5 Things To Clean Your Home

When cleaning your home is a bore, or just too expensive, liven things up by making your own products. Not only will you know everything that’s in what you’re spraying around your home, but you’ll save some money, too.

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1. Herbal Carpet Freshener

Many commercial air and carpet deodorizers mask odours by deadening the nerves associated with your sense of smell. To truly freshen carpets around your home, try this inexpensive natural formula instead. If you don't like the smell of lavender, you can also freshen up carpets with plain baking soda.

What You'll Need:

½ cup lavender flowers

1 cup baking soda

What To Do:

1. In a large bowl, brush the lavender flowers to release their scent.
2. Add the baking soda and mix well. Pour the mixture into a cheese shaker or a can with holes punched in the lid.
3. Sprinkle liberally on the carpet. Wait 30 minutes; then vacuum.

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2. Wall and Cabinet Cleaner

If you have dingy cupboards, this cleaning solution will deodorize them as well as wiping up the dust and dirt.

What You'll Need:

1 cup clear household ammonia

1 cup white vinegar

¼ cup baking soda

3.75 litres warm water

What To Do:

1. Combine the ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda in a large bucket, add water, and give it a few stirs.

2. Use a sponge or cloth rag to wash walls, ceilings, floors, or cabinets

3. Wipe up the excess liquid with a clean cloth and allow to dry thoroughly before replacing contents.

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3. Citrus Disinfectant

If you like pricey commercial orange cleaners, you'll love this fresh citrus-scented vinegar spray that is easy to make and costs less than a dollar.

What You'll Need: 

Peel from 1 orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime
3 cups white vinegar
1 clean quart jar with lid
1 clean quart jar with lid
1 clean, 1 litre spray bottle

What To Do:

1. Combine the citrus peel and vinegar in the quart jar. Fasten the lid on the jar and store the mixture in the cupboard for two weeks, giving it an occasional shake.
2. Remove the peel from the jar, strain the vinegar, and return it to the jar. 

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4. Tough Multipurpose Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning non-wood surfaces around your home, this cleaner is tough to beat - you might even say it's "fantastic". And it costs next to nothing!

What You'll Need:

3 ½ cups hot water
½ cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon borax
1 teaspoon washing soda
1 teaspoon liquid castile soap
1 clean 1-litre spray bottle

What To Do:

1. Fill spray bottle first with hot water then add vinegar, borax, washing soda, and liquid castile soap. Shake well before using.
2. Spray on countertops, kitchen appliances and fixtures, and tile or painted surfaces.
3. Wipe on with a clean cloth or damp sponge.

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5. Pine Floor Cleaner

You shouldn't have to spend a small fortune to give your no-wax floors a pine-fresh smell. This excellent cleaner will do the job for only a few cents a floor. Since soap flakes are not widely available as they once were, it's usually necessary to make your own by grating a soap bar; it only takes a minute or so.

What You'll Need:

1/2 cup soap flakes
1/4 cup washing soda
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 teaspoons pine oil
1 clean 500-ml plastic bottle with tight fitting lid
1 cup white vinegar

What To Do:

1. To make the soap flakes, lightly grate a bar of pure soap, such as Ivory, on a coarse kitchen grater
2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the soap, washing soda, salt, and water and stir until everything is dissolved.
3. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool until it is lukewarm. Add the pine oil. Stir well, pour into the plastic bottle, and secure the top.
4. To use, pour 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cleaner into a half-bucket of hot water, stirring well. For large areas, you may need to double the amount.
5. After cleaning, add the vinegar to a half-bucket of clean water and rinse the floor.