Your mom made egg salad with paprika – and so do you. She scrubbed the bathroom with Comet and Clorox – and so do you. While your sainted mother is a stellar housekeeper (and makes a darn good egg salad sandwich), breaking away from the toxic multi-colored powders of your youth is good for both the earth and your bank account. Next time you tackle the dreaded housecleaning, whip up a few of these DIY cleansers.
Glass surfaces: Instead of pulling out the unnaturally hued Windex for your windows and mirrors, mix one part white vinegar with two parts water. Rub out spots with last week’s newspaper for extra sparkle.
Wood: Combine a healthy dollop of olive oil into warm water for a natural wood cleanser and polish.
Bathroom and kitchen: Ceramic sinks, tubs, and tile scrub up with a few tablespoons of baking soda in warm water. Or just sprinkle baking powder onto a wet sponge and attack the grout. Dissolve pesky baked ham drippings from the oven by sprinkling baking soda throughout the oven, spraying with water. Let sit a few hours before rinsing. Unclog drains by dumping down a cup full of baking soda and following with three cups of boiling water. (Repeat if necessary.)
Carpet: Stains come out with equal parts white vinegar and water. Dab or spray onto the spot and let sit for an hour or so. Remove odors by sprinkling cornstarch on carpet and leaving for 30 minutes before vacuuming.
Mom would be so proud.