Clean House with Sally's Favorite Household Cleaning Products

You can simplify your house cleaning chores with Sally's favorite time-tested household cleaning products: Murphy Oil soap, Pine Sol, Simple Green, and Weiman's glass cook top cleaner.
You can simplify your house cleaning chores with Sally's favorite time-tested household cleaning products: Murphy Oil soap, Pine Sol, Simple Green, and Weiman's glass cook top cleaner. | Source

How I learned to Clean House

Please don’t tell my mother about this article, because I didn’t learn anything about house cleaning from her, even though she thinks I did. When I was growing up, we had a relatively uncluttered and clean house, but cleaning was not what was important to my mother. To her, the important things were good food on the table, a good job for her, a good school for me, clothes on our backs, spending time with family, and going places. Household cleaning products were not priorities in the household budget.

Some of you may have grown up with scheduled and assigned cleaning chores. Not me. Saturday morning? Let’s hit the beach! Let’s go see Aunt Ronnie! Let’s go clothes shopping! I grew up with dusty surfaces, unmade beds, unwashed dishes in the sink, and lots of stuff on the floors that stuck to my socks. Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, taking a bath, wearing clean underwear, ironing our clothes, and styling our hair were inviolable rules applied to daily life.

I Moved into my First Apartment

I got serious about cleaning house when I moved into my first apartment--one bedroom, a living room, and a Pullman kitchen that you closed off from the living room with a set of shuttered doors.

It was while living in that tiny apartment that I bought my first antique with my own money, a late nineteenth-century oak tavern table in need of cleaning. And this is where I turned to Aunt Ronnie for help. She’s an antiques dealer, a compulsive cleaner, and knows all about these things. (Definitely, don’t tell my mother about this article, or Aunt Ronnie either!) What can I use to clean my antique table, I asked Aunt Ronnie.

Murphy Oil Soap was the instantaneous answer.

Good Savings Online for Murphy Oil Soap

Murphy Oil Soap

Murphy Oil Soap has a long history in the world of cleaning products. It’s been around since about 1900. By 1950, its slogan was, “cleans everything, injures nothing.” Indeed, from my experience, that’s the truth.

To clean that tavern table, I made a solution of ¼ cup Murphy’s to one gallon of warm water. I took a terry cloth rag, dipped it in the solution, wrung the rag out until almost dry, and scrubbed away. After about an hour and many rinses and wringings of the rag later, I had a gloriously gleaming hunk of red oak and a filthy bucket of disgusting water.

I use Murphy’s on all of my antique wood furniture (I’ve collected quite a bit of it since those early years) about once a year to clean out the grime that dusting and polishing won’t remove. I also learned to use Murphy’s on walls, floors, and painted wood trim. Nothing, I mean nothing, cleans a painted surface or a vinyl or linoleum floor better than Murphy’s. Plus, it smells good. Not antiseptic, not harsh, just kind of clean and fresh in an earthy way.

Long after I moved out of that first apartment, I was lucky to have a wonderful woman help me clean the house I moved into after I married. She, like Aunt Ronnie, was another of my teachers of the house cleaning arts.

A Heavenly Aroma of Piney Woods

Pine-Sol

Eunice introduced me to Pine-Sol. I’d come home from work after her weekly visit to our house, and my nose would be in heaven. She’d mix about a quarter cup of Pine-Sol to a gallon of water, and scrub every tile, porcelain, and ceramic surface in the bathrooms. Not only was the smell wonderful, but so were the gleaming surfaces.

Pine-Sol’s been around for a long time, too, for about 75 years. It had its birth along with the Great Depression in 1929, when its chemist-inventor used his knowledge of the natural pine forests of Mississippi to create a fresh, disinfecting, and deodorizing cleaner.

Alas, there are other areas of the house to clean, and Pine-Sol and Murphy’s won’t do them all.

A Texture Similar to My Counter Top's

A textured counter top is a nightmare to clean, since dirt stubbornly sticks to the recessed areas. Photo courtesy lusi, sxc.hu.
A textured counter top is a nightmare to clean, since dirt stubbornly sticks to the recessed areas. Photo courtesy lusi, sxc.hu.

