DIY Cleaning Tips
Don’t you just love those television commercials showing a smiling, immaculately dressed woman with beautiful hair and nails, and a great big smile … cleaning the kitchen? My husband already knows how I feel about them and looks at me smiling. Give me a break. Do they really believe we fall for that?
When we clean, we put on our already stained jeans and beaten down t-shirts, get our game faces on, and go at it with determination. Cleaning may not be a joy but with these cleaning tips it can become at least easier on you, on your health and on your budget.
Part of the Problem with Cleaning
The worst thing about cleaning may be the smell of the chemicals we use. Those television commercials sure want us to think so. “Just spray this (lethal concoction) on your stove and (poof!) wipe it off. Now look at that sparkle.” You know it doesn’t work, but you keep trying. After all, the lady in the commercial is so convincing. It must be true.
Here’s how to beat the game: Make your own, using natural ingredients.
Tackle your toughest cleaning challenges with these cleaning tips
Ann loves her hot tub. She built a deck for it out back, even enjoyed that delightfully warm jet stream while watching the snow fall last winter. But she constantly had trouble with green slime that loved to grow on the sides of the vinyl. One day, while buying new seals for the pump, she saw a special cleaner that was quite spendy but promised to solve the problem. It didn’t. A friend gave her a little book that listed natural cleaning products, instead.
Here are Ann’s top three cleaners. She has tested them all and says they work better than anything promoted on television:
Borax: Ann added water to her naturally-occurring compound of boron, then used the paste to clean the sides of her hot tub. Borax not only removes tough scum and grime but is a natural anti-fungal. Ann also uses it to clean the toilet and shower. Since she has “hard water” at home, she adds a half-cup of borax to the washing machine water to brighten her laundry. Your body needs some boron as a trace element, but don’t eat or drink it. Clean with it.
Baking soda: Ann fell asleep in the hot tub this summer and ended up with a fairly severe sunburn. Turning to her natural recipes book, she discovered the wonders of baking soda. She mixed it with water to make a paste to relieve the burn. Then, he began adding a cup to her bath water to help with dry skin and itching.
Baking soda helps with tough cleaning jobs too.
Is the drain clogged or slow? Pour a cup of baking soda in, let it work a few minutes, then add a cup of white vinegar. Let it fizz a bit, then rinse the drain with warm water.
See that acid collecting on your car battery? Mix a quarter-cup of baking soda in a quart of water and pour it on the caustic mess. Then rinse and wipe dry.
Coffee stains in your favorite mug? Soak with baking soda and water. Wash, rinse, clean. Some have called baking soda an “everyday miracle.”
White vinegar: If you are still paying for window cleaner, you may as well throw some money out the window while you are at it. Ann uses a mixture of white vinegar and water (half and half) to accomplish streak-free cleaning on the patio windows looking out on her tub. She also uses it to treat stains on the hot tub cover and as a spot-free rinse in the dishwasher.
Gunk baked on the inside of the microwave? Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a dinner bowl of water and nuke it about five minutes. The vinegar-laced steam loosens the particles, and they wipe right off. Soap scum? A greasy mess? Try white vinegar and water. Talk about a useful product around the house.
Effective AND Green
There are numerous other natural products for cleaning, but these three are mainstays. Just about any tough cleaning problem you come across can be successfully attacked with borax, baking soda, or white vinegar. You will save money, avoid the toxicity of the store-bought cleaners and it feels pretty darned good to smile back at those television commercials and say, “Yeah, right.”
Looking forward to have your cleaning routines on track?
Use the Chores Printables Specialty Set to get your household routine in place and have time for more fun!
It’s a great value and includes all the forms you’ll need to manage your chores and cleaning routines. All files are editable and can be used for years to come
Here is what you’ll get in the Chores Printables Specialty Set:
- Daily Chores Checklists
- Weekly Chores Checklists
- Monthly Chores Checklist
- Yearly Chores Checklists
- Get Ready for the Week Checklist
- Your Big Picture-Goal Setting