It is the time of the year for spring cleaning. I don't see any point of washing windows at my house until we are done with the dry wall dust, but I still need to clean the bathrooms.
For years I've heard of using vinegar and baking soda for chemical free cleaners. I've wanted to try it and even asked for your suggestions for homemade cleaners several years ago. But, honestly, I wondered if they would work, or if I would like them. It doesn't sound difficult but somehow I just avoided taking the plunge of trying something new.
Finally, I just decided I wouldn't buy any more cleaning solutions. When I finished a bottle, I'd make something to replace it.
I still use dish soap and furniture polish but I'm quite pleased that for every other cleaning needs, two items is all I need. I love that both are cheap, quite easy to find, and safe. I'm sure you've guessed by now, the honor goes to white vinegar and baking soda.
This little bucket holds all my cleaning supplies. I can keep this little bucket right under my bathroom sink. Formerly, I stored my cleaners (and all those chemicals) down in the basement out of reach of little hands.
In my bucket I keep:
a squirt bottle of white vinegar
an old paremesan cheese bottle of baking soda
a spray bottle with half water/half vinegar
a toilet brush
When I clean the bathroom, first I dump some vinegar into the toilet and allow it to soak a little. While waiting, I use the spray bottle to clean the mirror. I fill the sink with hot water with some vinegar. I use the rag and the sink water to scrub down the sink, counter, toilet and floor (in that order). If something is extra dirty, I sprinkle on baking soda. I use the brush inside the toilet. And I'm done!
For the shower, I have a brush hanging inside the shower. Our shower is one of those 30 year old grungy plastic never-looks-clean deals. I would use a high powered cleaner in the shower. The fumes were so bad that when I was pregnant with our first child, Ed took over cleaning the shower. I never took the job back. Can't believe I'm admitting this but my method of cleaning the shower was to totally ignore it. When the orange slime got too bad, Ed would take the fume producing cleaner and labor with the brush. Ed is my hero!
I thought that nothing would work on shower build up but stinking cleaners but I just thought I'd try the vinegar/water solution. I sprayed it on one night before climbing into the shower. After I was finished showering, I grabbed the brush and started working on the slime. It disappeared! I couldn't believe it! Now I don't dread shower scrubbing and have been consistently cleaning the shower the last few months. (And Ed is always quick to notice and give lavish praise!)
I love that these are cleaners I can hand to my children without a gas mask. I sometimes give them the vinegar/water spray bottle and a rag and send them to scrub the door knobs and light switches. They think it is a blast. (We'll see how long that enthusiasm for cleaning lasts.)
I don't know if everyone would have the same success as I did. Water and circumstances vary. But it sure has worked for me. Once again, I love when simple, frugal and healthy all line up!
I don't think it has anything to do with it, but this is the first winter that our family didn't succumb to the stomach virus. We ALWAYS have one go-around every winter. I have no idea what to credit it with but at least my new cleaning routine didn't compromise our health. We've never had a winter of so little sickness and I didn't touch the Lysol or Bleach once.
I'd love to hear if you have any good ideas for simple cleaning solutions.