Okay, so let me see if I can get this right.
Since my husband and I were married in 1972, we’ve lived in:
- Staten Island, NY
- Elizabeth, NJ
- Lakewood, NJ
- Manchester, NJ
- Jaffrey, NH
- Shohola, PA
- Cranford, NJ
- Shohola, PA
- Manchester, NJ
There’s a story behind each one of these homes, and one of these days, I’ll talk more about it. For now, just looking at that list makes me tired. Thinking about all the rooms there are in those homes, and all the cleaning that went into them.
We started out living in a 3-room apartment in Eltingville, Staten Island, to our current home in a gated community in Manchester NJ. Over the years we added furniture, knick-knacks, collections, outdoor equipment, pools, bedding, pots, pans, plates, not to mention 2 kids and pets.
Each home had its own challenges, and we always fixed each and every one of them up to our exacting standards. Paint, rugs, floors, windows, kitchens, baths, bedrooms, living spaces, wood stoves, fireplaces, canopies, outdoor spaces and so much more; we’ve probably spent thousands of dollars over the decades just making a house a home.
Through the years, I’ve collected many things; bride dolls, lighthouses, teapots, and blue glass. And cookbooks.
Do I have COOKBOOKS or do I have COOKBOOKS!??
Don’t tell me.
I already know. Many of these cookbooks are VERY old. Some my Mom gave me when I was getting married in 1972! That’s how old.
So, no matter WHERE you live, it’s important to keep it clean. Nice and fresh and smelling and looking good. Because it’s your house and you live there, so why let it get disorganized and dirty.
But, how do YOU clean your house?
Especially, nowadays, with so many people and sites giving you advice. Clean it this way, no that’s not right, you should do it this way instead, no, maybe that’s better than this, and have you heard about the newest way? Some advice is solid, other advice is not so good. Who’s behind what you’re reading anyway?
Take it from me, someone who’s been at housecleaning for FOUR DECADES, that I know a little something (actually a LOT of something) about cleaning house. I am a former Innkeeper as well and did ALL my own cleaning there.
I’ve probably used every cleaning product on the shelves at Wal-Mart, Kmart, ShopRite, Stop ‘n Shop, Hannafords, Market Basket, Foodtown, A&P, and every other northeast big box store. Not to mention, RiteAid, Walgreens, CVS, and all of them.
Cleaning products are a BIG business.
Big. By that I mean BIG BUCKS. Because companies love telling you their product, and only their product, will get the job done for you. You don’t want to try theirs; after all, it won’t be the same and you’ll be left disappointed. So, stick with us, and we’ll get the job done for you.
BOTTOM LINE: Stick with us and make us a little richer.
When you think about it, every home has the same things that need cleaning. Floors, carpets, rugs, blinds, windows, clothes, furniture, kitchens, baths, patios, fans, closets, sinks, tubs, toilets, appliances, surfaces, what did I leave out?
You can buy a product for each one of these if you so desire. You can purchase the name brand, or go a little cheaper with the store brand.
Or you can make your own cleaning supplies.
There are DIY supplies for cleaning your ENTIRE HOME. You make them, by gathering in all the ingredients, and putting them into spray bottles, 5-gallon containers, or some other jug or vessel. You’ll have plenty to go around, and it will last for months.
Try a few of these simple cleaners you can make right in your own kitchen. In-between picking up the kids from swim lessons and checking on the crockpot you’ll be saving more money than you spend!
Mix together equal parts vinegar and water.
Place in a spray bottle.
For just the right clean scent, add a few drops of lemon essential oil.
Bathrooms are easy, easy, easy to clean. And to keep that way. Bathtubs are all basically the same material; stone, porcelain, fiberglass, or metal. Some surfaces like fiberglass will scratch if you use anything abrasive on them. (Just ask anyone who owns a Corvette!)
Here’s all you do for a sparkling clean bathtub:
Give the tub a good rinsing first. Sprinkle baking soda over the entire tub. You can use a scrub brush or a brush wrapped in a washcloth or towel depending on the tub’s surface. Because baking soda when combined with water will form a paste, it’s great for getting into all of the corners and tight spots, where you can let it do its thing.
Have a bowl of vinegar handy and take a scrubby sponge and apply vinegar to the tub, scrubbing it thoroughly. The sponge will fizz up really nice when it hits the vinegar. Remember to use gloves if you desire. Then, rinse the tub with water again. Look for any spots you may have missed and repeat with the baking soda and vinegar.
Your tub will be sparkling! Without the expensive over-the-counter, chemically induced cleaners. You know how that is!! I use this method every week, and my tub looks like new!
