Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Frugal Files: DIY Challenge: Do It Yourself Cleaning

Hey frugal folks!! Welcome back!!

True story. I loved that low-priced and effective product, AWESOME!! I even blogged about my love for its cleaning strength and ability to remove the toughest spots. Plus, it was cheap, so it was “Frugalicious Diva” approved. However, I had to end the relationship because it tried to kill me and it DID kill some of our clothing.

My daughter cleans the bathroom and though she’s a little heavy handed, AWESOME was choking me!! I was on the main floor and she was in the second floor bathroom. I won’t even mention what it did to our unmentionables. Stained clothing got clean, but the fabric was weakened and finally tore apart. That is too harsh!! I made it a vow to transform all household products to natural ones. We’re not completely there yet, but we have changed some habits drastically.

Did you just spray the last of your favorite household cleaner? Well, instead of going out to get another bottle (especially if you don’t have a coupon), make your own recipe. You don’t have to be a chemist, just someone who wants to have a clean house without all the harsh chemicals. Belles, it’s time to Do It Yourself!! 

Easy Cleaning Areas
With all the surfaces around the house, I did a lot of research to find what works best for each. Here are the easiest surfaces I clean in the house:
·        Glass surfaces, including mirrors
·        Kitchen countertops
·        Microwaves
·        Furniture that requires light dusting.

My favorite staples for easy cleaning areas: lemon, vinegar, water, olive oil and newspaper.

Reuse old bottles, rinse thoroughly and mix up one part white vinegar to three parts water and use as a glass cleaner. Instead of paper towels to wipe the glass, use newspaper. It keeps the glass from streaking. When the paper dries, simply toss it in the recycling. This same bottle can be used to clean off countertops and anything needing a good cleaning. Vinegar may have an unpleasant smell, but it deodorizes the surfaces it touches. If the smell really bothers you, add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil to your mix. I always use lavender; it’s calming.

Need an easier way to clean your messy microwave? Cut a lemon in half and fill up a microwavable bowl with water. Place the water and lemon inside for about 30-40 seconds. When it’s done, get a sponge and simply wipe away the grime. The acidic nature of the lemon interacts with the steam and makes the dirt easy to wipe clean. Also, if you have a garbage disposal, toss your old or used lemons in. They helpsharpen the blades and freshen the disposal!!

Furniture polish is easy too, by adding all of the ingredients in my list together and Voila; your own duster and polisher. If you like fragrance, add a few squeezes of an orange to your mix and it’s your very own Murphy’s oil and Orange Glo!!

Medium Cleaning Areas
These are surfaces that will take a little more effort than a wipe down, but not too bad to clean, especially if you stay on top of it regularly:
·        Sink surfaces and drains
·        Stove surfaces
·        Kitchen floors

Tools for these areas: Vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, isopropyl alcohol

Sink surfaces just need a bit of warmed up vinegar and dish soap and they are disinfected, clean and shining like they are brand new.

Since everyone doesn’t have a Swiffer for the kitchen and wood floors, we can still make the work easy on ourselves. Get the same recipe as the glass cleaner (water and vinegar), add a little dish soap (for the suds) and rubbing alcohol and you have your own floor cleaner. If you do have a Swiffer, you can use this solution with it and skip the expensive refills. The great thing about this recipe is you can use it on your kitchen tile floor too!!

Wow, I have been chatting on and on, so much so that we’ve run out of time today!! Looks like you’ll have to stay tuned for tips on the most difficult cleaning areas. I’ll give you a hint though…you’ve already been given most of the products used to make your own cleaners, but will add more next time.

Thanks for being here and feel free to share your DIY cleaning secrets with us in the comments below!! Enjoy your week!! Make it a frugaliciously clean one!!

Frugalicious Diva
Follow me on Twitter at @FrugaliciousDva

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