Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clean Your Whole House for Less

There are really only 3 products you need to clean your house.
1. Vinegar - white or apple cider
2. Toilet bowl cleaner
3. Magic erasers

Of course you need things like rags, broom, spray bottle, etc., but as far as products go you can get by with just these things.

A few optional things are:
1. Cheap hair conditioner if you have a shower door.
2. Rubbing alcohol
3. Disinfectant

I dilute the vinegar in a spray bottle and add a 1/4 teaspoon or so of the rubbing alcohol. I use this spray to clean all my glass and it works just as good as any commercial glass cleaner. It can also be used for just general cleaning such as wiping down appliances and counter tops. I also mop my floors with diluted vinegar.

I have not found a way to get around buying toilet bowl cleaner, but I do buy the plant derived ones with a coupon. I often pay $1 or less.

Magic erasers are the best thing ever. I use them in bathtubs, showers, counter tops, floors, walls - just about everything. They are worth the extra money, but I have found that the store brands work just as well. I always tell my kids - if it won't come off with a magic eraser, it is not coming off. I especially love these for the tub and shower. They get off soap scum that you can't even see yet. Just wet your tub and rub the eraser across the tub. The eraser glides across the areas with no build-up. However, when you feel it catch in spots, that is where soap scum is beginning to build up. You can prevent your tub from ever becoming a hour long scrubbing match by just keeping it wiped out every week.

Now the hair conditioner trick was given to me by my dear clean freak neighbor. Just apply some cheap hair conditioner to a scrub brush and gently scrub the door. I actually do this while I am taking a shower. Then just squeegee or rinse off. I might hit it later with a magic eraser and glass cleaner just to really make it shine. My shower door really is spectacularly clean.

Some of you cannot live without your germ killer and I don't blame you. I only use a disinfectant spray weekly for the counter tops. Remember, germs are not killed unless you let the spray sit on the counter for a few minutes before wiping.

Now for those of you with good wood furniture, you may have to purchase some polish. I don't own anything that can't be dusted with a damp cloth. I know a lady with some very expensive antique furniture pieces and she only uses a dry microfiber cloth on them.

So you can clean your whole house for $4 and this will last for months!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Day After

April 16th is always a relief for me...the taxes are done or should be. I filed two extensions for people though, so those are still calling to me from my desk. Also calling to me is the business of trying to find a job. After being at home for 14 years, it is a strange feeling to be searching high and low for a job.

Somewhere in the middle of all this "chaos", I found time for a couple of projects.

The first, is my "shoebox". We don't have much of an entryway, and my kids are forever kicking their shoes off by the door. We did have a horrid, torn canvas box holding the shoes, but I had been on the lookout for something else. Last week at Hobby Lobby I spotted this crate. I knew this was sort of what I was looking for. It was stained brown and had some pieces splitting off. I really did not mind the splitting but I asked for a discount anyway and they gave me 66% off! So quite pleased with myself, I brought it home and sprayed it black. I decided it needed a little something else, so I printed out the word shoes in a large (I think 350) font. I then used dressmakers paper to trace the word shoes and then I painted the words. Ta da. My husband was like...did we really need the label to know what is in the box? He so does not understand.

I know what you are thinking - this lady needs to worry more about her ugly green carpet. I know, I know, but not until I get that job.

Next, I got this platter at a flea market for $2.00. It was very discolored and old. I sprayed it white and used my dressmaker's paper again to put the words on. I was going to paint the words black, but then I just decided to color them with a Sharpie..I think it looks pretty good.

I hung it above my stove and then spent the rest of the weekend being teased about it by my husband and 14 year old daughter. Apparently they don't believe our kitchen to be very spicy.