Simple Green

Today, in my current house, I have very odd kitchen counter tops. They are some kind of vinyl, or something, installed about 30 years ago, and they are white and have the texture of tree bark.

I kid you not. I have often asked myself, about these counter tops, “What were they thinking?”

Any kind of dirt gets embedded in the texture of these insidious counter tops, and the only way to clean them is with a scrub brush. At first, I sprinkled a chlorine powdered cleanser on them, added water, and scrubbed away. That worked alright, but it was a mess to clean up and a hazard to my clothes.

Then I learned about Simple Green through a friend at work.

Simple Green is an industrial-strength cleaner, a de-greaser and wax-stripper, which is also environmentally safe. It too has been around for quite a while, about thirty years. I find it harsher on the hands than Murphy’s or Pine-Sol, but rubber gloves take care of that problem for me. It has a fantastic fresh scent, and believe me, there is almost nothing it doesn’t clean (although I would never use it on antique furniture).

To sanitize and clean those ugly counter tops, I dilute the concentrate about 1 part to ten parts of water and put the solution in a spray bottle. I spray those nasty counter tops liberally, wait about 5 minutes, scour them with a brush, and wipe clean with a terry rag dipped in warm water and wrung out. My kitchen counters have never been cleaner.

You Can Probably Get It Cheaper at WalMart, but Here It Is

Weiman’s Stove Top Cleaner

I’ve saved the best for last. This incredible product cleans not only glass stove tops, but anything that is glass, as well as any porcelain, ceramic, or pottery that is glazed. I learned about this product when I bought a glass-topped stove. Along with the stove came a small bottle of Weiman’s, with instructions for use. My glass-topped stove is white, and this cleaner makes it sparkle (yes, you do need to add some elbow grease).

I like antiques and collectibles, and sometimes old glass or pottery items are milky, cloudy, or stained as the result of liquids left in them for too long, so long that the minerals from the liquids leach out and damage the glass or the glaze. The traditional approach to cleaning these damaged pieces is to subject them to an acid wash. However, good news for all of us, Weiman’s stove top cleaner performs miracles. If you have a piece of glass that has sediment stains you haven’t been able to remove, put some Weiman’s stove top cleaner on a paper towel, coat the stain, wait a few minutes, and then scrub with the paper towel. The results can be amazing.

Good Links for Learning More about Cleaning Products

The Consumer Specialty Products Association provides an overview of different types of cleaning products, including green cleaning products, and explains how they work. This site does not discuss or feature product brands, only the background and history of how cleaning products work. It is a great site, and I give it all thumbs up.

The US Department of Health and Human Services publishes a great deal of detailed information about the safety of cleaning products.

A Final Thought

Please don’t tell my mother or Aunt Ronnie about this article.

They’d have a fight about who taught me what.


© 2009 Sally's Trove. All rights reserved.

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Comments 78 comments

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Aren't you a sweetie...and you seemed to have taught yourself well...I love Murphy's soap and use it all the time...my mom taught me...sorta...it is one thing to have chores and another to keep your own place clean the way you want it...So is still by trial and error I think...plus so many new things come out...and then there are so many environmental problems...Nicely done sweetie...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

I must approve of your choices of cleaning products. I, too, am a fan Murphy's and Pine Sol. I haven't used the other two, but now I know what to try. I am more and more switching to homemade cleaning products however, using vinegar, baking soda, and sometimes Borax or Washing Soda, which I find do very well at a fraction of the cost, and are either non-toxic or very low toxicity.

Another fine article, with great background and that personal history that makes your writings you. Love it! And a thumbs up from me!


FlyingPanther profile image

FlyingPanther 7 years ago from here today gone tomorrow!!

Sally.

All products above are great for cleaning for sure I had used them my self and still do.Spring cleaning is just arround the corner let me know if you need help for that LOL.

Love always.

FlyingPanther


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey

Another great one in your inimitable style ST. I promise not to rat on you either to your mother or your Aunt Ronnie:-} For what it's worth I too am a Murphy Oil fan and I love love love Simple Green-- use it for sooooo many things and like the smell even better than Pinesol.

