Author Topic: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!  (Read 58677 times)

Offline StephTallent

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Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« on: June 16, 2006, 10:37:09 AM »
This is for those of you that have figured out the most amazing, convenient and (preferably) natural household cleaning products. 

As a young wife I know some of the bare basics...Meaning, Vinegar for everything.  :D

I am currently specifically in need of something natural to clean the tub/toilets with.  I've bought an all natural spray from Trader Joe's that works Ok but it is really expensive and doesn't work THAT well.

Any and all tips/experiences welcome!  ;D
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006, 11:12:53 AM »
BAKING SODA is the BEST for tubs.  CLICK HERE to learn more.
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Offline Pennie

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2006, 11:16:59 AM »
orange TKO is good. I can get it at ACE hardware and my local healthfood store.  You an also get it here. www.longlifeunlimited.com and I'm sure they have a TKO website too.  

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2006, 12:00:47 PM »
Since my 4 1/2 year old son is completely in charge of cleaning the bathroom he shares with his 2 year old brother, I have found that natural products are a must!

Baking Soda--tub
Rubbing Alcohol-- put in spray bottle and spritz then wipe toilet seat and sink and counter top
Window cleaner--for mirror
"Works" Toilet Cleaner--$1 at dollar store and though it's not natural, it works awesome!


Offline Julie G

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2006, 03:29:57 PM »
This is not natural...but I love Bar Keepers Friend (it is powder in a canister similar to Bon Ami)...it's great for the shower/tub, kitchen stains, rust...you name it.
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Offline mamasboys

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2006, 07:11:17 PM »
I just dug out the recipes that I've amassed for natural cleaning products.  Here goes:

SCOURING BATHROOM CLEANSER
1/2 liquid Castile soap
1 t borax
2 t baking soda
1 3/4 c very warm water
4 drops essential oil of choice, optional
Pour water into stainless steel bowl and add soap.  Stire well, then add the dry ingredients.  Add essential oil if desired.  Stire until well blended.  Store in a squeeze bottle and stir or shake before using.  If you have a stubborn stain on fiberglass or plastic surgace, add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the mixture for extra stain-fighting power.
**For the essential oil, I use tea tree oil.  It is anti microbial and gives a nice clean scent. 

GENTLE WINDOW CLEANER
1/2 c witch hazel extract
1/2 c vinegar
2 t liquid castile soap
6 c warm water
4 drops essential oil, optional
Mix all ingredients together in large plastic jug and shake well.  To use, pour some into a plastic spray bottle. Shake well prior to each use and store in a cool, dark place.  Shelf life: 4-6 months.

MULTI PURPOSE SPRAY CLEANSER
1 c liquid castile soap
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t tea tree extract
2 T witch hazel extract
4 drops essential oil, optional
Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle and shake gently.  This works well on stove and counter tops and the outside of refrigerators and microwaves.  Shelf life 6 mos.
If you need a stronger cleaner, replace the witch hazel extract with an equal amount of isopropyl alcohol. 

ALL PURPOSE LAUNDRY DETERGENT
1/2 c baking soda
1/2 c powdered castile soap
1/4 c washing soda (sodium carbonate)
1/4 c borax
Mix dry ingredients together and store in tightly closed container.  Use about 1/2 c of this soap toa  load of laundry as you would with any commercial detergent.  Shelf life 12 mos.

AUTOMATIC DISHWASHING SOAP
1/2 c liquid castile soap
1/2 c water
1 t fresh lemon juice
3 drops tea tree extract
1/4 c white vinegar
Combine water and soap.  Sitr and then add lemon juice, tea tree extract and vinegar.  Stir until blended evenly and store in a squeeze bottle.  Use 2 Tablespoons per wash in a standard sized dishwasher.  Note:  Do not substitute convential liquid soap for the castile soap unless it is a "low sudsing" soap.  Regular soap will produce too many suds and overload the dishwasher.

I hope this helps!  I've only used the cleaner recipes and they've always worked great.  My bathroom smells soooo good when I'm done  :)  A note on the castile soap - It makes a WONDERFUL shampoo.  I use the almond scented one with organic oils and even with my long hair find that I don't really need to use conditioner.  I just rinse with vinegar. 

