Old Fashioned Home Cleaning Remedies

Over the years unusual home cleaning remedies have been passed from generation to generation. Some of the more creative tips would likely tax a modern household just to scrape together the required ingredients, however there are a few enduring concoctions that have persisted. Here are a few that have been submitted by our visitors:

Upholstery Shampoo
Use this shampoo on a regular basis to freshen up furniture fabric that gets a lot of use. •
6 tablespoons pure soap flakes • 2 tablespoons borax • 1 pint boiling water
1. In a large bowl, mix the soap flakes and borax together. Slowly add the boiling water, stirring well, to thoroughly dissolve the dry ingredients.
2. Let cool, then whip into a foamy consistency with an egg beater.
3. Brush dry suds onto the furniture, concentrating on soiled areas. Quickly wipe them off with a damp sponge.

Spotless Dishwasher Rinse
You can get dishes spot-free in your automatic dishwasher without using chemical rinsing agents. • 1 to 1 ½ cups white vinegar Add the vinegar to the rinse compartment of your automatic dishwasher, being careful not to overfull. Wash dishes as usual.

Simple Silver Polish
Clean your silver with good old toothpaste! You can even use the recipe for our homemade toothpaste, but be sure to omit the food colouring and if you wish, the minty flavouring. • white toothpaste (do not use gel variety) • old soft-bristle toothbrush
1. Apply the toothpaste to the surface of the silver with an old soft-bristle toothbrush and gently scrub away the tarnish.
2. Rinse silver with warm water and dry immediately with a soft cloth.

Shoe Deodorizer
Sprinkle the insides with a small amount of powdered chamomile every day, brushing the powder out before wearing. Another trick is to fill a spare pair of socks with a mixture of coarsely crushed dried herbs and spices – any combination of rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange peel, lemon peel, thyme, lavender, and pine needles. Tie the socks at the top and leave them in the shoes between wearing. For a gift, fill a new pair of socks with the mixture and tie with ribbons.

Septic Toilet Activator
If persistent odors from a septic system indicate the absence of sufficient sewage-digesting bacteria, flush this mixture down the toilet. •
1 quart hot water (105 to 115 F)
1 pound brown sugar • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
Dissolve the brown sugar in the hot water and leave until it is lukewarm. Stir in the yeast, then immediately flush the mixture down the toilet.

Room Fresheners
Tuck Lavender or southernwood sachets into clothing and linen drawers to repel moths and keep contents smelling clean and fresh.
Put a drop of your favorite essential oil directly onto the wood in dresser drawers. The wood absorbs the oil and releases the scent gradually.
Hang sachets of aromatic herbs from door handlers or in a sunny window.
Pack a small decorative pillow with pine needles; put it among the sofa pillows to freshen the den. Place a porous pottery jar filled with essential oil near a sunny window. The heat will dissipate the oil, releasing the scent. Replace oil often.
Simmer a blend of cloves, cinnamon sticks, and dried orange peel in 4 cups of water to give a warm spicy scent to your home on winter days.
Top a light bulb with a drop or two of your favorite essential oil or scent. The heat from the bulb will release the aroma for hours.

Pine Floor Cleanser
Washing soda, available at grocery store laundry sections, is an inexpensive yet effective cleansing agent that quickly cuts grease and removes stubborn stains. Mixed with soap and salt, it makes an excellent cleanser for most hard floor surfaces. •
½ cup soap flakes • ¼ cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) • 1 cup salt • 2 cups water • 2 teaspoons pine essential oil (available at health-food or aromatherapy stores)
1. In a saucepan, place the soap, washing soda, salt, and water and heat gently, stirring until soap, soda, and salt have dissolved.
2. Cool the mixture to lukewarm, then add the essential oil. Stir well and pour into a jar.
3. To use, pour two to three tablespoons of the mixture into half a bucket of hot water, stirring well. For large areas, you may need to double the amount.
4. After cleaning, rinse the floor with half a bucket of clean water into which you have poured a cup of white vinegar.

Oven Cleanser
The best defense against a dirty oven? Prevent spills before they happen. If you suspect a dish will bubble over during baking, place it on a cookie sheet before putting it in the oven. For rough, baked-on grease, use this remedy. •
1 box baking soda (16 ounces) • ¼ cup washing soda
1. In a container, mix the ingredients well.
2. Wet the floor and walls of the oven (you can use a wet rag or paper towels) and generously sprinkle the mixture on the surface. Repeat and let sit overnight.
3. In the morning, wipe the mixture and the grease away, rinsing well to remove any filmy residue.
4. For stubborn, burned-on stains, scour with salt and an abrasive pad.

