Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cleaning Up Part 1

So…yes, I'm starting this post out like I have started many a post. With a ubiquitous “so”. I guess it’s my thing.

Or maybe I already feel like we are in the midst of a conversation, there has been a slight pause, and I continue with “so”.

Or maybe I’m lazy.

Any of those are possibilities.

So…I’ve been trying to figure out easy ways to save us money. And if you read my Ten Things of Thankful from last week, you know I gave you a bit of a teaser about this here post. (Yes, please say that with a Southern twang in your internal voice…or my voice, if you know me and can hear my posts in my voice. You know what I mean…)

So…to recap: I’m trying to figure out easy ways to save us money, while simultaneously maintaining the level of quality to which we have become accustomed.

And to begin, I tackled cleaning products. Which seems both scary (because I do have germ and cleanliness concerns and phobias), and daunting.

But, thanks to Bargain Briana, I forged ahead; I used her recipes as my basis and inspiration for some of my cleaning products.

But, because I enjoy self-edification (is that even a term? I’m not sure…I Googled it but that didn’t help me as much as I would have hoped), I also Googled some other sites in my search for home-made cleaning products, and found variations on a theme.

So I decided to just go for it. And here’s what I have tried thus far…because I know you’re dying to know:

Towel Freshness:
You know how towels, no matter how often you may wash them, can sometimes smell musty? Well, now you can breathe easy…and not feel as though your person smells musty all the live-long day. The problem (allegedly…I am using Google after all) is a build-up of fabric softener. So the thing that’s supposed to make it soft and smell delicious/lovely/clean makes it smell funky. Kind of like if you would put more deodorant on a stinky armpit…it doesn’t make it smell better (as one would assume)…it makes it more funky. But I digress (that tip, BTW, is an extra free bit of info, just in case you didn’t know.)

Anyway…the way to resolve the problem with musty towels is simple and pretty cheap (much cheaper than buying new towels every few months!). When you wash your next load of towels, just put 1 cup of white vinegar in your fabric softener dispenser and voila! Clean-smelling towels (which do not smell like vinegar, BTW…they smell clean). NOTE: Based on the level of mustiness in your towels, you might have to wash them with vinegar more than once to completely rid the towels of the funk.

Grout Cleaner:
Make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (similar to the consistency of a wet toothpaste…does that make sense?), in a ratio of 3:1; maybe add a splash of water to make sure it is moist enough. Using an old toothbrush, scrub along the grout line until the grout is the desired color. Rinse with plain old water and use the brush to ensure any residual baking soda has been removed.

NOTE: I clearly wouldn’t recommend this for large expanses of tile, unless a) you invest in knee pads, b) you have something you can put on the toothbrush handle to make it bulkier because your hand will cramp up from gripping the toothbrush, and c) you have a death-wish. I only have an entryway (a foyer, if you’re feeling fancy…but I wasn’t feeling fancy today) with tile…so it is only slightly laborious to clean the grout but can be done in about an hour. Or so.

Dust on Lampshades:
I know that you were lamenting, just the other day I am certain, that your lampshades have accumulated an abundance of dust and you just cannot get them as clean as you would like. Never fear! A simple (and by “simple” I mean “generic”) lint roller (the ones with the sticky sheets you tear off…despite my lack-luster description, you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?) will do the trick. Depending on the level/thickness of dust, you can probably use one sticky sheet/lampshade. And you’ll be A.M.A.Z.E.D. by how much you clean off those lampshades. You’ll be disgusted.

And yes, I did promise other tips (and I promise you that the next part will be more about things to make...not just cheap/easy ways to clean...these were just too good to pass up), but I don’t want to overload you. Because I know you'll run right out and try them all.

Hence the “Part 1” in the title…that, by its very nature, indicates that there will be at least (and in this case, probably ONLY) a “Part 2”.

Good luck!

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