Making your own cleaning solution at home is easy, plus it saves you money and reduces the health risks to humans and pets associated with industrial cleaning products. Vinegar will clean almost anything and won't leave your house smelling like a chemical factory. In fact, vinegar naturally absorbs bad odors, so using it will not only clean surfaces but will also freshen the air in your home. It also kills germs as effectively as high-priced cleansers.
Mix one part white vinegar to one part water. Pour the solution in a spray bottle, and spritz it on almost any surface that needs cleaning: counters, floors, sinks, mirrors and windows. Wipe with paper towel or cleaning rags. This solution can even remove coffee stains from dishes. The only time to use undiluted vinegar is when cleaning your toilet. However, undiluted vinegar creates a buildup that dulls glass over time. Never mix vinegar with any product containing ammonia, as doing so can cause harmful vapors.
The vinegar-water solution can substitute for dryer sheets or mass-produced liquid fabric softeners. Add this solution to the fabric softener dispensing compartment of your washer. Your towels and clothes won't be coated with the chemicals from commercial fabric softeners, plus you will reduce the amount of lint in your dryer.
Tougher Cleaning Jobs
For ground-in dirt and grime that won't wash away with vinegar and water alone, add baking soda. You'll witness a bubbling reaction similar to that advertised for some nationally distributed cleaning products. The vinegar and water plus baking soda solution removes soap scum from bathtubs and can help unclog sinks. Another ingredient to boost the power of the basic vinegar and water solution is hydrogen peroxide. Add a teaspoon of this when you are especially concerned about disinfecting as well as cleaning.