Save your money … and the environment.
In light of Earth Day, I have decided to remind you all that there are five great cleaning items which you may already have around your house, that are safe and effective for cleaning and removing most stains. If you do not have them already, you should consider buying some the next time you go shopping, since they have a multitude of uses and go a long way to save you money.
Do you use Baking Soda? Just about everyone knows that keeping a small box in their refrigerator helps eliminate odors. Baking soda deodorizes not only your fridge, but your drains, carpeting and upholstery as well. It also cleans, scours, and polishes without scratching. And yes, it can also remove stains.
What other uses does White Vinegar have? Besides being a key ingredient in dying Easter eggs, white vinegar is a great spot remover when used undiluted. Combined with lemon juice, the solution will remove hard water scales, remove gummy buildup and remove dirt from wood surfaces. Grandma also always used straight vinegar as an antibacterial product to kill bacteria, mold and germs.
We always have lemons around the house. Post why? Lemon Juice is an all natural bleach and disinfectant. Lemon juice and sunshine can remove many stains – be careful though, since it can have the same affect as bleach. Works like a charm on baby formula stains – use to pre-treat laundry just before washing.
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) works for removing stains on white clothing. It is especially good for removing fresh blood stains. Combine a ½ cup with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and spray on mold and mildew prone areas of your bathroom. A word of caution: In both cases, laundry and bathroom, make sure that you are using the peroxide on surfaces and materials that will tolerate its bleaching effect (you should not use it on brightly colored towels, for example).
Borax has such a wide range of uses around your home, that it deserves a page all its own! Borax has been used for ages, as a laundry booster. Keeping to the subject of stains, it will remove tea stains from cottons and linens by soaking the item in a solution of borax and water (1 tablespoon of borax per cup of warm water). For tougher stains, a paste of borax and warm water, worked into the stain before laundering may do the trick.
The items mentioned are just the basics. Keep in mind that when it comes to stains, there are too many variables to use just one solution successfully. Different fabrics or surfaces require different treatments, depending on the type of stain. You need to apply the right chemicals to get the reaction you want without any damaging effects.