Got vinegar and baking soda in the cupboard? Nine DIY cleaning products to make at home

These common pantry items can help clean grime from microwaves, freshen up mattresses, and more

a hand Wiping table surfaces
Powered by automated translation

A clean home is a happy home and, with more people staying indoors to adhere to social distancing, now seems like the perfect time to get that spring clean under way.

However, rather than having to go out and shop for items to clean with, why not make use of what you already have? Common kitchen items that can be turned into DIY cleaners include lemon, vinegar, salt and baking soda.

So, if you have those items in your pantry, The National suggests some DIY cleaning uses you can get out of them.

1. How to clean your microwave

Start by removing any loose crumbs from the microwave. Then, in a microwave-safe bowl, pour about a cup of water (although the exact amount does not matter) and squeeze in some lemon juice. Put the bowl in the microwave for two or three minutes and then leave it inside for another five to 10 minutes to allow steam to build. Then remove the bowl from the microwave and use a damp sponge or rag to wipe away the caked-on grime. Finish by drying with a clean towel.

2. How to brighten glassware

Help break down mineral build-up by giving your glassware an occasional vinegar bath. Just fill the sink with soap and water and add in some vinegar while cleaning your glasses and you will keep them looking new. For glasses already covered in tough grime, you can soak them straight in vinegar first before cleaning as normal.

3. How to clear a clogged drain

To clear a minor clog in a drain, pour about a cup of baking soda down the hole and then follow with the same amount of vinegar. Let the mixture work for about an hour and then use hot water to flush it all down. Due to the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar, it is a less harsh way of getting rid of a blockage.

4. How to get rid of lingering odours in plastic

If you reuse plastic containers to store leftovers, you might notice that sometimes they have a lingering smell. One easy way to get rid of that is by pouring some baking soda in the container, add water and letting it sit for a couple of hours before washing clean. The baking soda should absorb the smell.

5. How to clean your shower head

Over time, mineral deposits can affect your water flow by clogging the holes of the shower head. To clear away those deposits, put a cup of vinegar in a ziplock bag, place the shower head in the bag, and then tie it up securely. Let it sit for a few hours, remove and then let the water run hot. Scrub with an old toothbrush if any build-up still remains.

6. How to make your mattress smell fresh

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - September 12, 2018: Feature story about "mattress in a box". Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at Mira, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Using baking soda is a good way to help absorb any odours or body oils on a mattress. Chris Whiteoak / The National

If your mattress needs a bit of freshening up, baking soda can help. Sprinkle the entire mattress surface with it and then rub it in with a dry brush. Let it sit for an hour or two to absorb any odours or body oils that might have built up over time. Then, carefully vacuum up the remaining baking soda (as well as dust or dirt) left on the mattress.

7. How to clean your walls

Create a basic wall cleaner, mix one part vinegar to five parts water. Using a clean cloth lightly dampened with the mixture, wipe down the entire surface of the wall. The mix is good for cleaning dust, mildew and other allergens. If you have a crafty child, baking soda can sometimes help remove crayons from walls.

8. How to make your windows sparkle

Make a mix of one part vinegar and two parts water and fill a plastic spray bottle. After spraying the mixture on to the window, crumple up some old newspapers and use them to clean away the liquid for a lint and streak-free finish. If you do not have any newspaper, you can also use a lint-free microfibre cloth or a squeegee.

9. How to clean your pet's bed

Outdoor Dog Bed - 100k Fireflies, courteys of Molly Mutt  *** Local Caption ***  wk12ju-pets5-p7.jpg
Use baking soda to keep a pet bed feeling fresh. Courtesy Molly Mutt

Pet beds can get covered in hair and  develop odour over time. To clean, sprinkle the bed with baking soda to neutralise the smell and brush over to make sure it is evenly distributed. After about an hour, remove the baking soda, hair and other dirt using a vacuum cleaner. You can hang the bed outside in the sun to freshen it up more or, if it is machine washable, toss in one quarter to one half-cup of baking soda along with your normal laundry detergent to wash.