Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to get ready for the rest of this year’s festivities: Thanksgiving and Christmas!
I hope you’re as excited as I am.
This is my favorite part of the year. Making cookies, candy, and pies; decorating every inch of the house and yard; seeing all the family all together; it’s an awesome time for me.
But of course, that means I finally have to deep clean every inch of the house before all these people come over and mess it up again.
I don’t know about you, but I always do spring cleaning and fall cleaning. I mean, it’s just to hot in the summer to do more than sit on the porch swing, and two cold in winter to do anything. (I don’t like to be cold, can you tell?)
So I do all my digging through drawers and cleaning out closets and scrubbing the shower during those weeks (or sometimes days here in Alabama) when the weather is nice and a good breeze blows through.
I know many of you probably do the same thing. So I’ve gathered some of my favorite easy-peasy cleaning methods to help us all get done faster so we can make more cookies and save money at the same time.
1) Counters, sinks, showers, etc.
I have discovered that all you need for most any cleaning job is a mixture of baking soda and Dawn dish detergent. (Or really most any dish detergent. I just think Dawn is better.) Mix the two together until you have a thick-ish paste. Then slather it on whatever stubborn nasty is on your sink/shower/whatever and wait. In a few minutes it should wipe right off. Cool huh?
By the way, this works for those cute little salsa jars you’ve been collecting to put homemade bath scrubs in as well. Those stubborn labels that leave sticky nastiness all over your cutie jars are gone. I mean GONE.
2) Pots, pans, cookie sheets, glass top stoves, who knows what else!
I credit this idea to Jillee over at One Good Thing. That woman is amazing. She wrote tons of posts on her “miracle cleaner;” a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Just like with the Dawn, you mix the two together until it makes a paste, and let it sit for a while. When you get back all the grime will wipe right off with almost no scrubbing.
3) For the carpets, drapes, and whatever else you are just not going to wash.
Homemade Febreze! This recipe features another must-have for your cleaning cabinet: vinegar. Just mix some vinegar and water in a spray bottle and go at it. You will need a bit more vinegar than water, but I just eyeball it. The vinegar smell will be strong for a minute but it will fade along with whatever odor you wanted rid of. You can also add a bit of liquid fabric softener or a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice febreze-y smell when you spray.
Use a dryer sheet! It collects the dust/dirt/hair/whatever, and leaves a nice smell behind. No dusting spray needed, and when you’re done, toss it in the trash.
If you’re anything like me, you use your microwave a lot, but never really think of cleaning it. Out of sight, out of mind, you know? And I really didn’t want to spend an hour of my precious time scrubbing whatever was stuck in there.
Enter vinegartips.com, with “1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar.” One tip was to heat 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of warm water in the microwave for 10 minutes. All the stuck on food wipes right off. No elbow grease, or any grease for that matter. Awesome!
Same goes for the dishwasher. Put a cup of vinegar in a cup on the top rack of the dishwasher and run it through a cycle with hot water. It helps to kill the bacteria and wash away that stubborn grease.
Equal parts vinegar and baking soda (1/4-1/2 cup) plus a squirt of Dawn in a mop bucket. Fill the bucket nearly to the top with warm water. Safe, non-abrasive cleaner that leaves your floor spotless.
FYI: I haven’t tried this on real hardwood, so use your own judgement for that one.
7) Laundry stain pretreater
Ok, this is really for after the parties I suppose, but I couldn’t leave it out! I got this from Jillee too, bless her! 2/3 cup Dawn, 2/3 cup ammonia and 6 tbsp baking soda with 2 cups warm water in a spray bottle. It smells pretty strong but the stain comes right out.
Are you noticing a pattern here? Seems to me that we only need four or five things to make an endless array of cleaners. No more buying a separate cleaner for every job, and these cost MUCH less than all those harsh cleaners you buy at the store. We can be eco-friendly, breathe in fewer nasty chemicals, save money, and still have nice clean houses. Win-win-win!
Can you think of any other ways to clean that i missed?
Stay tuned for more holiday preparation to come!
Until next time dear readers,