Holiday Clean The Homemade Way

With the New Orleans holiday season upon us, get-togethers always leave the inevitable mess. Once your friends and loved ones have filed out, sometimes what’s left behind can be quite taxing! Whether you’re hosting a party or simply helping out with the organization and clean-up, it’s important to have a few handy cleaning tricks up your sleeve. While most of us have plenty of household cleaners bought from the store available, sometimes homemade stain-removers work best. If they don’t do the trick, you can always use the store-bought cleaners as a back-up! Whether you’re pre-cleaning your apartment for a get-together or dealing with the aftermath of a holiday gathering, you can never have too many cleaning options.

For general, all-purpose cleaners there are a couple of simple options. Mixing vinegar and salt together will work just fine as a surface cleaner. If you have baking soda just sitting in the back of your refrigerator, you can also use it as a cleanser. Simply dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water for a general cleaner that can tackle quite a bit in your home. You can also use baking soda on a damp sponge. Not only is it an effective cleanser, but baking soda can help to deodorize all your kitchen and bathroom surfaces as well.

If you’re looking for a toilet bowl cleaner, both baking soda and vinegar can also come in handy there. Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, then drizzle with vinegar and scour with a toilet brush. This combination both cleans and deodorizes! You can also use lemon juice and borax for more stubborn stains. Simply mix enough borax and lemon juice into a paste that can cover the entire ring. Flush your toilet to wet the sides, then rub on the paste. Let the paste sit over the stain for 2 hours, then scrub thoroughly.

Vinegar and baking soda can be used for most ceramic and tile surfaces beyond the toilet bowl. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda, like you would with scouring powder, over your tub or tile surface. Rub with a damp sponge, then rinse thoroughly.

To clean grout, put 3 cups of baking soda into a medium-sized bowl and add 1 cup of warm water. Mix this into a smooth paste and scrub into the grout with a sponge or toothbrush. Then, rinse thoroughly and dispose of any leftover paste when finished.

The addition of vinegar to baking soda can help with pesky film build-up. Vinegar removes most dirt without much scrubbing and doesn’t leave a film. Use 1/4 of a cup (or more) vinegar to every 1 gallon of water. To remove film buildup on bathtubs, apply vinegar undiluted to a sponge and wipe the surface. Next, use baking soda as you would scouring powder. Rub with a damp sponge and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

If you don’t already have most of these common household items in your home, they can be cheaply purchased at any grocery store. Make sure you’ve got what you need on hand for the next holiday gathering. Not only will some quick thinking and thrifty cleaning save you money and the headache of a mess, but you may actually impress your fellow party-goers in the process!

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