Cleaners that Work

Over the past year, Pinterest has led me to so many interesting blogs and ideas that I would have never come across otherwise.  So many of these ideas have been so helpful around the house.  I thought I would share my very favorite finds.

Magic Shower Cleaner (source here)

I used this last night for the first time, and I am converted.  We have a tub with a textured bottom and it always looks so dirty.  The only thing that has remotely worked in the past is a magic eraser, but I had to scrub so hard, I would be sore all over.  This recipe just calls for a cup of vinegar, heated in the microwave for a couple of minutes and a cup of blue Dawn dish soap.  I sprayed the shower down and let it sit for a few hours.  When I started wiping it down with a wet sponge, the grime lifted off without any effort.  It was really astonishing!

Miracle Carpet Spot Cleaner (source here)

I hate carpet.  I wish I had hard-surface floors in every room of my house – like my parents home – where you can see every bit of dirt or dust instead of it hiding down in layers of carpet and rug pads.  That said, I do have carpet and I do have cats, one of which is broken and doesn’t always find the litter box to be convenient.   I have tried tons of different carpet spot cleaners, all of which leave a residue that then attracts more dust/dirt.  My carpet cleaner does an okay job and makes me feel better about pulling the dirty water back out of the carpet.  But this trick seems to be where it’s at – even if it is by far the stinkiest remedy.

I just fill a spray bottle with one part hot water and one part ammonia. Spray the spot and lay a white towel over the sprayed area.  Use a hot iron over the towel and the spray turns to steam and is absorbed by the towel, stain and all.  The ammonia smell dissipates very quickly and I have had no problems with the cats being interested in the spots I clean.  The spots are gone and there is no residue left to attract more dirt so the spot doesn’t reappear after a few days like they have when I’ve used store-bought cleaners.

To remove dust and hair on lampshades, I use a lint roller.  It wouldn’t work well on pleated shades I am guessing, but all of our shades are straight-sided and this trick works wonderfully!

Stainless Steel Cleaner (source here)

I don’t have stainless steel appliances, but I tried this trick on my Simple Human trash can.  It gets pretty spotty from things inevitably spilling down or splattering from items we throw away.  My all-purpose spray never gets all of that off of it.  I mixed a tablespoon of Cream of Tartar with a few drops of water and coated the sides of the trash can.  I used a sponge to rub it in and then washed it off with a wet rag.  All of the spots and streaks were gone!

Garbage Disposal Cleaner (source here)

This house is the first place I have lived with a garbage disposal.  I am still a little shy of putting things down it sometimes.  I usually clean it with vinegar and baking soda or occasionally squirt some cleaner down the drain that is specifically for the disposal.  Then I read about sharpening the disposal blades by putting ice through it.  This recipe accomplishes both at the same time.  I filled an ice tray with a small slice of lemon and vinegar and froze it.  When they were frozen, I put the cubes in a freezer bag because the vinegar is strong smelling.  Now I can just pull out a cube and send it down the disposal for a quick refresher.

Self-Disinfecting Toilet Brush (source here)

I have written about this before, but it is worth including.  I hate having to leave the toilet wand under the seat  to dry, so when I saw this idea, I knew I had to make it.  I used a Marvicide jar with diluted Barbicide from Sally’s Beauty Supply for the base.  The toilet wand came from Target and perfectly fit the jar without any modifications.  No more nasty toilet wand floating around in the bathroom cabinets.

Laundry Cleaning Tricks

I’m not obsessive about our laundry, but I have picked up a few helpful tricks.  The first is using peroxide to remove blood from clothing.  It is amazing how well this works.

Another is using dish detergent to remove grease stains.  Someone in our house has a penchant for getting food stains on his shirts a lot and this trick works even if it has accidentally made it through the washer and dryer undetected.

I also never use fabric softener when I wash our towels.  Evidently it builds up on the towels and makes them less absorbant and a little funky even.  I have started using straight vinegar in the fabric softener compartment in the washer.  I also add a couple dozen drops of lavender essential oil to the bottle of vinegar to add a hint of the fresh scent to our laundry.

Now for a few tricks that I did not find to be all that useful for me:

  1. Using car wax on the stove top to make cleanup easier.  I didn’t really experience any difference after the wax, but maybe I did something wrong. (source here)
  2. Homemade ring cleaner using powdered laundry detergent.  I have yet to try other homemade recipes, but for whatever reason this one did not work for me.  (source here)

Published by Leslie

I think Habitual Rearranger fits me well because I am never settled on designs, colors, or placement of items in our home. I drive Bradley crazy sometimes, but I keep figuring out new and better ways of doing things! I am not striving to be profound or an expert on anything in this blog. It is simply a way to keep a record of all of my adventures - home and life - for me to reference and also for my loved ones to follow along. I am a born and raised Georgia girl. I don't think I would enjoy living anywhere except the south. Bradley and I spent six and a half years in our starter home and are now in our forever home, a 1970s traditional two story brick house. I love getting into all kinds of projects around our house, and I try to document all the dirty details here if for no one else than for me.

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  1. I have been slowing replacing our regular products out for natural home-made versions and have been wanting to tackle our bathroom/laundry products next. Thank you for this post, I found it helpful.

    1. I am glad you found it to be helpful! I enjoy finding new ways to replace store-bought cleaners with homemade solutions. And there are still so many ideas that I need to try all over the blogosphere:)

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