Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Frugal Files: DIY Challenge: Do It Yourself Cleaning Part II

Hey there frugalicious folks!! Welcome back!!

Last week we took care of some of our easy and medium cleaning areas: glass, surfaces and the kitchen floor. I hope you tried some homemade recipes for your natural, non-harsh cleaning regimens. These concoctions are easy to find and easier on the wallets. I love being able to do things myself and save, don’t you?

I hope everyone had a great holiday and was able to celebrate service men and women who fight or have fought for our freedoms here in the US. It’s a day of thanksgiving and if your family is anything like mine, it’s one of family time too. Every Memorial Day, my family gets together to visit my Grandparents’ graves, cleans off their headstones, fellowships and says a prayer for those living and those that went before us.

My cousin invited me to Savers, since it was half off day, but I was a good Frugalicious Diva and declined…this time. I didn’t need anything so I opted out this year. Just so you know, this sale comes around again for Veteran’s Day in November. I will catch that one, so join me and set aside a little cash to spend around then.

Back to the holiday. Again, if you’re like us, you know this family day is complete with barbeque, potlucks, kids, games, sun and plenty of drinks. Along with the food, comes a major mess. Certainly, with all the kids and pets we have around, we want to clean with products that won’t hurt them, but will still be effective to cut grease and sanitize.

That brings me to the area we missed last week, which if you had company this weekend, I know took a toll on your home:

Difficult Cleaning Areas
·        Bathroom Grout/Toilet Bowls
·        Kitchen Walls
·        Ovens

Like I said last week, you’ve been introduced to the tools needed (well most), but I’ll remind you of my favorite ones to use for these areas. In addition to elbow grease, you’ll want to have the following on hand: lemon, vinegar, water, salt, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide.

For the easiest of these difficult places, let’s start with the toilet bowls and drains. This is one is isn’t completely natural for us, because I was able to score some free toilet bowl cleaners with my couponing a little while back, but you can guarantee when it’s gone, I’ll be using my own mix. There are many ways to clean; you need a dry agent (baking soda or borax) and something acidic (vinegar or lemon). Sprinkle the dry over the sides, sit for 30 minutes, then pour the acid in and use your brush to clean. Add lemon for a fresh smell.

Speaking of smells, a tip if you have young men in your home, use this recipe to get rid of the “boy” smell. I thought it was entertaining and useful: Ask Anna Moseley

Want to naturally clean your drains and your plunger isn’t doing the trick? Add salt and baking soda together and pour down the drain. Follow that by pouring a medium size pot of boiling water down with it. It should be clear in no time!!

Bathroom tiles are the worst to clean, if you let the task get away from you. If you have tough tile/grout stains, mix, in a dark bottle, water and hydrogen peroxide and heavily spray it on the walls. Wait an hour, then rinse and scrub if you need to. To prevent mildew in the future, keep a spray bottle mix of water and vinegar by the tub and spray immediately after every shower and bath.

Now, if you didn’t use anything else yesterday, I know you used the oven and if you don’t have a self-cleaning feature, it’s a monster to clean sometimes!! Make it easy by creating our own self-cleaning oven. Mix a cup of each: water, baking soda and salt all together and smear the paste all over the inside. Put your oven on 450 for an hour and keep the door closed. Once it cools down, rinse off everything inside with a damp cloth dipped in vinegar to get rid of leftover cleaner.

You can use this same paste to clean the kitchen walls of the greasy matter that won’t stay in on the stove. In addition, you can clean with the trusty all purpose cleaner of water and vinegar, let sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean. Really dirty? Simply heat the vinegar, dip in your cloth and wipe it all away.

As you can see there are so many ways to clean our homes with the simplest ingredients, many that we usually have on hand at any given time. All it takes is a little time and effort and you can kick those harsh chemicals to the curb. Simple, natural products is the way to go to keep a clean and healthy home and the best part is that you can DO IT YOURSELF!!
I’ve really enjoyed this DIY series this month and it was a challenge to clean everything at home!! Thanks for joining me and have a great week!!

Frugalicious Diva
Follow me on Twitter at @FrugaliciousDva

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