The Virtues of Vinegar, Lemons, & Salt: Thanksgiving Cleaning

November 22, 2013

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Time to get the house prepared for Thanksgiving guests! The Old Farmer’s Almanac has long been a proponent of the cleaning power of vinegar, lemons, and salt (and other equally down-to-earth ingredients). Get your house spick and span with this compilation of years of Almanac cleaning advice from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Home Library Series: Home Wisdom.

The Virtues of Vinegar, Lemons, & Salt: Thanksgiving Cleaning

IN THE KITCHEN

Stove:
• Filmy dirt and grease on the stovetop will come clean with white vinegar.
• Oven spills will stop smoking if you sprinkle them with salt. Wipe with a damp cloth after the oven cools.
Silverware:
• To remove stains, place silverware in a pan and cover with sour milk. Let stand overnight. In the morning, rinse with cold water, then hot water.
Dishes & Glassware:
• To remove cloudy mineral deposits from drinking glasses, put a tablespoon of lemon juice in each glass and fill with hot water. Let stand for several hours, then wash.
• Use lemon juice and salt to return the luster to china.
Countertops:
• Laminated counters and tabletops can be cleaned by rubbing with a soft cloth soaked in white vinegar. This also makes them shine. To remove stains without scratching, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain, let sit for a minute or two, and rub to remove.

IN THE BATHROOM

Tubs, bowls, & sinks:
• To remove bathtub and sink film, wipe with white vinegar, then baking soda. Rinse with water.
• Clean and deodorize the toilet bowl by pouring white vinegar into it. Let stand for five minutes, then flush. Spray stubborn stains with vinegar, then scrub vigorously.

FLOORS & FURNISHINGS

Floors:
• Animal urine stains and odors can usually be vanquished by using a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Sponge it into the carpet and then blot it up with thick towels.
• To clean up coffee spills, blot up excess coffee, then rub the stain with a solution of water, mild powdered detergent, and white vinegar.
• Wash a wood or tile floor with an orange cut in half. Put one half in each hand, get down on your knees, and work in circles to remove grease and dirt. Rinse with a damp rag.
Furnishings:
• Clean discolored or dirty wood with a mixture of equal parts turpentine, white vinegar, and mineral oil. Shake well before and during use. Apply with a soft cloth and rub vigorously.
• To remove scratches, combine equal parts lemon juice and salad oil. Apply with a soft cloth and rub until scratches disappear.

Looking for more great advice? Check out the newest edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac!

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