Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Day

Little Man is at grandma/grandpa's right now and Pete and I are scrambling to do as many items on our endless to-do list as possible before we pick him up this afternoon.  While I have a lot of things to do to get my tutoring studio up and running, my main focus this morning is on cleaning.  I am glad that we live in a small house, I can't imagine how people keep up on their cleaning in 1500+ square foot houses.  Yikes!  I have several homemade cleaning recipes that I have tried out now.  Two of my favourite cleaners are found on the Macheesmo blog.

The first is a great antibacterial spray made of lavender and water.  I am not a fan of spritzing everything in a crazy attempt to create a completely anti-bacterial house, but I recognize that there are times that I need to provide Xav with clean surfaces to play on.  I spray the obvious things like garbages, the recycling box and toilet regularly and other surfaces once a week or so.  So far I am very pleased with the results of the spray, and it makes our house smell slightly like lavender without being overpowering.

The second cleaner I have tried is the Bath, Sink and Tile cleaner.  It is basically made up of water, baking soda, castile soap, vinegar and tea tree oil.  I washed our whole bathroom top to bottom with this cleaner and the results have been really great.  Because of the baking soda, the cleaner is grainy.  To get all of the cleaner off without leaving a residue, I filled a mop bucket about 1/4 full with warm water and then dipped in a hand towel that I then used to clean a small patch.  I rinsed the towel often as keeping it as clean as possible helped to grab more of the cleaner at a time.  I found I had to replace the water in my mop bucket once in order to get my whole shower rinsed clean.

If you are used to spraying cleaner and then gingerly wiping it away, then you will definitely be disappointed when using a natural cleaner.  You need to put more elbow grease into it.  I made friends with my toilet today as I scrubbed every nook and cranny with my hand towel, but I didn't mind it.  It reminded me of when I used to do housekeeping.  I would have to spray every last surface with toxic chemicals (no gloves or mask) and then use a ton of water to wash everything away.  The last part of cleaning a bathroom was to get down on my hands and knees and wipe the floor down by hand.  So that's part of what I did today, except this time I wasn't thinking about the carcinogens and other scary chemicals I was absorbing into my skin.

It feels good to have a clean house (though I still wish magical elves would do it for me instead).  I am trying to think of what to move on to next, which is why this blog entry has manifested.  It is buying me a little bit of break time before I do the next menial task on my list.  If you are looking into cleaning something today too, why not try a homemade natural cleaner.  The recipes of the two I mentioned earlier are listed below (thank you Macheesmo!).  Be sure to check out Macheesmo's blog for some more great solutions to try.  Happy cleaning!

Lavender Anti-Bacterial Spray
- 1 Cup water
- 20 drops lavender essential oil

Bath, Sink, Tile Cleaner (Watch out for some bubbling.)
- 2/3 Cup baking soda
- 1/2 Cup castile soap
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2 Cup water
- A few drops of Tea Tree oil
      NOTE: Ideally, mix this one in a SQUIRT bottle, not a SPRAY bottle.
                   It’s pretty thick and almost a paste.

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