7 DIY, Natural Solutions For Common Summer Dilemmas
Summer may not be plagued with the slush and sludge of winter, but there are still plenty of messes to clean up and household dilemmas to deal with during the season. Thankfully, you don’t have to run out to the hardware store every time you encounter one: there are plenty of all-natural, DIY solutions that you can use for everything from cleaning outdoor furniture to banning ants from your home. Read on for a few that are tried and true.
To prevent mildew build-up and potential discoloration, you should regularly clean your teak outdoor furniture. Thankfully, a mixture of just one cup of vinegar and one gallon of warm water will do the trick. After clearing a space on a lawn or driveway to clean your furniture, apply the mixture with a soft bristled brush and scrub it into the wood. Let it dissolve into the wood for 15 to 30 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly with clean water.
Want glorious, streak-free windows so you can let the summer sun shine in? All you need, again, is a bit of water and vinegar — plus dish soap and newspaper. Pour ½ cup of water, ½ cup vinegar, and four drops of dish soap into a spray bottle, spritz your windows, and wipe them dry with newspaper. Voilà!
Andrew Arthur for Domaine
When the weather warms up, ants often march into homes in search of food and water, infesting kitchens, as well as cooler areas like bathrooms and air conditioning units. Have you encountered an ant trail in your home? The secret to kicking them to the curb is to mix 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of Borax.
Then, pour the solution in a little puddle where you previously saw the ants. Take an old tupperware lid propped up on something to cover the area. The ants will be attracted to the sugar, and take the solution back to the nest and infect the colony.
Is your grill looking grimey after a long summer of barbecuing? Mix baking soda with water to make a gentle but abrasive paste. Coat the grates (and even the knobs) with the paste, let it sit for an hour, and then rinse with water. Any food or residue that remains can be scrubbed off with a balled-up piece of aluminum foil.
Want to remove the waxy build-up on your summer fruits and vegetables? Just mix ¼ cup white vinegar with 4 cups of water in a spray bottle, and spray them liberally. Let them sit for a few minutes, rinse, dry, and enjoy.
The sweat caused by summer heat can certainly make your home stink. While you yourself can shower it off, your furniture can’t. Unfortunately commercial fabric fresheners are full of toxins — not exactly something you want to be breathing in regularly. In a spray bottle, make your own all-natural version of Febreze by mixing one part water with one part cheap vodka and adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lavender, or lemon oil. Shake vigorously and mist on your fabrics and upholstery.
What other DIY cleaning solutions do you use? Share your favorite tricks below.