“Everybody wants to save the earth; no one wants to help mom do the dishes.” – P.J. O’Rourke
Cleaning, it’s inevitable. At least if you want things to be clean. Some people think I love to clean. What I like is for things to BE clean. I can literally feel my serotonin levels increasing as I watch something come clean. You may get this feeling too, or perhaps you’re only reading this to find some useful tips to make cleaning easier. Either way, I think you will enjoy hearing about five professional cleaning secrets I love and use.
1) Olive Oil
Yes, olive oil. You know how you spend good time wiping off all the food smudges and water splatter on your fridge only to still see a bunch of fingerprints? Try this: use a drop of olive oil (or baby oil) on a paper towel to shine stainless steel to get rid of any fingerprints after you wipe it clean. This will also help it stay cleaner for a longer period. Going with the grain of the stainless, buff in the oil then wipe off any excess with a clean paper towel.
2) Steam Cleaners
High heat is better than soaps and chemicals. This is true for a lot of things, but one of the best ways to clean your floors is with a steam cleaner. You will get a better clean, and you won’t be left with sticky residue from soaps and chemicals. You can find steam cleaners for hardwood and tile floors as well as for carpets.
3) White Chalk
Keep plain white chalk in your laundry room. Anytime you have a grease stain, rub the chalk on it and launder as usual. This should work on butter, cooking oils, salad dressings, and more. If you don’t have any chalk, you can sprinkle some cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain. Just let it set for 10 minutes so it can soak up the oils from the clothing (or stuffed animal), then wash.
4) White Vinegar
I like to keep some white vinegar in a spray bottle. Vinegar is excellent for water spots and mineral deposits (like the ones on bathroom and kitchen faucets). Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe off. The acid in the vinegar will do the hard work of breaking down deposits and help those faucets shine! You can also douse your shower head, where those mineral deposits build up and just let that sit overnight then rinse off in the morning. I also keep a large bottle of white vinegar in my laundry room. Instead of fabric softener, I’ll pour the vinegar into the fabric softener slot. The white vinegar not only helps breakdown mineral deposits in my washer, but it also softens fabric without leaving residue and helps get rid of musty odors from bathroom and kitchen towels.
5) Real Vanilla
I love the smell of vanilla and real vanilla is not cheap so you’ll have to decide if you want to waste that stuff on cleaning when you need it for your chocolate chip cookies. Here are a few things I use vanilla on (besides tasty treats). It must be the good stuff though, real vanilla, because that has natural alcohol in it that helps break down bacteria and keep bad odors away. After I clean our igloo cooler, I dry it really well. Then put some little vanilla on a paper towel and wipe the interior (including the interior of the lid) of the cooler. After the vanilla is applied, close it up and store it. Next time you open that thing, it is going to be a breath of yummy vanilla instead of a stale, musty odor. I also use vanilla to wipe down our microwave after I’ve cleaned and dried it. It smells so good the next time I go to reheat my coffee that I never seem to get finished.
I’m excited for you to try these products out the next time you clean. What I like most about all of these cleaning tips is they work and don’t require adding chemicals into your home.
Edwina is the President and co-owner of clean R cans. Check out her other articles www.cleanRcans.com/blog