Thursday, September 27, 2012
I've been reading a 'Real Simple' magazine, in the "reader's ideas" column where they were talking about 'tips for cleaning from your mom' and a few of them I have been using as well. Here is a mixture of tips (some from the magazine, some from my own mom, some my own discoveries), most of them using natural ingredients:
* Vacuum first, then dust - this is one is a counter-intuitive one (how many times we heard the opposite?!), but indeed a true one nonetheless. When we vacuum, the dust gets all stirred into the air, then it settles... on the freshly dusted furniture. Not fun :)
* If your tablecloth gets a fat stain (think the gravy for that Turkey on Thanksgiving day!) pour salt on it. Salt will absorb most of the fat from the stain - and washing it quickly will solve the rest.
* How about those pesky red-wine stains? Pour boiling water on the stain - it removes the colour immediately (no need for bleaching anymore)
* The famous 5-minute game: have the family together, put the timer on and clean as much as possible in just 5 minutes. It works :) Although I could never get everyone in my family to do this together, I play the game by myself a lot!
* To get rid of the smell - fill bowls with white vinegar and place them where the smell is more stubborn. When we cook one of the more traditional dishes (which involves saute onion - always smells bad while you cook, and the smell lingers) I go one step further: on the stove I put a pot with water, white vinegar and some natural spices (cloves, orange peel, cinnamon sticks), bring it to a boil then keep the mixture simmering. The steam does capture the bad smell (through the vinegar) and freshen the air at the same time (the spices). All natural and good on your lungs too.
* Did you burn your pot? Forget the scrubbing powders and all: make a paste out of baking soda and water (and a few drops of lemon juice) and let it sit on the spot. About an hour later you'll be able to scrub away the burnt off the pot.
* For carpet stains: spray a mixture of white vinegar and water, then layer on several paper towels, a plastic bag on top, and some heavy pile of books. Leave for a day (24 hours). It does work, we use the same system :)
* Another use for the white vinegar: for cleaning your windows. Forget about the Windex and all other chemical loaded stuff - make a mixture of white vinegar and water, fill a spray bottle with it and start cleaning. We used news-papers as a 'scrubbing pad', but I could hardly recommend that :) Maybe some used paper, the one that comes in your packages as filler (non-printed). Or the old paper towels work too. As do the actual cleaning cloths.
* Make your own air fresheners: fill a jar with slices of citrus fruits and pour boiling water on top. Vary the mixture by experimenting with various fresh herbs and spices (rosemary, thyme, mint - try everything).
And remember: when they'll grow up your kids will remember how full of love your home was, not how clean! So keep the house clean, but don't over-do-it - your time is precious and should be filled with precious moments :)
What tips can you share?!