He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

04 November 2010

How We Live Clean: Cleaning 'Round the House

My ideal cleaning routine is just that, ideal. This doesn't happen all the time but I do my best to stick with it so that everything gets done eventually. 
Monday : dust and vacuum kids' rooms : wash sheets
Tuesday : bathroom -wipe down sink, toilet and sweep
Wednesday : dust and vacuum living room and our bedroom
Thursday : kitchen : wash towels
Friday : whatever is needed

Main Cleaning Ingredients:   
Baking Soda - a gentle scrubber/abrasive, odor eliminator
Distilled Vinegar - anti-fungal, disinfectant and deodorizer
Hydrogen Peroxide - chlorine bleach alternative
Essential Oils - oils that add natural fragrance, some have natural antiseptic properties such as tea tree, lemon, peppermint, grapefruit seed, and lavender
{There are MANY others but this is what we use at the moment}
Automatic Dishwasher: Through tons of research and talking with others I've come to understand that very few, if no, automatic dishwasher detergents clean like commerical brands. Not one single homemade recipe that I've heard of has left the plates as clean as store bought products. The constantcomplaint is that homemade versions leave a film on all the dishes. Because of this, I have defaulted to using an eco-friendly detergent figuring that if it's better for the encvironment, it's better for my family. This is definitely a gray area that I'll research more thoroughly when I have time {i.e. what ingredients to eliminate, what to include, etc.}.
Rinse-Agent: I'm sure you'll discover, over time, that I have a serious love of vinegar. It does everything, include keep the spots off my dishes out of the dishwasher. I use it in the rinse agent dispenser as I would a commercial brand. 
Hand-Washing: As mentioned above, I haven't had much luck finding a good dish soap so I've settled for an eco-friendly version. I place this into an emptied foaming dish-soap dispenser and dilute it 1 part soap to 2 parts water.

General Cleaner:
Scrubbing Agent - baking soda is a very gentle abrasive. I use it on my glass top stove and our ceramic tub by wetting the surface with a damp cloth or running water over it and sprinkling it on thinly then rubbing it with a soft cloth. 
Carpet Deodorizer - sprinkle baking soda thinly over your carpet and vacuum. I generally leave it on my carpets for 15-20 minutes before cleaning it up. 
Wood Floor Cleaner - For our floors I run the vacuum over the whole house and use our steam cleaner with a water and vinegar solution. If you do not have a steam cleaner, simply mixing 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of water will work with a mop or cloth. This mixture can be used on vinyl, linolium and tile floors as well. {I've heard that a mixture of 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar work as a wood floor polisher.}
Dusting - Once again, my wonderful stand-by, vinegar, does the job here. I use the same mixture that I use for my windows and mirrors. 
Natural Bleach - combine 1 tbsp cream of tartar with enough peroxide to make a paste. Cover the stained area with the past and leave for a few hours. scrub and rinse. 

For a streak-free shine I use a vinegar blend that I keep in an plain ol' spray bottle I picked up at the hardware store. {1.2 cup vinegar to 3.5 cups of water}

Anti Bacterial and Disinfecting: 
Vinegar {"kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses)." Click here for more}- put into a spray bottle or pour on directly. Anywhere a disinfectant is needed, this will work.
Borax - 1/2 c borax mixed with 1 gallon of water works as a disinfectant. {This is a controversial product since this is known to be an irritant. Use sparingly and with gloves. }


  1. I did not know that vinegar kills 82% of mold. What does bleach kill, 100%?

  2. I just went through your blog for some tips... we're moving and I'll have carpet and a dishwasher for the first time. I knew you'd have great, healthy, frugal ideas!


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