Instead of purchasing expensive and chemical-filled fabric cleaners, use cheap, natural items that contain little or no toxins. These homemade fabric cleaners will thoroughly cleanse a wide array of surfaces without filling the home with unnecessary chemicals. However, before using these cleaning recipes, test the items on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric. If damage or discolouration occurs, discontinue use.
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Vinegar removes any lingering odour from fabric without using toxic or expensive chemicals. Furthermore, vinegar is safe on all fabrics from clothing to carpets. Apply a thin layer of white vinegar on the fabric, and let it air dry. Pouring the vinegar is a spray bottle makes for easier application on upholstery, draperies and carpets. As the pungent liquid dries, it will remove even the toughest odours from the fabric.
To remove various stains and spots -- including ink -- from a variety of fabrics use rubbing alcohol. Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol in a small dish, and dip the corner of a white cloth in the alcohol. Blot the stain or spot with the damp white cloth starting at the edge of the stain and working toward the centre. Let the rubbing alcohol sit on the fabric for 10 minutes before laundering as you normally would. For non-washable items, rinse the rubbing alcohol off the fabric by blotting with a cloth dampened in cool water.
Baking soda is a natural odour eliminator that you can use to dry-clean your carpets. Fill a container with baking soda, and add dried leaves and herbs such as lavender, cloves or rosemary to the baking soda, and stir together with a spoon. Sprinkle the powder on carpets, and let it sit for several hours. The baking soda will remove unpleasant odours trapped in the carpet fibres while the dried leaves and herbs will leave a fragrant aroma on the fabric. Remove the powder from the carpet with a vacuum cleaner.
Dry Cleaning Solvent
Found in the laundry aisle of department stores, dry cleaning solvent will safely help get rid of stains from various fabrics, including delicate garments and upholstery. Add several drops of the dry cleaning solvent to a clean cloth, and blot the fabric until you have thoroughly saturated the stain with the solvent. Wash the garment as you normally would. If the stain is on fabric that you cannot launder, continue blotting the stain with the damp cloth until you have removed all traces of the stain.
Liquid Dish Soap
Not only is liquid dish soap good at getting dishware clean, but it will also help clean upholstery and carpet fabric. Mix 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap with 3 tbsp of warm water. Use a whisk to mix the soap and water together until suds form. Scrub the fabric with a sponge saturated in the sudsy mixture. After the fabric is clean, remove the mixture from the carpet, upholstery or rug by blotting the surface with a cloth dampened in cool water. Pat the surface dry with a towel.
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