Offline Helen

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2006, 02:07:40 AM »
i still faithfully use my melaluca tub and tile and also the tough and tender, I really love those, I clean my bathroom most every day, and you can just spray all over tub, toilet, and sink, then wipe off, no rinsing.  it is pretty cheep cause you dilute it, but you have to sign up to get it and that is kinda unhandy for some people.

Offline kittyninja

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2006, 12:47:16 PM »
Bringing this one back- Does anyone on here use Simple Green? My hubby had me get rid of all cleaning products and just buy the concentrated bottle at Sams and dilute them into spray bottles. It works real well as a spot remover for clothes and carpet. I use it for the counters and sinks and windows and in the bathrooms (don't know how well it does on germs though on the toilet) , mop floors, and hubby uses his out in the shed to clean the grease on his bike etc..) Pretty good stuff-it says non-toxic. We use to use it in the restaurants we managed all the time. Anyone have any negative info on this? Anyone use it? I would say it is definately a money saver- as long as it's ok!

Offline OneMaster

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2006, 01:55:18 PM »
My husband bought me a machine that I just love!  It is a steam cleaning machine.  I have a Fogacci machine.  I have heard from others that they did not like the Oreck or some of the smaller steam cleaners.  This one comes from Italy, and supposedly these machines are much more popular in Europe.

So anyway, the basic premise is that you need no chemicals or cleaners, just fill it up with water.  The steam lifts most dirt and stains.  In the mean time, it is so hot that it sanitizes whatever you are cleaning.  So I know that even if I don't get it all, I have sanitized the surface.  I use it mostly on tile and wood floors, but you can use it on carpet, glass, upholstery, etc.  There are many attachments.

The downside...these machines are expensive!  My husband splurged on me on some occasion a few years ago in an effort to help me in my endeavors at home.  The great thing is that I wash the hard floors much more frequently because of it!

Now that I have endorsed it, I would love to hear if there are any reasons to not clean this way ::)  I know there can be downsides that I may not have considered.  Anything harmful about steaming?
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2006, 02:12:48 PM »
Bringing this one back- Does anyone on here use Simple Green? My hubby had me get rid of all cleaning products and just buy the concentrated bottle at Sams and dilute them into spray bottles. It works real well as a spot remover for clothes and carpet. I use it for the counters and sinks and windows and in the bathrooms (don't know how well it does on germs though on the toilet) , mop floors, and hubby uses his out in the shed to clean the grease on his bike etc..) Pretty good stuff-it says non-toxic. We use to use it in the restaurants we managed all the time. Anyone have any negative info on this? Anyone use it? I would say it is definately a money saver- as long as it's ok!

I use it.  Pretty strong stuff.  Cleans crud off coffee makers and that oily buildup off steering wheels.  I once had it soaking in my flower vase and my daughter (then 2), decided to drink it (every drop).  I had a heart attack, but I found the bottle and it said "non-toxic" so we just watched her instead of calling poison control.  Nothing happened.  So I wouldn't recommend it as a dietary supplement, but definately as a fairly safe cleaner to have around the house.  I'm not sure, but I think it's chlorophyll based.  I don't think I was able to determine this from the label, but I came to that conclusion somehow.
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Offline 1ofeach

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2006, 03:22:01 PM »
If I have neglected cleaning the tub, I pull out baking soda and orange essential oil. Smells so good, and really gets the job done. After that intitial scrubbing, the cheapest shampoo I can find keeps the tub pretty clean. The orange oil is pricey, but you don't use very much of it.

Offline heatheronthehill

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2006, 03:37:15 PM »
I spray the tub with vinegar every week and this keeps it very clean and sparkley!  About twice a year, I scrub it out with baking soda and vinegar - works better than any cleaner I've tried - even better than Soft Scrub!

I've heard using Tang (the orange drink stuff) to clean to toilet works really well, though I've never tried it.  I have used denture tabs on the toilet though, and that works great.

