All-Purpose Cleaning Spray: Stir ½ cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda into ½ gallon of water and transfer to a spray bottle. This all-purpose spray can be used on most surfaces, with the notable exceptions being marble or granite, which should be cleaned using specialty products or scrubbed with hot water and a mild dish soap, if needed.
Bathroom Cleaner: The all-purpose cleaning spray, above, can be used to clean a bathroom. For tougher cleaning jobs such as build-up from mold or mildew, spray the surface with a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water and let stand for an hour before rinsing.
Deodorizer: Remove odors from items like storage containers or cooking utensils by soaking them in warm water mixed with baking soda. To deodorize a room, place a bowl of vinegar in the center of the room until the odor dissipates.
Drain Cleaner: Dissolve ½ cup salt in about 4 liters of hot water, then pour down the pipes. For tougher clogs, pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup vinegar. Let stand for a few minutes, then flush the pipes with hot water. (Boiling water should only be used in metal pipes.)
Floor Cleaner: Most floor surfaces can be cleaned by damp-mopping, which is where the mop is barely wet. Because floor surfaces vary, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to in-depth cleaning. Here are homemade solutions for a few common floor surfaces:
Surface-Finished Wood Floors and Ceramic Tile Floors: Use ¼ cup dishwashing detergent in a bucket of water to damp-mop the floors. Scuffs and stains can be scrubbed out with a paste made from baking soda.
Laminate and Resilient Floors: Use a solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water to damp-mop the floor.
Furniture Polish: Combine equal parts olive oil and lemon juice and apply to a cleaning cloth sparingly. Use the cloth to wipe down furniture in broad strokes.
Note: For all surfaces in your home check manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning before proceeding with any homespun solution.