Kudos and thumbs up as usual:-)


pgrundy 7 years ago

I love Murphy's, it is great stuff, and it makes your house smell so good. Simple Green is new to me, I can hardly wait to try it out. I'm a TERRIBLE housekeeper. I try to keep us from catching any major diseases and I stop short of letting food rot on the the counter, but beyond that, my mother would not approve of me either! So your secrets are always safe with me. I'm off now to buy some new cleaning products and I might even use them! Thanks Sally!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

Good morning dear friend, What?  Are you telling me I shouldn't use Pledge spray wax to smear the dust around?  It’s lemon scented if that helps :) 

Actually, before I could use the wonderful products you mention, I'd have to start with the big guns first, those being bleach and ammonia, and I'd be using a mask, rubber gloves and have all my windows open.

The first thing that came to mind after reading this was my all time favorite, Jubilee wax.  This was a staple in our cleaning products when I was growing up.  Mom tasked me with polishing the chrome legs of our 50s table and chairs, and anything else that had chrome on it.  I loved how you had to wait for it to 'film' up before polishing.  Then, of course, you had to make sure you wiped every last bit of it off.  It did a wonderful job and the smell was lovely.  Another favorite, in terms of polishing, was Noxon polish, which I used when I had to polish other silver items. This one, unfortunately, has a nasty smell. I came across this website for retro cleaning: http://retrorenovation.com/2009/01/28/how-to-clean  You might find it interesting.

I share Pam's sentiments.  I used to be a great housekeeper, but since I started collecting things, I've become much lazier, because now I have too much stuff and it's overwhelming just thinking about having to clean it all.  Perhaps I should go out this morning and purchase Simple Green, and take a hint from its name, keep it simple!

Great story as always!  Has it inspired me to clean?  I'll have to think about it a bit LOL

 


Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 7 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

Useful - cleaning is somewhat of a black art to me - having started out in the military with elbow grease and graduated to having a batman and cleaner as an Officer living in (yes really).  Now Rud does it all thank heavens or we pay someone!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

G-Ma, you are so right about it being two different things--having chores and keeping your own place the way you like it. I never cared much at all about how the house looked when I was growing up, but as soon as I got my very own place, everything about that changed! Thanks so much for adding your insights.

Chris, you keep wowing me with your domestic expertise and interest. First cast iron frying pans, now cleaning supplies. There's just something so special about a guy who can talk with conviction about this stuff. Here are some extra emoticons from me, because I know you don't use them, to show you how pleased I am by your comment...:) :) :) :)

FP, you are a doll. I might just take you up on your offer. BTW, love your new pic!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Robie2, thanks so much for your kind comments. I know you won't rat on me. :)

Simple Green can require some caution. Here's a little story. This past Thanksgiving I helped my mother clean her house for company. One of the things she asked me to do was to wash the old linoleum kitchen floor. This floor is pretty beat up, being about 60 years old. I'd say it's a real "heritage" piece. So I used a strong solution of Simple Green, and before I knew it, almost all of the old wax was stripped off. I told Mom I'm going to the store for fresh wax, and she said, oh no you are not. I said, this looks terrible, I didn't mean to take all the wax off! She said, it's exactly the way I want it, and it's about time. Now I don't have to worry about getting the floor wet, slipping on wet wax, and falling.

So there you have it, Robie. The floor looks like hell, but Mom's happy as a clam.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Pam, I'm always so pleased when you come by to comment. Before you use that Simple Green you are going to buy, take a look at the comment I left for Robie2. Be careful! Simple Green works so well, it's easy to get carried away with it.

Thanks so much for keeping my secrets. I'm not at all worried that you or Robie will rat on me. :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Trish, the link to retrorenovation is fantastic! I just spent the last half-hour touring all the retro bathroom photos.

About Jubilee. Aunt Ronnie is crazy about it and really misses it. So I did a little scouting for both of you. Use this link to SC Johnson brands and make an inquiry, and find out if they have any, and if not, maybe they can tell you why:

http://www.scjbrands.com/mailorder/

Thanks, my friend, for your awesome comments!

