I've never much cared for cleaning. I remember my mother telling me once, as I sat in the midst of utter destruction in my bedroom, that I had a certain amount of days to clean it all up or else she was giving it all away. To six year old me, that was pretty heavy stuff right there. I did what any reasonable child would; put away my two most treasured possessions, and played with the rest like they were about to be taken away. And they were. And once they were gone I had a spotless room without having to clean. I thought I was pretty smart...until my mother grabbed even the toys I put away and shoved them deep inside that black garbage bag. I cried bitter internal tears and said a quiet goodbye to my beloved toy typewriter, knowing I would never hear the *cla-ching* of it's platen again. All these years later, I can still picture it exactly as it was...*sigh*
Though it's still true that I don't particularly care for the process of cleaning, I love a clean house; there is something so rewarding in the relaxation that comes as you sit and bask in the sparkliness of a tidy home. For me anyway...it could be just one more thing that classifies me as weird. Unfortunately it's a reward I haven't been able to partake in for the past couple of weeks. You see, I gave all my cleaning chemicals away. I knew if I gave away the old stuff, I would follow through with the effort of ordering the ingredients I couldn't find here, and not fall back into the comfort of the way I've always done it. So out the old went, and I placed an order for the missing ingredients; castille soap and essential oils.
Patience has never really been my thing, and today I decided I just couldn't wait for the arrival of my order anymore. I went to the commissary hunting for substitutes, and found some Avalon Organics Glycerin Handsoap. Jill Potvin Schoff in Green Up Your Cleanup suggested an organic soap as her second choice if you were unable to find castille soap, so I snatched it up. Finally, I had everything I needed.
I also picked up some microfiber cloths, which apparently are the holy grail of green cleaning; except for baking soda. And vinegar. And spray bottles.
I was so excited the cleaners actually worked, that I went on a cleaning frenzy. I organized my pantry. I cleaned out my fridge. I pulled my stove out and cleaned behind it. Now I sit, basking in my reward. A clean house. And remarkably, it doesn't smell like salad dressing.
Try these out; they really work. I will be doing a break-down comparison of price soon...
All Surface Cleaner:
16 oz spray bottle
2 tsp Borax
1/4 tsp liquid castille soap
Put the Borax in the spray bottle. Fill the bottle with hot water and shake until the Borax is dissolved, then add the soap. Spray on surface and let sit 1-2 minutes. Wipe with sponge or microfiber cloth.
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp liquid castille soap
3-8 drops essential oil
Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water, and shake gently. Add essential oil. Add the soap just to dissolve waxy buildup (from standard cleaners. Once it is gone, you can leave out the soap). You can also use sprayed on club soda. Don't clean in direct sun as it will dry too fast and leave streaks. Use a squeegee.
All Purpose Liquid Cleaner ~ Large Batch:
1 gallon hot water
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 Tbsp liquid soap
Fill a bucket with hot water, then add the baking soda and soap. Add the soap last to prevent foaming. Add 1 Tbsp of washing soda for removing heavy grease, or 1 Tbsp of Borax for disinfecting and killing mildew.
I also found that baking soda works great as a scouring powder today. My bathroom sink had some gunky, grimy, nastiness in it, and the All Surface cleaner just wasn't doing the trick. I grabbed a brush and some baking soda, and voila! Sparkly clean. And here I thought nothing would ever replace my beloved Comet.