Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cleaning Windows and Other Fun Things Moms Do Without Their Kids

So, Spring Break...we meet again.

Spring Break and my parents have once-again taken the PBA for a couple three days. (And no, you math-minded folks, I don't mean six days. I'm fairly certain you understand what I mean. It’s Hoosier speak.)

Every year, I do believe, my mother instructs me to "Do something fun" while the boys are gone.

And every year, I do believe, she is disappointed to find out how I have spent my personal Spring Break.

For the most part, I check things off my to-do list.

And often that list includes super-fun things like Spring Cleaning.

Oh yes...this girl knows how to live it up.

Fur sure (and yes, I meant to spell "for" are "fur" so you would say it in the accent which I intended...it is called writing in dialect. But thanks for your awareness of my affinity for correct spelling and grammar. It's bad enough that I've got the math people jumping all over me; I don't need the grammar nerds getting on the bandwagon too.)

So...I began cleaning as soon as the boys were picked up yesterday morning. And what, pray tell, did I accomplish? (You are certainly asking yourself this very question; allow me to keep you from ruminating on it for too long.)

Well, I washed all the cabinets in the kitchen and 2.5 bathrooms; I washed all the doors (the interior ones and exterior ones as well); I vacuumed the house (carpet and hard surfaces too…I even got out the wand. Shocking, I know.); I steam mopped the hard surface floors (clearly not the carpet…although I have heard rumors of that being possible, I have yet to try it…); and I rearranged some furniture.

You are probably asking “Is that ALL?!?”

No, for your information, that’s not all.

I also took Indy on a much-needed walk.

As an aside, it was a red-letter day on the walk; every time had had to do his business (even you non-dog owning people know what I mean, don’t you? You’re all sharp as tacks, so I’m sure you do), it was in an empty lot.

Now, if you are not a dog-owner, you may be confused, so let me explain. This meant that I didn’t have to pick up his "creation". Which is probably one of the most demeaning things you have to do as a dog owner. There's a cartoon of which I have a vague recollection which points out the fact that if aliens were watching us and saw people picking up after dogs, the aliens would be confused about who is in charge.

But unfortunately I don't remember enough about it to take the time and find it.

Nor do I have the time. If someone else does, feel free to send it to me and I shall happily drop it in. I promise to give you credit and everything. 

But I have digressed.

I also cleaned the windows. Inside and out (and no, I didn’t do the screens yet…hey, there’s only so many hours in a day!).

And it is the window cleaning which prompted this post. Not that it was fun, but I did have an experience I have never had. When I was finished, the windows were actually clean.

Yes, it is a horrible picture to illustrate my point but to be fair, it does have a window in it.
I had to show our fearless "guard dog" trying to chase away those menacing children playing in the court.
And the best part? (Oh, yes, there’s more!): I made the cleaner.

Now…why should you use this recipe? I don’t know why other than I found it to be fabulous. But, I will say that I haven’t tried any others; there very well may be one (or dare I say more) which is/are better than this one.

But I am only familiar with this one…and since it proved to work well, I am sticking with it (until one of you actually takes the time to Google it and finds one that is better and lets me know about it…I didn’t say I was THAT loyal. It is only window and class cleaner).

Now that I have peaked your curiosity, I won’t make you wait any longer:

Mrs. AR’s Fabulous (and Cheap) Glass and Mirror Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (according to the info I found, you can also use apple cider vinegar, but I cannot vouch for that information…you are on your own there)
  • 1/4 cup isopropyl alcohol (this is also called rubbing alcohol)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch or a few drops of essential oil (I used lavender…which, as my friend CB asserted, put me right to sleep in the middle of my cleaning…)
  • 2 cups water (I used water straight out of the tap)

  1. Combine everything in a spray bottle (If you have one, you can reuse a container you already have from your store-bought glass cleaner; otherwise cheap spray bottles can be found at The Dollar Tree…with which I am very familiar. And you can probably get your vinegar and isopropyl alcohol there too…and maybe cornstarch as well).
  2. Shake the solution well to mix before using (you actually have to give it a good shake each time before use…I wrote this on the bottle for anyone in the house who may be using it; Mr. Always Random read it and began twitching as though he was having a fit. When I asked him what was wrong, he said well this bottle says “Shake well before using”. See what I am dealing with here, people?).
  3. Spray onto glass surface (or mirror) and wipe clean.

Couple Tips:  
  • While I used paper towels (I know, I know…can be expensive and wasteful, but that’s what I had on hand; don’t judge), you can also use microfiber cloths or rags, or newspapers instead.  Make sure to label the cleaner so you can remember what it is (not that YOU would ever forget…but I might. Does that make you feel better?)  
  • Add some coloring (natural or artificial) to the bottle so kids will know it’s not water.  Beet juice (as in from canned beets…I’m sure you ALL eat lots of those, so this will clearly not be a problem) is an inexpensive natural color (unless, of course, you have to buy the can of beets for the color…then I would just stick with the artificial food coloring. But maybe that’s me: cheap.)

Because I am certain I sold you on making your own cleaners, I have included a few links to others I have tried and liked (these posts were from last spring…you know, also when the PBA were gone. See how I live it up?)


  1. I think you should spend the rest of spring break trying that concoction out of MY windows. Sleepover!

    We say "couple-a three".

  2. Great tip thanks for sharing....spring cleaning in a couple of weeks too!!!!! have a great day! Marisa