Quite awhile ago, I opened up to my readers (all twelve of you – we’ve grown!) in a post wherein I bore my soul, and came out of the closet about something very personal. Feet are personal.
Today, I’d like to admit something else to you in the hopes that someone in our little grain free blogging niche might relate, understand and be helped.
I’m a clean freak. (I just heard my former roommate gasp…or choke… in disbelief.)
Yes, people. I actually like to clean. Of course, I love the after-effects of cleaning, which, in my house can last minutes to hours. But I like to dream of a home where a little wife and mother, with her hair neatly pinned up and fresh makeup on, dons a beautiful a-line dress with matching apron and modest heels. She kisses her adoring children, all scrubbed Spic and Span – the girls wearing smocked dresses, frilly socks and t-strap Mary Janes, and boys wearing knickers with shirts neatly tucked in. All of the children have every hair in place – and say things like, “Yes mother dear.”
Perchance a person CAN read too many Lamplighter Books…
So, back to cleaning! My mom comes from a generation of people that believes the house is NOT clean unless it reeks of eye-burning compounds like bleach and something that’s supposed to resemble a forest of pine trees. I admit, this philosophy of cleaning has been my rule of thumb as well (minus the pine trees).
I am finally sick of my eyes and nose burning!! After doing a bit of online research, I’ve changed my cleaning routine in a BIG (FAT) way. I’ve kept this new routine up for a couple of months, waiting to post about it so I can accurately report the results.
Bottom line: It’s easy to make your own cleaning solutions. These cleaning solutions actually clean better than their store bought counterparts. It’s cost effective (no more disinfectant wipes for me). AND most importantly, your mucus membranes will thank you.
After stumbling upon some great blogs about natural cleaning, I’m going to share some bullet points with you of what I’ve learned from people who know a whole lot more about this topic than I do.
- SINKS AND TUBS: Stacy from a blog called A Delightful Home, shared her recipe for soft scrub and I have to tell you that I LOVE THIS STUFF! It actually got rid of buildup on my sinks and tubs that its chemical-laden namesake couldn’t touch. It takes only minutes to make each week and one batch will clean my three full bathrooms (three tubs, 5 sinks in all) as well as my laundry room sink. If I use it sparingly, I can clean my large kitchen sink with it too.
- COUNTER TOPS: Stacy also highlights an Antiseptic Soap Spray, a recipe she got from Karen Logan’s book, Clean House, Clean Planet. I use a version of this spray for counter tops in the kitchen and bathroom, toilets (seats and outside of the toilet), as well as on my shower tile. At the end of this post, I’m going to briefly explain my bathroom cleaning routine to show how the cleaner can disinfect. Here’s my take on this spray:
- 25 oz. spray bottle
- 3-4 tablespoons of castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's peppermint)
- 30 drops tea tree oil
- 15 drops lemon oil
- Add soap and essential oils to spray bottle. Slowly fill with water. Shake and use.
- SHOWER STALLS: Using the spray cleaner above, I spray the walls of the shower and the floor. Then, I use a nylon bath scrubby (the yellow puff above) to clean the walls and floor. Next, I use a little stiff brush to clean the grout. (The brush came with my squeegee from Target pictured above.) After scrubbing is done, I use a squeegee to remove water droplets on walls and floor. Finally, I spritz the grout with a solution of half white vinegar and half water to kill any prevailing mildew. (THIS WORKS!) To make this a painless process, about every other day after showering (I SHOWER EVERY DAY BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN), I either pick a wall or the floor to clean (some days it’s two walls or a wall and a floor – you get the picture). This way, it only takes minutes to do and it stays clean.
- MIRRORS: There are TONS of recipes for homemade glass cleaner out there. Here’s my take on the recipes floating around: RECIPE: 3 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, 20 drops lemon oil. Mix together in a spray bottle. TO CLEAN: Spray the mirrors, wipe with a microfiber cloth, then dry with paper towels. Streak free and clean!
WEEKLY BATHROOM CLEANING ROUTINE:
OK, here’s the dirt on how I clean my bathrooms. (giggle) In order to really disinfect, the disinfectant spray mentioned above must stay on the surface (contact time) for several minutes. With that in mind, this is my routine working one bathroom at a time:
- Spray counter tops and toilet seat (as well as outside of toilet) with disinfectant spray. Allow to sit.
- Clean mirrors.
- Using homemade soft scrub, clean sinks and tub. Rinse well.
- Wipe down counter tops and outside of toilet.
- Flush toilet and turn water off so it stays low. Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet and a concentrated form of the disinfectant spray (higher content of soap and drops). Using a toilet brush, scrub it well. Then flush to rinse.
- Steam mop floors.
- Shower stalls and tile are cleaned every other day or thereabouts during the week, so skip on over to the next bathroom…
WELL, this post has been a long one, but I hope you have found it helpful. I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier with the results of these new cleaning methods and have been quite pleasantly surprised. My shower is cleaner than it’s ever been, my sinks are sparkling and I’m not ending my weekly cleaning with burning eyes, nose and lungs. JOB DONE! Now, off to the sewing machine to make that a-line dress and matching apron. If only I had a scone and cup of tea…