Home Improvement Money-Saving Secrets If you've been putting off updating or sprucing up your home because of the high cost of home improvements, today's readers are sure to inspire you to do those projects yourself, for less! HARDWOOD FLOORING. My husband and I wanted a hardwood floor, …Read more. Life in the Middle Between Parents and Adult Children Every day I drive by a beautiful new assisted living complex under construction close to where I live. As beautiful as this place is, it's become a daily reminder to me for how difficult it can be to talk to aging parents about their health and …Read more. Unclog a Drain without Chemicals A plugged-up sink, shower or tub drain sends most people running for either a bottle of caustic drain cleaner or a plumber's phone number. But wait. This could well be a job you can do yourself without chemicals or a big bill. Assess the situation. …Read more. The Joy of Laundry Start with one of the principles of living beneath your means: Take care of what you have. Next, add one of the most effective ways to reduce stress: Find an activity that gives you a sense of personal satisfaction. And what do you have? Laundry! No,…Read more.more articles
Spring Cleaning on My Mind
I am getting impatient. It's been a long winter, and I am so ready for spring. Can you identify? I am not complaining because I know that compared to many who have endured a very long and bitterly cold winter, I've had it easy. Still, I can hardly wait. I promise; spring is coming! And just the thought makes me want to throw open the windows and start cleaning!
Today I have a collection of formulas to help you with just about every cleaning task -- solutions that really work well and will not break the budget.
ALL-PURPOSE FLOOR CLEANER. Mix 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar (depending on how tough the situation is) in a bucket of very hot water. Apply with a mop to any type of floor, including hardwood. No need to rinse, but you will want to wring out the mop often and remove as much liquid as possible to speed the drying time.
CLEANER FOR PAINTED CABINETS. Make a solution of 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1 gallon of warm water. Press a hot, damp cloth against grease deposits on painted kitchen cabinets until they soften. Wash cabinets with a sponge and this solution. Rinse off with a clean sponge and water. Wipe cabinets completely dry.
WINDOW, GLASS AND MIRROR CLEANER. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 quarts of very warm water. Fill a spray bottle. Rub the mixture on the window using a soft cloth. Follow with a clean, dry cloth to dry and shine the windows.
CARPET FRESHENER AND DEODORIZER. Sprinkle the carpet liberally with baking soda. Allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum it thoroughly in the morning. Your carpet will be fresh and sweet-smelling with no overpowering "perfumey" smell. Hint: Start with an empty vacuum bag or receptacle because it's going to fill up fast.
WALLS. Combine in a large spray bottle: 1 tablespoon of borax (20 Mule Team Borax is one brand that you will find in the laundry aisle), 3/8 cup of white vinegar, and 1 quart of very hot water. Use this to clean just about anything around the house, including walls and woodwork.
TUB AND TILE CLEANER. Fill 1/4 of a spray bottle with original blue Dawn dishwashing liquid, and add white vinegar to fill the bottle. Shake the bottle to mix it. Spray it on the tub and shower floors and walls. Allow it to sit for up to 1 hour if you have a great deal of soap and scum buildup. Scrub as necessary, then rinse well. Be prepared to be amazed.
I have hundreds more recipes for household cleaners, health and beauty tips, and garden and craft solutions, too. I've compiled them into a booklet called "Cheapskate Solutions." To get a copy, send $6 to Debt-Proof Living, Dept. CS, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. I'll send you a copy right away!
Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 17 books, including "Debt-Proof Living." You can e-mail her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.