I noticed most of the comments lately have been on my declaration that I chose cleaning as a hobby. Not many people would do that, I guess. But I’ve always viewed cleaning as sort of a zen act, a form of praise and thanks to my home, which shelters my family, provides them safe haven and an area of comfort for all who enter. When I’m done, not only is everything spic and span, but it smells great too. Can’t beat that!
When the kids were younger, I was a flylady. If you are not familiar with this principle, check out her site here. She does a great job, and it’s a good starting point for those who view cleaning as an overwhelming chore. I suggest starting with 2 of her main points. 1. ALWAYS clean your kitchen sink before bed. Since this is something that I have to have in order to sleep at night, it was an easy task. 2. Work in 15 minute increments. Don’t tackle more than you can do in 15 min. (don’t take out more than you can put away, don’t get sidetracked). This can be a toughie. Set the timer, and stick to it. DS is even willing to help out when I say “timer clean time”. He does his stuff happily, knowing that it will only take 10 minutes of his time, and when it’s done, mom is happier.
Another reason that folks don’t like to clean is that afterwards they tend to feel crappy. Many times the reason for feeling crappy is the products that they use. Indoor air pollution is the FASTEST growing pollution in the U.S., due to all the scented candles, air fresheners, and cleaning products that we use. Most cleaning products for the home are toxic, and leave behind toxic gasses and fumes that make us feel yukky. (that is a technical term by the way). Instead, why not try some simple kitchen products, that will make your home sparkle, and are safe for you, your pets, and your environment.
Cleaning your home top to bottom requires only the following:
a few rags
Simple Green (optional)
I always start with bathrooms…since they are my pet peeve and in my mind WAY too germy. Like your momma told you, always clean from the top down. I’ve included my do it yourself soft scrubby recipe below, for those who like a thicker product. I use it as needed, but love the spray and go. The really great thing about this kind of cleaning, you can do it on your way INTO the shower, and then it’s done!
With product in hand, let’s hit the bathroom for 15 minutes!
1. Spray the shower doors, walls, curtain, whatever with the spray blend below. Let it soak while you move on.
2.Paper towels are a waste of money. Use vinegar on a rag to clean mirrors and chrome surfaces, wipe with newspaper (or dry rag) to dry.
3. Spray the sink area, (counter, soap dish sans soap, toothbrush holder, etc) let it sit. ALSO spray toothbrushes and let them sit. Clean sink bowl with vinegar and baking soda, or your homemade soft scrubby. It gets down in the pores of the porcelain and pulls out all the um….gunk. 1 drop of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus or Pine Oil in the sink as you are scrubbing kills bacteria as well. Once the sink bowl is scrubbed, wipe down all surfaces and rinse the toothbrushes. Replace everything, and move on.
4. Spray entire toilet, back, seat, tank, everything. With your baking soda’d rag, wipe everything down. Use baking soda and vinegar in the bowl and scrub. Allow to sit and steep for a few minutes. 2 drops Essential oil in the potty while it’s resting.
5. Move back to the shower, and using baking soda or soft scrubby, wipe down tiles, tub, doors and curtains as necessary. RINSE WELL CUZ IT WILL BE SLIPPERY!
6. Spray floor, allow to sit while you prepare a bucket with hot water and borax and a few drops of e.o. Mop floor, look around and smile.
All in all, that is about 10-15 min of bathroom cleaning. If you keep the spray bottle handy, and hit it once or twice a day (you know you are in there that much!) it makes for an easier clean. Since the product is all natural, it requires no rinsing, so you can just spray and wipe and GO. On to your next mission, the kitchen. Follow the above proceedures, moving from top to bottom, allowing 15 minutes and you will be amazed at how good you feel, and how easy it really is!
Today the bathroom, tomorrow the world!
Do it yourself soft scrub
1 2/3 cup baking soda
1/2 c castile soap (liquid soap made with olive oil. Non toxic, Dr. Bronners is the BEST)
1/2 c water or strong peppermint tea
2 T vinegar
8-10 drops Essential oil. ( I like to add pine, basil and a touch of lavender)
Mix together baking soda and soap, and stir well, slowly add in water and E. O, add vinegar last. Pour into flip top bottle. Shake well before use.
Spray and Go
Heat 1 cup water (not too hot). Add 1/2 cup borax and stir until dissolved. When cool, add 1 cup white vinegar, 8-10 drops of essential oils. Place in spray bottle, and shake well before use.