Pete and Rob of Home Matters offer their favorite home remedies to help you eradicate the chemicals you use to clean and go back to what Grandma and Grandpa used to use.
All-purpose cleaner: “This is really an anti-bacterial spray cleaner,” Pete says, “and it’s one that you can make in less than five minutes.”
You’ll need one cup of rubbing alcohol, one cup of water and a tablespoon of white vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. Shake it before using, and spray on hard surfaces, like kitchen counters.
“White vinegar will do a lot of the cleaning for you, and you really don’t have to use the chemicals that you would buy in the store,” says Pete.
Stain lifter: Squish a half of a lemon into the stain, and let the lemon juice soak into the affected area. Then, sprinkle baking soda into the discolored area, and rub it into the stain with the abrasive side of a sponge.
Erase pencil marks: “If the young ones are running around with pencils – it doesn’t erase crayon – but if they’re running around with pencils, you can erase the marks with rye bread,” Pete says.
Stainless steel cleaner: “If you have lighter fluid around the house, you can rub it into a non-abrasive sponge or dish towel and you’ll see the rust stains and water stains disappear,” says Pete.
Grease lifter: Take a half-cup of baking soda and a half-cup of white vinegar, and “it’ll foam up and dissolve your grease,” says Pete.
Mold eradicator: “Borax is a natural mold retardant,” says Pete.
Take a half-cup of Borax and a half-cup of white vinegar and one cup of water, and put it in a spray bottle. Pete believes this is better than using bleach, because bleach does not kill mold. It, in fact, only whitens the mold, and the phosphates in bleach feed the mold.
Mildew remover: Use two parts salt to one part lemon juice, and wash the mildew stain in warm water. Then apply the salt and lemon juice mixture and place the stained area in the sun. Repeat these steps until the stain is no longer noticeable.
Kill pet fleas naturally: Dawn dish soap kills fleas, so add a few drops of the detergent to your dog’s bath and rinse thoroughly.
Burn salve: Dab toothpaste onto the bandage, and cover the affected area. Rob adds that you always want to treat a burn like an open wound, so you’ll want to be careful.
Bee sting: Rob recommends mixing baking soda with water to make a paste to draw the sting out.
Muscle ache relaxer: Mix one tablespoon of horseradish in one cup of olive oil and let it sit for 30 minutes. Apply the mixture as a massage “for instant relief,” Pete says.
Skin blemish salve: Dab honey over the blemish and place a Band-Aid over the spot. “It works as an anti-bacterial and speeds healing” says Pete.
Urinary tract infection cure: Dissolve two tablets of Alka-Seltzer and drink at the first sign of infection.
Remove wet-dog smell: Rub your dog with Bounce dryer sheets and they’ll “smell better instantly,” says Pete. “They’ll smell laundry-fresh!”
Fast pain relief: “If you want fast pain relief, take two cups of oats and one cup of water, and you’re going to put it in the microwave for a minute,” says Pete. “Let it cool, and rub it in the areas where you feel pain.”
Sore throat relief: If you have a sore throat, take a quarter-cup of vinegar and a quarter-cup of honey and take a tablespoon six times a day. Pete adds that you can also gargle with the mixture.
Recharge your towels: Towels can build up detergent and fabric softener, and, over time, lose their absorbency, says Pete. If you notice this happening to your towels, take hot water and a cup of vinegar and wash them. Wash a second time with hot water and a half cup of baking soda. This strips the detergent build-up.
Preserve your foods: Place a slice of bread in a brown sugar bag, and put your food in with the bread and sugar. This works for bananas or other food you’d like to keep longer.
Get rid of flies: “Flies hate Pine-Sol,” Pete says, “so take a fifty-fifty solution of water and Pine-Sol and put it in a spay bottle. You can spray it on your counters, on your porch or on your patio.”
Get rid of ants: Take two cups of club soda, and pour it directly into the ant mound. “The carbon dioxide in the water is heavier than air, and it suffocates the queen and and the other ants,” says Pete.
Window cleaner: Mix a half-teaspoon of dishwashing soap, two cups of water, and a quarter cup of white vinegar. Put it in a spray bottle and use for a streak-free cleaner for glass and windows.
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