Keepers at Home

Keepers at Home
June 3, 2019

More Than One Use

Often I receive links on my computer that might say, “The Ten Things to do With Shoelaces.” Or, “Did you know you could do ‘what’ with that?” So, I thought I’d go through many of these and select those things that might have been new to me AND ACTUALLY work and share them with you. I know that some of these tips will be an “answer” to your questions of “how to” or “what for.”

BORAX-This is sodium borate that naturally occurs in soil, plants and our bodies. It’s safe to “USE” but not safe to take internally. You’ll find a 4# box for $4.47 at Wal-Mart in the laundry aisle. I have mostly used it along with detergent in my laundry as it seems to boost the effectiveness, rids laundry of any odors and makes me feel that I am a pro-active laundress!! Other uses include…

Use on a wet sponge and wash down the shower walls, rinse thoroughly.
Clean hair brushes and combs—use ¼ c up, and a squirt of Dawn in a basin/sink, soak for 30 minutes and rinse.

Pour a cup in your toilet, stir, let sit overnight, swish your toilet with a brush in the morning, and flush.

Use a funnel and pour ½ cup Borax down a plugged drain. Slowly pour VERY hot water (2 c) down the drain. (Boiling water might crack some sinks—like porcelain, so better to use very hot water rather than boiling.) Let sit 10 minutes and flush with very warm water. Sometimes this takes a couple treatments.

Use as an all-purpose cleaner- Put 1 T Borax and 2 T white vinegar in a spray bottle, fill with warm water and mix well.

Use for stain removal- Use 1 T Borax with 2 T water- spread on stain, let sit 30 minutes, scrub area with tooth brush, and wash.

Use to kill ants- Take equal parts of Borax and Sugar. Spread where you see ant colonies. They will die when eating this mixture and they take it back to the nest and those ants die, also!

Said to eliminate fleas and bed bugs- Sprinkle mattress and carpets…let sit 30 minutes and vacuum well.

Will eliminate weeds in cracks in sidewalks- Just sprinkle on the weeds. Be careful NOT to sprinkle on any plants in garden or near sidewalk, as it will kill them too.

RUBBING ALCOHOL-This is an underused cleaning product. We often think of it as “medicinal” rather than a cleaner. Make sure you have good ventilation if using it a lot. It is a solvent and dissolves dirt and oil. It is flammable. It dries instantly. I found two different strengths in the First Aid aisle at Wal-Mart. A 16 ounce bottle of 70% is $1.24. A 16 ounce bottle of 50% is 88 cents. It can also be found in a spray bottle. The 70% alcohol will kill 99.99% of everything on the skin. You might also notice a 90% alcohol but that is usually used on something that cannot get wet. It dries even faster than the 70%, but would be a little more caustic to skin, if used medicinally.

Alcohol removes hair spray from mirror, sink and walls. Spray on a cloth and wipe off sticky residue.

My findings tell me you can spray on a windshield and it will dissolve the frost.

Will remove ink/markers on a shirt. Just saturate spot and watch ink disappear. Rinse area and wash.

Ice Pack- this is a great use. After my surgery, I needed several ice packs for the hip area and this recipe really worked. In a new gallon Zip-lock bag, add 1 part rubbing alcohol, 3 parts water and a drop of Dawn dish-soap. Put this bag in another bag. Freeze until slushy. It will smell like alcohol!!! But, the great thing about this is that because it is slushy rather than rigid, you can wrap around a leg, foot, arm, shoulder, so that the cold reduces the swelling and inflammation. Wrap Zip-loc in light towel, so it doesn’t freeze the skin, and then position on area.

Cleans stainless steel appliances- Add some rubbing alcohol to a soft, non-scratching cloth and wipe down your appliances.

Here’s another GREAT one- I use this solution on my laminate “faux” hardwood floors in my basement. It also might be able to be used on laminate tiles. CHECK with the manufacturer. The neat thing about this solution is that it does NOT streak and it dries quickly because of the alcohol. In a spray-bottle, mix 1 part white vinegar, 1 part rubbing alcohol and 1 part water. Spray on floor and wipe with cloth.

Can remove stickers on items- Saturate sticker with alcohol, leave it about 10 minutes, and it should dissolve the sticker residue. Wipe clean.

Clean electronics- Pour a little on a cotton ball and wipe the key board quickly back and forth, follow with dry, soft towel. The alcohol dries so quickly that this is a great cleaner without having to worry about the effects of water on an electronic item.

Disinfects phones, door knobs, etc. after an illness.

Deodorizes smelly athletic shoes- Spray inside of shoes with a fine spray. Put in sunshine. Should remove all odor of smelly feet!

Get rid of fruit flies- Spray the area lightly and they should all fall to the counter. Wipe with paper towel and you’re done with that hazard!

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (H202)- This is a colorless liquid, is a little more viscous than water, and has powerful oxidizing properties. A 32 ounce brown bottle is 88 cents at Wal-Mart. An 8 ounce spray bottle is $1.23. H202 should be kept in a dark place.

Use as a great overall cleaner- 50/50 solution with plain water. Apply directly to surfaces that you need to clean. Has a disinfectant property.
Whitening agent for laundry. Hydrogen peroxide is wonderful for laundry. When you have a protein stain (i.e. blood, sweat stains) you can pour it directly on the stain and watch it disappear. *Caution- this also has a “bleaching” property, so I only use this on white fabric, but it is amazing. Spray full strength on pillows before you wash them.

Use in your toilet- pour ½ cup in toilet, let sit for 20 minutes, scrub with brush and rinse.

There is also a food-grade product. It’s a solution that can be safely used on fruits and vegetables. Spray your produce, let sit for a few minutes and rinse. We used to fill a tub of water with some food grade hydrogen peroxide, threw in our cleaned garden carrots for a bit, lifted out, dried on deck until we saw a white residue on the carrots, bagged and they would stay good all winter in a refrigerator. I am not sure if our local Wal-Mart has food-grade H202, but it does have it on-line for about $10 for 8 ounces.
Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide work well together for a vegetable/fruit rinse.

All I can say is, “Have Fun” with all this new knowledge! These are CHEAP cleaners and are not caustic! Hope you are pleasantly surprised at how well they work! Happy Summer.