Monday, April 18, 2011

keep it clean

If you are bored by talk of cleaning supplies, come on back tomorrow. 

Today, we're getting down to the nitty gritty. 

I have three priorities when it comes to cleaning supplies:
1. gets things real clean
2. low cost
3. low deadly fumes

I have a plastic bin under the sink that houses the majority of my cleaning supplies and I can easily carry it from room to room.  Here's what's in my bin:

- baking soda.  I buy the biggest box possible and pour it into this plastic jug for easy pouring.  I use baking soda as a general scouring powder- it is great in the tub. 

- kosher salt.  Same deal- buy the big box and pour it into a handy jug.  The salt is for when you need a little more scrub.  I use it as a partner to the baking soda when cleaning the tub and I'm telling you- soap scum doesn't stand a chance. 

- white vinegar.  You know how they feel about Windex on "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"?  That is how I feel about vinegar.  There is no problem too large for vinegar.  I keep a spray bottle in with my cleaning supplies and use it as I would use a general cleaning spray- for toilets and counters.  I also pour about a cup into a bucket of hot water and use it to mop the floors.  Vinegar's acetic and antimicrobial properties make it useful for cleaning just about everything!

- Comet.  This is one of the few actual cleaning supplies I will purchase.  It doesn't really have any fumes and a big can is .$97.  I use this to clean the inside of the toilet bowl. 

- Windex.  Again, not very fumey and fairly inexpensive.  I do not recommend most generic versions.  Spring for the real deal- nobody likes a streaky mirror.  Vinegar can also be used for cleaning mirrors, but again I have a hard time getting a streakless finish. 

- coffee filters.  These are the best for cleaning mirrors and faucets.  NO LINT.  I usually get mine for free- most places have tons of extra coffee filters.  Just ask. 

- two sponges and an old toothbrush, for detail work.

The only other cleaning supplies that I buy are a general purpose counter spray for the kitchen and Pine-Sol.  I just love that smell.  I put just a quick pour of it in with my vinegar water when I mop and the whole house smells great when I'm done.

I love knowing that most of the things I'm cleaning with are actually safe to eat.  That makes me feel great about having them touch my skin and breathing their fumes. 

What about you?  Do you have a favorite, must-have cleaning supply?

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