White vinegar is a very versatile solution. You of course know it as that bitter, strong-smelling liquid everyone likes to put in salads or other foods. However, white vinegar has some interesting qualities that make it quite effective as a household cleaner with multiple uses. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant, which is a great item to have these days. Its acidity allows it to easily remove rust, water stains, and any other grime that can accumulate on a surface. For example, vinegar can also be used to effectively clean out a coffee machine that’s begun to pour out bitter, burnt-tasting coffee.
Simply run the vinegar through your machine at least twice to allow it to take out all the grime and buildup. Just be sure to run some hot water through the machine after the vinegar so your coffee doesn’t become even more bitter. White vinegar’s strong smell is another asset in tough-to-clean places because it helps to absorb the musty, moldy smell that can develop in wet places such as a toilet or a kitchen.
Baking soda is another one of those ubiquitous kitchen ingredients that sit in almost every kitchen cabinet. It’s very useful for baking muffins, but it’s also a pretty handy and affordable natural cleaning agent. Just sprinkle some on the surface you want to clean, and scrub away with the abrasive side of a wet sponge to defeat even the toughest stains. Plus, baking soda works wonders for removing stains and odors from many fixtures and surfaces in the house, including your shower, litter box, sink, oven, stove, stainless steel cookware, toaster, and tub.
But you don’t always have to put in the elbow grease to enjoy the benefits of baking soda. Simply place an open container of the stuff in a fridge if you want to absorb unpleasant smells. When combined with vinegar, baking soda can even act as a drain cleaner and can unclog drains, assuming the clog is relatively small. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the vinegar+baking soda combo is a replacement for the purpose-made drain cleaner though, because that’s a natural cleaning hack that only works on the Insta Reels.
Baking soda can also be used to freshen up your dog. Just sprinkle some on your furry friend during his next bath to free him of that wet dog smell. A bath with baking soda is good for your dog’s skin and will make their coat shine. It can even kill parasites like ticks and fleas, making this a truly universal cleaning hack that even your doggie can enjoy.
Consider borax to be baking soda plus, because it has many of the same qualities as baking soda, but with a little something extra. It’s a natural cleaning alternative to bleach and can be found in the laundry detergent aisle of any supermarket. As such, it is pretty handy for removing stains from laundry, but can also be used for removing especially stubborn surface stains and getting rid of mold and fungi. Borax is also a good pesticide and can be quite effective at controlling pests like roaches and ants. Just sprinkle it in areas where the critters roam so they ingest it. Borax can kill a roach quite quickly — especially if the roach eats the substance — and it can decimate an ant colony; so, it’s pretty potent.
However, while it is quite a bit safer to use than some commercial insect poisons (which can cause nerve damage if ingested), Borax can still irritate your skin and eyes. When using borax, avoid touching it with your bare hands and be careful not to inhale it. If you choose to use borax for cleaning, be sure to keep it away from children and pets. You should also keep it away from houseplants since borax has a tendency to snuff out plants by drying them out.