Julie-Ann, you are so lucky. Thanks for sharing, even though you probably made a lot of people really, really jealous. :)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

ST, I used Murphy's all the time when I had wood-paneled walls, but oddly never used it on furniture.  Now I'll have to get some!  I'd never heard of Simple Green, but then I'm like pgrundy - not a fanatic about cleaning.  Believe a *little* dust isn't life-threatening, but I don't leave food sitting around to rot either.  I'll add Simple Green to the list!  

trish1048, I haven't thought of Jubilee wax in decades!  I remember too having to wait for it to film over and then the elbow grease required to remove every last trace! Thanks for the memory!

Christoph, can we clone you?  A man who cleans!  Be still my heart!  ;D


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

JamaGenee: Sorry, but I am uncloneable. I can be taken out on loan, however, and I'm surprisingly cheap (and tawdry!)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

JamaGenee, LOL, more than a "little" dust is fine with me, too. Don't forget, Murphy's works great on painted surfaces, too. Thanks for the neat comments.

Christoph, looks like the comments section to this Hub could become a cleaning service placement agency for you. If so, I demand 50 percent of the fee, so don't be advertising yourself as surprisingly cheap, OK?


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

Hey Sally, I love cheap, and as long as it comes with a tawdry Christoph, count me in! LOL And, if he wants you to loan him out you could just charge a finder's fee and put out the tip jar :)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

I just checked out the website and sent them an email. I will let you know what I find out. Thanks for finding that!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

It was my Saturday job to Jubilee the Refrig and stove, actually everything in the kitchen. Man, does that age me.

I LOVE Simple Green, we use it in cleaning our storage units and it smells wonderful!! I will re-visit Murphy's Soap,

Tell me, have you considered "Have Products, Will Travel" as a business?

My dog cleans my kitchen floor during the week, and he doesn't like the Pine Sol. =)) I do the bathroom only to stay alive, but when I am not pushed for time, I love Simple Green and another product called Fabuloso. Lavender is scrumptios and even gets rid of uh ugly smells.

I loved this hub, as always, enjoying the sprinkling of family life admist the enlightening journey. Also loved your links!! =)) hugs, this is superrrrr and now I'm in the cleaning mood. My family thanks you!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Marisue, my daughter is a big fan of letting the dog clean the kitchen floor. I think you and she share some special understanding...in fact, I know you do.

About "Have Products, Will Travel", absolutely not, unless someone with products is traveling to me.

Thanks for your awesome comments.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I hear ya on the not traveling with the cleaning products. --- LOL I cooked a casserole tonight with chicken and rice, made it up actually -- but I spilled the V8 Southwestern corn soup on the kitchen rug as I was spreading it on top of the rice which was on top of the chicken - all of which was on top of the stove.

Well, the dog was "on top" of that V8 Corn soup dollop in 3 seconds flat. He loves me to cook cuz he licks up all the drippings....such a good taste tester. Tho' not very discriminating come to think of it.

O well, my style? Cook some for the family and a bite or two for the kitchen rug...or dog as the case may be.

=)))) I love the idea of sharing understanding with your daughter....common links are so comforting.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

See, I told you there was a connection there with my daughter. Laughing Out Loud! Anne LOVES the V8 corn soup, and I can so see her being almost happy at spilling it (so long as there was enough left for her), because the dog will happily take care of the mess.

Yes, you girls are dog lovers. Well, you know me...Cin is here by some grace of something, although I'm not sure what it is. Maybe I need to look at her as a mop or vacuum sometimes. And then let her travel. LOL. ROTFLMAO.


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Hmmm... my philosophy on cleaning is "clean what you like to clean".  So the dog SHOULD clean the floor, because she enjoys it.  And I SHOULD clean your stove with Weiman's, because I enjoy it.  And I SHOULD find someone who enjoys vacuuming, because I need it done!

Omigosh, Marisue! Isn't that soup just the best?!? And you made a caserole with it? How did it turn out?

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Sally.  Don't forget that Murphy's cleans all the saddles and bridles in the barn, too.  Love you, love your hubs!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Annemaeve, I didn't know about Murphy's in the barn. So, it's good for leather, too? Do you have to treat the leather after you use the Murphy's? Do you use the commercially prepared spray, or do you dilute the stuff with water like I do? I'm seeing, maybe, a new way I can volunteer at Special Equestrians?

