Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Cleaners

By Reena Nerbas

Crayon on Walls

Dear Reena,

Recently my young daughter colored a beautiful picture; the only problem was she used the wall as her canvas. Can you please give me a few tips as to how to remove crayon from walls? Thanks, Bethany

Dear Bethany,

Smear the area with either lemon essential oil or non-bleach, non-gel toothpaste. Wipe and the crayon art will be a darling memory.

Homemade Cleaning Solution

Dear Reena,

I was wondering if you’d be kind enough to inform me, in general, what ratio of water, vinegar, and baking soda should I use to clean with? I know certain things require different mixtures, especially depending on how much dirt/stain there is, and to what extent it has adhered to the surface. But surely there is a general all-purpose ratio that a person can use, at least as a base rule. Peter

Hi Peter,

Here are a number of different cleaning formulas that you can use for your home. Choose a variety of spray bottle colors and shapes for each recipe and label all bottles. Test every product on an inconspicuous area first. When making your own cleaning products; it is important to remember NEVER combine bleach with other products, especially ammonia.

Window Glass Cleaner/Degreaser/Soap Scum Remover/Cutting Board Cleaner: Combine 1 tsp. dish soap, one quarter cup rubbing alcohol and 2 cups white vinegar. Spray and wipe.

Instant Toilet Bowl/Bathtub Cleaner/Sink Deodorizer: Into the toilet or bathtub pour one quarter cup baking soda and 2 cups vinegar. Scrub with an abrasive (scratch free) cloth. Rinse with water.

Fabric Spot Remover: Combine half cup 3% hydrogen peroxide and one quarter cup dish soap. Spray onto stain and launder as usual.

Cleaning Cork Floors

Dear Reena,

We put a cork floor into our kitchen 6 years ago and I never feel it is clean. We use a commercial product that our floor company told us to spray on but I don’t feel that it is cleaning my floor at all and I see horrible spots. Being a clean freak, this cork floor is always a concern for me. Thanks so much! Marsha

Dear Marsha,

It is always safest to use the products recommended by the manufacturer, either contact the manufacturer or check for cleaning recommendations on-line. The reason for this is that the warranty may be void if other products are used. If this is not an option, vacuum or sweep the floor regularly. Mop the floor at least once a month making sure not to use excessive water, the floor should be damp not wet. Avoid using harsh cleaners, one tsp. of dish soap and one tsp. white vinegar added to mop water is all you need.

Feedback from Reader who Cares:

Hi Reena,
Recently you wrote about how to keep your floors scratch free, I just thought I would add to this. I too recently put laminate in my kitchen and I didn’t have pads at the time and someone suggested tennis balls. Cut an X on one side 1.5 times larger than the shaft. Just be careful as this is not easy, using a knife to start the incision and finish with a pair of tin snips is probably the safest. Regards, Daniel

Fabulous Travel Tips of the Week

·        When packing your razor for travel, secure a binder clip over the blade so that the blade is not exposed. Submitted By: Nadine

·        Your best defense against shampoo bottles leaking while travelling is to purchase small unopened bottles. Avoid opening the bottle until you have reached your destination. Submitted By: Mel

·        Clasp earring pairs onto a large button to keep pairs together. Submitted By: Joanne

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