Abrasive scouring powders:
- Dip damp cloth in baking soda and rub over stains. You can also make a paste with water and apply it to especially stained surfaces. Allow to set before rubbing clean and rinsing.
- Toothpaste for light stains.
- Sprinkle borax or salt on a damp sponge, scour and rinse.
Air Freshener or deodorizers:
- To clean garbage disposals, grind used lemons in the disposal or pour in baking soda.
- Leave opened box of baking soda in room or refrigerator. For a more expensive touch, a small saucer of pure vanilla will mask odors. To prevent spillage, pour it on a cotton ball. It's also good for removing odors from cars and ice chests.
- Wrap cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth and boil in water; or leave herbal bouquets standing in open dishes for a fragrant smell.
- Add a few drops of vinegar to soapy water to remove onion odors from utensils, chopping blocks or hands. Rubbing hands with the cut end of a celery stalk will also remove odor.
- Light a scented candle. (May be a problem for hypersensitive persons).
- Cover the bottom of your cat's litter box with baking soda before adding litter. It eliminates odor for days.
- For trashcans, sprinkle Borax in the bottom.
- Set out a dish of vinegar to get rid of smoke smells and other odors.
All purpose cleaners:
- Mix vinegar with salt and water for a good surface cleaner.
- Dissolve baking soda in water for a good cleaner.
- Wash painted wood with 1 teaspoon of washing soda in a gallon of hot water. Rinse with clear water.
- For finger marks and smears on shiny refrigerators and other appliances: use a solution of about half vinegar and half water on an old piece of terry towel.
- Clean dish drainboards with full-strength vinegar.
- Put about a half of a cup of vinegar in your hand dishwashing water to keep grease from clinging to things.
- For crayon stains on washable painted walls: put baking soda on a wet sponge, apply and scrub gently.
- Vinegar will get rid of that slick feeling you have on your hands after using household bleach products. Wash your hands with soap and water, then rinse with vinegar.
- Dry baking soda. It even removes burned-on bread wrappers on toasters.
Automatic dishwashing detergent:
- The safest ones are White Magic, Electro-Sol, Neo Life and Amway.Sodium hexametaphosphate, a mild mineral powder, is safer, but it won't remove dried-on food. It doesn't leave water spots on the glasses.
- Pour one cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by one cup of white vinegar. Wait 15 minutes. Flush drain thoroughly with boiling water.
- Pour 1⁄4 cup of salt in drain, then boiling water.
- Use 1⁄2 cup salt and 1⁄2 cup baking soda and follow with 6 cups of boiling water. Let sit overnight and then flush with water.
- Unclog drains with metal snake or plunger.
- Recipe for prevention: 1⁄2 cup washing soda followed by 2 cups of boiling water.
- Pour boiling water down your drain once weekly as preventative.
- Baking soda can extinguish flames started when grease splatters on the stove burner.
- Use oven liners (trays) to catch spills.
- Clean oven after use with baking soda or washing soda: mix 3 tablespoons of soda with warm water. If necessary, scrub with less harmful scouring agent like Bon Ami.
- For a fresh spill, wet and sprinkle baking soda, scrub with a soft nylon/scrubber.
- Use a combination of slat, baking soda, water (and elbow grease).
- Put 1⁄4 cup of ammonia in a non-aluminum shallow dish and fill with water. Set this bowl in the middle of the oven overnight. In the morning, stains can be removed with a damp rag. (Caution: moist ammonia gas may cause corrosion of copper; avoid contact with thermostats and other parts made of copper.)
Pot and pan cleaners:
- Borax with hot water.
- For burnt pans, after removing as much substance as possible, fill with cold water. Add a generous amount of salt and slice of onion. Set overnight, or for 12 hours. Then bring to a boil for five minutes, cool, and clean.
- Sprinkle a burned saucepan liberally with baking soda: add enough water to moisten and let stand for several hours. The burned portion should come right out.