These mix-it-yourself cleaners use environmentally friendly ingredients — like baking soda and vinegar — and are quite inexpensive. If you’ve run out of your favorite cleaning solution, don’t run to the store; try one of these standbys instead.
1. GLASS CLEANER
Great for: Windows and mirrors
• 2 cups water
• 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration)
• 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)
How to use: Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Spray on a paper towel or soft cloth first, then on the glass. Hint: Don’t clean windows on a hot, sunny day because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks.
2. HEAVY-DUTY SCRUB
Great for: Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs
• Half a lemon
• 1/2 cup borax (a laundry booster; find it in the detergent aisle)
How to use: Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub surface; rinse. (Not safe for marble or granite.)
3. GREASE CLEANER
Great for: Oven hoods, grills
• 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia mixed with enough water to fill a one-gallon container. (Sudsy ammonia, which has detergent in it, helps remove tough grime.)
How to use: Dip sponge or mop in solution and wipe over surface, then rinse area with clear water.