Nontoxic Toilet Bowl Cleanser
Clean and sanitize your toilet bowl without harmful chlorine! For no-scrub convenience, simply pour in and leave overnight. •
1 cup borax • ½ cup white vinegar
1. Flush the toilet to wet the sides of the bowl.
2. Sprinkle the borax around the toilet bowl, then drizzle with the vinegar. Leave for several hours before scrubbing with a toilet brush.

Non-streaking Spray Glass Cleanser
Use crumpled newspaper instead of paper towels for lint-free results. • ¼ cup white vinegar • 1 tablespoon cornstarch • 2 cups warm water Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to dissolve cornstarch. Spray liberally onto glass surface. Wipe dry with a clean cloth or newspapers, buffing to a streak-free shine.

Natural Stain Stoppers
Stubborn stains need extra care. But that doesn’t mean you have to make a costly investment in store-bought products. Look no further than your household shelves for these stain stoppers. Blood, Chocolate, or Coffee Soak soiled articles overnight in a solution of ¼ cup borax and 2 cups cold water. Wash as usual the next day. Grease Apply a paste of cornstarch and water. Let dry, then brush away the powder and grease. Red Wine Sprinkle stain with salt; let sit for several hours. When dry, brush away salt and wash, or clean immediately with club soda or seltzer. Grass Soak stain in a 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide, then wash. Ink on a White Shirt Wet fabric with cold water and apply a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice one hour before washing. Scorch Marks Rub area with a cut raw onion. After the onion juice has been absorbed, soak the stain in water for a few hours.

Mold Remover
Borax is a natural mold retardant. If you live in an area where the humidity levels are high, try adding a cupful to your soapy water whenever you wash down the walls. •
½ cup borax • ½ cup vinegar • 1 cup water In a spray bottle
Combine the ingredients and spray generously on moldy surfaces. Wipe clean with a damp sponge.

Minty-Fresh Toothpaste
This natural toothpaste is easy to make and a pleasure to use for adults and children alike. If you want the toothpaste to look as “minty” as it tastes add a drop or two of green food colouring. •
3 1/3 ounces calcium carbonate (from a pharmacy) • 1 ½ ounces baking soda • 1 teaspoon salt • about 7 tablespoons glycerin • 3 to 4 drops peppermint essential oil • 2 drops green food colouring (optional) You will need a small ceramic or glass bowl, a spoon, and a sterilized, wide mouthed 5-ounce glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
1. Place the calcium carbonate, baking soda, and salt in the bowl. Stir in sufficient glycerin to make a thick paste.
2. Stir well and add the peppermint essential oil, drop by drop, until the paste is pleasantly flavored. Add the 2 drops of green food colouring at this stage if desired.
3. Spoon the paste into the jar and keep in a bathroom cabinet. Make sure the lid is always replaced after use. Makes about 5 ounces

Mildew Remover
Stubborn mildew on material often resists ordinary washing. Use this solution to get rid of it. Do not use it on dark or coloured items, however, as lemon juice can bleach fabric. •
2 parts salt • 1 part lemon juice
1. Wash the fabric in warm soapy water, then mix salt and lemon juice, enough to cover the mildewed area, and apply it.
2. Place the article in full sun, rinsing it after several hours. If the stain persists, repeat.
Lemony Furniture Polish
This furniture polish protects the wood surface and makes it shine. Mix it fresh before each use. •
1 cup olive or vegetable oil • 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil (available at health-food or aromatherapy stores)
Mix the oils together thoroughly and apply sparingly with a soft rag. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth, buffing to a gleaming finish.

Homemade Soft Scrubber
This nonabrasive scrub disinfects and helps eliminate mold. •
¼ cup borax • vegetable oil-based liquid soap (available at health-food stores) • ½ teaspoon lemon essential oil (available at health-food stores or aromatherapy stores)
In a small bowl, mix the borax with enough soap to form a creamy paste. Add the lemon oil and blend well. Scoop a small amount of the mixture onto a sponge, wash the surface, and rinse well.

