky odors (ideal for athletic clothes); simply add to an eco-friendly detergent. It can also help remove bad stains with a pre-soak.
Borax is also ideal as a toilet bowl cleaner, as it works to remove both stains and smells. Flush to wet the toilet bowl and quickly sprinkle borax to the sides. Spray a bit of white vinegar over the Borax and let it sit overnight. Wipe clean the next morning.
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3. Lemon Juice
Lemons aren't just great in iced tea; use them to naturally whiten dingy clothes. For each gallon of hot water, juice one entire lemon. Soak dirty whites for 2 or more hours, letting the lemon work its magic on the yellowed fabrics. Rinse, and then let the clothes naturally dry in the sun. The whites will emerge whiter without using harsh chemicals such as bleach.
Lemon juice can be used to polish furniture as well. Invest in a good olive oil, and mix three parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. Polish onto wooden furniture for a noticeable shine.
Invest in a few old pillowcases to help you dust ceiling fan blades. The amount of dust that can accumulate up there is scary…just as scary as the dust pummeling down into the room like an indoor snowfall. To avoid scattering this dust to the four corners of the room, grab some old pillowcases at the local thrift shop. Place the blade inside the pillowcase and dust!
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5. Peanut Butter
This pantry staple is ideal for getting gum out of hair. Why? Because the fat and oil content works to break down gum. Any nut butter with similar composition will work wonders in saving that hair clump from scissors.
6. Baking Soda
Now here's the all-star, toxic-free cleaning agent. Soaking burnt pots and pans overnight can help to remove the black stains. Baking soda is a great replacement for commercial chemical degreasers. Have a ring around your tub from bath time? Wipe it with white vinegar and then scrub with baking soda. Rise with water. Baking soda can also be used for scouring sinks. Simply opening a box and placing it in the fridge works to remove odors; this trick works in any room! Sprinkle a bit on carpet before vacuuming to remove pesky odors - especially those from pets.
And this essential cleaning item does more than just clean the home - you can also use it to clean your teeth. Baking soda toothpaste has been around for decades. Simply mix a paste to your preferred consistency with water. Brush, rinse, repeat!
Do you have any great cleaning tips that you learned from your grandparents? Share them below!