Homemade Window Cleaner: Let the Sun Shine In

Few things make a home look more welcoming than clean windows. The spray-and-wipe method has become the norm for maintaining them, but we can keep piles of paper towels out of the landfills by taking a cue from professional window cleaners.

Vinegar window rinse

2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
2 quarts water
2 small buckets
1 squeegee clean, lint-free cloths

1. Fill buckets with warm water.
2. Add white vinegar to one of the buckets and agitate to mix. (The clear water will be your rinse.)
3. Apply cleaning solution with a cloth–which you will use only for that task–and start at the top of the window, working from side to side as you clean. Let stand for a few seconds and rinse with a separate cloth dipped in the clear water.
4. Immediately use your squeegee to remove the water. You will have the least drippy windows if you wipe the squeegee blade with a dry cloth after every pass.

Nourish Your Wood Furniture: DIY Wood Furniture Polish

Staying toasty through the winter is great for people, but central heating creates a dry atmosphere that can wreak havoc on your fine wood furniture. We preserve our skin with moisturizers; doing the same for prized wood furnishings can add years to their lifetimes. Instead of conventional spray-on furniture polishes–which contain harmful chemicals and artificial scents that you inhale or absorb through your skin–try this all-natural version.

Furniture vinaigrette

This furniture formula is so pure you could use it to dress your salad, yet it keeps furniture strong and supple without chemicals. The vinegar helps remove dirt from the wood. This recipe’s shelf life: six months to a year.

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon natural lemon oil

1. Combine the ingredients in a bottle with a tight cap. Shake well before dispensing.
2. Pour a small amount on a clean, lint-free cotton cloth and apply to furniture. Rub with the grain until you’ve coated the surface well.
3. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Rub off the residual oil with a fresh, lint-free cloth.

A guru of home style,Ken Hoyt has expertise ranging from entertaining to food to interior design.

Published on Jan 1, 2006

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