I am a bad housekeeper. Vacuuming, sure. Laundry, when necessary. And I wipe down the counters after I do the dishes. But mopping? Cleaning the shower? Don’t even get me started on dusting — that happens about once a year.
In my defense, I typically do a thorough cleaning if I have visitors. On the other hand, if you’re my mom, you’re going to get a dirtier apartment than if you are my date. It’s a give and take.
All that to say, there was one (unusual) weeknight in college that I spent a significant amount of time, elbow grease and Tilex Mold & Mildew getting my shower/tub combo in tip-top shape. Of course, when I had to actually use the bathroom later that night, the fumes were overwhelming. Deadly. I used my roommate’s bathroom instead. Even the next morning, it was rough.
I’ve been interested in greener cleaning methods since then. They’re often cheaper, and they’re less toxic and smelly. When you rinse out your cloth or towel, you’re not washing chemicals down the drain along with the dirty water. The bonus? You can use your shower shortly after cleaning it without keeling over from the fumes.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine Facebooked a link about homemade cleaning products. And I kid you not, this list goes on forever and a day. You start with six ingredients, most of which you probably own and all of which can be easily found. And then you can make three trillion cleaning products from them (OK, really closer to 35 or so). Surface spray? Got it. Dishwasher detergent? Yep. Linoleum floor cleaner? You betcha. Carpet deodorizer? Of course.
If you’re prepping for Thanksgiving or holiday guests (yes, Mom, I will clean before then) and your store-bought cleaners are weighing down your wallet or choking you with their fumes, give a few of these recipes a try. The Earth (and your nose) will thank you.
Co-worker and fellow blogger Jess Krout posted a few great tips today on Twenty & Change about how you can jump start your cleaning regimen. Great advice for the cleaning degenerates who — like me — dust once a year.