Saturday, July 10, 2010

House Cleaning Redux

New milestone: First time cleaning house post surgery. Okay, maybe it's not THAT exciting, but I wondered how my hand would hold up and it did pretty well.

Remember about a month and a half ago, when I spent all that time scrubbing and scouring each and every room in the house until it was all pretty much spotless? Well, I've really noticed a big pay off in the lack of dust and dirt and quicker cleaning since then. I'm kind of surprised, really. After the BIG cleaning, I cleaned house the weekend before my surgery, and now three weeks later, and I kept kind of wondering WHY I was even cleaning--that's how clean it seemed to stay.

Since I asked all of you--back when I was doing my major spring cleaning--for tips on cleaning and what products worked well, I thought I'd give you a little feedback since it's still pretty fresh in my mind.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers? One of the best cleaning products I've used. I'm sure I'll keep them on hand from now on. I wouldn't necessarily use them as a first choice, but for the dirt and marks that nothing else seems to take off, they're really excellent.

Scrubbing Bubbles? I didn't think it was that great at removing soap scum or hard water stains, but for weekly cleaning, it's become the product I use. Very simple and hardly any work involved. I'm hoping that if I use it often enough, I won't NEED to think about soap scum or hard water stains.

My favorite "new" product for cleaning windows and mirrors? Easily a mixture of a gallon or so of warm water, a tablespoon or two of white vinegar, and a couple drops of dish soap. It really cleans well and doesn't leave streaks. The only drawback? I'd like to use it on my kitchen countertops, cabinets, and appliances, but unless you dry them with a cloth after washing, the mixture DOES leave streaks. I used to use Windex and may have to go back to that--it seemed like a good all purpose, non-harsh cleaner. Unless any of you have a suggestion?

I was in JoAnn's the other day, with my 40% off coupon, but as so often happens, the couple of things I'd gone in to buy were already on sale, so I looked through the books and found this one.

After flipping through it and looking at the photos, I decided to buy it, and I've been reading it off and on since. It has all kinds of tips and ideas for keeping a home, from decorating to cleaning to cooking to gardening. So far, I'm pleased to find that I've figured out some of the tips and shortcuts on my own over the years, but there are others I hadn't thought of and will try out. And then there are a few that I'll probably NEVER use because they sounds too much like work, and part of the emphasis of the book is making housekeeping simpler and less of a chore.

But one of the cleaning tips I ran across addresses a problem I had--hard water stains/ring around the toilet bowl. I removed mine with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, pumice stone, and a lot of elbow grease. Had I only read this book first, I would have known that adding a little more water and tossing in a couple of denture cleaning tablets would have accomplished the same thing overnight with a lot less effort. I think that tip ALONE probably was worth the cost of the book!

Oh, and one final tip since we're speaking of hard water stains and deposits: vinegar works pretty well. Soak rags, towels, or paper towels in vinegar and lay them over the stains/deposits. Keep the rags/towels damp and leave them to soak in for 30 minutes to an hour. The vinegar should help loosen and soften the minerals so they're easier to clean off. It will still take a lot of elbow grease, but at least removing the minerals is possible.

In closing, I'm tempted to wish you "happy cleaning," but you and I know there really is no such thing--we'd all rather be quilting or having fun doing something else. But at least if we HAVE to clean, we might as well do it as quickly and easily as possible!


Denise in PA said...

Hi Kim, thanks for the tips! I'm going to mix up some of that solution for cleaning windows mirrors! I have used scrubbing bubbles every week in my bathroom for years - love the stuff! I'm going to try out at denture tab too for a particularly ringed potty downstairs - Great idea! I really don't mind cleaning, but I mind the time it takes away from quilting!

Cara said...

**whines** I was going to sew today but now you've guilted me into at least cleaning my kitchen...or a bathroom...maybe I'll sew until I decide...

Gayle said...

Hey Kim - thanks for all the cleaning tips - I think I'll buy some denture tablets and get my toilet bowl sparkling clean too!

Mad about Craft said...

Here in the UK we have 2 cleaning gurus called Kim & Aggie and the swear by white vinegar and lemon juice.

I've found denture tablets very useful for all sorts of cleaning jobs too.

Gran - Knot-y Embroidery Lady said...

You are welcome to come over and clean my house anytime!!!! I know I am too tired after working at the shop to even consider my toilet bowl.... One thing I have used for years on my toilet bowls is a pumice cloth. It is a miracle! We have to go for a trip to Emigh Hardware and pick up some. The denture tabs sound interesting. I hate to by a whole box to experiment with, want to share a box?

Robin said...

Great tips, Kim! And I'm with you on the need to eat healthier. You would think with all the fruits available right now, I would not be eating Doritos, sherbet and gummi bears at night. You would be wrong.