Advice from Mom: Homemade Cleaners

by Rae Osenbaugh

Here's a few recipes for household cleaners that can be made from simple items you already have around the house:

General Furniture Polish

1 tsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 tsp whisky or brandy
1 tsp water

Mix together. Rub on furniture with cloth, then buff with chamois for a deep shine.

Carpet Cleaner

2 cups cornmeal
1 cup borax

Mix cornmeal and borax. Sprinkle mixture on carpet. Leave on for one hour. Vacuum thoroughly.

Brass Polish

2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp water

Mix together into a thick paste, adding water as needed. Rub onto brass object with a soft cloth. Rinse and rub again to burnish.

Drain Declogger

1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar

Pour baking soda into drain. Follow with vinegar. Close drain tightly until fizzing stops. Flush with pot of boiling water.

Garden Pest Insecticide

1 tbsp dishwashing detergent
1 cup vegetable oil

Mix solution and store in air-tight jar. When ready to use, add 1 to 2 1/2 tsp solution to 1 cup of water. Spray on plants, covering all leaf and stem surfaces.

Have a good day! --Rae

Rae is the mother of nine (and grandmother of two) in central Nebraska. She says her house runs smoothly due to "organized chaos, and lots of lists! Anyone wishing to drop her a line is welcome to at

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