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Milder Alternatives

You don’t need a hose to put out a match, so go for the gentlest, mildest cleaner first before resorting to anything harsher.


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While there are some great choices available at your local supermarket, some of the friendliest cleaners are also right there in your kitchen. You can make most common cleaners at home following these simple recipes:

Child-safe all-purpose cleaner:

1/8 cups baking soda
2 cups water

All-purpose cleaner:

1/4 tsp liquid dish detergent
2 cups water

Abrasive powder:

baking soda

Acidic cleaner (for soap scum and mineral deposits):

1 part vinegar
1 part water

Germ-killing cleaner:

1/4 tsp liquid dish detergent
2 cups water
1 tbsp tea tree oil

Glass Cleaner:

1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol
1/2 cup water

Furniture Polish:

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup mineral oil
2 tbsp lemon oil (or scent with essential oil)

Spray, then buff thoroughly with a dry cloth.


Adapted from Hannah’s Art of Home: How to Manage a Home Around Your Personality


Milder Alternatives:  Created on January 12th, 2005.  Last Modified on January 21st, 2014


About Hannah Keeley

Hannah Keeley

Hannah Keeley is an author, television personality, lifestyle expert, and founder of the Web site,, a complete resource for the mom who is trying to do it all and stay sane in the process. Her newest book, Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover: A Six-Week Program to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life (Little, Brown & Co, April, 2007), is a life-changing tool to help moms get the most out of life. Hannah also has a monthly Q&A column, "Hannah Help Me!", in which she helps moms handle the typical and not-so-typical misadventures of motherhood. You can also see Hannah as a frequent guest on "The Rachael Ray Show."