House Cleaning: Using Vinegar and Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
Purchase a squirt bottle...about a quart size... add water and vinegar to the bottle. PRIOR TO MOPPING...VACUUM THE ENTIRE AREA FIRST...so you do not just drag around dust hair, and grains of sand or dirt.
Spray on areas you wish to clean including floors.
Rinse your mop often and wring out well before moving to a new section of floor.
You may wonder what makes me think I can promote vinegar and water for cleaning. Well I clean two very large houses...one is fourteen rooms...and that one is cleaned each week...it takes about six hours.
The other one is smaller in room size but the square footage is almost the same as the 14 room one is.
The cleaner I use on the floors (wood in one house, tile in the other) is vinegar and water. I use only a small amount of vinegar in the water...in a gallon about two tablespoons. Yes that is enough. It gets the job done. And if you use more vinegar it will leave the house smelling sour.
Use vinegar and water to clean your beautiful granite counter tops. Squirt on, let set if a dried on spill is there. Rub well to cleanse. For a lovely shine...go back over with a soft cloth to buff.
Most cleaning supplies are kept in one spot.
Just when you thought, all of the uses of vinegar were exhausted...yet another one appears.
Somehow hard water spots appeared on my car. I washed it at the car wash, at home, several times, and the pesky spots clung tightly to the finish of my Honda Fit.
My friend said "Google it!!" (which I usually do). I did. And the results are in...view them in the box below.
A New Tip ---Just Learned
If your toilet seems sluggish or has a mild clog, pour about one fourth cup of Dawn into the bowl and let set for about an hour. Less time may work but I am uncertain about that.Then flush.
It removes the clog.
It may work on a more serious clog---have not tried that yet.
I read this somewhere...senior moments are causing me to not remember where but it is a goodie.
To Remove Hard Water Spots From Your Vehicle....
1. Wash your car carefully.
2. Using full strength vinegar and a soft cloth or sponge, wash a small section at a time with vinegar, rubbing forcefully.
3. Rinse and move on to the next section repeating until the whole car is done.
4. Use a soft cloth to dry your vehicle.
5. Voila ...spots are gone...
6. For those spots that were 'missed', repeat the procedure.
Cleaning your house can be fun Okay then, maybe not fun. Surely not funny.Maybe not even amusing. But it does not have to be as much work as it has been in the past.
There is one secret that is above all others: Keep on top of it. If you do a little cleaning every day then it will not own you on your day off. If you are a stay at home Mom, you never get a day off. So doing a little each day is a way for you to juggle all you do as Mom that is not about house keeping.
One more tip about Dawn.....are the ways to use it endless?
Use on ant mounts...pour full strength Dawn on ant mounds. It kills the ants, dead!!
Now if the ants where you live are like the ones where I live, the ones that do not die, pack up in a hurry, and move to a new location. And, that is my hint to go out with my Dawn.
(Yes, there are other ways to deal with ants....another hub of mine mentions them but this does work.)
Some may balk at the use of vinegar but it is that or allow further damage to your car or hiring a professional to the tune of seventy five dollars or so (and rumor has it they use the same system as is mentioned here).
Pesky insects on your plants
I also use a dawn and vinegar solution to keep the pesky insects in check who dine on my plants outside. I keep it in a squirt bottle and use as needed.
Plan and organize
- Make a list of all of the housekeeping chores.
- Decide which chores can be delegated, outsourced, to members of the family. If you have not done this in the past, be prepared for wailing and gnashing of teeth. After that calms down, remind everyone that they live there too so everyone helps keep it clean, orderly, and a place where someone can drop in unexpectedly and it will be fine.
- Assign the ones you can, be sure they are age appropriate. The rest will fall to you and your spouse or partner.
- Organize cleaning products and tools so they are all in the same spot each time someone needs to use them. Most cleaning supplies at my house are kept in the hanging shoe bag that is pictured. It hangs over the door and the pockets are perfect for storing almost any size can or bottle.
More Great Uses for Vinegar...Try Some of These
Cleaning the shower
- Clean the sink each day with a cleanser that will sanitize it.
- Shower/Tub--Rinse out and spray with a mixture of Dawn dish washing liquid and white vinegar if necessary. You may not need to use this each day unless you have a large family and only one shower. It cuts down in the long run if you can do it once a day.
- ---Show everyone where the laundry hamper is or where the laundry is so that wet or dirty towels and clothing can be taken there. YOU do not need to do it all.
- Mop the floor once a week and shake rugs. Wash them about every two weeks unless they are showing they are obviously in need of a bath sooner.
- Toilet---check the toilet bowl and seat daily. It may need attention.
Attach paper towel to mop
- Sink---wash out using a white vinegar and water mixture. Include fixtures as well.
- Counters--quick wipe using vinegar/water solution.
- Wipe down the stove top and vent.
- Microwave? Check it...a quick wipe might be in order. Remember you are delegating.
- Wipe the refrigerator door and shelves inside if needed.
--if spills have occurred on the shelves or inside door storage, wipe down to avoid a stuck on glop that may take a chisel to remove later.