I use a mixture of borax, hot water and a splash of ammonia to clean my floors.  I suppose ammonia is probably toxic though.  It works without the ammonia too, just doesn't get your floors as shiny. 

Well, that's my two cents!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2006, 04:20:34 PM »
I use a mixture of borax, hot water and a splash of ammonia to clean my floors.  I suppose ammonia is probably toxic though.  It works without the ammonia too, just doesn't get your floors as shiny. 

I must be a slob.  *snicker*  I'm happy if my floors aren't sticky or covered with crumbs.  Shiny - hee hee -- I figure they are just there to walk on so who cares.  LOL   ;D
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Offline Christal

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2006, 01:37:59 AM »
I searched Amazon for liquid castile and there are pages to choose from.  Do you have a certain brand or type you use?  All of them had tea tree oil or some other scent like peppermint added.  Thanks for the recipes.
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Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2006, 02:29:55 AM »
i still faithfully use my melaluca tub and tile and also the tough and tender, I really love those, I clean my bathroom most every day, and you can just spray all over tub, toilet, and sink, then wipe off, no rinsing.  it is pretty cheep cause you dilute it, but you have to sign up to get it and that is kinda unhandy for some people.

hi helen!  i have a friend who uses the products, so i'm thinking about ordering thru her.  she gave me a gallon of laundry soap and it's awesome!  any products you wouldn't recommend?  is it all non-toxic or natural? 
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Offline amazonmama2five

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2006, 03:25:30 AM »
:D :D :D  Move to a South American country and hire a maid!!!   :D :D :D
Seriously, we have a large family and everyone does chores and this really lightens Mama's load!  Everyone is responsible for their own bed and clothes (dirty and clean).  I am a baking soda and vinegar girl myself, but my mom really likes the Bar Keepers Friend stuff.  She says it takes ANYTHING off of her countertops.  I do not think it is natural, but my parents also use Greased Lightening for lots of cleaning projects.  We like that website http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/homemadehouseholdcleaners.htm  She has good ideas and tested methods.  Have a GREAT DAY!!!
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Offline mexmarr

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2006, 03:39:57 AM »
:D :D :D  Move to a South American country and hire a maid!!!   :D :D :D


LOL!  That's a good one!  I lived in Mexico for 13 years.  We had a maid for a while.  We paid her $10 a day, and she was thrilled that the Americans paid so well. 

I've been back in the US for 6 months now (Culture shock for sure!) and my house is never as clean as it was in the good ol days....

Offline amazonmama2five

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2006, 04:21:10 AM »
;) I hear ya! :D  Furlough was a killer!  All kidding aside, furlough was the reason we took our maid off of full time and put her on three days a week.  I wanted my kids (girls and boys) to know how to keep a house clean and she did everything even the stuff I designated for the kids to do!  So now she is only here MWF to do the floors and bathrooms.  It is a lot dirtier and dustier here than my hometown in the U.S. so I do appreciate what she does, but my children need to learn!  The locals think I'm crazy doing housework when I could hire it done, but they have accepted "that crazy American missionary lady" and think the kids are angels--------------so we must be doing something right! ;D
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Offline dara

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2006, 08:26:05 AM »
I just got an empty spray bottle, filled it with filtered water, 6 drops GSE, a T. peroxide, a little dollop of (natural from the HFS) dishsoap for the bubbles, 3 drops lemongrass EO, and I really like it as an all purpose cleaner. I am going to add vinegar to the bathroom bottle though, for the soap scum.
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Offline WithLoveAndJoy

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2006, 03:40:14 AM »
I know it is a little bit off topic, not to do with mold that is, but if you want to find affordable non toxic cleaning supplies...I LOVE Method brand cleaning supplies.  You can buy them at Target and they are worth their weight in gold, in my opinion.  They clean really well and smell WONDERFUL because they are scented with essential oils.

Or if you dont' have a target store near you you can visit www.methodhome.com to order directly from them.  Prices are lower at target though.

