Mix 1/2 cup borax (a natural mineral that kills mold and bacteria) with 1 gallon hot water. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Steep for 10 minutes, strain and cool. Store in a recycled plastic spray bottle.
Mix 1 cup white vinegar with 2 gallons hot water. For greasy floors, add 1/4 cup washing soda and 1 tablespoon vegetable-oil-based soap to the above mixture.
Mix 1 cup vinegar with 4 cups hot water.
Make a paste of baking soda and hot water. Sponge onto stains and wipe clean.
Sprinkle surface of pans with coarse salt. Rub salt into stains with the cut half of a fresh lemon.
Wood furniture cleaner:
To remove water stains on wood furniture, dab white toothpaste onto the stain. Allow the paste to dry and then gently buff off with a soft cloth.
To remove mildew from bathtubs, bathroom curtains and tile, make a mixture of: one-half cup vinegar one-half cup of Borax cleaning detergent 2 cups of water. Pour it on the dirty areas and let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a cloth. If mildew is still visible, use the mixture twice. To clean the toilet bowl, combine equal parts of baking soda, Borax cleaning detergent and white vinegar. Pour generously around the bowl and scrub with a brush. Or leave it over night if badly stained.
Removing crayon, pencil or ink from walls:
To remove crayon, pencil or ink marks from the walls (without removing paint), take about 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix in water. Dip a white wash rag in the solution and rub the marks away. Wipe away excess baking soda with the same cloth.
Make your own furniture polish by combining one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar with one- half cup of olive or vegetable oil. Take a soft cloth and polish.
Removing crayon, pencil or ink from upholstery:
To remove pencil, crayon or ink marks from upholstery, use dry baking soda. Use a hairbrush or similar brush to rub baking soda and remove the marks.
To remove blood stains, combine one quart of Borax cleaning detergent with two cups of cold water. Rinse stained clothing item in cold water, and scrub in warm water with your hands. Then dip in solution and wash by hand.
Coffee and chocolate stains:
To remove coffee and chocolate stains, mix one teaspoon of white vinegar in one quart of cold water. Sponge on stain and wipe clean.
To get crisp results when ironing clothes, combine 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch in one pint of water. Pour into a spray bottle, shake and spray clothes before ironing.
To keep bugs out of flour, pasta, rice, pancake mix and other wheat products, put 2 to 3 bay leaves in the containers. Rather than pesticides, you might foil roaches by placing bay leaves around cracks in the room and leaving out dishes of equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. The last resort is a mix of powered sugar and boric acid (a poison). For other pests, a soapy water spray can be an insecticide, and a shallow pan filled with stale beer will kill snails and slugs. To protect the family pet, alternatives to toxic flea collars include eucalyptus ointment, herbal baths and a pinch of brewer's yeast or Vitamin B with dinner.
To remove grease or hair from the drain, use equal parts of vinegar, salt and baking soda. Pour mixture down the drain and let stand for 15 minutes. Then pour boiling water down the drain.
Leaf Clean Up Tip:
Use a high pressure hose to spray the leaves into a pile. The wet leaves compress into trash bags more efficiently or they can be added to a mulch pile. Since they are wet the wind won't blow them back all over the yard again. Saved me a lot of time this year.
Windows & Screens:
I notice that my window sills, this time of year, look forgotten... maybe some bits of leaves and the spiders are looking for a warm place to live! I take my vacuum cleaner hose nozzle off of my wand-- and thoroughly suction out the sills now, as heating season starts. If there is a nice collection of cobwebs and leaf parts there, you may want to hold your hand against the hose nozzle to make sure and get everything sucked down into your vacuum cleaner! Also, rather than bother with washing screens (yuck!) I will use my vacuum nozzle suction there, too, screens look great after... SO MUCH easier than taking out one at a time, getting garden hose out and etc.!
Don't forget to collect the leaves, pine cones, seeds, sticks, etc. for your craft projects for Fall and Winter.
Don't know what to do with those fireplace ashes? Save them for the spring and use them to keep the slugs out of the garden areas! Slugs don't like ashes or sawdust.
Take down screens and awnings and wash & store them. Wash and put away summer clothes and blankets. Bring out the winter clothes and blankets Chimney (tip) Have your chimney checked once a year and install a chimney cap to keep out animals and other items that could block the chimney.
Remove the leaves from your gutters. Leaves left in the gutters will cause them to clog and possibly collapse.
Rub a small amount of toothpaste on jewelry with finger, rinse well and polish with a soft cloth.