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RISMEDIA, February 19, 2009-(MCT)-The ingredients are probably all right there in your kitchen or bath cabinets-baking soda, ammonia, vinegar, rubbing alcohol.

Know what to mix with what and you could make your own household cleaners and save money at the grocery or drugstore. Be careful and make sure you follow all the directions to be safe.

Instead of paying extra for Pine Sol, Windex or Tilex, make your own floor, window and tile cleaners, suggests website www.creativehomemaking.com. The site is full of frugal cleaning tips, from making your own solutions to substituting bubble bath for the more expensive liquid hand soap. Many of the ideas will not only save you money but help eliminate having to store toxic chemicals in your home.

For a general purpose floor cleaner, the website says to mix 1/3 cup of Borax with one gallon of warm water, then add one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of ammonia. For a wood floor cleaner, it says, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. For shower cleaner, mix 1/4 cup of Lysol or another concentrated cleaner with a half cup of isopropyl alcohol and water.

Clean chrome, the site says, with toothpaste or crumpled up aluminum foil. Clean glass with plain white vinegar. Reuse dryer sheets for dusting.

Other tips are available at www.thriftyfun.com.

One word of caution: These sites remind us to never mix ammonia and bleach, which can create a harmful, potentially lethal gas.

Copyright © 2009, The Baltimore Sun
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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