Herbal Carpet Freshener
Many commercial air and carpet deodorizers work to mask odors by deadening the nerves associated with your sense of smell. To freshen carpets, opt for this natural formula instead. •
1 cup baking soda • ½ cup lavender flowers
1. Crush the lavender flowers to release their scent.
2. Mix well with the baking soda and sprinkle liberally on carpets.
3. After 30 minutes, vacuum carpets

Fabric Softener
Use this simple treatment to make fabrics soft and fluffy. •
¼ cup baking soda • ½ cup white vinegar
1. Fill the washing machine with water.
2. Add the baking soda and then the clothing.
3. During the final rinse cycle, add the vinegar (pour it into the softener dispenser, if your washing machine has one).
Variations: You can also soften clothes by adding ½ cup baking soda during the wash cycle or simply use one part soap flakes and one part borax to wash the clothes, putting the mixture in the water in the washing machine before you add the clothes.

Fabric Gel Wash
The old-fashioned method of washing clothes in pure soap is still one of the most reliable ways of getting them clean. This fabric gel, with its built-in water softener, is particularly good for washing in hard water. •
2 cups pure soap flakes • 1 ½ cups borax • 1 ½ quarts (6 cups) water • ½ cup glycerin • 2 teaspoons essential oil of eucalyptus, lemon, or lavender (available at health-food or aromatherapy stores)
1. In a sauce pan, stir together the soap flakes, borax, and water. Heat gently and stir until the liquid is clean. Add the glycerin and cool to lukewarm.
2. Add the essential oil and stir thoroughly.
3. Pour into a wide mouthed jar or other container and cover until needed. Add a cupful to the washing machine, making sure that the soap is fully dissolved before adding any clothing. For best effect, sue this gel, with warm or hot water.

Eucalyptus Tile Cleanser
This fresh, tangy powder leaves kitchen and bathroom tiles shiny and clean. •
½ cup pure soap flakes • 1 cup chalk or diatomaceous earth • 1 cup baking soda • 1 teaspoon essential oil of eucalyptus (available at health-food or aromatherapy stores)
1. In a small bowl crush the soap flakes with the back of a spoon until powdered (or whirl them in a blender). Mix in the chalk or diatomaceous earth and the baking soda, braking up any lumps.
2. Sprinkle the essential oil over the surface of the powdered mixture and stir in with the spoon. Continue stirring for several minutes to disperse the oil throughout the mixture, then spoon the mixture into a screw-top jar or can that has had small holes punched in the lid.
3. Cover the holes in the lid with masking tape to keep the powder dry while it is stored. Let the mixture sit for a week before using so that the essential oil is thoroughly dispersed.

Drain Cleanser
Slow drains? Use this drain cleanser once a week to keep drains fresh and clog-free.

•½ cup baking soda

• 1 cup white vinegar

• 1 gallon hot water
Pour baking soda down the drain, then vinegar. Allow the mixture to foam for several minutes before flushing the drain with hot water.

Disposal Cleanser
Keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh with this useful tip.

• half of a used lemon

Drop the lemon into the disposal and run the motor until the lemon is pulverized and washed down the drain.

Dishwashing Liquid
You don’t need expensive detergents to get dishes clean. Used with hot water, this liquid gel cleans dishes beautifully without creating unnecessary suds. Do not use in dishwashers.

•¼ cup soap flakes

• 2 cups hot water

• ¼ cup glycerin

• ½ teaspoon lemon essential oil (available at health-food or aromatherapy stores)

1. In a bowl, combine the soap flakes and the water and stir until the flakes have dissolved. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Stir in the glycerin and the essential oil and leave to cool. As the mixture cools, it forms a loose gel. Stir with a fork to break up the gel and, using a funnel, pour into a narrow-necked plastic bottle. (An old shampoo bottle makes an excellent storage container.)
3. To use, squirt two to three teaspoonfuls under running water into the sink.
Chrome Polish
All you need to make your automobile’s chrome shine is a handful of aluminum foil and a little elbow grease. • aluminum foil To remove rust from chrome bumpers, simply wad up a piece of aluminum foil and rub it over the spot vigorously.

Car Wash
This soap is gentle to the car but tough on grime.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil-based liquid soap (available at health-food stores)

• 2 gallons warm water

1. Combine soap and water in a large pail.
2. Cleaning one section at a time, apply the solution with a large sponge, concentrating on heavily soiled areas. Rinse immediately before moving to a new section.
3. To avoid spotting, dry the car with a chamois or soft flannel cloth.

