Tis’ the season – no sooner do you have your Halloween decorations packed away, you’re running around trying to get the best holiday deals. For the first week or so of November, you’ve got oversized poultry (or seitan if you refrain from meat products) and canned cranberries on your mind. Then you’re in full shopping mode conquering other vehicles for that ultimate conquest – the last parking spot at the mall – to pillage sale after sale. When your gift-giving adrenaline rush finally subsides, you realize that over the next month your house is going to be like a revolving door for guests. That means airing out that blow-up mattress, digging through boxes of spare sheets, and trying to make your home immaculate for criticizing familial eyes. We’ve got easy cleaning solutions to lend you a hand this holiday. And none of them require harsh, toxic chemicals. Meet your new BFF – hydrogen peroxide.
- Clean your dirty sponges. You know that spongey rectangle you use to wash your dishes? It’s a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew. Stop your sponge’s bacterial takeover with good ole hydrogen peroxide. Just soak your filthy sponge in a solution of equal parts ½ hydrogen peroxide to ½ warm water for 15 minutes.
- Disinfect your countertops. Rushing around your kitchen isn’t an excuse to skip disinfecting. You don’t want to accidently give your guests Salmonella because you didn’t properly disinfect your countertop. Quickly disinfect without using bleach or ammonia. Wash down counters with soap and water. Heat hydrogen peroxide to 130-degrees Fahrenheit. Spray hydrogen peroxide on your countertops, let sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean.
- Grout cleaner. No matter how much you clean old grout, it always looks grungy. Dial down the dirt with a little hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and elbow grease. Mix a 2:1 ratio of baking soda to hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Spread the paste over your grout and let sit for a few minutes. Scrub using the required amount of elbow grease to get the job done, then rinse clean.
- Make your cookie sheet sparkle. Baked on crud makes your cookie sheet (and other bakeware) look like you haven’t washed it in months. Revive your cookie sheet easily with a little hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda over your cookie sheet. Then add hydrogen peroxide so the baking soda starts to fizz. Wipe clean. For tough crud, repeat the process.
- Toilet cleaner. Your toilet is a harbinger of bacteria and funky smells. Rid your porcelain throne of both. Add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide to your toilet bowl and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Scrub, then flush for a clean toilet. The best part is there aren’t any harmful chemicals sitting in your toilet water – which gives you peace of mind if Uncle Sal leaves the toilet seat up and Fido takes a drink.
- Tub and shower cleaner. Neutralize yucky odors and get rid of tough stains in your shower or tub. Mix ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Scrub-a-dub, then rinse. Say goodbye to soapy films, bacteria, and mildew.
- Dissolve pet odors from carpets. You love your pets, but sometimes they leave behind a distinct odor that’s difficult to get rid of. Refresh your carpets without having to rent a carpet cleaner. Mix 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide with 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Mix gently, then scrub onto the carpet. Blot dry. Vacuum after 24 hours. Always test in an inconspicuous spot because hydrogen peroxide can lift color.
- Easy glass & window cleaner. Finger smudges, toothpaste splatter, renegade hair product, a partial sneeze – your bathroom mirror sees it all. Get your glass and mirrors streak-free without ammonia. Spray hydrogen peroxide directly onto glass or mirrored surfaces, then wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth.
- Disinfect your refrigerator. Spills in the fridge happen. Sometimes the half-opened bottle of jelly knocks over leaks and leaves a sticky, purple goo. Other times the plastic wrap falls off your grapefruit half, and citrus juice dries to a tacky, crusty halo on the top shelf. Clean and disinfect your refrigerator without using bleach or ammonia. Spray hydrogen peroxide directly on surfaces in your refrigerator. Let soak for a few minutes. Then wipe clean with a cloth.
- Refresh musty fabrics. Trying to get that musty smell out of extra bedding you had stored in your garage or basement? Try this trick – mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. Soak your musty fabrics in the mixture, then wash as usual. Stock photo ID:
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