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Home remedies for keeping the house clean and fresh

People are becoming more wary about using harsh chemicals around the home. This week on Home Matters, Pete and Rob take a look at old-fashioned homemade cleaning solutions that you can put to use to keep your home looking sharp.

For spotless dishes:

To keep your dishes spot free without using conventional detergents, Pete recommends trying a little vinegar. This cleaning trick requires only 1 cup vinegar. Pete says you can fill the cleaning solution compartments in your dishwasher with 1 cup vinegar and wash as normal.

For stains on upholstery:

A solution using soap flakes and borax can help get stains off sofas and other upholstered items around your home, says Pete.

Mix up this recipe:
6 tablespoons of pure soap flakes
2 tablespoons of Borax
Boil in 1 pint of water

Instructions: Stir ingredients together. Let the mixture cool. Brush it onto the furniture. This should remove stains. Wipe the mixture off.

For a working septic system:

Pete has an old home remedy for keeping your septic system in top form.

Septic solution ingredients:
1 quart of water
1 pound of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of dried yeast

Instructions: Heat water to almost boiling, 105 degrees. Add 1 pound of brown sugar until it dissolves. Cool water. Add the yeast. Wait until foam begins to form. Take mixture to toilet. Flush it down.

For fresh smelling rooms:

Natural herbs and pine scents are a good option for fresh smelling rooms. Pete suggests placing lavender in clothes drawers. Rob says his grandmother used to soak a rag in vinegar, wring it out, then wave the rag around the room to clear the air. Fresh pine boughs around the holidays also add a great scent to the home.

Listen to the full episode for all the recipes mentioned on Home Matters.

Home Matters can be heard on KIRO Radio on Saturdays at 8 a.m., on Sundays at 6 a.m. Available anytime ON DEMAND at

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