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An abundance of practical recipes for cooking up the cleanest home

Sunday, January 1, 2006

We recently were blessed with a beautiful holiday card from one of our dearest old friends, "The Queen of Clean," Eugenia Chapman, a housekeeper for more than 35 years. Her card included, as always, her latest cleaning picks and a couple of her famous homespun formulas. We have tested Eugenia's formulas and found that as a cleaning woman, she really is the queen.
Some recommendations she sent:
All-purpose cleaner: 2 quarts hot water, 2 to 4 tablespoons Murphys Oil. Combine. Use terry-cloth towels, wash, wipe, dry.
Glass cleaner: 2 quarts hot water, 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol. In cold weather add 4 tablespoons of corn starch, 1 teaspoon ammonia.
Terry cloths: Old cotton diapers or cotton sheets for drying.
For windows: Use spray bottle or small bucket. Wash with terry cloth. Wipe with cotton diapers, sheets or old newspapers. Streaks can be identified side to side inside and up and down outside.
For chandeliers: Place towels on the floor or carpet for protection then spray solution and let drip dry (make sure power to chandelier is turned off).
Spot cleaning: 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon ammonia. Mix the ingredients into a spray bottle, spray on and wipe off.
Cleaning dirty carpet: 2 clean buckets, ammonia, white powdered automatic dishwasher detergent, white vinegar.
In one of the buckets combine 1/2 gallon very warm water, 1/2 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup white powdered dishwasher detergent. Scrub this solution in with a cotton terry-cloth bath towel.
In the other bucket combine 1 gallon very warm water, 1 cup white vinegar. Scrub this solution in with another cotton terry-cloth towel.
Rub the moisture out with another dry terry-cloth towel.
Note: Be sure to scrub, rinse and dry about a 4-foot-by-4-foot area at a time. And change water as needed.
To clean grease/soap residue in drains: 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 Alka-Seltzer tablets, 2 quarts of boiling water.
Pour the dry ingredients into the drain first, then the vinegar. Do not pour the vinegar in first. Wait a few minutes while the vinegar and the dry ingredients foam vigorously. Chase with at least 2 quarts of boiling water. Do this before bed so that the cleaner can work overnight. Use once a month to keep drains running clean and fresh.
Cleaning cobwebs: Pin a damp clean towel on a broom. Wipe off cobwebs throughout the house in a few minutes.
Cleaning toothpaste: Keep paper towels under each sink to wipe out toothpaste after each use.
Cleaning venetian blinds: Use your fingers! That's right -- with nothing more than a pair of cotton gloves, your hands become top quality cleaning tools. A paintbrush also works well.
Cleaning drapes and bedding: Load them into the dryer and run on air/fluff.
Cleaning oven racks: Clean oven racks, stove reflector pans and burner rings by placing them in a heavy plastic bag with an ammonia-soaked cleaning towel. Close the bag and let it sit for a couple of hours -- preferably outside. If needed, scrape the racks with a metal pot scraper. Rinse and wipe dry.
And, that's all there is to it.
XFor more home improvement tips and information, visit our Web site at or call us at (800) 737-2474 every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST.
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