If you take a trip to the local supermarket, you’re bound to find a vast range of domestic cleaning products. Sprays for this, polish for that, cream for the other thing. It’s easy to buy bottle after bottle of specialist stuff and spend a small fortune. Read more about house cleaning toronto.

Does it have to be this hard? Do you really need one product for your toilet, one for your kitchen bench, another for the refrigerator, another for the shower walls, another for the…  Well, you get the idea!  But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. All you need is a few basics, and you can make your own.

One of the real benefits of making your own cleansers is that home-made ones are usually gentler on the environment and much less toxic. Some of them are even edible, though not particularly palatable. And they do a pretty good job of around-the-house cleaning, also if they do need a touch more elbow grease to work. Mentally replace “elbow grease” with “burning calories,” and you’ll find these dirty jobs are a lot easier to face up to.

Essential ingredients you will need for making your own cleaners are probably already in your kitchen or bathroom cupboards. Baking soda and vinegar make excellent cleaners. So do lemons, but cleaning things with lemons can be a bit expensive unless you have your own lemon tree that produces prolifically. Toothpaste is another handy ingredient, as is dishwashing liquid (not the sort you put in dishwashers, but the type you do dishes in the sink with). Biological washing powder is another convenient basic cleaner.

Baking soda is by far the most versatile of these cleaners. It doesn’t scratch delicate surfaces, but it busts off the grime. It also absorbs smells somewhat in a refrigerator. Baking soda is perfect for washing down whiteware and cleaning the inside of the fridge. While I have heard that a very thick paste of baking soda can be used for cleaning the inside of the oven, I have never put this one to the test, so I can’t vouch for it. But you may be in luck.

Vinegar is an excellent cleanser for people in hard water areas. As it is an acid (and so is lemon juice, which can be used in the same way), it reacts with that annoying soap scum that has a tendency to stick to the side of sinks. In my experience, what doesn’t yield to baking soda will usually yield to vinegar – and you get a very satisfying fizz when baking soda and vinegar mix. Dilute vinegar works pretty well for windows and doesn’t leave streaks or residue. You can also use it as a fabric softener. My husband’s grandmother also recommended boiling vinegar in a saucepan to deter flies. It works.  

Biological washing powder is quite harsh and should be handled with gloves, but it is useful in many more places than just the washing machine. To clean a really grubby bath, fill the tub with water and put a cup or so of biological washing powder in. Leave it overnight and drain in the morning. The enzymes will have done their work.  This also works for burnt-on crud on pots and pans if you accidentally left something on the stove for too long.

Toothpaste is a very effective cleanser but should really only be used for smaller areas, as cleaning more significant things such as whiteware with toothpaste could become expensive. Having said that, most of us could claim to use toothpaste to clean bits of the vanity unit and bathroom taps, as toothpaste smears are one source of the grubbiness in this area (or is it just my kids who get it all over the place?). Jewelry (especially diamonds) respond well to being cleaned with toothpaste, as it is gentle and leaves no residue (use a soft toothbrush for rinsing the jewelry with mouthwash to avoid scratches).  Toothpaste also helps to get scribbles of ballpoint pen off the wallpaper.  

Dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning more than just the dishes. It’s great for mopping floors with. Use in a bucket of water at about the same concentration you’d use for doing the dishes, or maybe a bit stronger for filthy floors. You can also use this for glassware, although it can leave a few bluish streaks – seeing as it gets rid of handprints and fly spots and doesn’t have those unpleasant fumes that you get with commercial window cleaners.