We are still in an economic crunch and many of us continue to be on the lookout for less expensive ways of doing things. When it comes to keeping your Chicago home spotless and in top form, there are a number of basic household items and inexpensive products you can use to clean and make minor fixes on the cheap.
- White Vinegar is a classic home remedy for cleaning just about everything in the home, from laundry to floors. Dilute vinegar with the same amount of water and add juice from one lemon for a budget version of glass cleaner. Put it in a spray bottle and use on windows, mirrors, appliances, and glass doors. Vinegar can also act as a fabric softener when added to the wash. Just put ¼ cup in the washing machine with soap and clothes will come out soft and fresh (with no trace of vinegar smell). For mopping, add vinegar to warm water and floors will shine!
- Alka-Seltzer is an unlikely preventative for minor drain clogs. Dissolve 4 tablets with boiling water and pour down the drain to keep pipes clean and clear. For tougher clogs, put a cup of white vinegar in the drain with Alka-Seltzer and let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Then pour in boiling water to push out the stoppage. Be careful, don’t hover over the sink when doing this because it will foam and may fume up.
- Clorox Bleach can be used around the house to disinfect and clean. Put equal parts water and bleach in a spray bottle to use on stove tops, counters, tables and other surfaces. Just spray and wipe. Pour ½ cup Clorox in the toilet bowl and flush after 5 minutes; it will make the white porcelain shine! It can also remove mold from cement. Make a solution of hot water, 1 cup bleach and a squeeze of dish detergent. Dump over the mold and rinse with fresh water.
- Arm & Hammer Baking Soda is an excellent freshener and all-around fix-it product. Sprinkle it on carpets 10 minutes before vacuuming to eliminate odors. Keep an open box in the fridge to suck up smells. Add to the dirty wash to brighten clothes. Put a little along basement windowsills and under sinks to help repel ants and cockroaches. Soften up stiff paint brushes you would otherwise throw away by boiling them in a mixture of 1 cup baking soda, ¼ cup white vinegar and ½ gallon water.
- Minwax Stain Marker for Wood Finish is a lifesaver for anyone with hardwood floors. This little pen-like tool sells for under $5 and can make minor scratches completely vanish. It is available in many different shades to match the color of your hardwood floor perfectly. Another tip for hardwood floor owners: put felt pads on the feet of your furniture to help reduce scratch marks in the first place.
Source: Shopping.aol.com “$5 Home Fixes”
You may already have some of these items in your home, so why not try them out? Let us know how they work for you! Have any cheap home fixes of your own that you want to share? We’d love to hear them!