This is a guest post by Jerri Ann of Ezer Wife. In the months of March and April, we are hosting several guest posts while MAM enjoys her new baby.
I would assume that cleaning house isn’t the first thing you want to do with your Saturday. Wouldn’t it be nice if things didn’t need cleaning? To be honest, there are some chores that I enjoy. For instance, there’s something so satisfying to me about vacuuming. Am I the only one?
Either way, I doubt any of us wants to spend a whole day — or a whole lot of money — on cleaning our house. If opening your cleaning closet is enough to lose all motivation to clean, then this post is for you. If you are tired of spending your whole weekend cleaning, for your house to get messed up again on Monday, then making a schedule like the one I have might be for you.
First, a little bit of information on commercial cleaners, whether your big name brands or off brands. They are often times full of harmful chemicals and toxins. I can remember growing up when my mom would clean the bathtub, she would tell us to stay away. And I can remember wondering why, so I would sneak down the hall just to see what was going on, the smell was enough to keep me out of there. There is a reason some (maybe all?) cleaners are labeled as harmful to children and pets.
Read more about 15 Toxic Trespassers in this article.
If ridding your house of potentially harmful chemical is not enough, then what about the cost? Disinfectant wipes alone, which let’s face it you could use half a container a day, are much more expensive than making your own spray and using old rags to wipe up the mess. That’s just one example, but I challenge you to add up how much you spend on cleaners (I realize you may have a bottle of Windex for 6 months) and compare to the price of the homemade versions below. This is just one area of your house that you can organize, simplify, save money, and nix some chemicals from ever coming into your house.
Make it at Home
Transitioning your cleaning closet from a commercial cleaner’s closet to one with a few, simple ingredients can be daunting, I understand that. I was there once. Based on the research on commercial cleaners though I would recommend you throw out what you have and start fresh. Your closet will be more organized and believe me you will be surprised at how few things you actually need to clean your entire house.
Carpet Deodorizer Recipe
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup baking soda
- 10 drops essential oil (I used lavender)
- Small mason jar
In a jar or another container, mix all ingredients. With lid secured tightly, shake. Sprinkle on carpet, allow to sit for 15-20 minutes, and vacuum like normal.
This works great for us. I vacuum 2-3 times a week because of our dog, but I only use this about every 2-3 weeks. I would like to think that upon entering my home you wouldn’t be able to tell that there’s a dog living in there.
Disinfect the Natural Way
Using this recipe to disinfect (I use it on countertops, cabinet doors, spills, etc) will save you money and space. You will use food items that you normally just throw away (citrus peels) and something I highly recommend always having on hand for cleaning, white vinegar. You can add some tea tree oil for added disinfectant power.
Natural Disinfectant Spray Recipe
- 3-5 lemon peels
- White vinegar (enough to fill jar)
- Mason Jar
- Spray bottle
Place peels in a mason jar (it usually takes 3-5 to fill jar) and cover with vinegar. Let sit for 2 weeks, shaking when you think about it. Fill spray bottle half full with liquid (now you can discard those peels) and fill rest with water. Add 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil if desired for further disinfectant. Shake. You’re ready to clean.
Note on peels: I have used orange, grapefruit and lemon. Most of the other citrus spray recipes I have seen only use orange, but I’m not one to waste anything and the others seem to work fine.
More Homemade Cleaning Solutions
If you are looking for more homemade cleaning solutions check out these blogs.
- The Ezer Wife: Liquid Laundry Detergent, Powder Laundry Detergent, other cleaners including toilet, glass, and floor cleaners.
- Creative Christian Mama’s “best” DIY all-purpose cleaner.
- Storms Stories has an all-purpose and bathroom cleaners.
- Natural Living Mamma has several including a window cleaner, carpet stain removal, and a tub scrub.
- Heavy on Wholesome features a concentrated non-toxic laundry detergent.
- Jill’s Home Remedies was kind enough to share her recipe for cleaning up vomit, something none of us want to do, but will all eventually probably be faced with.
Now that you have all the cleaning recipes you would ever need, here’s a final note on simplifying cleaning your home. I used to clean my whole house in one day, it worked for me when I was single and living in a small one bedroom apartment. Now that I’m married with a dog and in a much larger home, that doesn’t work for me anymore. Do what works for you.
Take some time to figure out what needs cleaned once a week (or more than that). Categorize and organize chores in a way that makes it easier for you. For example, we bathe our dog in the tub on Tuesdays and we clean bathrooms on Wednesdays. That way dog hair isn’t all over the place for an entire week.
Also, I clean my kitchen on Fridays because right now I’m not working and do most of my kitchen “things” during the week. By making a schedule (and having it typed out and tape to the cleaning closet door) my husband can now better help me with the house and I/we only spend 10-20 minutes a day cleaning.
- Monday Floors: sweep and vacuum entire house (except bathrooms), mop 1st and 3rd (10 min)
- Tuesday Jameson Day: brush, bathe, check nails, clean ears, etc., check laundry (15 min)
- Wednesday Bathrooms: clean tubs, toilets, counters, sweep and mop floors (20 min)
- Thursday Floors: sweep and vacuum entire house (except bathrooms), check laundry (10-15 min)
- Friday Kitchen: tidy counters, disinfect cabinets, counters, trash cans, wipe down appliance (20 min)
- Saturday Floors: sweep and vacuum (10 min)
- Sunday: Dust and Clean Windows (10 min)
Put “misplaced” items in personal baskets. Wash dishes/load dishwasher. Tidy.
I realize everyone’s situations will be different. Those of us without kids have a lot less to clean and to keep clean. I would strongly encourage starting at a young age to get kids involved with helping around the house.
If spending your whole Saturday cleaning works for you, go with that. If developing a weekly cleaning schedule similar to mine is something you want to try I would encourage you to keep the amount of time spent cleaning under 30 minutes (preferably around 15-20) or else you’ll get burned out. The idea is that if you can do a little each day, you will keep up with everything and thus the time needed to spend cleaning is less.
What cleaning tips would you like to share? Do you have any other homemade solutions to add to this list?