Harsh chemicals aren't just bad for you and the environment, they're bad for your wallet too. Cleaning most things, from clothes to your kitchen, can be done greenly and cheaply with these six nifty do-it-yourself cleaning recipes from Consumer Reports...
1. Air Fresheners: Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon vinegar with 2 cups of hot water. Pour into a spritzer and follow the dog.
2. Detergent Enhancers: Add 1/2 cup baking or washing soda to your detergent mix. It'll reduce the amount of detergent you need and add minerals that soften water. For liquid detergent, add the 1/2 cup at the start of the wash. For powdered detergent, add it at the start of the rinse cycle.
3. Super Cleaners: Add 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a quart of water and spray the mix onto your dirty windows. To reduce streaks, put down your paper towels and wipe the windows with newspaper.
4. Stain Removers: Try cream of tartar. Yes, cream of tartar. The bleach alternative removes spots from aluminum cookware and kills germs. You should be able to find it in supermarkets and drug stores, if it's not already on your shelf.
5. Grease Dissolvers: Scrub your countertops with a baking soda and liquid soap mix, but don't make more than you need because the mix will quickly solidify. For greasy ovens, mix 1 cup of baking soda with a 1/4 cup washing soda and add water until you get a paste. Apply it to the oven and let it seep in overnight.
6. Borax To The Bathroom! Make an excellent all-around borax bathroom sanitizer by adding 2 teaspoons of borax and 4 tablespoons of vinegar to 3 or 4 cups of water. For toilets, pour 1 cup of borax into the bowl before you go to sleep and scrub and flush in the morning.
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