5 Best Baking Soda and Vinegar Cleaning Solutions
Save a bundle on cleaning your home with these cheap alternatives to store-bought cleaning solutions. See our best baking soda and vinegar cleaning tips.
By Reader's Digest Editors
1. Clean a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Follow these steps for a sparkling, fresher-smelling kitchen sink:
Wet the sink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and scrub, then rinse.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and the same paste on the rim and caulk.
Line the sink with paper towels that you've soaked in white vinegar. Leave them there for 20 minutes.
For garbage disposals: Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of white vinegar. Boil a kettle of water. Pour the boiling water down the drain. Add two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt to the drain. Turn on the disposal until it goes down. Take a lime or lemon, cut it in half, and send each half down the disposal.
Use soapy water and vinegar-soaked paper towels to clean the faucet, too.
See more: Green-Clean Your Kitchen Sink and Bathtub
2. Make a Nontoxic Bathroom Cleaner
Here’s a terrific deep-cleaning cleanser that works on any bathroom surface. It cuts through soap scum and mildew as well as any commercial bathroom product and costs just pennies.
1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with closing cap
1. Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add the vinegar. Stir the mixture with a fork until any lumps have been dissolved. Pour the liquid into the bottle. Shake well before using.
2. Squirt on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water. Keep cap on between uses.
3. Remove Stains on Carpet
You can lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar:
Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum. For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
4. Boost Laundry Detergent
It may sound like a cliché, but adding 1/2 cup baking soda to your usual amount of liquid laundry detergent really will give you "whiter whites" and brighter colors. The baking soda also softens the water, so you can actually use less detergent. Adding 1/2 cup baking soda in top-loading machines (1/4 cup for front-loaders) also increases the potency of bleach, so you need only half the usual amount of bleach.
5. Refresh the Fridge
Did you know that vinegar might be an even more effective safe cleanser for your refrigerator than baking soda? Use equal parts white vinegar and water to wash both the interior and exterior of your fridge, including the door gasket and the fronts of the vegetable and fruit bins. To prevent mildew growth, wash the inside walls and bin interiors with some full-strength vinegar on a cloth. Also use undiluted vinegar to wipe off accumulated dust and grime on top of your refrigerator. Of course, you’ll still want to put that box of baking soda inside your refrigerator to keep it smelling clean when you’re done.
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