Friday, March 26, 2010

Cleaning tips...

Off of
What is your favorite spring cleaning product, and why?

Share your tip in the comments below for your chance to enter to win a $100 gift card. Deadline is next week, Tuesday, March 30th at 11:59 pm CT. And don’t forget to check back next week for another chance to win.

Here are my favorite entries (so I don't forget these great tips!):

Robin Vaughn says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:28 am

I keep an empty laundry basket with me when I clean – anything in that doesn’t belong in the space that I am cleaning goes into the basket. When i’m done cleaning, I walk thru the house with the basket and put away the collected items. Quick and easy!

I also make my own laundry detergent. Freeze 4 bars of soap (Felsnaptha or Zote are good choices since they are stain fighters, but Dove or Ivory or whatever is cheap at the Dollar Store works just fine!), grate the soap into a large bowl with a box cheese grater or a food processor. Measure what you’ve grated and add half as much Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda) and half as much 20 Mule Team Borax If you get 6 cups of soap shreds, add 3C borax and 3C washing soda. Run batches thru the food process to chop of the soap shreds, stir it all up at the end and store in an airtight container. Use 1/8C per load.

It comes out to about $.08 per load of laundry (price varies based on actual cost of soap and powders). Super quick and easy to make and one 4 bar batch will last for months. I actually multiply the batch and make it in a 5 gallon bucket about once a year!

Kay says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:27 am

Vinegar!!!! Anything that can get 2 week old oil and grease stains (from my husband’s boots) out of white carpets is a miracle! Mix one part vinegar to one part hot water, add a teaspoon of dish detergent, and scrub away at any stubborn stain. It is also a natural way to get streak free windows, declogged drains, and disinfected air and sinks. (use straight)

Rosanna says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

I start my spring cleaning by taping a sheet of paper to the door of each room and make a running checklist of what needs to be done in that room. Then I can easily “put down” and “pick up” my cleaning/organizing project over the course of a few days or a week without forgetting what needed to be done and what already got done in each room. Plus, anyone (*ahem*, hubby) can see at a glance what needs to be done when they have spare time!

Jane says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:13 am

i use a plastic fork to clean all the gunk out of our velcro on our winter jackerts after i wash them and before they are stored away for the winter

Roxanne says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:04 am

Use hand lotion to remove dust and mud from shoes that have been through the winter months. The lotion also conditions the leather. The result is far superior to water, and it’s a good way to use up the lotion from gifts and so forth that tend to accumulate through the years.

Jessica Mann says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:56 am

Unclogging and Freshening Drains with Baking Soda:

Unclogging the Drain
Option #1
Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of hot vinegar. Try heating the vinegar in the microwave before adding it to the drain. Wait 5 minutes before flushing the drain with 2 quarts of hot water. You can repeat this process a few times if it is necessary. If this is the first time you have cleaned your drain in a long time it may be necessary to repeat the baking soda flush a couple of times.

Option #2
Try pouring 1 Cup of baking soda and 1/2 Cup of salt down the drain. Let this mixture sit in the drain for several hours, overnight is best, before flushing the drain with 2 cups of boiling water.

Tips For Baking Soda and Drains

Use baking soda that has been used in the refrigerator or freezer to help clean the drains and you’ll extend the use of something you otherwise would have just thrown away.

Use the same ideas to clean and freshen your garbage disposal. You may be able to cut the required amounts of baking soda, water, vinegar, and salt in 1/2 for use in your disposal.

Try putting baking soda down the drain without rinsing when you are going on vacation or even just a weekend trip. It will help reduce odors that may develop while you are gone. Flush the baking soda out of the drain with hot water or hot vinegar followed by hot water when you return.

Benefits of Baking Soda and Drains

Using Baking Soda to clean your drains and garbage disposal eliminates harsh chemicals that may leave odors and residue in your sinks.

All of the listed combinations are environmentally friendly, which will help concerns about chemical contamination, or even the risk associated with having chemicals in a home with children.

Using baking soda for these jobs can be friendly to your wallet too, especially if you recycle the boxes you use in the freezer or fridge when they are no longer as fresh.

Pramila T says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:38 am

1) Prevents mildew from bathing suits.
2) Clean stainless sinks and cooktop for tough stains.
3) Clean crayon off a chalkboard.
4) Pour half cup in Drain with Vinegar followed by hot water in order to prevent clogs
5) Clean Jewellery
6) Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations
7) Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.
8) Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.
9) Clean the fridge with it.
and list goes on……

March 26, 2010 at 8:50 am

My family eats lots of oranges. When we peel them we throw the peels into a gallon zip lock bag and throw into the freezer. At the end of the week I throw all the peels into a crock pot and cook them all day. Makes the house smell great! When the crock cools, I then strain off the “orange juice” and put that into to a spray bottle. The peels go into the compost. I have de-greaser! Works just as well as vinegar and sometime better! Busts out soap scum! Lime go away! Mix it with coffee grounds(used, no need for coffee abuse) and you have a great hand scrub for hubby when he gets out from under the hood.

Kristin says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:40 am

Microfiber cloths have become a cleaning staple of mine! Just use a water dampened one to clean windows and mirrors and wipe with a dry one. Never a streak to be seen, even in bright sunlight….amazing!

Anita says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:39 am

Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or nails while you clean.

Those are the posts so far...
Added to that was mine, I love old toothbrushes for cleaning in crevices. :D

What are you cleaning tips?
Why not enter at to see if you can win too! (or leave them below for me...)

Happy Spring!

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