I knew you'd get a kick out of Marisue's story, primarily because of the soup.

Now, about cleaning. I agree with you completely. So please come by and clean the stove, and I will be happy to vacuum for you. Sigh. Sorry to say, there is a certain satisfaction I get out of sucking up all kinds of crap into a noisy hose.

Love you!


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA

Weiman's stove top, eh? I already love and use Murphy's for damn near everything, when I clean ( as little as possible) I thought a glass stove top would be easier to clean and it's not. Of course I abuse it. I roast chile peppers right on the top. hehe I'll certainly give it a try.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I had that misconception about glass stove tops, too, HD. Boy, was I in for a surprise. The best thing about them, though, is that nothing gets trapped underneath the burners, because there is no underneath the burners for things to fall into.

Roasting chile peppers right on top, huh? Well, I guess that would make a wee bit of a mess. 'Course, you could try heating an empty copper-bottomed tea kettle on high for a while, like my mother did once, but even that probably doesn't trump the roasted chiles.

Thanks for the fun comments!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona

I've never used any of the products you mentioned. Thanks for the recommendations!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Weiman's is absolutely fabulous, I know because my husband uses it on the stove-top and other things and gets them looking brand spankin new every time. Definitely a great recommend. He's also a fan of Pine-sol; but I myself can't stand the smell. Lately I've really gotten into method products. http://www.methodhome.com/ I think they're fabulous, work great, smell great; and they're green which makes me feel great about using them.

Great info, Sally. As usual. ;)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Shawna, thanks for stopping by to read and comment. You are welcome for the recommendations. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by all of them.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Frieda, you bring up an interesting point. I know a few people who can't stand the smell of Pine-Sol. They tell me it reminds them of hospitals and public restrooms. I wonder if these noses were introduced to the product under not so happy conditions, and that's why the dislike. Happily for me, my wonderful helper Eunice made the introduction first.

Thanks for the link to the method site. I'm not familiar with the products, but I see they are readily available near me. I think I'll give them a try.


issues veritas 7 years ago

Sally

What do you have for cleaning shower tiles.

Nothing works even when scrubbed.

Vinegar, bleach, clr, l.......


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

Hi Annemaeve!! I just love those soups, and used the corn one in a chicken and rice casserole for a saucy touch. It was delicious! I've also used the sweet red pepper one on top of meatloaf, adding about 1/3 cup into the mixture. Even my youngest son who doesn't favor meatloaf scarfed it up. Unfortunately for the dog, I didn't dribble any of it.

=)) yes, her hubs are wonderful!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Good question about cleaning shower tiles...one of my least favorite jobs.

For a heavy-duty mess, I use Bam or Tilex. These are not environmentally friendly products, but they do an excellent job. I'd love to hear from anyone who knows of a green product that will take care of mildew and soap scum in the shower as well as these two products.

As prevention is the best cure, try to stop mold and soap scum before they get a foothold by using a rubber squeegee, just like the kind you'd use for your car windows, only smaller and with a hole in the handle so you can hang it near the shower. After each shower, take just a moment to squeegee the walls and door. Then, leave the door open or the shower curtain pulled back until the shower area dries. If you do this religiously, all you will need for cleaning the tiles is Windex and paper towels.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, iv!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Marisue, those ideas sound wonderful! I'll make sure Anne gets the message. :)


issues veritas 7 years ago

Sally,

Thanks for the Bam and Tilex tip.

I will let you know my results when I get these products and actually use them.

I can tell you that Kaboom was a Kabust.


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Oh, I got the message, alright!

Marisue, I haven't tried any of the soups but the corn one, but adding sweet red peppers to meatloaf sounds DELISH! I don't know if I could put it on top, as mom and I always wrap our meatloaf in bacon (mmmmmmmm... bacon...), but maybe as a substitute for some of the ketchup inside!

Sally, you know you are always welcome at the barn! For routine cleaning of non-disgusting tack, we use a plain glycerin bar with a barely damp sponge, then rub dry with a towel. Murphy's is for the nasty nasties, and we use the same barely damp sponge, hold it over the Murphy's liquid bottle for a dab of soap, then scrub, sometimes lightly rinse, and rub dry with a towel. We're more likely to condition tack with neat's foot or Lexol after the Murphy's, because it is stronger than glycerin.

