Instructables

Make cleaning up easy and cheap with these tips

Picture of Make cleaning up easy and cheap with these tips
Cleaning around the home or or office can be frustrating, and cleaning supplies are often expensive. I want to share some super cheap, effective, and convenient fixes for cleaning up.
 
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Step 1: Fix that annoying sprayer

Picture of Fix that annoying sprayer
bad-sprayer-tilt.jpg
fixed sprayer.jpg
This is such a no-brainer that I was astounded that I'd never seen it done before. Every spray bottle is made with the same simple flaw. If you try to spray downward onto a horizontal surface, you soon find yourself sucking air. As the pictures illustrate, the only thing you need to do to never experience this again (unless the bottle is nearly empty) is to bend the straw. Simple. Frustration over.

Step 2: Cheap cleaning solutions

Most brand name cleaners are very expensive. This is because they are specially formulated, and contain things which a regular consumer couldn't reproduce for less money right?

WRONG!

Most cleaners contain one or two ingredients which can be bought in bulk and are diluted with water.
Some non-conventional cleaners work better than the big names too, and can be purchased for less money.

Before I get into this part of the instructable, a

WARNING.

Some chemicals are severly dangerous when mixed. One should never, for instance, mix an ammonia based cleaning agent with a chlorine bleach based cleaning agent. The results can be a fatal cloud of toxic gas filling your bathroom and killing you and your whole family in a nasty, painful way that is even forbidden to armies under the Geneva Convention... so don't do it.

On to the next step for some cleaning agent recipies...
blackweb4 months ago

Vlass cleaner. Vinegar and water and use rumpled newspaper ---streak free and. Heap

Home made Bio War, for your fence dispute
Those were very useful tips, I'll make sure to try them out next time. My flatmates and I are trying to cut costs and if that works we'll be left using maybe 1 or 2 regular products.

One of my lifesavers is a mix of 1/10 rubbing alcohol, 1/10 ammonia, and water. This dissolves the grease in your kitchen like mad, and is infinitely cheaper than the brands that market themselves as the ultimate thing but then keep you rubbing for ages. If you use a microfibre cloth soaked in this you can get rid of almost everything I can think of. I even got spray paint stains out of some shoes!
Darcy7774 years ago
Thank you! If I ever clean, I'll try this - no promises on getting to the cleaning tho.

If one has hard water deposits in the toilet bowl, one can use (not sure of the proper name) sheet rock sanding paper. It isn't traditional sand paper. It looks like a screen. Get the softest strength. Get it at the local home improvement store. It comes in a long rectangle. I cut them in half for ease of use for this purpose. I also drain the toilet bowl but you wouldn't have to, it's just a bit easier not having to worry about the water splashing. To drain as much of the water as possible out of the toilet bowl, turn off the water supply to the bowl. Flush the toilet and keep holding the handle down until the water stops draining. You are draining the water from the bowl and the tank. Then, get a large bucket, 5 gallon size and fill it as much as possible. Pour that into the bowl quickly and it should drain most of the water out. The small section at the bottom of the bowl will still have water. Then, wearing cleaning gloves, wet the sand paper screen and scrub away. The water here is very hard and I suck at cleaning. I wasn't able to get all of the hard water deposits off on the first try but it made a big difference. Unlike bleaching the hard water stain, the stain did not come back in as little as a week. It's not come back at all and I use that method periodically just to maintain the bowl.

I was going to pour a gallon of hot vinegar into the toilet bowl once to clean it but a good friend pointed out that the seal between the toilet and the floor is made of wax and adding anything warm or hot to the toilet bowl isn't a good idea.

