Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Elbow Grease

You know, Aimee, my best friend of well over 20 years (we won't say how many so that we don't age ourselves, here, LOL) once told me that to get something REALLY clean, all it took was "a lot of really hot water and elbow grease". After using cleaner after cleaner and never really being satisfied with any of the results, I grew to embrace that philosophy. And I still hold to that.

Store-bought cleaners are nothing more that money making schemes and chemicals that are harmful to us, our children, and our pets. I made a promise that I would stop buying those that are not certified to be "green" (and am holding to that) but I also started to make a plan to make many of my own. Not necessarily to "clean" - let's face it, you can't GET much cleaner than scrubbing a counter for three or four minutes with soap and hot water. No, these are more sanitizers than cleaners. Now, we can buy a bottle of chemical sanitizer or buy those cool wipes (which I, admittedly, use on occasion), but why waste money and add chemicals to our home when we can make our own that is safe?

Generally speaking, I use two types of household sanitizer - I use a food-grade one for the kitchen and a bleach-based one for the bathroom (mostly bleach). The recipes are so simple - simply one part vinegar or bleach to four parts water. That's it. I mix these up in bottles and keep them in their prospective places. The food grade one is great for counters, cutting boards, sinks, etc. The other is perfect for toilet areas, bathroom sinks, and bathtubs or showers. Incidentally, you can switch out the vinegar/bleach for ammonia, which works great on glass!

So that's it - to get anything really, REALLY clean, all you need is some soap, hot water, and a sanitizer.

Oh yeah, and some of Aimee's elbow grease . . .

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