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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Clean House - the easy way


Here is a secret...I really hate to clean.  Okay, its not really a secret, but it finally pushed me to the limit.  Cleaning just got too complicated.  It shouldn't be complicated, right?  But it can be.  I mean,  how many different types of cleaners do I need?  1 for my kitchen surfaces, 2 for my floors, 3 for my bathrooms, etc.  All the specified cleaners drove me nuts!  When it came time to clean and I'd be out of something it meant another trip to the store or a challenge in my thinking...will the toilet still be clean if I don't use the Clorox?  Not only did the number of cleaners kill me, but the number of paper towels I used.  Using paper towels meant another cleaning tool to keep in stock, and a lot more trash.  Cleaning became a high bar I didn't really care to reach.  I mean, I want a clean house, of course!, but where does this become a unhealthy obsession?  I needed to draw my own line of "its clean, enough" so I could have so fun around here!

So, I changed the way I cleaned house.  I didn't go looking for solutions, they were kind of something I'd stumble upon and implemented over time.

Previously I mentioned a few inspirations here that changed my cleaning ways.  How have I changed, you ask?  Well I'll tell you.  Its simple really (SIMPLE, now doesn't that sound nice?)  It may not sound simple, but it is...I make my own cleaning solution!  I know what your thinking...'how is that simple?'  Its simple because I no longer have to remember to buy disinfecting solutions for each room in my house.  Now I have one cleaner and it takes care of it ALL.  I know its non-toxic, natural, fresh, and easy to make.

The recipe I use in a spray bottle:
1/2 White Vinegar (natural disinfectant)
1/2 Water
1 tsp Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap (comes super concentrated and in multiple fragrances)
*for glass surfaces, omit the castile soap

I buy the white vinegar in a 1 gallon jug 2x a year, and castile soap 1x a year both at the local grocer.  You can also buy it here.   It has so many uses, from laundry detergent to baby shampoo.  So gentle yet does the job.  Although vinegar has a strong odor, it disappears when it dries, leaves no streaks, and kills mold/mildew.

If I need an extra scrubby gritty cleaner, I use good old-fashioned Borax!  Find it on the laundry isle and the box will tell you all its wonderful uses.  I use it in the toilet, laundry, shower, oh and its wonders on chrome; sparkle city!  It wont scratch the finish I promise!

Other really useful tools in my cleaning bucket are microfiber cloths and rags from old towels.  No more paper towels!  We haven't purchased any since...gosh I can't remember.  Peroxide is great for tough stains on carpet, upholstery and clothes.  And Baking Soda is great for killing odors and some stains.  My home no longer consists of bleach or other harsh chemicals. 

I guess you can say this is a little old school.  Women used to dust, sweep/vacuum and use just plain soap to clean house.  Their children survived, or at least my parents did and I'm here to prove it!  Ha ha.

I just thought I'd share this because I thought it might help others to lower their bar in cleaning.  Life is too short to clean all the time.  Do what needs doing and enjoy the outdoors (where God keeps a clean house!)

Hugs,
Lindsay

18 comments:

  1. I'm glad you took the time to share this perspective. I also (mostly) ditched store bought cleaners. It's amazing what you can do with the ingredients you've listed here. Do you use the vinegar/water/castille solution for cleaning wood? That's the next cleaner I need to mix up!

    p.s. so agree that life is too short to keep a super clean house!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the cleaning info

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  2. For wood floors/furniture I use a slightly milder vingar/castille solution:
    2 tbs Oil
    2 tbs Castille soap – I like almond for wood floors.
    2 tbs Alchohol or vinegar
    24 oz Water
    *want more fragrance, add a drop of your favorite essential oil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you say oil in this recipe, what kind of oil do you mean?

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    2. I would like to know what kind of oil also.

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    3. I would use mineral oil. It is recommended for sealing cutting boards, etc. because it won't go rancid like olive or vegetable oils.

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  3. I want to know what kind of oil also.

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    Replies
    1. I use olive oil, as its thick and doesn't have added scent to it.

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  4. Yes, please share what kind of oil. I have a solid wood table that wasn't taken care of too well by the prior owner. It needs help badly. I think I have to strip it down and either stain or varnish it. That will have to wait until summer, though. Would appreciate the help.

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    Replies
    1. I use olive oil, however not on damaged raw or unsealed wood. the wood would obsorbe the oil inconsistantly and make the problem worse. I reccomend stripping, staining and using a good finish on it. The cleaner is just for maintaining cleanliness. So wood furniture requires refinishing annually deepending on how much usage/wear and tear it gets (ie: dining table).

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  5. I have seen recipes using Olive Oil so that is what I would use.

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  6. Sorry I missed your requests for what type of oil I use. I use olive oil.

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  7. Luv ur photo. There is nothing stored under my kitchen sink. Under one bathroom sink is Dr.Bronner's soap and bon ami (scrubs toilets & sink). Dr. Bronner's is our laundry soap,too. We use vodka for other things like dusting, floors,windows (only bec i cannot tolerate odor of vinegar). 3 or 4 timrs a year there may be some mold spots on bathroom tile, so plain chlorox bleach (stored in basement) is applied with Q-tips, allowed to set 20 minutes,then rinsed,soaped,rinsed til odor is minimized. That is all for cleaners. Very simple.

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  8. For cleaning and polishing furniture, you use olive oil only? Do you know if this is how the Amish clean their furniture?

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  9. I have a desk that was in a fire just has smoke damage which is bad because of smell but also need to bring beauty of wood back any suggestions

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