Monday, October 4, 2010

Let the fall cleaning begin!

The air is finally starting to feel cool and crisp.  Around my house that means it is time to begin the annual tradition of fall cleaning.  I of course clean my house on a fairly frequent basis.  With two little kids and a dog there is hardly a day that goes by without at least a little cleaning.  I kick it into high gear in the fall (and again in the spring) though.  I love to air out the house and clean every nook and cranny before the weather becomes cold and we spend all day in the house.  To keep myself organized I have a binder with several pages of cleaning and organizing tasks to be completed for each area of the house.  I love crossing those tasks off the list!

If you spend much time in the cleaning aisle at the grocery store you might believe that you need all kinds of chemicals to get your house spic and span.  I don't think this is true.  The dirt might be gone but there could be a chemical residue in its place.  I clean the majority of my house using vinegar, water, and baking soda. Ben is one of those toddlers that is into everything and not remotely slowed down by standard babyproofing.  I can store my cleaning products under the sink with ease knowing that he can't be poisoned.

Vinegar is effective against some molds, bacteria, and germs.  I fill a new spray bottle about 1/3-1/2 full with distilled white vinegar and fill the rest with water.  This is a great multi-purpose cleaner.  I use it to clean my kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, dining room table, and any other nonporous surface.  It is also a fantastic window cleaner.  I think it does a better job cutting through the greasy fingerprints that seem to appear constantly on my windows and glass door than commercial cleaners.  Vinegar is an extremely useful and economical cleaner.  I buy those huge containers of distilled white vinegar for a couple of bucks and it lasts about 6 months.  $3 for 6 months worth of a multi-purpose cleaner is a great deal!

Have you ever seen those massive boxes of baking soda at BJ's and wondered who buys them?  I do!  Baking soda has a ton of uses, not just limited to cleaning.  I like to clean the bathtub with baking soda.  I hate to clean the tub with yucky chemicals and then give the kids a bath later.  I feel like they are sitting in chemical soup instead of fresh water.  I don't have that problem when I use baking soda.  Baking soda is nontoxic and safe enough to eat.  Sometimes I even add it to the tub to help with any diaper area redness.  My kids love when I clean the drains with baking soda and vinegar.  I just sprinkle in some baking soda and pour on the vinegar.  The drain fizzes right up, which always makes the kiddos laugh.  I then clear the drain with hot water.  Here are a few more ways to clean with baking soda.

With a little bit of planning and elbow grease you can naturally clean your home. Here are a few websites that offer specific cleaning advice:
The natural way to clean everything in your house
66 All natural cleaning solutions 
Natural cleaning recipes 

What fall cleaning tasks do you have planned?  How do you use natural cleaners?


Karla said...

This is great! I'm looking forward to checking out the links you posted. I've been using baking soda a lot and realizing that the store/chemical cleaners are unnecessary! But I didn't know about the vinegar. I'll be doing this too now.

Cait said...

I would *love* to look at your cleaning binder! I need a list like that. :)

Jennifer said...

Caitie you are welcome to check it out when you come over on Friday :-)