Monday, April 06, 2009

Simple Cleaning Ideas

***************Joanne's focus this week is on frugal housecleaning recipes. Click here for links to other ideas. She showed her batch of the laundry detergent. It looks much nicer in her enamel pot than my ugly black bucket, but we both just used things we had on hand--way to be frugal!*******

I've been asked what I'm doing for cleaning around the house. Avoiding it. Just joking! My cleaning agents are vinegar, baking soda. olive oil and lemon juice. In a jiffy, I can also make up a mean salad dressing! :)

I've got cheap, white distilled vinegar in spray bottles around the house. Some are half vinegar and half water, some are straight vinegar. I use them both. I use vinegar on mirrors, windows, bathrooms, floors, sinks, toilets, and occasionally little boy accidents.

Side Note: Pumpkin potty-trained himself last month. Sweet. It only took a week and accidents for the last month could be counted on one hand. It was sure easy than the first attempt last summer. Boy am I glad I quit after a few days then! This time he was ready. He's three and 1/4 for those that care.

I spray down the sinks after prepping meats for dinner and let it sit for a few minutes. It is supposed to be as effective on those germs as all the scary chemicals I was using before. We've done it this way for a year and no one has been sick.

I use baking soda/bicarbonate of soda to scour sinks, tea cups, coffee mugs, counters, tubs and more. I also use it to shampoo my hair with a vinegar rinse, but all that was posted a few posts ago. :)

I mix lemon juice and olive oil for polishing/dusting all our furniture. Works great. I've seen various ratios for this, but usually do a half and half mix I just keep in the fridge. Oil is also what I use to wash my face at night. I do a mix of olive oil and Castor oil. Here's the link for that. (Hi Joanne! Finally!)

A funny thing happened last month. Sweetheart and I were at the mall. We'd gone out to dinner for my birthday with my Dad and Stepmom and she wanted to show us some things she'd seen shopping earlier. As we were walking, a girl at a kiosk selling something offered a sample of some skin thing. I said, "No, thanks." Then she changed her tone of voice and said, "Can I ask you something?" Thinking she had a real question for me, I stopped. She asked what I used on my skin. I laughed and said, "Olive oil and Castor Bean oil with coconut oil for a moisturizer." She didn't understand. I repeated myself and she looked at me weird. She then tried to launch into her selling spiel. I said I make all my own lotions and such now and we just walked on. Hard to sell something to someone like me any more.

My skin has never felt better. It's interesting. I would have told you I had oily skin before, but now that I'm not stripping all the moisture out every time I wash it, it's not have to overproduce oil. I used to use powder on my face all day long to try and tone down the oil. Now, I'm putting oil all over my face and I don't need any powder. Weird. It still breaks out according to the time of the month, but it's always done that and probably always will. It's not perfect, but it looks healthy and feels great!

Rhonda's Blog has so many wonderful ideas on living a more simple life. This link is for various recipe for green/simple cleaning ideas. But don't stop there! Take some time to read her other posts. She's got some wonderful thoughts and ideas.

The picture at the top is of my new gardening journal. I had an old spiral book on hand that I was planning to make into a scrap book for the year I taught Kindergarten. Since that hasn't happened and I quit teaching almost four years ago, I'm not thinking it will happen. So, I tore out a few pages I had started and was left with a blank book with some writing on the cover. I solved that by collaging pictures from gardening catalogs.

I've listed all sorts of things inside. Maybe I'll write about it later. It's been a lot of fun and since the SNOW has kept my from working on the garden the last two weekends, I'm getting a lot of planning done. I've been meaning to keep a gardening journal, but have limited myself to writing a few pages in one of my Everything Books. Now, I'm armed with a whole book just for gardening and since we've got VERY ambitious plans, I'll need a place to record what happens. I've prepped it by adding all sorts of gardening quotes, pictures and lists of all the seeds I've ordered. This way I'm not just staring at a blank page trying to fill it all.

This month's Hobby Farm Home magazine had an inspiring article. I'd been reading about what others' were doing, but nothing felt right for me until I saw this one. Guess there's a whole other post in this, but not today!


Taryn said...

I have converted to vinegar too- but you do more than me- thanks for the tips.

Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

Thanks for sharing this... I really have been enjoying your posts!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

It's funny that we buy cleaning supplies "with vinegar" at the store and beauty products "with olive oil" as a base... when the inexpensive products work by themselves!

Stephanie brought microfiber cloths with her a couple years ago when she visited. I was a skeptic but they really work. I keep one in the bathroom to clean the mirror and I only have to wash it when I use it to clean the sink and hardware.

I keep one in the kitchen that I use for various housecleaning duties wet and for dusting dry.

I should have believed her. She has a microfiber mop but I haven't tried one of those. These became necessary for her since David is extremely sensitive to all chemicals.

I love to check Bloglines and "see" a new post from you. :)

Farmgirl said...

Hi Kim!! I LOVE your journal. You have inspired me to make one....I need something to record what I am doing this year as it is all new and experimental and I really need a record. Also, love your cleaning ideas...I am just now trying to switch over, for one thing it is less expensive and just better....I have been to Rhonda's blog and seen her recipes. Is that the recipe you use for laundry detergent? Using "washing soda"? Have not found that here yet. Thanks for all you shared....happy for Pumpkins accomplishment!!! Janice

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Thanks for sharing. Some great tips...will be checking back and reading more. Hope you will stop by my blog. I am a new blogger, that has a lot to learn. This is my second month in the world of BLOG. I have a great give away this month. This drawing will be the last day of April. Just leave a comment and you are in the drawing.
This NEW blogger was so touched by all the comments I received on the Blog Party (over 300). I have decided to make this a monthly GIFT... I so loved reading every comment.
In May, there will be some fun blogs coming from Disney World. I hope to blog every night, in case you like a good trip report. There will also be a Disney giveaway. I am so thankful for all my new friends.

Tammy said...

Hi~~I'm just stopping in to let you know that I've enjoyed my recent visits to your lovely blog!

Have a great day!☼

GreenClean said...

I have been cleaning with vinegar for a while now too and i think it works better than the leading brands. Even some of the "green" cleaners hurt the environment through their manufacturing process'. I add a touch of lemon juice to my recipe because i love the citrus smell.


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