Monday, July 11, 2016

My cleaning arsenal

 Here's the closet off of the kitchen where I store the vacuum cleaner, the Swiffer (I am currently using up the last of my generic swiffer refills but will then move to a microfiber cloth), broom, dust pan/broom, and the cleaning supplies bucket (a freebie bucket BTW)
 I currently have the above readily available for household cleaning, including a hair snake gizmo for drains, old tooth brushes for nooks/crannies, a handled scrub brush-really helps me, given my OT issues, Mr Clean magic eraser, rags, a 4 y.o. roll of paper towels-I kid you not!
 in addition to this 1/2 filled bottle of kitchen cleaner (can't use on granite/marble so I'll use it up by cleaning toilets with it), and a new bottle of Castile soap.
I also have a few (4) extras left: 2 cans Pledge, a bottle of Pledge wood floor cleaner, a large bottle of lemon oil.

My goal is to use up as much of the chemical stuff (gotta keep using the anti mold, generic "tilex" in the shower, as well as Resolve carpet spot cleaner)as possible, and I am seeking cheap, natural alternatives.

wood floor cleaners will be used up, then I'll just stick with vinegar/water spritz or Murphy's oil soap
Carpet spot cleaner
Mold cleaner/eradicator
bathroom cleaner: use up the nasty stuff, move to citrus infused, vinegar/water and/or Castille soap
Comet/Ajax scouring: try baking soda but would not be cheaper. I pay 88 cents 28 oz canister. I sometimes also use this on baked on grease on pots/pans
Pledge dusting: use it up, then return to just lemon oil on a soft rag
Windex: use it up, create a homemade formulation using vinegar or rubbing alcohol

Any other suggestions?

For the time being, I am holding off on getting a once/month cleaning service. I continue to crunch the numbers, in anticipation of a significant drop in income. I am building a buffer for now, trying to get myself onto a daily, minimal maintenance routine, getting the kidlets on board as well. I will be returning to full-time employment, TBD, and time will be a factor, just not as much as with my former career.


Lili said...

Carol, I forgot to mention the other day, I don't know if you saw this on my blog a week ago or so, but I turned an old hand towel into a washable swiffer cover. Took all of 5 minutes to fold and sew, and has now lasted almost 9 months. Cost nothing to make and goes in the laundry. I think with the Comet vs baking soda, the cost is close enough that it's a matter of if you want to use something that may be healthier to breathe. I think you've mentioned your rescue inhaler (asthma, right?). I have heard of daily shower sprays, with just vinegar/water in a spray bottle, to reduce the frequency of cleaning the shower, or development of mold. And that would mean less breathing in of the toxic stuff. I've got to give this a try with our stand alone tub. The one chemical thing I use on that, while effective, it is hard on breathing.

NAN said...

Your house is undoubtedly a whole lot cleaner than mine but I just use Dawn dish soap, vinegar and occasioanally baking soda. I buy cheap washrags at WM every few years and use those along with an aresenal of old rags. That's it and I am NEVER sick. My sinks and shower just have bar soap- I never got into bath gel or hand sanitizer. I pretty much have tile or hardwood and the vinegar works well. I won't buy any other dishsoap now- Dawn is it- because it seems to work best for me. I don't even have to vacuum any more since the kids bought me a Rhoomba last Christmas- I just love it.

Juhli said...

We use a squeegee in the shower each time we use it and liquid rather than bar soap which really cuts down on the cleaning required. I'm down to just a few cleaning products myself.

mikemax said...

Check the F-Files tonight for all-purpose cleaner recipe.

Ellie said...

Hi Carol,

I have been using this Dawn, Vinegar, water mixture to clean my tub and shower for years.
It works great and is non-toxic. Save the spray bottle from your current cleaner and use a funnel to help you get the ingredients into the bottle and not waste any. :)
Heat vinegar in microwave safe measuring cup or dish. Mix equal parts vinegar and original Dawn dish washing detergent (now called simply clean Dawn).
Pour in a spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray your tub or shower and LET SIT for 5 minutes (this lets the cleaner have time to work). Wipe & rinse.
This cleaner works great! It removes soap scum and is great on glass shower doors.
I wait for a sale and coupon to buy my Dawn, and purchase my white vinegar by the gallon for $2 at Big Lots. It is $2.67 for a gallon of generic vinegar at Walmart & my local grocery store.
I hope this works well for you too.
- Ellie

Linda said...

I will price match the vinegar at WM...yay. I use 2 gal month. I love Dawn for most thing.

I use Zud because of my old claw-foot tub. Or Bar Keeper's Friend. For my counters, I just use baking soda. It cleans and whitens so well. I love a toothbrush for cleaning!

CTMOM said...

Mike, Ellie et al:

I keep reading recommendations about the Dawn-vinegar cleaner and will give that a try once I use up the chemical stuff first. I do happen to have a mini, sample size bottle of Dawn on hand, bought to clean something, don't recall what. I don't like Dawn that much as it causes real problems with my skin (and yes, I do have and use Playchtex dishwashing gloves but often my dish soap is used just for quick clean ups of say a counter or stove top. I know that I won't have my gloves on 24/7 so this would be an issue for me) not do I care for it's price. I recently was in the cleaning products aisle at WM and noted that WM has a generic "dawn" soap for significantly less. Does anyone have experience with that or with using Dr Bronner's castille soap (which I already invested in) in lieu of the Dawn in the cleaning spray recipe?

Lili said...

Carol, Dr Bronner's is a soap, whereas Dawn is a detergent. On the Lisa Bronner site she specifically says not to mix Dr Bronner's with vinegar (or any acid). Here's the page:

It's not dangerous, or anything like that, just ineffective for cleaning.

CTMOM said...

OK, thanks, Lili. How about if I used my LA's awesome dish soap?

Lili said...

That's what I would try, first. It may not have as much grease-cutting ability as Dawn, but it may work well-enough. I'll be interested to hear if it works for you, as I may try this in place of tub cleaner, which is so hard on my breathing.