If you're taking the pledge to buy less cleaners this year, you can get the job done with these four effective household staples that you probably already have on hand.
- Not only will toothpaste make your teeth sparkle, it can spiff up dull spots on your silver jewelry too. Plain, non-gel toothpaste, without additives like whiteners, can rid silver of light tarnish without damaging the surface. Just moisten the silver pieces and gently work the mild abrasive onto the tarnished areas.
- Even though distilled vinegar may not be the best cleaner for wood floors, it's acidity helps it tackle other messes, like grease from your kitchen counter tops, film on glassware, or taking off stuck-on bathtub decals.
- After cleaning your coffeemaker with vinegar and running a few cycles with plain water, you can check to make sure all the vinegar has been removed by pouring baking soda into the water-filled carafe. If the solution starts to fizz, there are still traces of vinegar so you'll have to run another rinse cycle.
- Shampoo will be gentle on your delicate clothing as it is on your hair - just make sure you only use it to use it to wash the items in the sink and not in the washing machine. Pre-treat any stains with a drop of the shampoo and add a pea-size amount to the sink as you're filling it with warm or cold water. (Find more advice on how to choose eco-friendly beauty products.)
For more tips on cleaning with items you already own, check out Heloise's uncommonly good uses for everyday things. We have some great cleaning tips on the Good Housekeeping Research Institute blog too!
Do you have any favorite uses for things that are in your cabinet or medicine chest? I'd love to hear about them in the comments section below.
-By Christina Peterson
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Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.