No one revels when it comes to cleaning the toilet. But, they have to be cleaned on a regular basis. Look around in your supermarket, and you’ll see row upon row of toilet bowl cleaners. I’ll bet you reach for the one on sale, just like I do, right?
Well, you can make your OWN toilet cleaner. Here’s all you need:
1 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of an essential oil (You can use lavender, lemon, tea tree or eucalyptus.)
Combine the vinegar and essential oil into a spray bottle and spray into the toilet and on the seat and under the seat. Let it sit for a few minutes, then sprinkle the baking soda into the toilet, scrub with a brush. Then wipe all surfaces clean with a dry cloth.
Best of all, there’s no long list of precautions to worry about when using this toilet cleaner. No over-powering odor, no really wondering if this is a safe product to have around your home. No bleach to worry about because it is one of many highly caustic ingredients that you just don’t need. Isn’t THAT a nice feeling?! 🙂
By buying large bottles and tubs of supplies, you’ll have them around for lots of “as-you-go cleaning”. How easy is this!
General Kitchen Cleaner
4 tablespoons of baking soda
1 quart of warm water
Using a clean sponge, pour your solution onto the sponge, then wipe down your refrigerator, cabinets, counter-tops, microwave and inside your refrigerator as well.
All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner
This will replace all those kitchen cleaners you use to freshen up your kitchen. It’s so easy and I know you have these ingredients somewhere in your house now.
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
3 drops tea tree essential oil
3 drops grapefruit essential oil
Pour the vinegar and water into a spray bottle. (You can find these in any dollar store). Slowly add the essential oils. Then shake vigorously. Spray where needed. And, that’s it.
Let me tell you; do you know how much money you will begin saving when you use all-purpose, natural cleaning ingredients?
DIY Floor Cleaners
It doesn’t matter if you have wood floors, tile, linoleum, or something else. There is a SIMPLE floor cleaner for that. Bet you have these ingredients in your kitchen, too!
You do have options. There’s always vinegar and baking soda for starters. Always make sure the baking soda is fully dissolved. Then you can add 2-4 drops of an essential oil, such as lemon or lavender.
Combine 1/2 cup of water with 1-2/3 cups of baking soda, then add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar. Make sure all lumps are gone, then pour into a spray bottle. You can then spray small sections of flooring and mop accordingly. Don’t forget to give your floor a good rinse when done.
Another great way to clean floors is with Borax Washing Soda. Sodium borate is a mineral first taken out of the ground in 1881 at Death Valley, CA. Two years later, they needed 20 mule teams to get it out of the valley. Even though Borax is now part of Dial Corporation, it’s still out there and you can find in your supermarket. Just look for it on the lower shelves; you know, the places where your less popular items reside.
(Remind me to do a post about supermarket marketing) !
Just follow the directions on the Borax box to create an effective floor cleaner. That box may cost $4.00 or so, but you’ll have it for months. And that’s the beauty of DIY cleaning products; you can always pick up ingredients every time you food shop and put them away for when you need them. So it NEVER feels like you’re spending a lot of money all at once!
DIY Dusting Spray
Have you looked at your furniture polish container lately? What the heck is sorbitan oleate or methylisothiazolinone. Do you know how to say that, because I don’t!
Recently I came upon a terrific DIY dusting spray for all around your home. Perfectly natural, and easy on your senses. It’s here at One Good Thing by Jillee. Lemon or wild orange oils are my favorites for housecleaning.
So, you see, you really can make these products at home, inexpensively, and free of chemicals. Wanting to live a more SIMPLE LIFE? Well, here you have the beginnings of something good. Like an old Herman’s Hermits song. (Oh, never mind!) 😉
Gradually, switching over to all-natural, DIY cleaning products is an important step in creating the SIMPLE LIFE. It’s all in the appearance of things. When you truly start to use up your store-bought cleaners and replace them with your own do-it-yourself brands, you’ll be on your way to thinking right.
So, I’ll say it again, how do YOU clean your house?
Marketing is a powerful tool — especially in the hands of multi-million dollar corporations with huge marketing departments. These people do nothing all day but think up ways to entice you and me into buying their products. Now, you don’t have to do that as much.
Because you’ve found another secret to the good life. The Simple Life.
And be sure to check out this video from Clean My Space, where there are 5 more DIY cleaners for your home! I NEVER knew we could make all these simple cleaners, for pennies on the dollar, right at home!
It’s all part of
“Homekeeping Inspirations For Crafting Your Best Life!”