Nov 1, 2011

Clean and Simple

I know it's not always easy to keep a clean house.  If you've got kids and/or pets it's even harder.  If you live in a big city like New York, then sooty dust if your #1 sworn enemy.  But a clean house feels so wonderful, so healthy and just more livable, doesn't it?

We often over-complicate the process with an abundance of products.  The spray for the shower is different than the spray for the counters which is different than the wash for the floors.  Over time you've compiled a small army of plastic spray bottles filled with mysterious chemical solutions for every single cleaning task in a home.  But, what if it were simpler.  What if only a small handful of ingredients and old-fashioned methods were all it took to get a sparkly home?

Thanks to my wonderful friends in the world of Pinterest, I've amassed a small list of some of the wonders that simple cleaning ingredients can do to keep your home germ-/grime-/stain-free and happy. 

Ah ha!

Clean old paintbrushes by soaking in boiling in vinegar for an hour or until paint floats off.

Source: via Whitney on Pinterest

Baked on grease and who-knows-what-else on your burners? 
Take about 1/4 cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a large ziploc bag. 
You only need a little ammonia in the bag; not enough to soak the burner... you just want to seal it up with the ammonia fumes. Let stand overnight or longer.  Burner will wipe clean with a moist sponge.

TIP: Never, EVER mix ammonia with anything that has bleach in it.  It creates toxic fumes.

Lemons can help whiten dingy linens on the stove. Fill a pot with water and a few slices of fresh lemon; bring the water to a boil. Turn off heat, add linens, and let soak for up to an hour; launder as usual.

Coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda.
Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.

To polish silver: Wash items, then place on sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of a deep pot.
Add a ¼ cup baking soda, a few teaspoons salt, 1 quart boiling water and cover the pot for a few moments. The result is a chemical reaction that gets tarnish off even the grimiest gravy boat.

Source: via Gail on Pinterest

Unclog and clean drains with 2 parts vinegar to 1 part baking soda.
Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Mix one part Dawn dish washing liquid with two parts hydrogen peroxide.
Pour or spray it directly on fabric stains, and watch it disappear like magic!
Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 1/3 shampoo to 2/3 water. Swirl to mix.
Spray the shampoo mixture on the walls, doors, floors, counter top, curling irons, etc.
Let it set for a minute or two then use a sponge scrub to scrub the mixture off. 
Use a dry clean cloth to wipe clean. 

Happy cleaning, my friends!

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