Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm in love with vinegar.

I have been wanting to reduce the amount of very handy, but questionable cleaning products that are in our house. I have seen a lot of wonderful blog posts with different recipes. Lately, I have been cleaning everything (EVERYTHING) with vinegar and baking soda. I was inspired by Libby's post on creating cleaning baskets for her friends for the holidays. Here is what is in my cleaning basket:

Vinegar spray. This is simply 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water. Vinegar smells when it's wet, but when it dries, you don't smell anything!

Baking soda. This is in a Dollar Store cheese-for-your-pizza shaker. I wanted a plastic one (this one is glass) but I was too impatient and got this.  I use the baking soda from the refrigerator for absorbing yucky smells- when it's outlived it's usefulness there, it goes in my cheese shakers for cleaning!

Microfiber cloth. These were from Ross (Dress for Less).  I love the primary colors.  They SCREAM 'Clean with me!'  (At least in my head.  It's fun when inanimate objects talk to me.)

Scrubbrush.  This one is from the Dollar Store and it is lovely.

Rubber gloves.  Always nice to wear when you don't want skin on toilet contact.

Not pictured:
"Magic Eraser". I love LOVE the official Magic Eraser from Mr. Clean. I found an off-brand at the Dollar Store. I think they work about 1/2 as well as the official brand. Next time I will pay more for the real thing. Do you know how fast it will clean your tub and tile? SO FAST. So nice!

Rags. Marshall picked some up years ago at Home Depot and I use them all over the house. It's much better than paper towels! I recently found some flat fold diapers on Etsy that gave me an idea for functional and sweet (and much better looking) rags. So I went out and bought some of the same fabric from Joann's with my 40% off coupon. Now I just need to hem them up and dye them all those pretty shades of green!  (Translation = 10 years from now when I find this fabric in a pile in my craft room I might get around to this...)

Toothbrushes (old), and a dust pan and broom. Handy tools for all those cleaning tasks.

I currently keep one of these baskets of cleaning products on each floor of the house. It really saves me going up and down the stairs when I need to clean something or mop up a quick mess.

One of the most brilliant ideas I have seen is this one, again from Libby. It's a vinegar laundry softener. The Downy ball was only $1.63 at my local Fred Meyer! There are times I add vinegar to my wash load just to get my whites whiter, and to take smells or stains out of clothing. The 1/2 and 1/2 vinegar water spray seems to take out most mild stains out of clothing.

I can't wait to try this great laundry soap! I even have all of the ingredients. My sister Elizabeth (no blog *yet* but super talented- with lovely Etsy shops!) has made this one and she likes it.

And here is a link to all the wonderful things vinegar (and other household ingredients) can do in your home! I look at this page all the time for ideas.

Some things I can't live without (when I am cleaning anyway):

My Shark Steam Mop. Kind of spendy, totally worth it. I use it every few days to clean all the hardwood floors and tile in the house. All it uses is electricity, steam, and distilled water. I love that there are no chemicals. And it really goes quickly. Believe me, I was washing the floors by hand before and well, that wasn't going to last long.

And, my one holdout in the cleaning department that doesn't qualify as a "green" cleaning solution- OxiClean Laundry Spray and OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder.  I use the powder to pre-soak stained clothing.  I dissolve the powder with a kettle full of boiling water in a large bowl, then place stained items in the bowl.  Usually, most stains disappear!  If it doesn't work the first time, I do it again.  I use the OxiClean Spray on light stains and it is also super effective.

What are your favorite cleaning solutions or cleaning tips?


  1. Good for you for greening up your cleaning! I'm a big fan of vinegar and baking soda, too. When I had a flat-top stove, I found that baking soda and lemon juice easily cleaned off even the most disgusting, crusty messes. I am a huge fan of this little book _Clean: The Humble Art of Zen Cleansing_ by Micahel De Jong. It has instructions for how to clean EVERYTHING with just: baking soda, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and borax. And it's only like $7 on Amazon. :)

  2. Great post Angie! A lot of people don't like to make the laundry soap because it takes a 5 gal bucket but I store mine out of sight and put a generous amount in a glass cookie jar by my machines. Another great cleaner I found is pure pine oil from http It only takes a tsp. for the entire bathroom.

  3. This is such a great post. I really want to try the laundry soap but somehow I never seem to get round to it. All your ideas seem spot on...I may have to try and make a cleaning bucket soon:)

  4. I'm in love with vinegar, too!


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