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Cleaning Products You Already Have

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You probably already have many products in your home that are perfect for your cleaning jobs, without having to buy expensive commercial cleaners. This is a guide about cleaning products you already have.


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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh5 found this helpful
January 12, 2011

Cleaning products account for a substantial portion of each household's grocery budget. With laundry detergent topping the list as high as $15 per bottle, it isn't hard to see why. One could easily fill a cabinet or two with the bevy of cleaning products advertised on television. It seems that there's a product for every surface in the home, requiring a shopper to invest more and more. It's good to know when walking down the cleaning aisle that you might already have the product to do the job, and you might have it for less.

Stain Removal

There are all types of stains that appear on carpets and clothes, and there are all types of cleaning products for them. If a mechanic resides in your home, move the mechanics' hand soap to your laundry room. Products made for loosening grease on skin will do the same with your laundry. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse the clothes before putting them in the dryer so that you don't "cook" the grease into the fabric.

A great trick for grass stained laundry is to use rubbing alcohol. Forget reapplying stain fighter to the area over and over. Alcohol breaks down the oils in the grass, leaving a basic stain to remove afterward. Keep rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle by your washer and spray it on the green marks, letting it evaporate from the fabric before pre-treating or laundering. Rubbing alcohol also gets pen and some marker out of fabric. Spray the alcohol on the pen and immediately blot it with a white towel. The pen will magically disappear.


Remove the Mildew

If mildew or damp smells are plaguing your storage items, try drying it up with kitty litter. Place the musty or damp item in a plastic storage container or large garbage bag with some kitty litter. The litter will absorb all of the moisture, pulling the smell from the fabric. This works well with toys or items that can't be laundered. Even the musty old book from the flea market will lose some of that smell if it's kept in a bag with kitty litter for a few days.

Carpet Stains

Professional cleaning companies clean the carpet the best, but who can call them to clean every week? Those with pets, children, and even clumsy adults need to keep a few quick carpet cleaning tricks up their sleeves. For carpet smells, try the kitty litter trick or sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Hand push it into the carpet a bit and then vacuum in several directions. Don't try to mask the smells with products like Febreze; they'll only linger. For stains in the carpet, consider your laundry stain removal. If it works for a cotton t-shirt, it most likely will work on carpet. Always test for color fastness first. Then, try products like Shout to take stains out of carpet. Spray the pretreatment a few minutes before running the steam cleaner over it.

Hot Water

Nothing cleans like hot water. Hot water and a little bit of dish soap cleans hardwood or laminate floors gently and effectively. It can also be a burden, however. Heat sets stains, so heavily stained clothes should be washed in cold water. Likewise, when stains dot your carpets, get out the steam cleaner but turn off the steam. Use the water to wash the floors, but avoid the heat for setting stains. Another stain sealer, especially for smells, is the steam cleaning fluid used in the cleaner. Simply care for the area with cold water circulation and save on the expensive cleaning solution and hot water cycle.

Comment Was this helpful? 5

By 8 found this helpful
May 15, 2013

What is cream of tartar? Cream of Tartar is potassium bitartrate. It is an acidic salt that comes from grapes and it is made from the crystals that form on the inside of fermentation tanks while making wine. This is purified and used for baking and cooking, but as I just found out recently, it is great for cleaning too.


You mix a few tablespoons of this with a little hot water and it cleans the following items really well:

  • dirty grout
  • mold and mildew stains
  • burner pans and cooking pans and casserole dishes
  • rusty drains or rust stains

Copper kettles become clean when you mix cream of tartar with lemon juice and rub the copper part of the kettle with it. Porcelain is no match for cream of tartar when cleaning needs to be done.
It makes a good soft abrasive cleanser.

You can find it in the spice area of your local grocery store. Cream of tartar will clump if left out in a humid environment. Store in a cool, and very dry place.

Comment Was this helpful? 8

July 8, 2010

I've always hated wasting shampoo and the last part of the bottle that I don't have time to fight with in the mornings while getting ready for work. So I bought a pretty basket and set it on the floor next to the shower, now when the bottle gets too low I put it in the basket upside down. Then I use it up when I have more time and need to clean things like my trash cans, dust pans, etc. I use all the shampoo, get my items clean, and don't have to use up the heavy duty cleanser for those items either.


By tnphoenixrising from Clarksville TN

Comment Was this helpful? 6

June 14, 20170 found this helpful

Since baking powder contains baking soda, it could be substituted when cleaning. It is however more expensive, so not a good regular alternative. This is a guide about, "Can I use baking powder instead of baking soda for cleaning?".

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