Homemade Cleaners: For Carpet, Floor, Glass, Drains

By The Old Farmer's Almanac

Here is advice on how to make homemade cleaners and stain removers for your home. If you have any great tips, please post your own comments below!

Floor Cleaners and Polishes

  • Need to polish the floors? Try polishing with baking soda to make them sparkle.
  • Wash away grease spots and dull, greasy film on no-wax linoleum floors with a solution of ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ gallon of water. Your floor will look sparking clean.
  • For linoleum, damp-mop using a solution of a mild detergent and water for day-to-day cleaning. Keep water away from seams and edges to prevent loosening of the tiles. To preserve the floor, add a capful of baby oil to the mop water.
  • For brick and stone floors, mix 1 cup of white vinegar into 1 gallon of water. Scrub floor with a brush and vinegar solution, then rinse.
  • For ceramic tile floors, mix ¼ cup of white vinegar into 1 gallon of water. This solution removes most dirt without scrubbing. Soap doesn’t work well if you have hard water.

Carpet Cleaners

  • Blood: Sponge the stain immediately with cold water or club soda, and dry it with a towel. Repeat as necessary.
  • Ink: Soak ink stains in lemon juice.
  • Muddy footprints: Sprinkle salt on the mud and let it dry before vacuuming.
  • Urine: Dab the area with a towel, wash it with suds of liquid hand-dishwashing detergent, and rinse it with ½ cup of vinegar diluted in one quart of warm water. Lay towels over the spot and weigh it down to absorb excess moisture. Let it sit for 6 to 8 hours; then remove the toweling, brush up the nap, and let the carpet dry completely.
  • Vomit: Mix one part white vinegar to eight parts water in a bucket or spray bottle. Spray onto the stain and allow it to set for one to two minutes. Then blot up the remaining vinegar with absorbent paper towels until no more moisture comes up. 
  • Soot: Sprinkle the area generously with salt. Allow the salt to settle for a least 15 minutes before vacuuming.

Furniture Polish

  • Mix 2 parts vegetable or olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. Apply and polish with a soft cloth. This leaves furniture looking and smelling good.

Glass and Window Cleaners

  • ½ cup vinegar to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)
  • ½ cup ammonia to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)
  • To clean cut glass, sprinkle baking soda on a damp rag and clean the glass. Rinse and then polish with a soft cloth.
  • Remove stains on glass by rubbing them with toothpaste. Polish with a soft cloth.

Grease Removers

  • For grease on kitchen floors, immediately pour salt on the spot to absorb the grease and prevent staining.
  • If you spill grease on a wood floor, immediately place ice cubes or very cold water on the spot. The grease will harden and then can be carefully scraped off. Finally, iron a piece of cloth or folded paper towel over the grease spot to soak up any remaining grease.

All-Purpose Cleaners

  • Mix together vinegar and salt for a good surface cleaning.
  • Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water for a general cleaner. Or, use baking soda on a damp sponge. Baking soda will clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Drain Cleaners and Openers

  • To avoid clogged drains, use a drain strainer to trap food particles and hair, and collect grease in cans rather than pouring it down the drain.
  • Weekly, pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to melt fat that may be building up, or pour some vinegar and baking soda down the drain to break down fat and keep your drain smelling fresh.
  • To open a drain, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. Add ½ cup of white vinegar and cover the drain if possible. Let it sit for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush it.
  • Another way to open a drain is to pour ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow this with 6 cups of boiling water. Let it sit overnight and then flush it with water. The hot water wil help dissolve the clog, and the baking soda and salt serve as an abrasive to break through the clog.

Reader Comments

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I really appreciate the kind

I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day!

-- These are great helpful

-- These are great helpful tips! I often use baking soda or cornstarch, vinegar, clear dish soap, and some cold water, to remove oil-based stains out of the carpet.

Thank you for such a

Thank you for such a wonderful cleaning tips! For me, it gets much easier with Baking Soda –Vinegar spray. Most of the time, this recipe saves me time and effort. Besides, it’s easy, affordable and works wonders on pet urine and blood. I use white vinegar as it’s a treat even on old stains that you may have missed if your pet decided to “pee” behind your book cabinets. My friend owns a cleaning company in Canada, called Clean-Slate. She always advises her customers to use baking soda a natural odor remover. So team it up with white vinegar and get rid of the stubborn odor and stains. Keep sharing!!!

The baking soda can also be

The baking soda can also be used to clean and remove the stain from the carpets or rugs and the floors.. It helped me to remove stains from my home carpet..

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thanks for sharing. I use to

thanks for sharing. I use to solve these kind of problems by myself but last time my wardrobe was underattack by termites so I used advice of my carpenter and he helped with assurance of no future inconvienece. I liked your tips for glass and door cleaners I think I will try this myself in this weekend. :) 

thank you for sharing

thank you for sharing

Have some problems with our

Have some problems with our Church carpeting. People tend to blow out the candles and then it drops on the Carpets.. How do you get Bees wax candle droppings out of Carpets..Some tried the credit card swipe but the oil from the bees wax is very hard and many cleaners are not touching it at all..Thanks signed Old Lady in the fourth pew...

Put some ice in a zip-close

Put some ice in a zip-close bag and place it over the wax. Make sure the wax isn't getting wet or moist from the bag, that will make it harder to remove. When the wax is very cold, scrape off as much as you can with a butter knife. Use a vacuum to pick up all the stray little pieces. If some wax still remains on the carpet, dampen a cotton cloth and fold it in half. Place over the wax and, using an iron set to high, warm the wax. It should absorb into the cloth. If the cloth dries out, dampen it again. Good luck!

Try either acetone and rinse

Try either acetone and rinse with Murphy's oil soap after, or try WD-40. Test a discreet spot first.

How to remove the underlay

How to remove the underlay glue from hardwood floor?