I found this great little book at the library; it's called Green Clean: The Environmentally Sound Guide to Cleaning Your Home by Linda Mason Hunter and Mikki Halpin.
I learned that white distilled vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, a pumice stone, club soda, castile soap (olive oil base) and Murphy's Oil (vegetable oil) are all I really need. With these ingredients you can make an easy all-purpose cleaner to clean things or just add water to to some of the above and you are done. Read recipes below or Click for recipe ideas here. Throw in some rags and some empty spray bottles and we're set. This is something I can wrap my head around. I don't want extensive cleaning rules or cleaning schedules. I want simplicity.
Growing up somehow I missed the cleaning lessons. I learned the clutter control lessons. I learned the always leave your kitchen/dinning room clean after every meal; never leave dishes in the sink and always wipe down the counter tops and put the food away. Some where along the way I missed the deep cleaning lessons. Did you know you should air out your mattresses and wash your pillows? Yes, I'm the only human on the plant to have never done that. The kids had fun yesterday washing the pillows in their pj's. They thought they were crushing grapes to make grape juice.
I have listed some simple ideas to clean my home that I learned. Some I've tried already and some are yet to be done.
- Sink-Mix 1 C vinegar, 1 C baking soda and hot boiling water. Pour down drain to unclog and freshen.
- Counter tops-clean with vinegar and water spray. Use baking soda paste 1 to 1 to clean stains and spots.
- Refrigerator/Freezer-baking soda and water mixture
- Oven-Clean with vinegar and water spray. Sprinkle salt on fresh spills to absorb mess. For nasty messes like inside the oven pour hot water over it and then cover with a baking soda paste. After letting this set for a while stains should be easy to clean.
- Appliances-Use club soda on chrome. Use toothbrushes with a baking soda paste to remove hard to reach areas. Make a soapy shake in your blender to clean it well.
- Microwave-Place 1 C water and 2 T of baking soda in a bowl and microwave for two to three minutes. This eliminates odors and loosens hardened foods. Wipe and rinse.
- Dishwasher-Place 1 C of vinegar and run as an empty load every week. If your dishwasher stinks sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher after uses to absorb odor.
- Dishes-Place vinegar in rinse water to prevent spots. Pour soda over dirty dishes and let it sit for a while and then clean.
- Washing Machine-Run 1 C of vinegar through full washing cycle to clean it.
- Floor-Clean with 1 C castille soap to 2 gallons of water. If you have a dull finish mop with a vinegar and water mixture.
- Walls-Vinegar/water spray with a 1 to 1 ratio. Scrub grease and crayons with a soda/water paste.
- Bathrooms-Use all purpose cleaners and vinegar sprays. Use soda pastes for hard to clean areas. Use salt in bath tubs and showers to absorb grime.
- Windows-Use straight club soda in spray bottle. You can also use corn starch with warm water mixed in a bucket. Or even vinegar and warm water mixed in spray bottle.
- Carpet-Sprinkle baking soda and leave over night then vacuum. Or sprinkle cornstarch on the carpet for 15 minutes and then vacuum.