It’s that time of year: Warm weather and bright sun are highlighting the dusty, dirty, and perhaps even smelly spots in our home that need a refresh. It might be tempting to pull out the harsh chemicals, from Clorox to Lysol spray…but before you do (and get the headache that comes with spraying them), try these easy DIY options below to save your health and wealth. Simple ingredients like baking soda might not seem mighty, but when used the right way, they are sometimes just as effective, if not more so.
To Lift Oven Grease: Use Baking Soda Paste
Skip chemical-laden oven spray and opt for this effective, all-natural trick that’s a favorite of Carly Campbell, a blogger at MommyOnPurpose.com. “Simply mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste, then spread it on the interior of your oven and let it sit for a few hours or overnight.” Baking soda will react with cooked-on grease and remove it, so all you need to do is wipe it away with a damp cloth.
To Make Your Own ‘Eraser Sponge’: Try This 10 Cent Recipe
Forget investing in fancy ‘magic’ sponges: Cleaning expert Stefan Bucur of RhythmOfTheHome.com assures that you can create an incredibly effective version for pennies. Just mix 1 cup of baking soda and ½ cup of water to form a paste. Add ½ cup of liquid castile soap. Stir and pour the solution into an ice cube tray; let it sit for 4 hours until it solidifies, then use it to lift grime easily.
To Clean Floors: Mop With an ‘Orphan’ Sock
Run out of chemical-laden sheets for your wet mop? Simply grab a sock, says Sara San Angelo of ConfessionsOfACleaningLady.com. Dampen it with your favorite, all-natural cleaner and stretch it around the mop head to lift dirt in minutes.
To Remove Fingerprints on Stainless Steel: Use White Vinegar
Stainless-steel appliances don’t require special cleaning products after all. “White vinegar is 5 to 10 percent acetic acid, making it a highly effective solution that works wonders on stainless steel,” says Robert Johnson, director at Coast Appliances. Just combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz evenly over the appliance’s surface, then give it a quick wipe.
To Get Glass Gleaming: Apply This Rubbing Alcohol Mixture
To clean glass fast, combine ½ cup of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and 2 cups of water. Spray on windows, wait a couple of minutes, then wipe. “The soap lifts dirt and the alcohol erases residue, leaving surfaces streak-free,” says Sarah Joseph of Parental Queries. “It’s so easy, you’ll never pay for glass cleaner again.” (Note: Rubbing alcohol is also great for cleaning leather.)
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.