PASSIONATE ABOUT THE RALEIGH AREA
AND THE MOMS WHO LIVE HERE

Spring Cleaning

Spring Clean Raleigh Moms Blog image

Want to guess my favorite thing about spring? Cleaning. It sounds warped, I know, but we’ve had a little extra time inside lately and I swear, it’s driving me nuts. For some reason I am feeling organic and all-natural these days, so this year’s spring clean will feature Grandma’s tried and true, all-natural cleaning methods.

My Grandma Myrtle could always be counted on for three things: little mini glass-bottled Cokes (hidden in the sun porch closet); that nasty gold-colored Listerine in the paper cylinder under her sink; and vinegar. I think that woman may have bathed in vinegar here and there for good measure. I always remember her house being spotless, though, so let’s dig into this all-natural-vinegar-cleaning thing.

Did you know you can use vinegar to:

  • Clean your hard-surface floors: Use a 1-1 ratio of vinegar and water to clean hard-surface floors. Be careful on porous/un-sealed wood surfaces.
  • Clean windows and mirrors: for a streak-free shine, use a paper coffee filter dipped in a half vinegar-half water solution (not the most eco-friendly, but definitely streak-free).
  • De-germ your bathroom: Put full-strength vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz over surfaces, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. For toilets, pour in a full cup of vinegar and let it sit – minimum 10 minutes, maximum overnight – then flush.
  • Remove hard water stains: mix 1 tsp vinegar with 2 tbsp salt. Do not use on soft/porous surfaces.
  • For super scrubbing powers, mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda or salt. This will remove stains from coffee/teacups among other things. Again, not for use on soft surfaces; it will scratch.
  • Get paint out of a paint brush: Soak for at least an hour in pure vinegar. Heat on stove until the vinegar is near-boiling, then rinse brushes and pan thoroughly.

Let’s talk lemons…this is something I always have around, but rarely use. Lemon is awesome for:

  • Getting stains and smells off cutting boards (wood, plastic, you name it)
  • Getting stains and smells off your hands: Just rub fresh-cut lemon all over and rinse off. (Tip: if this doesn’t work, my restaurant-biz bestie says to rub your hands on a stainless steel surface.)
  • Cleaning toilets: Drain the water, swish in some fresh lemon juice or rub fresh-cut lemons over the interior surfaces. Let it sit 10 minutes, then brush out and turn the water back on.
  • Removing fabric stains: Cut a lemon in half, then sprinkle the stain with salt. Rub the lemon over the salt and let sit for 10-30 minutes. Wash as usual.
  • Surface scrubbing: Sprinkle baking soda on the surface of a cut lemon and use it to remove tough dish stains.
  • Furniture polish: Mix 1 cup olive oil with half a cup of lemon juice (2-3 lemons). Use this just like you’d use a “normal” furniture polish.

Baking Soda has been mentioned a few times already; here are some more uses for it:

  • Teeth whitener: wet your toothbrush and dip into baking soda, then add toothpaste and brush as usual.
  • De-odor-izer: Set a small dish of baking soda in the fridge and freezer to absorb odors. You can also sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your trash bag/can to absorb those odors as well.
  • Silver cleaner: 3 parts baking soda to one part water. I definitely prefer this to that slimy silver cleaning cream!

What are your favorite tried and true spring cleaning tricks?

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