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Vinegar can clean many things around your home. It disinfects and removes stains, grease and odors. The general rule of thumb for cleaning with vinegar is 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. For an all-purpose cleaner, mix 1 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and shake well before each use. You can also put 1 cup vinegar in the rinse cycle of your washing machine instead of using fabric softener. Blot undiluted vinegar on clothing stains before you wash as a pretreatment.
Many people prefer baking soda because it deodorizes. Sprinkle it directly on carpets before vacuuming to absorb household odors, pet odor and smoke. Use baking soda in place of scouring cleansers to scrub surfaces. Just sprinkle it on the dirty surface and scrub with a wet sponge or scrub brush.
Washing soda, or sodium carbonate decahydrate, is a mineral that can be used to remove grease and stains. Mix 1 gallon of warm water and 1/2 cup of washing soda for an all-purpose cleaner. Do not use washing soda on aluminum, waxed surfaces or painted surfaces. Always wear gloves when cleaning with washing soda.
Borax, or sodium borate, can be used for laundry, dishes and a host of other cleaning tasks. It can even clean painted and finished surfaces. Mix 2 teaspoons of Borax with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 quarts of water to clean floors, counters, tubs, tile, windows and mirrors. Presoak stained clothing in a gallon of water and 1/2 cup of Borax, or boost your laundry detergent by adding 1/2 cup of Borax to every laundry load.
Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and cuts grease and stains. Put lemon juice on a sponge or scrub pad and use it to remove mildew and mold from tile and grout. Add lemon juice to a dishpan full of greasy dishes for soaking.