Car-Interior Cleanser
This solution is great for cleaning vinyl and leather upholstery. For cloth interiors, try the homemade upholstery shampoo. •
2 tablespoons vegetable oil-based liquid soap • ¼ cup olive oil • 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil (available at health-food or aromatherapy stores)
Mix the ingredients well and apply with a sponge. Wipe the windows dry with absorbent towels or a soft flannel cloth.
Automatic Dishwasher Soap
If you live in a hard-water area, add the spotless dishwasher rinse (below to the machine before washing. •
2 cups borax • 2 cups washing soda Mix the borax and washing soda and store in a closed plastic container.
To use, add 2 tablespoons to the dishwasher soap compartment.

All-Purpose Cleansing Paste
This paste is effective for most household cleaning chores and contains no harsh abrasives to harm surfaces. The paste resembles a gray putty, except that it is slightly softer and has a bubbled surface. The chalk or diatomaceous earth provides a fine sheen without scratching. You can find diatomaceous earth in garden, pool and hardware stores. Use store-bought brands of pure soap flakes, such as Ivory, or make your own by grating a bar of pure soap.

•½ cup pure soap flakes

• 1 cup chalk or diatomaceous earth

• ½ cup baking soda

• 3 tablespoons glycerin
1. In a small bowl, crush the soap flakes into a powder with the back of a spoon (or whirl them in a blender if you wish). Thoroughly mix in the chalk or diatomaceous earth and the baking soda.
2. Stir in enough of the glycerin to form a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into a wide mouthed screw-top jar or other container.
3. Keep the paste covered when not in use, to prevent it from drying out.

All-Natural Car Wax
Commercial automotive waxes often contain petrochemicals. Try this natural alternative. Please note that turpentine is flammable and can be toxic if swallowed. Store away from heat sources and out of the reach of children.
7 tablespoons yellow beeswax

• 12 tablespoons carnauba wax

• 2 cups mineral oil

• 4 tablespoons turpentine

• 1 tablespoon pine oil

1. Using a double boiler, melt the waxes together.
2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before stirring in the turpentine and the oils.
3. Pour into metal cans that have secure lids (old coffee cans with plastic lids work well). Cool, uncovered, to room temperature. When cool, close the cans securely.
4. To use, scoop a small amount of wax onto a soft cloth or rag. Using a circular motion, rub the wax into the car’s finish. Allow to sit for several minutes before buffing to a showroom shine. Variation Don’t throw those old cotton socks away! Save to use as a perfect waxing and buffing cloths – then discard.

Air-Freshener Spray
This spray is strong and needs to be applied judiciously. You want a room to have a hint of this spicy scent, not an overpowering perfume. You’ll find these essential oils at health-food or aromatherapy stores.

•1/4 cup isopropyl alcohol

• 25 drops bergamot essential oil

• 8 drops clove essential oil

• 5 drops lemon essential oil

• 1 cup distilled water

1. In a spray bottle, combine the alcohol and the essential oils and shake well to disperse the oils. Add the distilled water and shake for a minute or two more to thoroughly blend all the ingredients.
2. Let sit for at least a few days before using, to allow the fragrance to mature. A quick spritz is usually all that is needed to freshen a room.

Cleaning Perspectives

Cleaning things is a terrible waste of time. Everything just gets dirty again, so what is the point? It is the definition of fruitless, universally true, and ultimately a colossal waste of time and energy. At the end of our lives, no one will ever say “Gosh, what a shame, and they were always so clean.”, or “My, it was so sudden but her house was always so tidy” In fact more people will likely be wondering how long before we turn to ashes or dust, cause that’s the last thing anyone needs is another pile of dust.

An uncle of mine was (and is) a farmer. He has never washed his truck. Ever. It must be an antique, and although the rain has kept some of the blue paint visible, for the most part it is a rolling mud covered chunk of rust. I believe the cohesiveness of the grime is holding it together. In any case his axiom was that if God put it there, he could take it away too. His reasoning was great, although he wasn’t completely consistent himself, as each winter he does plow the snow. I liked his thinking, so I adopted it, which was great until my boss asked me to tidy the public washrooms, and as an articulate, albeit lazy 16 year old, I asked why bother cleaning it, if it was just going to get dirty again. Towards the end of a rather lengthy lecture, he brought up showering, and asked if that’s how I felt about personal hygiene. Needless to say I quickly shut up and proceeded to scrub the toilets.

