5 easy homemade cleaning products

For a spic and span home, try these easy and safe cleaning products.

5 easy homemade cleaning products

1. Natural dishwasher detergent

Even if you live in a hard-water area, this simple, inexpensive detergent recipe will give you shiny, spotless dishes.

  • 500 g (2 c) borax
  • 500 g (2 c) washing soda
  • 1 clean 1 L (32 oz) plastic container with cover
  1. Combine the borax and washing soda in the container and seal it tightly for storage.
  2. For each load of dishes, put 25 grams (2 tablespoons) of the mixture in the dishwasher soap dispenser.

2. Fast, cheap rinsing agent for your dishwasher

Here's an easy way to get those dishes sparkling in your automatic dishwasher without using any chemical rinsing agents: Just stop the dishwasher during its rinse cycle and add 250 to 375 millilitres (one to one and a half cups) of white vinegar. Or pour the vinegar into the rinse compartment beforehand (being careful not to overfill). Wash dishes as usual.

3. Dishwashing liquid

This dishwashing soap for washing dishes by hand costs less than a dollar for a 500-millilitre (16-ounce) bottle and really gets your dishes clean. And unlike some of its commercial counterparts, it's mild on your hands too.

  • 50 g (1/4 c) soap flakes
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 c) hot water
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) glycerin
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) lemon oil
  • 1 clean 500 ml (16 oz) squirt bottle
  1. To make the soap flakes, lightly grate a bar of pure soap, such as Ivory, on a coarse kitchen grater.
  2. In a medium pitcher, pour the soap flakes into the hot water and stir with a fork until most of the soap has dissolved. Let the solution cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the glycerin and lemon oil. A loose gel will form as it cools. Use the fork to break up any congealed parts and pour the liquid into the squirt bottle. Use 10 to 15 millilitres (two to three teaspoons) per sink or dishpan of hot water to clean dishes.

4. Garbage disposer cleaner

Those in-the-sink garbage disposer units are great for cutting down on bagged waste, but they can produce some unpleasant odours from time to time. Here is an easy and efficient way to get rid of any unwanted smells.

  • 1 L (1 qt) white vinegar
  • Ice-cube tray
  1. Fill an ice-cube tray with white vinegar and freeze it. Remove cubes, place in a sealed plastic bag, and return to the freezer.
  2. Once a week run two to three vinegar ice cubes through your garbage disposer.

5. Quick garbage disposer sweetener

Instead of buying a commercial product to keep your garbage disposer smelling good, try this easy solution: save leftover orange, lemon, and grapefruit peels in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator. Then, once or twice a week, run a few peels through the disposer.

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