It's that time of the year; time to start the new Spring season fresh and clean. Spring is a great time to clean out your home and your body.
I have always loved cleaning. When I was a child I would spend hours in my room dusting, organizing and moving my furniture around until everything was just perfect. I haven't changed. I still love a clean, tidy home.
Despite my love of cleaning though I don't have any cleaning products in my home at all. Like none...really! Keeping a home clean with 'clean' and natural products is much, much cheaper and better for your body than any of the more common cleaners filled with toxic chemicals on the store shelves. What makes conventional cleaners toxic? Well, there's the fumes, the toxic ingredients, and they are just plain terrible for the circulatory and respiratory systems.
Here is the list of all 'ingredients' that I use to clean everything in my home:
- baking soda
- washing soda
- ivory soap
- oranges or lemons
To clean my floors I love my Vileda mop. I love it because I don't have to buy new pads for it (they're washable/reusable) and I can fill the dispenser with whatever cleaner I wish. My choice is a solution of 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water.
I recently purchased something else for my floors that I wanted for a long, long time. I bought a Dyson vacuum. I absolutely love it. Despite the fact that I always keep a tidy home I am always surprised by what it picks up. It even picks up the dust and crumbs that end up between the cracks of the wood floor or under the baseboards. We don't even have carpets and look at what it found on my main floor alone. Yuck!
All-Purpose Cleaner (for Dusting)
My all-purpose cleaner is a simple mix of vinegar, water and orange. A few weeks ago I bought a few oranges and saved our peels in a jar and covered them with vinegar. I let them stew and prepared my cleaner by pouring the orange/vinegar mixture (minus the peels) into a spray bottle and filled the rest with water. So easy - and it leaves a wonderful scent; as opposed to noxious fumes. Any other citrus can be used, like lemons, grapfruits, etc..
I hate cleaning bathrooms. It's never that bad once I get started but they do tend to be left for last. Today was no exception. They were again, the last rooms to get cleaned.
Again, my cleaners are simple but effective. The mirrors are cleaned with a vinegar/water mix, the sink and tub are cleaned with the same mixture (or the all-purpose cleaner above) along with some added baking soda. I spray the surface and then lightly shake a bit of baking soda on top and wipe.
For the toilet I pour some vinegar into the bowl, let it sit a few minutes and then add baking soda. The best part is when it starts to bubble and gets frothy. Use a toilet brush to scrub, flush, and you're done.
The vinegar/baking soda mix works really well for clogged drains too. Every so often I'll clean out the drains to prevent fruit flies in the summer and 'off' smells in the shower. Simply spoon a cup or so of baking soda down the drain, pour some vinegar down and block the 'eruption' from coming up with a facecloth. Leave for a few minutes and then pour boiling water down. The result is a clean, non-stinky drain (without the toxic chemicals).
I did a post last summer about my homemade laundry soap (http://www.eatrealberealns.com/2012/07/homemade-laundry-soap.html). I've been hooked since and have not bought any other laundry detergent. All it contains is a shaved bar of Ivory Soap, 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda. Combine and use 1 tbsp per load.
To substitute fabric softener add some vinegar instead (don't worry - your clothes won't smell of vinegar I promise!).
For the dryer I haven't bought dryer sheets in years. Instead, I use 4 wool dryer balls. Well, that's if I didn't hang my clothes outside, of course (or in front of my wood pellet stove, which I learned is a great clothes dryer).
After 2 full days of cleaning I am very happy with the results. The floors are cleaned, bed sheets and blankets washed, everything is dusted, winter boots, mittens and hats are stored away, and closets have been organized. I would have liked to get the windows done too but I'll have to wait until it's just a bit warmer (and sunnier) out.
Here is my very clean, sparkly kitchen...
My organized pantry...
My daughters bedroom (she's not a clean freak like I was so this won't last)...
And..the main floor powder room.
Now, can everyone please keep the house clean!!!