Right now, I’m handling Country Life from our southern bastion in North Carolina. My husband works for a Really Big Company That’s Based In Ohio, but they have facilities here. My sense of the seasons is a little bit earlier than that of my co-workers up north at Lehman’s in Kidron, and I’m ready to start spring cleaning!
Some of my best cleaning tips came from my grandfather. Geezer was a school custodian. Talk about an efficient worker–he never wasted a minute. And when he cleaned things, even using ‘natural’ solutions, he always wore rubber gloves. You should too.
Lemons and borax: Cleans stainless steel, tile, shower surrounds, grout. Make a paste with lemon juice and borax, smear on the trouble spots. Let set a few moments, while you clean something else. Rinse with water, and dry with a lint-free towel. (My favorite is our Flour Sack Towel.)
- Keep household metals shiny: Once polished, be sure to buff well–you want shiny, not sticky. (Try Met-All Aluminum and Stainless, Met-All Brass and Copper Cleaner, or Flitz Metal Polish.) Next time you clean, you can wipe fingerprints right off with a Flour Sack Towel dampened in warm water. If you do this weekly, even your doorknobs will gleam. Renew the polish every few months.
Vinegar and hot water will take crud off any no-wax (linoleum) floor, kitchen or bath. Use full strength vinegar on really grimy areas, or mop the floor with a solution of two cups vinegar to 4-5 gallons of water. If you have an oiled wood floor, use 1 cup vinegar to 5 gallons warm water. Once the floor is dry, oil floor with lemon or orange oil for wood. (I did this monthly in my Amish farmhouse, with mopping weekly with just warm water in between.)
Salt and baking soda are excellent abrasives for tile, countertops, grout, bath surfaces and kitchen surfaces. Squeeze a lemon or add a bit a water to make a runny paste, and scrub the stain or crusty spot with a towel or small sponge dampened in warm water. The salt and baking soda will rinse cleanly, with no chemical residue. Like Soft Scrub? Use a 50/50 vinegar water solution to one part salt and one part baking soda. Adjust the dry ingredients until the texture suits you. Dip it out and rub on surface to cleaned with sponge or soft cloth.
- Make your time work for you: If you have to spray a solution on a surface, and wait for it to work, clean something else in the same room in the meantime. Geezer would erase the blackboard, then spray a cleaning solution on each desk in a room. While the cleaning solution ‘worked’, he’d wash the blackboard, then wipe down the desks. (If my brother and I were with him, we got to wash the blackboard!)
And a bonus! This tip’s from me: Embrace microfiber! Our Chemical-Free Microfiber Mop (shown above) is the best. The microfiber’s texture actually pulls grime from the floor’s surface. And if you have pets, like we do, you’ll love the way it snags pet hair and doesn’t let it float around in the wash bucket. (Ick!) Best of all, the mop head is machine washable. Toss it in, and before you know it, it’s clean and ready for the next job. It works well as a ‘dust mop’ on wood and hard floors too. Double-duty from one handy mop.
What are your favorite tips to make spring cleaning easier?