Tack cleaning is one of the most rewarding jobs in the barn - it caters to the OCD in all of us, it gets your nails beautifully clean, and it can be done in the heated tack room. I HIGHLY recommend it. Bring your own used toothbrush - I know you have one!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

iv, Kaboom being a Kabust is precious. Thanks for the warning.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Annemaeve, thanks for the reminder and refresher. I do remember some of the tack cleaning in the barn, but it was a long time ago. Oddly, I don't remember the Murphy's. From what you are saying, the Murphy's may not be very kind to leather, but it works great to get out grit and gunk, and then needs to be followed with a conditioner. But the key to this cleaning, which I see you know, is the most minimal amount of water possible.

We'll take the rest of this discussion offline, along with some Irish soda bread. :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I had never heard of Murphy's Soap until now, but I really want to try it.


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

Great products!!! I love Murphy's Oil Soap for cleaning wood!!! Another tip! If you have tile, and the grout gets dirty. Don't go out and buy grout cleaner!!! Spray the grout with vinegar, let it sit for a minute, then make a paste of baking soda and water. Scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. It gets the grout cleaner than grout cleaner and it's a lot cheaper!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

SweetiePie, Murphy's rocks. Glad you want to try it. It does magic on wood and painted surfaces. The official instructions say you need to rinse with clear water, but I've found through all these years, that rinsing is not necessary, so long as you don't gunk up the surface of what you are washing with too many suds. Just wring out that rag and scrub.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Anna, this is great news about vinegar and soda. I have a recurring problem with grout (my house is 35 years old, and so is the tile), where the grout traps moisture and breeds mold. I've been spraying it with bleach and scrubbing, and that's OK, except that bleach is obnoxious. Thanks so much for sharing. I've got my gallon of no-name vinegar, and I'm going to attack the grout with your recommendation on the next cleaning. Thanks so much!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I sort of agree with your mother - I'd rather go swimming or to the park on a Saturday morning than wash the kitchen floor!We try to use as few chemicals as possible, and vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are both very useful indeed.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LondonGirl, my mother would want to adopt you in a flat-assed minute. Thanks so much for your comment.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

bicarb is great for cleaning sinks, taps, and shower heads.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for that extra tip, LondonGirl.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Thanks for an interesting Hub. We both use Ecover cleaning products, as these are environmentally friendly. However, we find that the best way to keep the house clean is to employ a good cleaning lady (or chap).


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

2patricias, you are so right.  I don't know about Ecover (I will look that up), but I want to rely on Celange and Sven, the cleaning lady and the chap.  Unfortunately, they are both, sadly, imaginary!  LOL.  Thanks so much for your comment.


Imagin8tion 7 years ago

Great story and tips! Thanks for sharing this.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are quite welcome, Imagin8tion. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Meam Wye profile image

Meam Wye 6 years ago

Many kids will envy you for your care free weekends ;)


intriguewriter profile image

intriguewriter 6 years ago from worldwide

great article keep up the good work, i love articles about cleaning!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thank you both, Meam and Intrigue, for reading and commenting.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Meam Wye, you are so right. My young friends were quite jealous that I didn't have to spend a half-day on Saturday under on the dining room floor polishing the chair legs!

intriguewriter, thanks reading and leaving the good words.


Green Cleaning Products 6 years ago

The Weiman’s stove top cleaner really works miracles. Antiques don't look antiques after applying it. Way to go green.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Amen to the Weiman's. It's an antique lover's dream for cleaning glazed surfaces and glass. However, Weiman's is not necessarily a "green" product. But it is a way to restore old things to beauty.


Cleaning Services 6 years ago

Its also useful article! Your cleaning tips are greatly!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for stopping by, Cleaning Services. Nice to know these tips pass muster with a professional cleaning company.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

I am not familiar with Murphy's soap. I will look it up.

Thank you very much for these cleaning tips. I am already using Simple Green but I'd like to try the others too.

