9 Favorite Cleaning Formulas

October 8, 2020 Updated: October 8, 2020

The next time you need cleaning supplies, take a trip to your pantry, not the store. You already have the ordinary basic household items required to mix up every type of cleaner you need to keep the place sparkling clean and germ-free.

Recipes? You need recipes? Well, this must be your lucky day because I’ve got recipes!

All-Purpose Liquid Cleaner

Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of plain household ammonia, and 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Dispense in a spray bottle, and use as you would a commercial brand such as Formula 409.

Window, Glass, and Mirror Cleaner

In a spray bottle, mix together 2 cups of isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent and 2 cups water.

Floor Cleaner (for Ceramic and Vinyl Floors)

Mix together 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of hot water. Mop ceramic tile and all types of vinyl floors with this solution; no need to rinse. Caution: Never use vinegar on hardwood, granite, or natural stone products. Over time, it will eat away the sealer and finish.

Wood Floor Cleaner

Mix together 2 quarts of boiling water, and steep two regular tea bags in it. Let the water cool to room temperature. Remove bags. Use a well-wrung cloth mop or sponge mop (make sure it is just barely damp) to wipe the floor. The tannic acid in tea is great for the wood and leaves a beautiful shine.

Heavy-Duty Floor Cleaner

Mix together 3/4 cup of plain household ammonia and 1 gallon of warm water. Use on heavily soiled nonwood floors. No need to rinse.

Tub Cleaner

Pour 1/2 cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with vinegar. Spray on tub and enclosures, and scrub. Or, for super challenging situations, allow it to set for a few hours, and then scrub as required. Rinse well. It cleans better than any commercial product, even for the most difficult tub, shower, and enclosure challenges.

Furniture Polish

Combine 2 parts olive (or vegetable) oil and 1 part lemon juice (or white vinegar) in a glass jar. Seal tightly. Shake well before using sparingly, applying a thin coat with a soft cloth and buffing well.

Glass Carafe Cleaner

Pour 1 cup of crushed ice into that glass coffee pot (put ice cubes in a plastic bag first, and whack them on the floor or other hard surface). Add 2 tablespoons of table salt. Hold the carafe by the handle, and swirl it around vigorously until you see all the burnt-on coffee and various stains come off. Empty, and rinse thoroughly. This method turns even the grungiest pot sparkling clean. It gives you a little exercise, too.

Jewelry Cleaner

Make a 50-50 mixture of household ammonia and water. Soak jewelry, and then brush and rinse completely. Caution: Do not use this on jewelry that contains opals, pearls, or any other soft stone.

Caution: While none of these formulas includes liquid chlorine bleach, if you come up with some of your own formulas, never mix chlorine bleach with any other product. You could create deadly chlorine gas. Always label the products you create. Keep them tightly covered and out of the reach of children and pets.

And one more thing: Don’t forget to keep track of all the money you’re not spending on pricey commercial cleaning products. It’s going to be a lot!

Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments, and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, “Ask Mary.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Copyright 2020 Creators.com