I have learned that there are tricks to having people think you are a clean freak, without dedicating your life to cleanliness. The most important things to remember are extra bedrooms, crawl spaces and the garage don’t count in cleanliness tests. They are like the FREE spot on a bingo card. Simply toss all of your junk into one of these FREE zones, and make the rest of your house look less cluttered, and cleaner. Be sure you can still close the door though, as falling debris can pose a hazard, which brings up our next tip. Closets. They are as good as gold, and what are the chances someone will look? Life is like Vegas, always play the odds.

My aunt used to have elaborate turkey dinners, which we often attended. She had obviously cooked all day judging from the number of courses, but when we sat down to eat dinner, the kitchen counters were clear. No pots or pans or mixing bowls. Just the beautifully presented platters and a spotless counter. My Mom once asked how she managed to clean everything up before the meal, to which see replied “don’t look in the oven”. She is a professional cheater. What a scam! Had my Mom not asked, to this day she would be revered as a miracle cleaner.

We all have the basic instinct to cheat. When going out on a date, it is a known fact that men will remove all of their junk from their cars, and toss it in their apartments. Meanwhile the female dates take all of the junk from their apartments and toss it into their cars, in anticipation of their boy friends arrival. This continues through the courting process and ultimately sets up everyone for a huge disappointment when they start living together. No wonder there are so many divorces.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in personal hygiene, and some semblance of order, however watching a sunset, reading a book, or playing catch with the kids, in my opinion, is a far better investment than vacuuming, scrubbing the shower, or doing laundry. At least I hope that is what they say about me when it is my turn to become dust on your mantle.

by Ken Pukanich

Laundry Tips

Keeping Clothing looking new
I recently spent a small fortune on clothing for my two school age children and was wondering if there are any tips for keeping these clothes looking new.
Ahhhh! The mixed emotions of fall. A breath of relief as our kids walk out the door for school, and a tremor of fear when we add up how much their attire cost. Given the expense of new clothing, especially brand name articles, it is prudent to keep everything looking new for as long as possible.
Check the pockets. A pen, a piece of gum, or tube of lipstick can easily damage hundreds of dollars worth of clothing in the washer or dryer. If anyone has learned this lesson the hard way, they will tell you that this is the single most important part of doing laundry.
Always sort machine washable clothing into whites, darks and mixed colours.
Pretreat any stains with a stain spray or stick. In a pinch, even a bar of unscented soap can be rubbed on the stains. Always check for and repair any damaged or torn clothing before washing. It will only become more frayed or damaged in the wash.
Some clothing dyes are not colourfast, and they tend to bleed worse in hot water. Colours will usually become permanent after a wash or two, and heat drying will help accelerate this process. For deeply coloured items, and for all jeans, turn them inside out when laundering.
The pieces of clothing inside the washing machine and dryer rub against one another, damaging the surface of the fabric. This is an excellent argument to not overload your machines. New (to North America) front loading washing machines, in addition to using less power and water, also do not agitate clothing as aggressively, which results in less wear and longer useable life spans.
White fabrics contain optical brighteners, which degrade with bleach, sunlight, and age. Ironically, bleach and sunlight can actually help restore some brightness to your whites. Drying clothing in the sun will frequently lighten stains, and can help remove yellowing. While the occasional use of bleach is also helpful, frequent use will soon damage the fibers, resulting in holes and premature aging. Given all of these factors, the most common cause of poor results with whites, is simply using either too much or too little detergent. Oh, and there is also that new small red sock hidden in a white shirt that makes the whole load pink.
When laundering mixed colors always wash in cold water with similar garments. Check and understand the care labels on all of your clothing. With mixed fabrics this is even more important, as there may even be special care instructions for washing and drying!
When transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer, shake out each item, and at the same time check for stains. By shaking out the clothing, it will help prevent wrinkled messes when items ball up on themselves, and by removing and air drying stained items, it will give you a second chance at removing the stain before it is permanently heat set by the dryer.
Clothing should not be over dried. It wastes energy, and will also prematurely age the fabric. Instead of ironing clothes, try removing them from the dryer while they are still slightly damp. Give them a couple sharp shakes, and air dry them on rust proof hangers. You can’t stop your kids from growing out of their clothing, but with a little common sense, you can be sure that this is the main reason an item has to be retired.