- Check the floor. if it needs a quick mop, go ahead. Late in the evening, after everyone is in bed or has at least retired for the evening is a great time to do it.
- Trash? Does it need to go out? Again, delegate.
You Need to Know...
- Purchase a bottle of Dawn dish foam.
- Pour about 3/4 of the liquid into another plastic container.
- Next, fill Dawn foam bottle with water; gently turn a few times.
Ready to use.
It works equally as well as 'full strength" and saves you many dimes
There may be a time when you wish to use full strength when you have particularly oily dishes and silverware.
You Can Dilute Dawn
Dishes and Pots & Pans
If you still hand wash your dishes or for dishes that have stubborn food stuck to them, put the dish or pot or pan in your sink, add a bit of water and a couple of teaspoons of Dawn. Let sit while you complete chores.
This simple step will make removing baked on/cooked on foods from your cooking utensils a breeze. When you go back the pan will, in most cases, easily come clean. If not, repeat the step.
Do you have a plan of attack for cleaning?
Mopping the floors will depend on the type of floor you have. Wood floors will require different cleaning products than a tile or vinyl flooring.
- Choose your cleaner. I use a vinegar and water solution on the vinyl and tile but follow the suggestions given for your type of flooring at the time of purchase. For trouble spots, I spray the area and let it sit while I go on and mop some other area. When I return usually the soiled area is easily cleaned.
- A tip about Swiffer cleaners---I have a Swiffer that is just the basic mop. It comes with a few pads to clean the floor with and then you need to purchase more which is expensive. I discovered one time when i was out of the pads that a paper towel fits perfectly. Press it into the holes on the back of the Swiffer and you are good to go. I like it as i can get under areas with it that my other mops sometimes would not reach. My preferred towel for this a Viva as they are cloth-like.
- I mop my kitchen several times a week. That's just me. The towels are barely soiled when i finish because the floors are mopped so often. You do what works for you and your family.
- The rest of the house gets mopped as needed.
A Little History Lesson About Dawn and Cleaning OIl From Birds.
Maybe you would like to consider this
Insisting that three items in the first list be tended to daily should be the priority. After those things are done daily: Close the door if you do not wish to see the state of the room. If nothing is crawling out from under the door, it is probably okay in there. For weekly cleaning, you can plead, ask, beg, or cajole the occupants of the room to straighten it up. You may have already devised a more workable way to get children to keep their rooms the way you want them. The key there is---it is their room (I know it's your house and all) so they should be allowed to keep it how they want it within reason. Set the parameters and you all will have less headaches over it. Choose which battles are important enough to wage.
The bedroom is an entity unto itself. Bedrooms take on a life of their own especially for kids of all ages. You will decide what clean means to you:
Does it mean-#1
- No trash on the floor
- Trash can in the room is not overflowing
- No dishes or cups anywhere in the room
Or, does it mean--#2
- everything listed above plus--
- bed made
- everything in its place
Once you have decided, then you can include that in a weekly plan.
Many homes have wall-to-wall carpet. In that case little or no mopping occurs except maybe the kitchen or bathrooms. The vacuum becomes the best friend.
- Vacuum as often as you feel a need. This one is up to you. Again, as an age appropriate chore, this can be delegated.
- Keep your vacuum in tip top shape by changing bags or emptying canisters often.
- Wind cords up appropriately so that when you are ready to vacuum the next time the cord is ready and does not need to be untangled.
Living room/ family room/dining room
Cleaning these rooms usually can be kept to a minimum with a little attention.
- Run a vacuum in there once or twice a week.
- Have everyone pick up and clean up after eating or snacking in either of those rooms.
- Dusting once a week or every two weeks will keep dusting to a minimum.
--Run a duster along the baseboards and over tables and curios every few weeks, more often if you have time without feeling stressed. This could be a task that is delegated so that it can be done more often than if you were doing it.
Full view of the shoe bag storage container for cans and bottles
House cleaning can be the albatross around you neck. It can be something you despise doing. It does not have to be iF you, plan, organize, delegate and get 'r done.
DELEGATE That is KEY.
- Maybe twice a year, I do remove all of my curios and individually dust them.( I do a walk around and see if they are really in need of individual cleaning) If not, I lightly dust them weekly.
- Mirrors too get attention. I do not really have them on a schedule. If they are looking less than sparkly, it's time.
- The oven does get cleaned when it is needed. I do not use it as much as I do my toaster oven which I clean often like I do my microwave.
- If you have a high energy washer, running a cycle of baking soda helps keep odor at bay. Another trick is to leave the door and the tray where bleach/soap are added open so they can dry between washings.
- There are many products that are known as green products available however you can make your own green products at home at much less expense. I try to use vinegar and water as much as possible for as many chores as possible. It leaves the house feeling fresh and clean. Baking soda is also another great product to have available to help out with daily cleaning.
Suggestions are kind of like opinions ...we all have them. Do what works for you.
Add 1 cup of vinegar to your wash ( I add with detergent). You can add in the rinse compartment if you wish. It freshens your laundry and softens fabrics too.
© 2012 Patricia Scott