Monday, February 21, 2011

Thanks :)

Just a little note just to say thank you for the support.

I am so glad that there are others out there who appreciate my little tips.  If you have any time or money saving things that you do around your home I would love to feature your ideas!

Doing Laundry

Quick tip:  Don't use expensive, perfumed fabric softeners anymore! Just use white vinegar.

My husband has very sensitive skin, so I have to use a free and clear detergent.  But these leaves the clothes looking a little less white, less soft, and less fresh.  To boost the cleaning power of the detergent, and leave clothes softer, cleaner and whiter I fill a Downy ball with white vinegar and toss it in.  Vinegar also is great for colors too because it fights color fade.

When you remove the clothing from the washer, it may smell faintly of vinegar.  DON'T WORRY!  After the clothes dry in the drier or by air drying the smell will completely evaporate.

If you can't part with the fragrance of fabric softener, use a dryer sheet.  That will be enough fragrance.  I even tear my dryer sheets in half or reuse them for more than one load to save a few more pennies!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When do you have time to...?

I hate cleaning the shower.  It takes too much time and I always get soaking wet trying to rinse the walls.  So I devised an easy, but strange solution: I clean the shower right before I shower.

After I clean the house, or whenever I decide that the mildew can no longer be ignored, I spray the shower down with whatever I am using to clean.  For touch-ups I'll use the eucalyptus cleaner, but for once-a-month scrub downs I'll use something more heavy duty like Lysol bathroom cleaner or CLR.  I spray it and  leave it for a while and turn on the bathroom fan thing so I won't die of fumes.  10-15 minutes later I grab a scrubby sponge and get ready to shower. I hop it and scrub for a few minutes and then turn on the hot water.  I rinse down the shower and then do my regular shower routine.  It saves time and while I still get soaking wet from cleaning the least it is on purpose!

And that's why I have time to clean the shower.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Makeup Stains

Somehow, once every six months or so, my dog manages to get into my cosmetic bag.  She LOVES to eat lipgloss and lipstick; which means it gets all over her, and all over our beige carpet.

"Your strawberry lipgloss? No, I didn't see it. I swear!"

But I don't worry too much because I am the!

To get rid of a lipstick, marker, pen, ink, pretty much anything stain:
  • If the stain is on a piece of fabric or clothing, place a clean, light-colored cloth behind the satin.
  • Saturate a clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • BLOT (don't rub!) the stain.
  • Frequently change places on your cloths--the color will lift off of the fabric or carpet and onto the cloth, so you want to use a clean place on the cloth to make sure all the color comes off.
  • That's it. As the alcohol evaporates, the smell will go away.
To remove a lipgloss stain:
  • Because lipgloss is sticky and greasy, rubbing alcohol won't really work.
  • Using a credit card, spoon, or something similar, try to scrape off as much of the gloss as possible.
  • Using a clean cloth, generously apply toothpaste (yep, toothpaste) to the carpet. I used Arm and Hammer toothpaste since it was white.  I haven't tried a colored toothpaste, but I would use any white kind just because I wouldn't want the toothpaste to leave a stain!
  • Now use a damp cloth to work in the paste, and begin to wipe it away.
  • Your carpet or fabric will be spot-free and minty fresh!
To remove a chapstick stain:
  • Using a credit card, spoon, or something similar, try to scrape off as much of the lip balm as possible.
  • Chapstick is mostly wax, so I find it best to apply a wax remover like Goo Gone, Goof off or Un-Do.
  • Let it sit for a while
  • Wash in hottest water safe for fabric
  • Don't dry the clothing until the Chapstick stain is gone...that makes it set in

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Things First

Hi There! I am starting another blog because I want to share my tricks of the trade, but also to clear up some misconceptions that keep floating around.  Many people I know are under the impression that I do nothing but keep house all day which is why my home is always so clean and fresh.  That is CRAZY!  I have a life!  In my opinion, being busy is no excuse for having a messy and unhealthy home. We could play the "who's busier game?"  But trust me, you do not want to go there. I am a full time grad-student, college teacher, substitute teacher, LDS temple volunteer, and a 24 hour-on-call maid, cook, and caretaker.  

While it is true that my home is pretty darn clean at any hour of any day, many people believe it is only because I don't have any kids.  I would say that is only partly true. While I do not contend with the whirlwinds of messiness that some moms have, I do constantly clean up after a dog and a messy husband all by myself.  Yep. All by myself.  My husband is a wonderful hard working guy, but he probably couldn't even find the laundry room (sigh).  So it's all on me.

Because I love to live in a orderly and clean environment, but I have such a tight schedule, I have devised a lot of time and money saving tricks that allow me to clean less often than you would think. 

So here we go!


Just like an artist, a master cleaner must choose her tools carefully.  Okay, it's not thaaaat important...but I save tons of money each year by carefully choosing what products I use.  Even more important than saving money is using products that are safe for the environment and your kids and pets. A lot of people avoid cleaning because of the toxic chemicals that hurt their eyes and lungs. Well stop suffering! You want to know my best secret?  You really, really want to know?  You want to know why I LOVE cleaning?

I use aromatheraputic grade essential oils.

"That's it" You ask? Yep!  "Is it safe" You ask? Yep. "Is it cheaper" You ask? Yep!

There are only a few cleaners that I buy from the store: Lysol spray/wipes, toilet cleaner, and CLR.  Everything else can be replaced with natural cleaning products like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.

Here is how I use oils to clean: 

  1. Select an essential oil that has antibacterial or disinfecting properties that is also a pleasing scent to you.  In the bathroom I use a mixture of eucalyptus and spearmint, and in the kitchen I like to use lemon oil. 
  2. Buy a cheap garden sprayer.
  3. Fill the sprayer with water
  4. Add about an ounce or two of the oil
  5. The oil will rest on top of the water, so as you clean you will need to shake the bottle so that the two mix together.  When you spray the solution it should look a little opaque or milky.
  6. That is it!  Enjoy the relaxing properties of the essential oils while you sanitize your home.
The oil/water mixture will clean just about anything.  It dries streak-free so it is a great substitute for Windex. It nourishes leather and wood so it takes the place of Pledge. It is the ultimate multi-surface cleaner.

I always use microfiber cloths that I get from the dollar store. These cloths will do a great job of tackling tough soap scum and other messes.   

Some oils that are especially suited for cleaning:

  • eucalyptus
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • pine
  • juniper
  • thyme
  • rosemary

Be on the look out for future posts on other cleaners and remedies that use essential oils!

*Note: Be careful with undiluted oils. Some of them can irritate skin slightly if you put them directly on your skin.  I have also read that pregnant women should limit their exposure to eucalyptus oil...but then in other places I have read that it is okay.  Just be careful when using a new product, and if your are concerned, consult a healthcare professional.