Since Jack has joined our family I have become more
Here are a few suggestions on cleaning products:
All-purpose cleaner: In a clean spray bottle mix 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water. I also like to add about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil, which is known for it's antibacterial properties, but it's not necessary.
Some people don't like the smell of tea tree oil (I find it to smell herbal-y) or may not have any on hand.
Vinegar itself is disinfecting and can kill viruses, germs, bacteria, and mold. This mixture is what we use to spray down our counters, stove, etc.
Abrasive cleaner: Baking soda. Baking soda by itself with a little water can be used to scrub anything that needs it. For tougher stains, baking soda can be mixed with a little bit of white vinegar or lemon juice to create a stronger cleaner. This can be used to scrub sinks or tubs.
Kitchen Sink Garbage Disposal: To help keep things moving and smelling fresh dump 1 tablespoon of baking soda down the drain and slowly pour in 1/4 cup of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let stand for 30 minutes and then flush it out with hot water. It is recommended that you do this once a week to keep things fresh.
Grease Splatters: Dampen a towel and add a dot of dish soap (this is made to cut grease!) and then use that to rub all over any areas affected by grease. This will cause icky streaks so follow up with an all-purpose cleaner and everything with be nice and shiny with no more grease spots!
I've found that I need to do this on the face of our stove and also on the door of our over-range microwave.
A few suggestions on cleaning tools:
Un-paper Towels: We utilize cloth whenever possible while cleaning in the interest of saving both trees and money. We used to go through paper towels like crazy and they aren't cheap! Now, we use cloth to wipe down the counters at night or to scrub off the stove. Cloth can really be used anywhere that a paper towel is.
The "un-paper towels" that we currently use are just cheap, rectangular scraps of t-shirt like material that I found at Lowe's. They get the job done. You can also use scraps from old clothes, old towels/washcloths, or if you are lucky enough you can make or purchase your own un-paper towels, which are made to replace that old roll of paper towels and come in a number of decorative choices.
Libman Freedom Mop: This is my new favorite thing! Libman has recently come out with a new mop that is similar to the wet Swiffer that we all know. I saw an advertisement for it on TV and I knew I had to get one!
The result: the Freedom mop is SOOO much better! Why? For one, the cleaning pad is reusable. It's nice and sturdy and has built in scrubbies to get your floor really clean. It attaches securely to the mop and when you're finished using it just take it off and toss it in the washer so it's ready to use next time. Awesome!
Another bonus, the container that holds the cleaning solution is made to come off the mop so you can easily fill it with whatever cleaning product you want to use. This gives you so many options! I like to use a splash of white vinegar and some hot water and I'm ready to go! The Freedom mop is so easy to use and has so many benefits I would totally recommend that you get one. It has certainly made my life a lot easier. Right now they're doing a $5 rebate if you purchase the Freedom Mop. I'm not sure when that ends though.