Hope that helps!
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Offline Grace

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2006, 05:59:37 PM »
Does anyone have a good way to clean a shower curtain? Mine gets all moldy and gross.
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Offline InEverything

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2006, 06:08:10 PM »
For my plastic shower curtain I put it on the gentle cycle in the washing machine with hot water and bleach. Vinegar would probably work also.  Then just shake it out and hang up!
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Offline petrimama

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2006, 03:58:32 AM »
Just be careful when you take the curtain out of the washing machine.  They tend to hold water and I always end up with a puddle to clean up!     ::)      ~L

Offline Pennie

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2006, 03:59:07 AM »
:D :D :D  Move to a South American country and hire a maid!!!   :D :D :D
My mom never hired a maid.  Two reasons. 1)she said she didn't want us to get lazy and wanted us to learn and 2)NO ONE could do the job like she would have wanted it done.  :D
I however have 5 children (she had just us two girls).  My husband is quite impressed with my cleaning skills. The other day the kitchen was a mess and I cleaned it up pretty quickly and he said man, you are good in here.  When you decide to clean it it gets done so fast.  Hm, I think the operative word was WHEN.   :-[  I do go through phases though where it is spotless and then I go through phases where I can't get it clean b/f it't time to start over.   ::)  We just bought a grain mill and since Caleb was sick yesterday(still is) I stayed home from church and was able to bake some bread and when hubby came home he said "look at you, but do you enjoy it?"  I said "yes, I enjoy it. You  know I do.  If I didn't I wouldn't do it."  :D That was proabaly a good time to ask for a raise.   :D  haha
« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 06:28:59 AM by healthybratt »

Offline amazonmama2five

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2006, 04:16:39 AM »
:'( :'(  My maid asked for a leave of absence 2 1/2 months ago................it looks like she is not coming back.  Her health is not good.  I am going to split my kefir grains with her and give her a kombucha mushroom but, we are getting along fine without the extra help.  DH is getting along even better without the extra outgo. ($$$) ;D 
The NT cookbook is also helping, because one has to think several meals ahead to plan.  While this is always a good idea, it is IMPERATIVE in this culture where "instant" means you use the pressure cooker.  :D  My teenage daughters are beginning to appreciate planning ahead.  ;D 
The house has suffered a little, but DH feels that it was worth it.  He said it feels more like a home now and not a museum.  ::)  So, this is going to be my new favorite topic.  ;) :P
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Offline Grace

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2006, 04:18:41 AM »
For my plastic shower curtain I put it on the gentle cycle in the washing machine with hot water and bleach. Vinegar would probably work also.  Then just shake it out and hang up!

Great idea! I should hav thought of that! I am going to try it today! Thanks!!!!!
DD's 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 and DS born 7/6/08!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2006, 06:28:01 AM »
For my plastic shower curtain I put it on the gentle cycle in the washing machine with hot water and bleach. Vinegar would probably work also.  Then just shake it out and hang up!

I was going to say this too, but you beat me to it. ;)
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Offline Pennie

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2006, 06:48:42 AM »
is vinegar a disinfectant? IF I clean the bathroom with vinegar after someone is sick is that going to kill the germs? Or do I need a lysol type of thing?

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2006, 07:00:32 AM »
is vinegar a disinfectant? IF I clean the bathroom with vinegar after someone is sick is that going to kill the germs? Or do I need a lysol type of thing?

Vinegar makes the surfaces more acidic which is undersirable for some organisms and helps others to thrive.  In most cases the thriving bacteria will hamper the growth of bad organisms.  I don't believe; however that vinegar actually kills germs like lysol does.
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Offline boysmama

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Re: Favorite Cleaning Tips and Tricks Ever!
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2006, 09:17:43 AM »
is vinegar a disinfectant? IF I clean the bathroom with vinegar after someone is sick is that going to kill the germs? Or do I need a lysol type of thing?
I have been looking at essential oils and that type of thing for disinfecting. I've been using grapefruit seed crush/extract (GSC or GSE) for disinfecting and it kills all odor so I think it is also killing the germs. Other options I've been looking at are tea tree oil (meleluca), Lavendar essential oil, and citrus oils. I'm sorry I don't have links (need to learn how to post them ::)), but I think itwould  be worth your time to look into if you are looking for something natural.