Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's a rainy day in the neighborhood....

We have had a few rainy days lately and that has kept us from our usual routine which includes sleeping late, eating breakfast, throwing on bathing suits and sunblock, packing the cooler and heading to the beach to swim and enjoy the sun!
Tough life for us this summer.

Rainy days have been very good for my house though.  I have been totally falling off the wagon on cleaning and staying on schedule.  Click HERE to see my "normal" schedule that I follow 9 months of the year.   Summer is very laid back for us so I do what I can on rainy days.   My house has suffered greatly with all of this nice sunny weather. is one of those blah day and I though I'd share some great cleaning tips that I have found lately that just might get you in the mood.

I am trying to use less harsh chemicals in my home and trying out old-fashioned ways of cleaning.  Funny...they are working.  I think our grandparents and relatives before us were on to something :)

 I have found some really great ways of cleaning that are super simple and I try to tackle a few on days like today.  Besides being better for your health, these all natural ways to clean are better for the budget.  They use things like vinegar, baking soda, dish soap and they are all super simple to find and super cheap.  I shared with you HERE my everyday cleaner that my stepmother gave me for Christmas that works great in so many different areas of your home.

Nearly all of the tips I have found are for either the kitchen or bathroom because these are the 2 areas of my house that I am nuts about keeping clean.   I just think the place you eat and bathe need to be clean.  So....on to the ideas.  There is definitely some duplication here, but I like to provide you with as many great ideas as I can find.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

My dishwasher is tied with my washer machine as the hardest working appliance in my house.  We run it at least twice a day.  We go through a lot of dishes because we do a great deal of our own cooking because we have so many allergies and food restrictions in our house.  We are actually considering installing a 2nd dishwasher and removing some cabinets because when we entertain it's ridiculous...the dishwasher is run before they arrive, while they are here and there is still a sink full of dishes.  So because it works so hard, my dishwasher needs a cleaning itself.

Here are 2 great ways to clean your dishwasher.

This idea uses either vinegar or a packet of dry unsweetened lemonade mix (???) and then the baking soda step.  Crazy clean right?

What about the oven?  If yours in anything like mine, it gets pretty gross especially after the holidays when it's used a lot.   Try this tip for cleaning the racks- soak the racks in your bathtub with hot water, 8 dryer sheets (???),  and 1/2 cup of Dawn dish soap overnight.  The next day, use the dryer sheets to remove any excess gunk.

How about your kitchen sink?  We have a stainless steel sink which I love for many reasons, but it is hard to keep it shiny.   Heck, half the time you can't see it anyway because it's filled with dishes while the dishwasher is running, but that's a whole other problem.   I love a shiny sink even if it only lasts between meals.

Here's a few ideas to shine a stainless steel sink.

This tip recommends using a little olive oil on a terry cloth rag to buff the sink and then using a dry paper towel to wipe it dry. 

This tip recommends first using baking soda to create a paste on the surface and then rinsing it clean.  Then line the entire sink with paper towels soaked in vinegar for 20 mins.   Next use a soft sponge and soapy water to rinse the sink completely.

Another often neglected area is the garbage disposal.  This one completely skeevs me out, but it gets so yucky if you don't stay on top of it.  I've also found that the more veggies you put down it, the sooner it stinks. husband is a vegetarian who cooks often.  Enough said...that baby is getting cleaned often.
The one area that I think many neglect is the rubber seal on your disposal.  If you have never taken it out, flipped it over and scrubbed so.  But word of caution, it is DISGUSTING!

I clean my disposal weekly by adding tons of ice and running it with a steady stream of water.  Make sure you don't overload it with ice or it will back up.  My plumber gave me this tip and the ice helps to clean the blades.   I also try to put lemons down it a few times a week to make it smell nice.  

This tip says to drop any citrus fruit peel in it...

How about the microwave?  Mine gets gross if I don't clean it often.  

Try this tip- Fill a 2 cup microwavable cup with 1 cup distilled vinegar and 1 cup hot water and run microwave for 10 mins.  After 10 mins. carefully remove cup and wipe clean.  So simple!

And how about the stainless steel refrigerator?  Mine ALWAYS has little finger prints all over it.  We also have a stainless steel dishwasher with the same fingerprinty finish.

This tip suggest mixing 2/3 parts white vinegar, a few drops of dish soap and 1/3 parts water in a spray bottle.    Apply it and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.  Sounds easy enough.

Now onto the next area that I like germ free...the Bathroom.

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Do you struggle with soap scum on your shower doors?  Here's how to cure that problem according to this tip - Heat up a cup of vinegar in the microwave for 2 mins.   Add this to a spray bottle and add a cup of dish soap (they are specifically recommending Dawn, but I don't know if that would matter).  Spray and rinse clean.

Here's another great idea for glass showers.  Cut a lemon in half, dip it in Kosher salt and start scrubbing with it.

I despise cleaning my toilets more than anything else in my house.  I have a husband and a 5 year old son so I probably don't need to say anything more.  This tip recommends adding a cup of baking soda to your toilet and leaving it to sit for an hour.  After an hour, simply flush.   It will clean and deodorize it.   I wish it would clean the seats too, but  a girl can dream!

To make your own homemade soft scrub you need to make a paste with baking soda and add a few drops of dish soap (sound familiar from the kitchen?).  After applying, let it sit on the surface for 5 mins and then rinse clean.  

For the tub....I have to say mine is not this dirty thank goodness.  I clean it like crazy.   It is yuckier than in the winter and often I find grass and sand in it, but here is a tip if you need to do a deep cleaning without the scrubbing.   She used the same combination of Dawn soap and vinegar that I mentioned in an earlier tip and let it sit it for an hour.  Pretty incredible!

Lastly for the shower heads.  These get hard water buildup if you don't stay on top of them and who doesn't want every single head working great?   This tip is SUPER SIMPLE.....pour vinegar is a plastic bag and rubber band it around your shower head and leave for an hour.

I have hardwood floors throughout my entire house except in my bathrooms.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  Blessing because it's great for allergies and looks nice and a curse because they get SO dirty and need to be both vacuumed and mopped to look clean.  We vacuum them almost every day in the kitchen and other high traffic areas and my sweet husband steam cleans them in the kitchen every week. But...they never look super clean to me.

Look at these floor though...beautiful.  Simply mix equal parts water, vinegar, alcohol and a few drops of dish soap.  You then spray in on the floor and wipe clean.  I don't think you want to put it in a steamer because the soap might clog it, but who knows.

I still have a few other cleaning tips, but I'm going to share those another time.   I want to get trying some of these tips and take some before and after pictures so I can share their successes and failures (if any) with you.  I will keep you posted.  Until then...happy cleaning!

Poshed Up

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