Please see video here on how to drain a toilet bowl for cleaning or repairing:
http://www.dannylipford.com/home-improvement-video/how-to-drain-a-toilet/
PikesPeak5 years ago
Mixing Clorox with a small amount of water, and a good scrub brush also gives you very, very bright white lettering on those all terrain tires. Something I discovered when I ran out of toilet bowl cleaner-I reached under the bathroom sink and pulled out the salt I use for cleaning the worlds worst sinuses I have, and sprinkled it into the toilet bowl......woolah! 15 minutes later it was spotless.
An Villain5 years ago
Chlorine gas.
dammat5 years ago
Mixing bleach with water will only work for a short period of time. the Chlorine molecules will eventually evaporate rendering your solution useless, or bacteriostatic at best. I dont know what effect the handsoap has on the solution but I thought I would throw that out there.
see-saw5 years ago
If you want to get a microwave oven clean, put a bowl of water and lemon juice in for five minutes then just wipe the inside with a damp cloth.
Burnzee6 years ago
Great cleaning tips!! A further suggestion, make a great general purpose cleaner by mixing White Vinegar(50%), with Lemon Juice (25%), and Water (25%). Use on all surfaces including glass. Fantastic for greasy surfaces. As Ants don't like the smell of Vinegar or Lemon, using this will help keep them at bay. It will not kill them but they will go elsewhere. Use to clean out the food cupboards.
LordGarion6 years ago
Good tips but a couple points... Isopropyl alcohol is in fact poisonous. The U.S. government mandates that all rubbing alcohol be made poisonous so that it can not be abused. Due to this there have been quite a few deaths of young children/babies to poisoning from rub-downs to cool them from a high fever. Something that was not a problem before the government mandate. while it is improbable that a healthy adult will die from having it get on their skin through the rag, constant and repeated exposure could have unknown long term affects. I would advise gloves or at least to have a thick enough rag to prevent soak through. For the soap in the tub and tile cleaner automatic dishwasher detergent is made to be almost foam free which can make refilling easier.
I think you are confusing isopropyl alcohol with denatured ethyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol does not have additives to poison it, but it will break down into acetone in the liver. Denatured alcohol, however, has additives to prevent human consumption such that it is not taxed as an alcoholic beverage. Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about exposure to isopropyl alcohol as a cleaner as described here. The LD50 for it--in rabbits, at least--is 12800mg/kg absorbed through the skin. Remember, too, that isopropyl alcohol is the primary ingredient in "hand sanitizer" gels you commonly find in supermarkets and drugstores. Do be careful with bleach, though. Harmful gases can be released if it is mixed with vinegar or ammonia.
wait... so you're telling me, Isopropyl Alcohol, rubbing alcohol, what I've been using on cuts and my oily skin for YEARS has been poisoning me? And yet at 16 I was able to buy it, no ID required? When I was baby, my mom always cooled me down when I was over heated or had a fever with rubbing alcohol... Are you sure? Because I'm not dead yet and I've been using it till this day.
PikesPeak6 years ago
Just a lil' trivia to add on here. How many of you buy Windex in the 16oz(?) bottless? How many of you buy automotive winshield washer fluid? Washer fluid is $1.19 a half gallon. Windex probably $3.29 for 16oz. Compare the ingredients on the labels-same thing for sure. Now buy the windshield washer and pour it into your next empty spray bottle-saving dollars on expensive windex.
you're a genius...!
For getting grease/oil/road grime off your hands mix sugar with just enough dish washing soap to form a paste, scrub with this before getting your hands wet, then rinse with hot water.
Good trusted method, but please don't be tempted to substitute salt if you don't have sugar - the crystals are a lot smaller and sharper and can scratch!
tipsychimp6 years ago
nice, mustard gas
pir8p3t3 (author)  tipsychimp6 years ago
To clarify, this should not be considered an instructable on making poison gas. This instructable necessarily includes a warning to be careful with household chemicals.
if you mix ammonia and bleach you'll make chlorine gas and it will literally "burn your lungs out" if its inhaled.
Is the pressure from that reaction strong enough to fill a balloon like baking soda and vinegar? I'm asking, because I don't want to try it.
just dont try it and why do you want to trap chlorine gas anyway
I was thinking of collecting the periodic table.
just dont do it cuz chlorine is a grusome element
and i dont no
i just, dont really care mustard gas isnt even the result of mixing them i was just messing around
Browncoat6 years ago
I use alcohol for glass cleaner too. But I dilute it with water. I'll have to try your tub cleaner. :)
pir8p3t3 (author)  Browncoat6 years ago
I have had it suggested that adding 3 parts white vinegar to one part alcohol will work well too.
mcadwell6 years ago
If you take that Tile, tub and mildew cleaner and mix it with enough baking soda to make a paste, it makes a wonderful soft scrub cleaner. I've used it for years. You can also replace Comet cleaner with baking soda too. And it makes things smell fresh and clean.
pir8p3t3 (author)  mcadwell6 years ago
sounds feasible.. folks this one is open for collaboration. If you have a good cleaner recipe I'm ok with adding it here... this one is getting added. Join the "TightAss Projects" group!
lawizeg6 years ago
wow! this is nice. clorox will wonder what happened to their sales.