Homemade Cleaners

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

From the newsletter of the Old Farmer's Almanac


Ripley, MS

What a nice article. I love the almanac. I have just about stopped buying so many cleaners. I go to the automotive section and buy a gallon of Superclean. I keep a spray bottle full of it. I also keep a spray bottle of vinegar for mirrors, the Superclean makes a mess on glass.
A gallon of the Superclean is around 6.00 and will last you for a long time. It can be diluted, but I usually use it straight.

Waynesboro, MS(Zone 8a)

For cleaning pots and pans,nothing beats clay

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Clay? Any special kind?Do you use it as a scrub or just spread it on, let it dry, then rinse?

Waynesboro, MS(Zone 8a)

I use regular red clay I get from digging a foot or so down
Most of the abrasive type cleaners have clay as their main ingrediate
I also use it on other metals such as the outdore grill.
It takes a little elbow grease to get a very crudy item clean.

Pioneer, CA

The absolute best spot remover for clothes I've found is the same thing my Grandma used--
Fells Naptha bar soap. I saw an Ophra show featuring Consumers magazine 'testers"
and in the tests they did, this one was the winner. I bought some and will never use another type of product. You just wet the fabric rub in some soap and in most cases the spot will disappear, it's really good stuff! Use peroxide for blood though, then follow up with the soap.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

But where can you find it? Eons have passed the stores locally carried it.

Pioneer, CA

I buy it at Safeway, but I would think that some of the other stores have it, maybe you could request that they carry it. I hope you can find it, it's much less expensive then the other stuff, and works better too.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I've seen it on occasion, I can't remember where but the only places I buy cleaners are Target and grocery stores, so it had to be one of those!

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

I can get it locally at the grocery store or the hardware store.
But just in case I bookmarked this website .........

lots of good basic recipes there as well.

Pioneer, CA

Isn't it amazing how some of the old products disappeared and yet were, by far,so much better. I saw Barkeepers Friend on that site and it's the best cleanser ever, even cleans copper pans. I buy that all the time too.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

The old campfire way of cleaning pots and pans is scouring with sand, not that I use it ~ LOL

To quickly clean copper, lemon juice and salt and a little elbow grease.

And to remove rusty stains from cloth, salt and lemon juice and sunshine.

Baking soda to scour sinks and then, add vinegar to purge the drain.

Anyone ever use Mrs. Stewarts Bluing?http://www.mrsstewart.com/pages/laundryhelp.htm

Pioneer, CA

Man, I think I'm really old LOL-- I use Mrs. Stewarts bluing in the last rinse of my white clothes.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I remember using bluing to grow crystals for a science project when I was a kid...I forget what you mixed it with to make the crystals, I think it might have been either ammonia or epsom salts?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Sorry, that link didn't work ~ http://www.mrsstewart.com/pages/otheruses.htm
Including the Magic Salt Crystal Garden instructions.

Dguimo ~ your not old till you use it in your last hair rinse... LOL Directions for that and pets on their site too.

Pioneer, CA

LOL I think my grandma must have done that!!

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

I remember when I was a kid and first found out what bluing was and then found out Grandma used it in her hair. Ah, yes, the good ole days, when an additive for the laundry doubled as a hair product. LOL!

I remember reading somewhere about Yucca root being a great cleaner. I've never actually tried it, but last year when DH and I dug up my mammoth sized Yucca I had some roots break off and I threw them in a bucket. When I used the hose to add water to the bucket they began to send up little suds bubbles. I was so intrigued by this. I'd love to use Yucca to make soap or cleaners...just to be able to say I did it, lol.

Check out Arm & Hammer's site on uses for baking soda. I just discovered using it as a facial exfoliant and I love it. I also add it to my bath water. It gives the same smooth skin as those bath bombs, but sooo much cheaper.

Another good thing is vinegar, if you can stand the smell. Here's a site on that...
and another one, but I can't get it to open right now...

I've used vinegar in the garden to kill weeds. It was a nice organic alternative to RoundUp, but it took too long for me and my whole garden smelled like vinegar until it rained. I won't be doing that again! People would come by and be like, "Hmm, do you smell something funny?"

I've also read that Borax can be used to kill any plant that you want to rid your garden of, but beware, it may mess up the soil so badly that nothing will grow there for years. I've not tried this one, but I've got some Virginia Creeper that it may be necessary to try this on. I'm thinking to then cover the area with mulch and set plants in containers around. We'll see.

Houston, TX(Zone 9b)

This is one of the recipes from the article.

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil Mix the ingredients well, rub on the floor, and buff with a clean, dry cloth.

Do you think it would leave the floor slick? Sounds easy enough, but I don't want to make it slick.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I think the buffing part takes care of that--if you just let it sit there then it might make it slippery but if you buff it that'll absorb any excess.

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

I'd say try it in an area that's usually covered with a piece of furniture or a rug with a gripper under it.

We had hardwood floors at home and Mom would get the same wax they used in the hospital. OMgosh, those floors would be so super slippery. We'd all put our socks on and slide down the hallway. We once even got the dog into it and put old stockings on her. Yeah, it was kind of like a free-for-all sometimes after Mom went to work, but we had fun. Poor dog though.


At one thime I had a grey horse. Before a parade, Iwould rinse his tail with blueing. It would take all of the yellow out.----Beth

Mid-Michigan, MI(Zone 5b)

This is one of the recipes from the article.

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil Mix the ingredients well, rub on the floor, and buff with a clean, dry cloth.

Do you think it would leave the floor slick? Sounds easy enough, but I don't want to make it slick.

I've used a mixture of 1 tsp of vinegar, 1 tsp of vegetable oil and 1 qt of hot water on my 50+ yr old wood floors. They shine, but aren't slippery. I love it and won't use any other cleaner. It's cheap and effective and non-toxic. I've got 3 dogs and 2 kids :)


Sugar Land, TX

white vinegar and baking soda (the kids loved the fizz) combined make the best grout cleaner I've ever used, including several expensive brands. The acid in the vinegar cleans the group, and the baking soda adds some grit while scrubbing - paste like. It's also safe enough that the kids can help me scrub! haha (Why do little kids love jobs like that, but as they get older.... )

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Most supermarkets that carry the old brands usually place them down on the bottom shelf, instead of at an eye-catching level like the popular brands. When I spot Fels Naptha, I usually buy two or three bars because I never know when I'll come across it again. It's like the old saying, "If everybody doesn't want it, nobody gets it". Markets only want to stock what will sell to the majority of people.

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