How to clean…

Quick tips for having a cleaner life.

Don’t delay your cleaning, try to do small clean up often.
Have a cleaning cloth under the sink for quick wipe up of the sink and counter in the mornings or throughout the day.
Make your bed first thing when you get up. This is a great way to start the day. Coming out of the shower into a bedroom with a neatly made bed will give you a good feeling.

I know it sounds silly, but it really works. Don’t knock it until you have tried it. Try this for one week: make your bed first thing when you get up every day, and see what a difference it makes in how you view yourself and the cleanliness of your home.

As I mentioned above, clear the table right after a meal. Put your dishes in the dishwasher immediately as you clear off the table.

It takes more steps and more work to clear dishes off the table, then stack the dirty stuff all over the kitchen, and then to make another trip to scrape the plates and finally put them in the dishwasher later.

Make it one step: take the dishes from the table past the garbage can for scraping, then into the empty dishwasher, add soap and get it running right away.

Get those pots and pans washed immediately, too. It really doesn’t help to let them sit around. (I have tried this, and I found that they were still in need of washing when I looked in on them the next morning.)

Things tend to be easier to clean when they are cleaned immediately. Stains will set into fabric, carpet, whatever, when they are left there, and everybody knows what damage spilled liquid can do when it is left on most any surface. It is much easier to avoid leaving glasses of water sitting around, than to clean up the mess that result from a spill.

With cats, and dogs, and kids, the place can get messy fast. I don’t think I am super neat but I do remember my Mom always cleaned up right after a mess was made. I didn’t think anything of at the time but I find now with a full house of kids and activities that life is just easier doing small cleaning jobs throughout the day.

paint brushes

Cleaning brushes can be a pain but it will save you money to not have to buy brushes every time you have to paint.

Latex Paint

Wash immediately after painting with warm soapy water. Do not soak overnight. Comb and straighten bristles before storing.

Oil Paint

Clean immediately after painting using a solvent (paint thinner) or cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Do not soak overnight. Comb and straighten bristles before storing.

If I am in a hurry and can’t clean the brushes I wrap them tightly in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer. This prevents the paint from drying out before I have to use it again.

Bathroom Cleaners

General Information :
Bathroom cleaners range from mild to extremely strong. A mild general purpose detergent is more than needed when cleaning is frequent. Specific problems require special formulations.
Soap-scum: a heavy build-up of soap-scum will need a more concentrated cleaner. A degreasing product will remove soap-scum and body oils quite effectively. Allow contact time for the product to emulsify the scum and remove it from the surface.
Mold and mildew: a disinfectant type product is needed to kill the micro-organisms and allow for removal. Bleach will certainly work but can be harsh for both user and surface. Other products will have a germicidal ingredient to kill mildew – along with detergent, scent, foaming and/or thickening agents – to cling to verticle surfaces. They will vary in effectiveness, especially on grout, which is difficult to clean even with commercial grade cleaners. Regardless, disinfection is only temporary, germs will immediately start growing again. The key is to clean frequently before mildew accumulates too much.
Mineral deposits: best prevented than removed afterward. An acid based product is most effective on mineral stains although a lot of scrubbing is usually required. Rust, calcium and lime removing products are expensive but generally perform well.
Avoid abrasive liquid and powder cleaners on acrylic tubs and showers, which scratch easily – as will metal faucets and taps.
Never mix bleach with ammonia or acid cleaners – dangerous fumes can result.
Recommendation:
Most bathroom cleaners will do an adequate job on soap-scum and prevent mildew and mineral deposits from forming. Frequent cleaning is the key. For more difficult stains use a product designed for the purpose. Actual scrubbing to clean is almost unavoidable where bathrooms are concerned.
Environmentally Friendly Solution :
Simply wipe down surfaces with water and a clean cloth as often as possible to prevent build-up.

General Information :

Bathroom cleaners range from mild to extremely strong. A mild general purpose detergent is more than needed when cleaning is frequent. Specific problems require special formulations.

Soap-scum: a heavy build-up of soap-scum will need a more concentrated cleaner. A degreasing product will remove soap-scum and body oils quite effectively. Allow contact time for the product to emulsify the scum and remove it from the surface.

