Economical Household Cleaners

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I got these recipes from my parenting magazine, July or August 08 issue. I see threads about such a lot but I'm wondering, what would be the shelf life of these? How long can they sit and be effective?

Ingredients: baking soda, distilled white vinegar, olive oil, lemon

All Purpose Mix: 1 part vinegar + 1 part water, in a spray bottle. Good on glass, countertops, and toilets. Do not use on marble. I'm wondering, how sanitary is it to just clean a toilet with vinegar???

Laundry: Add 1/2 cup vinegar during the rinse cycle to soften clothing and cut down on odors.

Bathroom: Mix water and baking soda to form a paste to scrub fixtures and tile. You can sprinkle baking soda in the toilet bowl, add a splash of vinegar to make if fizz, then clean with toilet brush.

Wood: Combine 2 parts lemon juice + 1 part olive oil. Pour a small amount on a clean rag and use to polish wood surfaces.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Vinegar does have some antibacterial properties, although the vinegar you buy from the grocery store is already fairly dilute and then cutting it 50/50 with water doesn't help, so I don't think it's going to kill all the nasty stuff in the toilet. Certainly not as well as a regular disinfectant would. If you want to improve your odds of it killing germs, I'd add in a little dish soap as well, although if you're really worried about toilet germs that's still not going to do the job that a disinfectant would.

As far as shelf life, things like the plain vinegar/water mix should last for a long time. The baking soda paste is probably best if you make it on the spot as you're using it. The lemon juice and olive oil I'm not sure about, but I suspect it'll go bad much quicker. If you polish wood all the time you might be able to keep it for a week or something, but if you don't do the wood all that frequently I'd make small amounts each time you need it.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

The vinegar in the rinse water really works great. My daughter was allergic to everything that touched her skin when she was a baby. We had to use cloth diapers, and the vinegar in the rinse water removes detergent residue, plus the diapers were softer than they would have been when I hung them in the sun to dry. If you have really oily hair or get pimples on your scalp, put a little in a bottle of water and rinse your scalp after shampooing. (not if you color your hair.) A doctor told me this when I was a teen. Much cheaper than all the stuff they sell now.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I had a problem with the laundry going "sour" if I left it in the washer overnight. The vinegar did the trick! It smells very fresh, not at all like you would expect! My daughter has asthmatic reactions to dryer sheets. I don't use them so the nice softening & freshness of the vinegar is great. Love it.

I get an email newletter from She gives you hints & little tasks to do each day to keep your house in order. Many days I just delete it, but I do get a lot of good ideas from it. One thing I do now is to pour about an inch of mulit purpose cleaner into the toilet brush bowl. She says to use any type of soap - from shampoo (maybe a little hotel sample or one that you bought that you didn't care for) to mr clean. I bet straight vinegar because it is an acid would work. I agree to add a little soap. Then give the toilet a little swoosh every day. It keeps the grime down & make the big cleaning super easy.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I'm to lazy on the toilet scrubbing, far from being frugal I buy the Kaboom drop-ins that last a month in the tank. They won't eat the toilet parts like the straight bleach tabs that which we used to use. But I do sanitize the surface of the toilet seat/handle daily!

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I love the Kaboom drop in, I tested it in 1 bathroom first and I'll be putting it in the others.
And here's the great sample!!!!!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Funny you mention this as I mentioned how we preferred this product.

We'd bought the tank inserts to hold the cleaning crystals and now Kaboom has up and changed the product design and they are tabs (though still not the corosive bleach tabs) and we didn't buy refills because we aren't sure if the new tabs fit the old tank holders that went with the old style.

Does that make sense lol?

Guess we'll just have to buy one and see.

Naperville, IL

I buy a large quart spray bottle of Awesome Cleaner at the Dollar Tree store for a buck. It can be used full strength for spraying and wiping fingerprints off woodwork (like Fantastic), a capful in another spray bottle filled with water for windows ...1/4 C. in a bucket of water for floor washing, 1/2 C. in my rug shampooer ...etc. Really good and a great value. Sandy

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Vinegar for laundry rinsing is marvelous - haven't bought a fabric softener in years. I do run an extra rinse cycle for it though as I don't believe the one rinse the washer is set for can remove all the detergent residue in a hardwater area like this.

For windows I dilute the vinegar by about 1/4 with water. I use pickling vinegar which is 9% acidity and it really attacks streaks.

If clear vases accumulate lime deposits, pour in a little vinegar and let it work for about twenty minutes.

If you have chrome pieces that have developed rust, (dinette chair legs, etc.) make a paste of baking soda and water, smear it on a small section at a time, then rub with a piece of aluminum foil. Kinda messy, but it really restores the gleam.


Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images