Inside the home

Floors – Instead of hardwood floor cleaning formulas, a simple solution of half a cup of apple cider vinegar and one gallon of warm water does the trick. When wiping the floor with a soft cloth, remember to squeeze out as much of the solution as possible. Then go over the floor again with a dry cloth to restore lustre.
Drains – Stop buying costly drain unclogging products by simply pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of vinegar. After letting it fizz for one minute, turn on your hot water for a few minutes.
Laundry – Instead of loading your washing machine with baskets of outdoor acrylic, polyester and cotton fabrics, start sponging them with a mixture of liquid dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water. Then, rinse with clean water to remove the soap and let it soak up the summer sun to dry.
Washrooms – A lemon juice and baking soda mix will have you stop paying attention to all the washroom-cleaning commercials on television. The lemon juice’s acid will not only strip dirt, it’ll restore the sparkle on your stainless steel.

Outside the home

Weeds – Stop paying the weed man to get rid of annoying speckles of grass and moss erupting from your driveway. Simply pour table salt onto the areas of concern—in no time their roots will die. Be careful only to apply salt on driveways, sidewalks and patios, not on garden beds, since salt can leave the ground barren for a long time.
Soil – Is your back still hurting from lugging that giant bag of fertilizer from Home Depot? No fear! Start saving ashes from your wood-burning fireplace, mix them in with your compost heap and spread them in your garden for soil amendment.
Pests – To get rid of creepy-crawlers from entering your home this summer, simply sprinkle red chili, paprika or dried peppermints where they enter inside your house.
Furniture – While many think outdoor furniture requires hard scrubbing with lethally strong chemicals to repair the effects of the elements, they only score half points for the hard scrubbing required. To solve spotted or mildewy wood furniture, renew your piece by sanding it with fine-grade sandpaper. Then, clean with a wood cleaner and re-oil the surface to restore its shine.

by Y.C Joyce Yip