How to Clean Your Home The Old-Fashioned Way


There is a way to make your home sparkle like how our grandmas made our home sparkle when we were kids, by using five simple ingredients.


No kidding.  Five Ingredients.

Here they are.

(Knowledge of these five ingredients thanks to Michael De Jong in his book Clean: The Humble Art of Zen Cleansing)

#1:Baking Soda

  • For sparkling silver, line a porcelain sink with heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Load it with the silver you intend to polish, making certain that every item touches the foil liner.  Cover with boiling water and add a cup of baking soda.  The tarnish will jump from the silver to the foil in almost no time.  For any remaining traces of heavy tarnish, make a paste of water and baking soda and polish the surface until it shines.
  • Make a tile cleanser by mixing two cups of baking soda with a half cup of lukewarm water.  Brush the mixture into the grout and scrub.
  • Sprinkle baking soda onto your upholstered couch to deodorize it.  Let it stand for an hour, then vacuum.


  • Mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice to create furniture polish.  Just a few drops on a soft cloth will make your wooden furniture shine.  Buff the surface with a dry cloth to remove any excess oil.  Store your polish in a glass jar.
  • Remove ink stains on cloth by placing lemon juice directly onto the spot.  Allow it to sit overnight before laundering as usual.  Repeat if necessary.
  • Take rust off household tools and chrome by using salt and one tablespoon of lemon juice.  Make a paste and rub onto rusty area with a dry cloth.
  • Brighten white fabrics by soaking them in a pot of boiling water with a sliced lemon.

#3:  borax

  • Add one quarter cup of borax to two cups of water to make a bleach substitute.
  • Pour one quarter cup into your toilet bowl to help clean and deodorize it.  Swish the mixture with a brush and let it stand at least an hour or overnight.  Flush.

#4: Salt

  • Remove perspiration stains from clothing by presoaking the garment in salt water.
  • Soften new jeans by adding one half cup of salt to the wash along with your regular laundry detergent.
  • To get rid of coffee stains on the inside of a glass coffeepot, add four teaspoons of salt, one cup crushed ice and one tablespoon of water.  Gently swirl until clean, then rinse.

#5: Vinegar

  • Polish patent leather in cloth dampened with vinegar.  Wipe it on until shine is fully restored.
  • Use a solution of two tablespoons of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water in a spray bottle to clean mirrors, glass and windows.
  • To reduce odor from pet’s urine in your carpet, dilute a cup of vinegar with a cup of room-temperature water.  Apply and blot with a clean rug.My Life's Anik Aniks