Ammonia, Foil, Salt, and Baking Soda


Every day items are the basics of cleaning. You don’t need to go broke buying expensive bottles of perfumed mixtures that claim to do the cleaning job of a million scrubbing bubbles. You just need the same items that your grandmother used and they only cost pennies.  Here is a list of ways to use simple basics to clean just about everything.

Ammonia is the Stinky stuff that will clear your nose and ears just by opening the bottle. But, it is amazing stuff. The biggest thing to know about Ammonia is that you should NEVER mix it with bleach. It will generate toxic chloramine vapor! Very dangerous! But you can do lots of things using just Ammonia alone!

-Do a wash in your washing machine with a cup of ammonia and it will get rid of any mildew smell.

-Mix 2 tablespoons of ammonia with water and put in spray bottle. Windows, glassware and glass tabletops will shine!

-When windshield wipers get grimy, you can clean them using ammonia.

-To shine crystal , mix two cups water with a few drops ammonia and wipe.

-Remove sweat stains from clothing by dabbing with ammonia before washing

-Wash bathroom and kitchen tile floors with a solution of water and ammonia

-Ammonia removes bathtub soap-scum

-Use ammonia to clean fireplace doors

-It will clean gold and silver jewelry

-Ammonia removes tarnish from brass or silver

-Use ammonia to strip wax from flooring

-Ammonia can stop mosquito bites from itching

-Use ammonia to keep stray animals out of your trash

-Use ammonia to fight mildew

The next Great Basic is Aluminum Foil. It not only covers food up but its uses are endless!

-Wrapped up in a loose ball, you can use it to scrub rust off chrome. Appliances, strollers, golf club shafts, and older car bumpers could always use a shine!

-It will clean silverware. Put the foil on the bottom of a pan.Lay the tarnished silver on top of the aluminum foil. Cover the silver with a solution of one cup baking soda to one gallon of water. The tarnish should disappear quickly.

-Line baking pans with aluminum foil.You can just lift the cake right out and have a clean pan.

-Crumple up a handful of aluminum foil and use it to scrub your pots

-Use foil to sharpen your dull scissors! Take a sheet of foil and fold it several times and start cutting. Sharpens scissor blades right away!

-Place a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil across the bottom of the fireplace or under the wood grate. The next day, once the ashes have cooled, fold it up and throw it away.

-When ironing, heat from the iron is sucked up by the board and makes you pass over the clothing several times.Place a piece of aluminum foil under your ironing board cover. The foil will reflect the heat back through the clothing, smoothing wrinkles quicker.

-Make a funnel. Double up a length of heavy-duty aluminum foil and roll it into the shape of a cone. You can bend the aluminum foil to reach awkward holes, like the oil filler hole tucked against the engine of your mower.

-Re-attach a vinyl floor tile. Reposition the tile on the floor, lay a piece of aluminum foil over it, and run a hot clothes iron over it a few times until you can feel the glue melting underneath. Put a pile of books or bricks on top of the tile to weigh it down while the glue resets. This also works when smoothing out bulges and straighten curled seams in sheet vinyl flooring.

Another Basic is Salt. Mother Nature’s most versatile gift!

-Clean Copper bottomed pans with a mixture of salt and white vinegar. Create a paste, cover the bottom with it, let it stand and then scrub off. Bright and shiny!

-Stay healthy by gargling with warm water and salt. This helps with sore throats also.

-Clean artificial flowers, silk or nylon, by placing them in a paper bag with 1/4 cup salt. Give the bag a few gentle shakes, and your flowers will emerge as clean.

-A new straw broom will last longer if you soak its bristles in a bucket of hot, salty water.

-Clean grease out of a rug. Mix 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol and rub it hard on the grease stain, being careful to rub in the direction of the rug’s natural nap.

-Watermarks left from glasses or bottles on a wood table disappear by mixing 1 teaspoon salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone.

-To restore sponges to a super clean state, soak them overnight in a solution of about 1/4 cup salt per quart of water.

-Salt works well to lessen the pain of bee stings, bug bites, and poison ivy Put a paste of salt right on the sting and soak later in a tub full of hot salt water.

-Keep the windows in your home frost-free by wiping them with a sponge dipped in salt water, then letting them dry.

And finally we come to Baking Soda! Used not only in baking, but also to get rid of an upset stomach or a bug bite! Baking Soda also has a long list of other uses.

-Freshen your breath. Mix 1 tsp of baking soda in a glass of water.

-Polish your teeth. Many people will use baking soda as a natural toothpaste.

-Clean the Microwave. Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.

-Clean Coffee and Tea Pots. Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.

-Clean the Oven. Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.

-Clean Furniture. You can clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

-Deodorize Trashcans. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay.

-Remove Odor From Carpets by sprinkling baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight, or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest.

-Remove Odor From Vacuum Cleaners by using the method above for carpets, you will also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.

Natural everyday products can be a financial lifesaver along with being the easiest products to find that do the job. Ammonia, Aluminum Foil, Salt and Baking Soda are just a few items that can be used for so many varied jobs. Next time, I will make some lists using vinegar and  lemons and toothpaste!

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