Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And now, a word from our sponsors.

(not really. I don't have any sponsors. But, I will be doing some product endorsement in this post-- what a snazzy phrase "product endorsement" is-- so I feel like I'm advertising... or something.)

Today was a big cleaning day for me-- you know, bathrooms, floors, sinks... all that really fun stuff. In my years keeping my own home (which is now almost up to 5-- I know, it's still a relatively small number), there have been lots of cleaning products and tricks that I've tried and loved, as well as some that I definitely didn't like for varied reasons. I love to have a clean home and revel in a house that is neatly organized, deep cleaned, and smells and looks inviting in every aspect. Of course, getting my house to this point is not my favorite part (except for a few tasks), but it must be done. Since I am still a relatively young housewife, and not exactly the queen of clean in some areas, I feel a little bit funny passing on my "tips"; but, I know I have always appreciated any new tips and ideas that have been passed on to me about this part of my job. So, here are a few of my personal tricks of the trade, and I hope they can benefit you in some way. After all, everyone, no matter what else they do, has to clean at some point. :)

*Do you have a drain that seems to be a little smelly? Sprinkle some baking soda over it, and then follow that by pouring vinegar on. The deodorizing qualities of both the soda and the vinegar, combined with the fizzy reaction works wonders. Just rinse it down with some water after a little bit.

*When it comes to cleaning showers, especially if you have the clear glass doors, I have found something that works wonders. TIDE. (Or, any liquid laundry detergent would do, I'm sure) Just pour a little on a scrubby sponge and go to town! It makes your shower sparkle and shine and smell great, just like fresh laundry! Plus, if you're like me and would rather clean your shower while IN the shower, you don't have to worry about it getting on your skin like you would with bleach. (Note: I've never tried this with actual tile showers, so I can't make any guarantees when it comes to that)

*My favorite thing for cleaning bathroom faucets (the standard shiny chrome kind) is a couple sprays of glass cleaner and a paper towel. So shiny! And if you're looking for a great glass cleaner, I highly recommend Method from Target. It smells like mint, is all natural, and works wonderfully.

*We have a lot of electronics (computer, TV, speakers, monitor, etc.) and they're all black, so they show dust very quickly. Since regular dusting spray isn't good for the electronics, I have found that the Swiffer dry dusters (the fluffy kind with the handle) are perfect for this job. It's easy and quick, so I don't mind that I have to do it often. If you're looking for a more thorough cleaning if they are really dirty or spotted, Pledge makes a dusting spray for electronics. It works really well, and can actually be used on all surfaces.

*We also have a lot of real wood in our home, from our barstools to our bookshelves. Some of it is antique, which requires even extra care. I love to use Murphy's Oil Soap (diluted in a spray bottle) for all these jobs. I think this is one of the gentlest cleaners I've ever used, and I love the smell-- it's nostalgic to me, for some reason. The spray also works great on tougher jobs too, such as countertops.

What about all of you? Do you have any great cleaning tips or favorites? I am always looking for better, more efficient ways to keep my house clean. Please do share. :)

Happy cleaning!


Misty said...

funny! my week has been devoted to cleaning. I think it's winter antsyness... anyway, a few of these I do, but some of this was SUPER GREAT!!! thank you!

Lisa said...

For a sparkling white kitchen sink: Plug the sink. Pour 1 cup liquid bleach and then fill the sink the rest of the way with hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes or so and then drain. Scrub slightly and rinse.

Ashley Forrette said...

Inspiration! Thank you!

Davi and John said...

I really like the idea of cleaning the shower with tide--great tip! I hate getting chemicals on me.Thanks!

alyssa said...

I love the Method products, they are natural, convenient and they smell really good! They have these great bathroom wipes and I use them to wipe down the counters and toilet...and then you just flush them!

My fav magazine (Real Simple) has a cool section called New Uses for Old Things (for cleaning and organizing. They have a lot of really good ideas, and they are all on their website.

Stephanie said...

I used to be very guilty of using bleach to clean EVERYTHING. Including standing in the shower scrubbing bleach into every crevice of our very horribly grouted shower causing me to be sick all evening from the bleach. But it bleach is actually very bad for the environment, so even I who practically worships bleach stopped and am now using seventh generation products or method. One thing I want to start researching is the homemade cleaners people make with white vinegar, etc. So if you every hear of a good concoction, let me know :)