Saturday, January 10, 2009

Put Down the Windex - It's Time to Clean

After a long week at work I wake up on Saturday morning and suddenly realize my house is a mess! So as soon as I’ve had enough coffee to jumpstart my energy, I set to work putting things back into their places and cleaning every surface in the house. (Ok, sometimes I only do the necessary surfaces, ie: kitchen and bathroom, but I'll get around the the others later.) Typically I grab my handy cleaning bucket filled with Windex, 409 Cleaner, rubber gloves, you know - the staples - and get busy.

Not today! Today I am going to try using a few cleaning supplies found in the pantry. I Google search my way to a great resource, the DIY Network, and learn a thing or two about “greener” ways to clean using items you’re sure to have in the pantry or kitchen.

If you have laminate counter tops, copper bottom pots, or a bread board with a stubborn stain, you must watch this short video. Who knew that a little lemon could go such a long way? I think I’ll start buying them by the bag, not only can they clean; they also look nice in a fruit bowl or large glass jar on the counter top! (Talk about double duty).

Ok, so at this point in my research I have come across a woman called, “The Queen of Clean,” more than a few times. So naturally I’m thinking, ‘who is this woman and who died and made her queen?’ Well, as it turns out, Linda Cobb is her name and she is certainly the undisputed Queen of Clean. Check out her website where Linda shares tips and tricks for keeping every room in your house in tip-top shape.

Here are a few items from the pantry that Linda recommends using next time you clean:
Using Natural Cleaners:

Natural cleaners are less expensive and much safer to use—especially with children in the house.

Flour is a wonderful buff and polish for stainless steel sinks. Sprinkle a little flour into a dry, clean sink. Buff well with a soft cloth or paper towel. Then, just push the flour down the drain. You then put a little cooking oil on a towel and rub the sink with the oil.

Dry Mustard removes odors. Sometimes plastic food containers will retain odor from whatever type food was in them. So, to nix the odor, fill the plastic container with warm water and add a few shakes of powdered dry mustard. Soak overnight, rinse, dry and the odor is gone. Dry mustard is also good for removing the odor from your cutting board. Wet the cutting board and just rub dry mustard on the cutting board and let it sit for a couple of hours.

Potatoes are great for removing mud from pants. Rub a cut potato over the mud on the pants prior to laundering. The starch helps to remove and break down the mud. Also, to polish white shoes, like baby shoes, just rub the shoe with the cut side of the potato. The starch in the potato helps the polish go on smoothly.

Apple peels are good to use on stained and discolored aluminum pans. Fill the pan with water and then use your apple peelings to clean it by tossing the peels in the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes. The acid in the apple peels will remove the dark discoloration on the inside of the aluminum cookware. If you do not have apples, you can add a tablespoon of cream of tartar to the water—it will also bleach the stain out of the aluminum.

I've already tried using lemons on the countertops (works everytime) and sprinkeling flour into the sink for an extra polish (you'd be surprise at what a difference this makes.) I'll be on the lookout for more ways to incorporate organic cleaning tricks into my routine and of course share them with you.


Erin said...

The video is amazing! Who knew a little lemon and salt could clean copper that well!

joshua said...
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