Live 101.5's Sustainability Initiative - April 15th

Cleaning

Homemade cleaners that can be used in a reusable container.

Some of the items in your pantry (like baking soda and vinegar) work as effective homemade all-purpose cleaners and, even better, cost next to nothing. So the next time you're staring down a big mess but you're out of your favorite cleaning product, don't run to the store — try one mixing up one of these DIY homemade cleaners that work instead. These natural products will kick grime to the curb and keep your wallet happy.

Important safety tip: Never combine ammonia-based cleaners with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach, such as powdered dishwasher detergent. The fumes they'll create are extremely dangerous. Before doing any mixing, read the product labels first. Always label any bottles of DIY cleaners with all the ingredients inside. In case a child or animal gets into it, it’s important to know what the mixture contains.

1. Scented All-Purpose Cleaner
What you'll need:
One part white vinegar
One part water
Lemon rind
Rosemary sprigs

Combine the above ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle, shake, and then let infuse for a week before using. Once done, you can use the homemade all-purpose cleaner to remove hard water stains, clean trash cans, wipe away wall smudges, and much more. Besides a fresh scent, the lemon rind may help boost cleaning power. Caution: Do not use acidic cleaners on granite, as they will etch the stone.

2. Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer
What you'll need:
4 tablespoons baking soda
1 quart warm water

To clean kitchen counters, appliances, and the inside of your refrigerator, all you need is baking soda. "It makes a great deodorizer and can be used to shine stainless steel sinks and appliances," says Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab. To deodorize surfaces, use the homemade cleaner with baking soda solution above or pour baking soda straight from the box and into your drain or garbage disposal to remove odors. To shine and remove spots from stainless steel, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it with a damp cloth and rub gently in the direction of the metal’s grain. Rinse and buff dry.

3. DIY Glass Cleaner
What you'll need:
2 cups water
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
70% concentration
1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil for smell (optional)

The next time you need to wash your windows and mirrors, combine these ingredients and pour them in a spray bottle to make a homemade cleaner with vinegar. Hint: Don't clean windows on a hot, sunny day, because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks. For mirrors, spray the solution on a paper towel or soft cloth first before wiping.