Thursday, February 14, 2013

Are We Cleaning or Making a Salad?

I used to wonder what all the hoopla was about natural cleaners. I mean, I never had any problem with them. They sound like a good idea. But I'd kind of think to myself, "What's wrong with my regular soaps? It's not like anyone's eating them. And I never hear anything about anyone dying from soap poisoning."

Kudos if you get this.
But I can always appreciate finding new uses for stuff I already have. Especially if that means I don't have to go buy other stuff.

So on Tuesday, I was on a major cleaning kick. (*Ahem* read procrastinating homework. Senioritis is kicking in.) I started out by ordering a pizza (which I didn't know this at the time, but it was absolutely necessary to my cleaning spree. No extra dirty dishes, not tired from just cooking or trying to find something to cook before our next shopping trip, trying to kill 40 minutes while I wait for the pizza to get here. It's a recipe for success) and then hit the kitchen hard.

You probably don't care, but I'm proud of it, so here it is:

The To-did List:

Washed dishes (my least favorite thing next to laundry. Well, It depends on the day.)
Wiped down the sink
Wiped down the table and placemats
Cleaned the stove top and counter
Got out our new swiffer mop and took it for a spin!

And then I took all our cleaning supplies over to the bathroom, but Kam told me I had to stop because the pizza would be here in 5 seconds (he'd just gotten off the phone with the pizza guy, who needed directions). I counted to 5 and it wasn't here yet, so I picked up my spray bottle and he said,

"Dang it! Ok, now 5 seconds!"

"No, I don't believe you. You said that last time."

"1, 2, 3, 4"

The doorbell rang. So he was pretty close.

So we ate our pizza, and then I got back to work.

This is where the handy home cleaning ingredients come in.

I pulled out pinterest and decided to look through one of those lists of cleaning tips that I had never actually tried. I wanted to polish the faucets really well, and I had read somewhere that olive oil was good for that. Or baby oil, or turtle wax, or car wax.

Well, all I had was canola oil, but hey. They all sound kind of the same, right?

So I got that out. And then I started clearing off the shelf above the toilet and (wouldn't you know it) someone forgot to put the lid down, and it didn't occur to me to close it since I was just about to clean it anyway. So as I pulled one item off the shelf a short domino effect (also known as bumping something and knocking it over) led to one of Kam's personal items falling in the toilet. Which neither of us was thrilled about (I was really impressed with Kam's response, though. 'Kam... your case fell in the toilet...' 'Why?' 'Because I bumped it when I was getting something else.' 'Why?' 'Because I was trying to clean off the shelf.' *Sigh* 'But I'll go sanitize it!' And after I did he thanked me for it. Pah! Thanked me for dropping his things in the toilet...).

Enter disinfectant! Since this is something Kam uses a lot, I wanted to make sure it was really clean, but I wasn't putting any chemicals on it that could irritate his skin. So I filled up a pot with water and put it on the stove. While I waited for this to boil, I washed the case in white vinegar (It works as a disinfectant, you guys!). Then, (because the case was plastic and I wasn't sure if it would melt) I waited for the boiling water to cool down just a little bit and put the case in the sanitized water and washed the vinegar off (because who wants anything completely covered in vinegar?). Ta-da!

Then it was back to work (after putting the toilet lid down). After my typical mirrors, sink, shelves, and back of the toilet routine, I got the canola oil out. What could it hurt, right? I rubbed it over everything that was silver in the bathroom (I got a little carried away), but it worked! It worked like crazy! The only thing I almost forgot was to rub it down with a paper towel after you apply the oil with a cloth. Otherwise, you will have some slippery faucets.

So as I finished up the rest of the bathroom, I found myself scrubbing the toilet with some Clorox product that worked pretty well, but I couldn't help but ask myself, "Wait a minute, Chloe. You didn't use any ammonia based products on this toilet, did you? I know you don't think you did, but think really hard. You might have used one on the sink, right? Could the chemicals from the sink float into the air and mix with the chemicals in the toilet? I wonder if that's possible. I don't know, I'm starting to feel a little lightheaded. Is that from bending over this toilet for so long or from noxious gases? Quick, turn on the fan! I can feel it getting to my head! Oh, Chloe. You worry about everything. You're such a drama queen." And then the toilet was clean.

My next train of thought came as I was mopping the bathroom floor. It was basically this, "It's probably better to clean the bathroom with salad dressings than to keep worrying if I'm killing myself every time I try to clean." So we'll see what develops in that department. What I think I need most desperately is a really good natural toilet bowl cleaner.

To finish up this insanely long cleaning post, I'd like to offer my short list of Chloe-tried and Chloe-approved alternative cleaning products:

Oils - shine stainless steel and chrome
Vinegar - natural, safe disinfectant
Milk - helps remove dark reddish stains (chocolate, coffee, blood)
Sunscreen - takes permanent marker off whiteboards, skin, and sometimes even walls (not "natural" but good to know)

Does anyone else have any good experiences with crazy cleaning tips they've actually tried out?

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