Get Your Inner Clean-Freak On

Cue the spring cleaning. I’ve been twiddling my thumbs waiting for the day it’s warm enough to open all of our home’s windows and ventilate, but in the meantime, I’ve been getting down on cleaning inside with some of my favorite tools.

Maybe you’re like me, a little bit of a gadget-seeker, someone often seeking the easy cleaning route, and often compelled to go organic (even though I’m not the poster child for that way of living, I just do what I can and can afford). If you are too, you’ll probably enjoy seeing this article on DIY Network that speaks to 10 different ways to use vinegar in your household, and you’ll enjoy some of my tricks involving products that suit all of the aforementioned housekeeping qualities for those with limited time to shine:

Trio of home cleaning products.

For more detail on three products that I really, really love, keep on reading and prepare to get your inner clean-freak on.

Floor steamer by HAAN.Our floor steamer is one of the best things that happened to me. That’s a dramatic statement, right? It’s what I tell everyone when the topic of steamers comes up (you know, when catching up with other bloggers, over dinner, at the occasional bar, I’m such an interesting person to talk to). The floors in our home are mostly hardwood, which I do get down on my hands and knees and scrub clean with semi-regularity, but for in-between cleanings, the HAAN steam steamer does a great job at cutting into the grime and sterilizing the hardwood floors as well as the bathroom and kitchen vinyl tiles with ease. Can you say 99.9% germ free? I can’t enough. It leaves me feeling great. There are obviously many brands of steam cleaners out there these days (at varying price points to boot) so do your research, and pick the one that works for you.

Spaghetti Scrub!The Original Spaghetti Scrub by Goodbye Detergent! was a Christmas gift, so I’ve had in excess of three months to become best friends with it. It’s main claims to fame are true: one unit lasts for months, and it has no smell which to me confirms that it does in fact lack mold and bacteria from regular dish washing. Additionally, even three months in it still looks new, and it always rinses completely clean unlike a sponge or a green scrubbie–a small miracle if you’re in the business of measuring household cleaning miracles. It gets cooler: they’re organically made using corn cobs and peach pits (like, what?) and really earn their keep with cutting into the grime on our dishes and pans (I still dab on a bit of dish soap, but it doesn’t take much to lather up the scrubby). You should order some. Mine were bought on amazon.

Sponge and baking soda.It’s a good thing that baking soda is inexpensive, because we use it in many ways besides baking, and I don’t just mean in the let’s-freshen-up-the-refrigerator sense. I mean, it allegedly loses its potency in the box after just 30-days, so you may as well use it while it’s at it’s best, right? I’m not going to be the first one to point out how good it is as a cleaning and freshening agent–some people go as far as to use it to make toothpaste and sprinkle it on as deodorant–but there are many practical ways to use it in your everyday cleaning routine. I often use it with a little soap on a sponge to clean our shower walls and vinyl shower curtain, sprinkle it into our gym shoes (powder feet!), and sprinkle it on/vacuum it off our furniture.

What are your favorite tricks? 

Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Fazio is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.

9 Responses

  1. Most commercial household cleaning solutions contain harmful ingredients that are harmful to both you and the environment. Its good to go for ecological friendly cleaning method by using natural sources like therapy, ordinary cooking soft drinks, calcium mineral carbonate and lemon or lime.

  2. calmet says:

    Most commercial household cleaners contain toxic ingredients that are harmful to both you and the environment. Its good to go for environmental friendly cleaning method by using natural sources like vinegar, baking soda, calcium carbonate and citrus.

  3. Brenda says:

    I can't remember the last time I used a commercial cleaner like CLR, to clean. My preferences are baking soda, vinegar and old dutch (for the john) which I find to be a lot more effective, inexpensive, and good for the environment. I also use Murphy's soap which is made from coconut oil, for my wood floors and furniture. I will occasionally use some lemon if there are any wax or grease stains or on wood surfaces.

    Re. the power of vinegar, we have the old-style tub over-flow plate which also features a built-in drain plug lever. It was quite calcified but my husband thought the surface was actually gone. I pulled that baby off and soaked it in vinegar and now it looks brand-new. Vinegar, in combination with baking soda, is great for de-scaling coffee kettles and cleaning glass and mirrors. I have also made a paste of vinegar and baking soda and used this to clean my table-top convection oven. Did a great job and also removed any food smells. Who needs expensive oven cleaners? :)

  4. Kathie says:

    I found by accident,that using liquid body wash ,instead of bar soap,almost totally cut out the soap scum build-up. This was especially wonderful for our free standing shower that my husband uses,I would spend hours scrubbing,scraping and scouring,and that was on a regular basis. It seemed the fiberglass built up more than tile.Now using liquid body soap the job is much easier,and minimal build up.

  5. Melissa D says:

    I just recently discovered the many wonders of Pledge Revitalizing Oil – a furniture 'restorer' that worked miracles on our scuffed coffee table, sure – but on stainless appliances? AMAZING.

  6. Laura Tweed says:

    I love using Rain-X on my shower glass doors after they have been completely cleaned with baking soda and a little Dawn detergent. After completely cleaning the shower wall tiles I polish them with Turtle Wax. This keeps then scum free for 3 months. You can also use Turtle Wax on the metal tracks of the shower doors. I learned this trick from an old neighbor that used to install shower doors. He used to treat all the doors the same way prior to installation and sold his service on a regular basis to keep them clean.

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About Emily Fazio 

198Posts

I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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