Mold and mildew: a disinfectant type product is needed to kill the micro-organisms and allow for removal. Bleach will certainly work but can be harsh for both user and surface. Other products will have a germicidal ingredient to kill mildew – along with detergent, scent, foaming and/or thickening agents – to cling to verticle surfaces. They will vary in effectiveness, especially on grout, which is difficult to clean even with commercial grade cleaners. Regardless, disinfection is only temporary, germs will immediately start growing again. The key is to clean frequently before mildew accumulates too much.

Mineral deposits: best prevented than removed afterward. An acid based product is most effective on mineral stains although a lot of scrubbing is usually required. Rust, calcium and lime removing products are expensive but generally perform well.

Avoid abrasive liquid and powder cleaners on acrylic tubs and showers, which scratch easily – as will metal faucets and taps.

Never mix bleach with ammonia or acid cleaners – dangerous fumes can result.

Recommendation:

Most bathroom cleaners will do an adequate job on soap-scum and prevent mildew and mineral deposits from forming. Frequent cleaning is the key. For more difficult stains use a product designed for the purpose. Actual scrubbing to clean is almost unavoidable where bathrooms are concerned.

Environmentally Friendly Solution :

Simply wipe down surfaces with water and a clean cloth as often as possible to prevent build-up.

General Information :Bathroom cleaners range from mild to extremely strong. A mild general purpose detergent is more than needed when cleaning is frequent. Specific problems require special formulations.Soap-scum: a heavy build-up of soap-scum will need a more concentrated cleaner. A degreasing product will remove soap-scum and body oils quite effectively. Allow contact time for the product to emulsify the scum and remove it from the surface.Mold and mildew: a disinfectant type product is needed to kill the micro-organisms and allow for removal. Bleach will certainly work but can be harsh for both user and surface. Other products will have a germicidal ingredient to kill mildew – along with detergent, scent, foaming and/or thickening agents – to cling to verticle surfaces. They will vary in effectiveness, especially on grout, which is difficult to clean even with commercial grade cleaners. Regardless, disinfection is only temporary, germs will immediately start growing again. The key is to clean frequently before mildew accumulates too much.Mineral deposits: best prevented than removed afterward. An acid based product is most effective on mineral stains although a lot of scrubbing is usually required. Rust, calcium and lime removing products are expensive but generally perform well.Avoid abrasive liquid and powder cleaners on acrylic tubs and showers, which scratch easily – as will metal faucets and taps.Never mix bleach with ammonia or acid cleaners – dangerous fumes can result.Recommendation:Most bathroom cleaners will do an adequate job on soap-scum and prevent mildew and mineral deposits from forming. Frequent cleaning is the key. For more difficult stains use a product designed for the purpose. Actual scrubbing to clean is almost unavoidable where bathrooms are concerned.Environmentally Friendly Solution :Simply wipe down surfaces with water and a clean cloth as often as possible to prevent build-up.

Blood Stains From A Mattress

General Info:
Blood stains can be tricky….ask O.J..
Blood is primarily a protein, which once dried is tough to get out, especially on something that you can’t toss in a washing machine or allow to soak for a few hours. Be sure to check the helpful hints for the Do’s and Don’ts of stain removal and Six Sure Ways to Set Stains.
Tools & Chemicals:
Dish washing or fine fabric detergent, white terry towels, white vinegar, warm water, measuring cup, and Hydrogen Peroxide.
Technique:
*
Work on removing the stain as soon as you notice it. The longer the stain is left on the mattress the greater the chances are of the stain setting.
*
In every case remove all excess wet or dry material before attempting to clean. Blot wet materials using a white terry towel (check helpful hints for a detailed description of blotting). First try reliquifying dried blood by applying Hydrogen Peroxide, when it begins to bubble blot up. If this does not remove the stain, try the following:
*
Seek out a local janitorial supply store and purchase an enzyme based cleaner. (these are most frequently used in some carpet spotting cleaners for food stains, feces, etc)
Start this process early in the morning, or when you will be out of town for a night, as the mattress will get wet, and it MUST be dried before replacing bed sheets.
Mix the enzyme according to the manufacturers directions in warm water, dampen an old or dark bath towel in the solution. Wring it out so it is not overly wet and place it over the stain. Allow this to sit on the stain for at least half an hour, if not longer. Remove this towel, and blot the surface of the mattress to absorb as much moisture as possible. You may need to repeat this process a few times, and you may also need to provide some agitation (a soft scrub brush) to loosen the stain.
Even with all this work there will likely be a variation in the appearance of the mattress once it has dried, but the dark stain should be lightened considerably. You should permit the mattress to dry as long as possible before using again. Even a fan or placing in the sunshine (sun will also help lighten the stain) is great! Do NOT use a hair dryer or space heater as they will set the stain forever.
If a brownish spot remains when dry, mix 1 part white vinegar and two parts water. Apply a small amount and blot. Repeat only once.
If all else fails, you can always flip over the mattress!

