Simple doesn’t always mean cost effective. TV dinners are a quick and easy meal choice when there is no time for elaborate meal making. However, they are not cheap by any means.
There are times, though, when simple and cost effective do coincide. Such is the case of homemade cleaning products. The following recipes along with a little elbow grease go a long way in making life easier and less expensive.
First off, head over to the dollar store and buy several quart size spray bottles. Label each solution clearly and keep away from curious hands by storing up high or in a locked cabinet.
Ammonia works wonders. Dilute it with three parts water and use to clean windows, counter tops, and appliances. Straight ammonia can be used to clean ovens (not very dirty ones, though) and will take wax off floors. (Test in an inconspicuous place first.) Always use gloves when working with ammonia and NEVER mix with bleach. The resulting gas vapor is deadly.
An inexpensive alternative to costly metal polishes is a tablespoon of salt dissolved in a half cup of white vinegar. Apply with a scouring pad to polish copper and brass.
Pine oil is a great substitute for combination cleaner/deodorizers. Use full-strength to clean out garbage cans. Diluted, pine oil makes a great cleaner for kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom floors. And best of all, you don’t need to rinse!
A tablespoon of bleach in a quart of warm water is an effective sanitizer. Use for toys that have fallen on the floor or been left outside overnight. Just spritz, wipe and rinse in clean water.
As wonderful as all these cleaning solutions are, however, there is one that outshines them all — baking soda! Sprinkle some down your drains and garbage disposals. Add white vinegar and you will see it working, foaming up to remove gunk and deodorize as well. Baking soda works as well as carpet deodorizers, at a fraction of the cost. Add enough water to make a paste to clean chrome fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen. Use the paste to remove coffee and tea stains from coffee pots, cups and counter tops. Put baking soda’s deodorizing properties to work in freezers, refrigerators, and diaper pails.