Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes.

Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Good Cleaning Starts in Your Bucket

June 24, 2014


iStock_000013221797SmallSome days just don’t go as planned.  I had one of those days yesterday.  I woke up to an overflowing toilet bowl and a stream of ants working their way from the garage to the bottom of my trash can.  Luckily I had the proper ingredients on hand to fix these unwanted problems and move on with my day.

To fix the clogged toilet bowl, I poured about one half cup of baking soda followed by one cup of white distilled vinegar down the toilet and watched it bubble up.  I let the vinegar and baking soda soak in the toilet for about twenty minutes.  After twenty minutes, I poured a mixture of two cups of boiling water and a tablespoon of salt down the toilet and flushed it.  The clogged drain was fixed.  To clean the water that overflowed onto the floor, I used a large microfiber cloth.

As far as the ants go, I sprayed a line of vinegar along the garage wall and around my trash can.  I then sprinkled some salt along the baseboards near the garage and trash can.  The ant problem cleared up right away.

Following a proper cleaning strategy is an important step towards cleaning in a timely fashion.  However, if you don’t have the right ingredients or the proper tools to clean with, your cleaning strategy might not go as planned.  What you choose to clean your home with is a very important step in the cleaning process.

I choose to use non-toxic homemade cleaners in my home.  Vinegar is my number one cleaner.  I use it to get rid of pet odors, to clean mirrors and windows, on my countertops and even on my tile floors.  Vinegar is an extremely effective household disinfectant when mixed with water.  Use two parts vinegar to one part water.

Baking Soda is used in my home as a mild scouring scrub.  It helps remove tough stains, it helps unclog drains, it absorbs odors, and removes soap scum from showers.

I always use hydrogen peroxide to clean the mold out of my showers and in my laundry to remove stains.  It is a great alternative to bleach and is inexpensive to buy.  Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-viral, anti-fungal and an anti-bacterial.  I also use it as a whitening rinse after I brush my teeth.

I use rubbing alcohol as a sanitizer.  Brushes, combs and other household items are cleaned by soaking them in alcohol.

A bucket of warm water and a few tablespoons of liquid soap like Castile soap or Dawn dish soap keep my home sparkling.  These liquid soaps are safe to use on anything.  When doing quick clean-ups or when wiping down the countertops, I always grab my water and dish soap solution.

As far as cleaning tools go, I swear by microfiber cloths.  I have them in a few different colors because I use different color cloths for different tasks.  Microfiber cloths are amazing.  I use them dry when I dust and wet when wiping down mirrors and windows.   They pick up spills, dirt, rocks, pet hair, and anything else lying around on the floor!  I also use these wonderful cloths to scrub my tubs.  My microfiber mop is just as useful as my microfiber cloths.  I use the dry mop as a broom and the damp one to steam my floors.

My home would not be as clean as it is without my HEPA vacuum.  It picks up dirt without releasing it back into the air.  My vacuum picks up everything, from pet hair, to pollen, to dust bunnies because it’s closed canister removes 99.9% of these respiratory irritants.  This is so important in my family because we all suffer from sinuses.

Corn Starch helps keep my living room carpet stain free.  I sprinkle it on, let it sit and vacuum away!  The corn starch also removes those musty odors deep down in the carpet.  I sprinkle corn starch on all my area rugs to keep them fresh.

Using the proper tools and cleaning my home with non-toxic cleaning solutions are two very important steps in keeping my family healthy and my home clean and chemical-free!

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