General Info:

Blood stains can be tricky….ask O.J..

Blood is primarily a protein, which once dried is tough to get out, especially on something that you can’t toss in a washing machine or allow to soak for a few hours. Be sure to check the helpful hints for the Do’s and Don’ts of stain removal and Six Sure Ways to Set Stains.

Tools & Chemicals:

Dish washing or fine fabric detergent, white terry towels, white vinegar, warm water, measuring cup, and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Technique:

Work on removing the stain as soon as you notice it. The longer the stain is left on the mattress the greater the chances are of the stain setting.

In every case remove all excess wet or dry material before attempting to clean. Blot wet materials using a white terry towel (check helpful hints for a detailed description of blotting). First try reliquifying dried blood by applying Hydrogen Peroxide, when it begins to bubble blot up. If this does not remove the stain, try the following:

Seek out a local janitorial supply store and purchase an enzyme based cleaner. (these are most frequently used in some carpet spotting cleaners for food stains, feces, etc)

Start this process early in the morning, or when you will be out of town for a night, as the mattress will get wet, and it MUST be dried before replacing bed sheets.

Mix the enzyme according to the manufacturers directions in warm water, dampen an old or dark bath towel in the solution. Wring it out so it is not overly wet and place it over the stain. Allow this to sit on the stain for at least half an hour, if not longer. Remove this towel, and blot the surface of the mattress to absorb as much moisture as possible. You may need to repeat this process a few times, and you may also need to provide some agitation (a soft scrub brush) to loosen the stain.

Even with all this work there will likely be a variation in the appearance of the mattress once it has dried, but the dark stain should be lightened considerably. You should permit the mattress to dry as long as possible before using again. Even a fan or placing in the sunshine (sun will also help lighten the stain) is great! Do NOT use a hair dryer or space heater as they will set the stain forever.

If a brownish spot remains when dry, mix 1 part white vinegar and two parts water. Apply a small amount and blot. Repeat only once.

If all else fails, you can always flip over the mattress!

General Info:Blood stains can be tricky….ask O.J..Blood is primarily a protein, which once dried is tough to get out, especially on something that you can’t toss in a washing machine or allow to soak for a few hours. Be sure to check the helpful hints for the Do’s and Don’ts of stain removal and Six Sure Ways to Set Stains.Tools & Chemicals:Dish washing or fine fabric detergent, white terry towels, white vinegar, warm water, measuring cup, and Hydrogen Peroxide.Technique:*Work on removing the stain as soon as you notice it. The longer the stain is left on the mattress the greater the chances are of the stain setting.*In every case remove all excess wet or dry material before attempting to clean. Blot wet materials using a white terry towel (check helpful hints for a detailed description of blotting). First try reliquifying dried blood by applying Hydrogen Peroxide, when it begins to bubble blot up. If this does not remove the stain, try the following:*Seek out a local janitorial supply store and purchase an enzyme based cleaner. (these are most frequently used in some carpet spotting cleaners for food stains, feces, etc)Start this process early in the morning, or when you will be out of town for a night, as the mattress will get wet, and it MUST be dried before replacing bed sheets.Mix the enzyme according to the manufacturers directions in warm water, dampen an old or dark bath towel in the solution. Wring it out so it is not overly wet and place it over the stain. Allow this to sit on the stain for at least half an hour, if not longer. Remove this towel, and blot the surface of the mattress to absorb as much moisture as possible. You may need to repeat this process a few times, and you may also need to provide some agitation (a soft scrub brush) to loosen the stain.Even with all this work there will likely be a variation in the appearance of the mattress once it has dried, but the dark stain should be lightened considerably. You should permit the mattress to dry as long as possible before using again. Even a fan or placing in the sunshine (sun will also help lighten the stain) is great! Do NOT use a hair dryer or space heater as they will set the stain forever.If a brownish spot remains when dry, mix 1 part white vinegar and two parts water. Apply a small amount and blot. Repeat only once.If all else fails, you can always flip over the mattress!