Thanks for sharing Sally!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are welcome, jill of alltrades! I'm glad to hear that you use Simple Green. It's not a very well-known household product, possibly because it used to be sold only in hardware stores, and then as an industrial-strength cleaner. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


kaycan profile image

kaycan 6 years ago from Indiana

After cleaning your stainless sinks, use baby oil to shine them. Just put a little on a clean cloth and shine.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kaycan, that's a fascinating idea! My Aunt Ronnie always "finishes" her sink with a dry paper towel to keep the water from spotting the shine. Those sinks really do need some kind of a treatment, because, unlike porcelain, they show everything. Thanks for the neat tip.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hey thanks for the Weiman's tip Sally. Here's some guy tips: While you're in the kitchen making a mess, just grab some ketchup and a wrag to polish the brass. If your water glass left a white ring, rub some mayonnaise on it and let it sit. If you burned the pot, pour your coca-cola regular into it and boil it and if you really want to impress your wife, pour a can of coke into the toilet and let it sit. It will clean that or grout. Yet another reason to keep ketchup, mayo and coke on hand for the guys. =:)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You're welcome, Winsome. Sounds like you've got some great meat for a household tips for guys Hub, maybe even book, or weekly column. Never heard of finding cleaning supplies in the refrigerator...what a cool idea!


Miragi profile image

Miragi 5 years ago from Ohio

Great work....I use 3 of the 4 listed here and can totally attest to their worth. Look forward to reading more of your hubs!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for reading and leaving the good words, Miragi.


ellahall2011 profile image

ellahall2011 5 years ago

Such an excellent hub featuring your apartment. I like the way you manage it with cleaning products.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

ellahall2011, I loved that little apartment, my first. It was so much easier to clean than the houses I've had! Through all the years from then to now, I'm still using the same basic cleaning products...they do a fantastic job.


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

Murphy's is great stuff. I love good cleaning products but your mom's priorities were right-on, too! Nice hub!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Murphy's has been around in my life for so long that the scent of it is as comforting as the fragrance of a roasting chicken. Glad to hear of another Murphy's fan! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Sinea.


Benoitsmidget profile image

Benoitsmidget 4 years ago from Boston

Great Hub. I loved all your suggestions, only problem is I hate the smell of Murphy's Oil Soap and Simple Green. I grew up with my mom using Fantastik for everything. I've learned over the years that this works great on EVERYTHING (except wood, which I use Pledge for). Thanks for sharing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Benoitsmidget, I enjoyed your comment. I guess it's what we grow up with. Fantastik was never a part of my mother's house, unless it was the 78 RPM vinyl record playing the score from the theater production. LOL


lorraine 4 years ago

pine sol has a new scent! It is blue and smells wonderfully fresh!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Lorraine, I haven't tried that one yet. Thanks for the heads up!


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 4 years ago

I laughed as I read this hub, at the same time learning some cleaning tips from you. Great hub !


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, Ingenira. Glad you enjoyed with a good laugh!


CR Rookwood profile image

CR Rookwood 4 years ago from Moonlight Maine

I love this hub. Thank you! I've been using Murphy's on wood for years, but I never thought to use it on linoleum. We have these shabby vinyl floors in the mudroom that I've been wanting to polish off without waxing them, and I'm going to give that a try. Also, next shopping trip I'm adding Simple Green and Weiman's to my list. Thumbs up! ;)


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Excellent hub! I will be adding Murphy's Oil Soap to my arsenal of cleaning products on my next shopping trip, and Weiman's cook top cleaner as well. Wonderful!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

CR Rookwood, thank you for the good words!

Murphy's will not impart any kind of a polish to shabby vinyl floors, but it will clean the heck out of them and make your house smell great.

Enjoy the Simple Green. It's an amazing grease-cutter, smells great, and doesn't cause any environmental harm. But, caution...wear rubber gloves. It's not kind to sensitive skin.

I think Weiman's has uses that haven't yet been discovered. We know it's great for glass-topped stoves and for removing lime and scale deposits from antique glassware and glazed porcelain and ceramics. Recently, I found it a fantastic solution to removing utensil scratch marks from vintage enamel bowls (think Rachel Ray and her vintage kitchen's Swedish enamel bowls). I think we've just "scratched the surface" of Weiman's utility.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Teresa Coppens, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I hope these products work well for you and that you also discover new uses for them. :)

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