Home improvement: how to make your own cleaning products

Apart from daily or weekly washing chores there are a number of other household cleaning jobs that have to be done periodically. Whip up these cleaner recipes from ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

Home improvement: how to make your own cleaning products

Oven cleaners

      Oven cleaner #1:

  • Combine 250 millilitres (one cup) of household ammonia with one litre (four cups) of water in a large, shallow baking dish.
  • Place in the oven and heat on low for two hours allowing the steam and vapour from the ammonia to penetrate every corner of the oven.
  • Leave overnight, then wipe oven vigorously with an abrasive cloth.

    Oven cleaner #2:

  • If baked-on stains remain after treatment with the above recipe, mix two parts bicarbonate of soda, one part table salt and enough fresh lemon juice to make a thick paste.
  • Apply to problem areas, especially inside the oven door and the glass viewing window. Allow to dry, then rub off the paste with a scouring cloth. Repeat if necessary.

Silver and brass cleaner

  • Rub the object to be cleaned with a lemon cut in half and dipped in cooking salt.
  • Rinse with soapy water and buff to a high sheen.
  • Silver responds well to liquids or substances containing aluminium — store washing water in an aluminium pot or boil up some aluminium foil in the water used for rinsing.
  • Sprinkle silver items with talcum powder before putting them away to help prevent tarnishing.

Window and mirror cleaner

  • Apply denatured alcohol to absorbent paper towels or newspaper and rub the paper vigorously across your windows.
  • This is a most effective glass cleaner and the treatment also works well on chrome taps and other glossy or shiny fittings.

Wooden floor cleaner

Bring up the natural tones of wooden floors by straining the leaves from a large pot of tea and adding it to a bucket of warm water containing 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of cloudy ammonia (ammonia that has soap added to it), then mop as usual.

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