Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cleaning With Becky (a new show!?)

This is totally random, but I taught at a "Relief Society Activity" last night mainly on cleaning with vinegar. I thought I'd share with you in case you are interested!

First off--why clean with vinegar?
1. It's inexpensive. 2. No harsh chemicals or fumes. 3. It's an effective sanitizer.

How to do it?
Get a spray bottle. I fill it about 1/4 full with vinegar and the rest with water, but a lot of websites say to use a 1:1 ratio. It really doesn't matter.... just use the amount relating to how dirty the thing is you are cleaning!
Then you simply spray and wipe clean!

As far as I've found, the only surface that vinegar is harmful to is marble. One site also said to not use full strength on tile grout, but I've never tried. Of course, just like every other substance, test on an inconspicuous area.

In the Kitchen--
Spray on countertops and top of stove and wipe off. It's an effective degreaser.
To deodorize or unclog a drain, put in 1/2 c baking soda, then 1/2 c vinegar and let it sit. (Volcano effect!) Then run water through it.
To clean the microwave, combine 1 c water and 1/2 c vinegar, bring it to a boil in your microwave, and then wipe it clean. Not only will it degrease, but it will get rid of the smell!
You can also clean your oven, fridge, and floors with it. To make a scouring cleanser with 1/4 c baking soda, 1 TBSP dishwashing liquid, and then add vinegar to make it creamyish.

In the Bathroom--
Great glass cleaner.
Spray it in the shower to prevent mildew.
Pour undiluted vinegar in the toilet and scrub with the toilet brush. Let it sit if there are stains; it will get rid of them!

Other Uses--
supposedly kills weeds, keeps ants out of your home, removes stickers, and will help remove armpit stains in the laundry, cleans pots and pans, polish silverware, carpet stain remover (I haven't tried all of these, but they were listed on the websites so do a little research if you're interested).

Besides the first three reasons of why to use vinegar, two others that I think brilliant are that 4. Because it is non-toxic, you can have your kids clean with it and not be nervous about them ingesting it or whatever! And 5. It can be your 'food storage' for cleaning... buy a big bottle of vinegar and big bag of soda and you're set for months of cleaning!

The two best websites I've found for hundreds of ideas are and

The only con I've found is the smell. I thought I would hate it, but it seriously disappears and just smells clean very quickly. A friend who didn't like the smell said she would cut a lemon or orange in half and rub it over the top of her countertop after cleaning to have that smell instead.

So that was my little spiel on vinegar. I was introduced to it earlier this year by my friend Stephanie Hansen and I've really found that I love it. I have not yet made it the only product I use, but from everything I've read, it sounds like it can be! Other than the vinegar I shared a couple other random things.

My "Golden Rules of Cleaning"--
1. DON'T HATE IT! You need to do it for the rest of your life so why not enjoy it!? Enjoy the time to think and do a mindless activity! Enjoy seeing what you've accomplished.
2. Spend about five minutes every day tidying. It is amazing how if you do this, that you only have to do a quick, deep clean every other week.
3. Keep cleaners handy and organized. Keep a spray bottle of the vinegar under your kitchen and bathroom sink so you can just pull it out and quickly spray and wipe.
4. After finishing the dishes, quickly spray the vinegar mixture around the sink, faucet, and counter and wipe it up... it's amazing how clean it stays.
5. Clean from top to bottom. Dry to wet.
6. Make your bed daily! It's amazing the difference it can make in the feel of the room and in your attitude!
7. Get yourself in the habit of putting dishes directly in the dishwasher instead of the sink first. If you don't have a dishwasher, simply rinse them as you put them in the sink. Then you pretty much never have to scrub!
8. Dust weekly with a microfiber cloth. You will never have dust buildup and it goes so quick every time!

And a list of how to make your home look spiffy in a jiffy! (ex. when someone tells you they're coming in 15 min!)
1. A quick vacuum
2. Clean your chrome. Take a rag and spray and shine the faucets... they look fabulous!
3. Organize your clutter. If you've got junk on your counter, straighten it. Or grab a laundry basket and grab all the things that you don't want seen, throw them in it and hide it somewhere they won't see it and put it away later. If you have kids, people expect to see toys on the floor, but if you have a bucket specifically for toys, you can scoop some of them into it.
4. Spray something fresh, open the windows, or light a candle.
5. Check the trash to make sure you don't have a huge pile or a stinky pile.
6. Quickly clean the bathroom, just in case!

And last, some "Green Tips"--
-Instead of using paper towels, use thin rags like this to clean up.
Some people use their dish rags, but I think my dishrags are cute and don't want nasty spaghetti stains on them! I don't care about these ones though and you just throw them in the wash and they work fabulously!
-I never fill up my garbage can before it starts to stink... and I hate tossing the big bags when it's not 143% full! Whenever I forget my 'green bags' at the store, I take home the plastic ones and use one of them a day... I put my chicken strofoam, food remnants, etc in it and then toss it daily. Also, when you've got an empty cereal box, fill it with the junk instead of the bag. (I don't have the ability to recycle.)
-Last, if you've got a baby, make your own baby wipes!
Take a roll of paper towels (the nicer brand) and cut it in half with a knife or whatever. Find a container that will hold the half in it and place it inside. Combine 2 to 2 1/2 cups water, 1 TBSP baby oil, and 1 tsp baby soap and mix them. Then pour it over the paper towels and down the middle. Wait about 5 minutes and pull up on the cardboard in the center and the paper towels will come out of the middle following!

I wouldn't say I'm a clean connoisseur or anything; it's more that I'm OCD. :) I really loving having things fresh and clean and feel so much better about myself when they are.


Matt and Camille Tanner said...

Yes! This is spectacular! I am totally getting out my spray bottle tomorrow to do some serious vinegar cleaning!

Our family said...

I was familiar with some of these, but totally loved the new tips and reminders of some of the others I'd forgotten! =)

Matthew and Hillary said...

We used vinegar all the time at the MTC...good stuff! The smell is kind of annoying, but it's all good. Thanks for the cleaning tips. Maybe I'll make my bed every day now. :)

Mike and Lisa said...

Loved these! I'm totally OCD too. I can't relax unless my home is tidy every night before I got to bed. And I had no idea vinegar was so useful! Good to know!

Julie said...

I loved this, there were some great tips that I will definitely use! We do our baby wipes that way and I love it, it is about 1/3 cheaper for us. Thanks for writing all of this up!

delore said...

Ok, some of these things mentioned I was actually wondering about. Thank you!

Lissa said...

Thanks for posting this! I couldn't make it to the vinegar cleaning night...I was out of town. I was really sad that I missed it. So thanks, now I can try all of this at home!

Shanna said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU! Great tips, thanks Becky!!

Enjoying Life . . . One day at a time! said...

I love the Golden Rules! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

Angie said...

You DO need your own show! Maybe you should put a bottle of vinegar in a huge balloon and broadcast it on national television- that might get you recognized in the public eye!

Brenda said...

I have used vinegar for hard water buildup around faucetts. Straight vinegar and an old toothbrush. Yeah baby! I didn't realize there was a whole website dedicated to the stuff. And I thought I was being so clever. lol. Thank you for the tips. I will have to try some of them also.

Ashley Eaglin said...

Great tips Bec!!

Anonymous said...

You are a funny girl. Thank you for the tips, I use vinegar a lot!

aaronherd said...

I want this to be a show. I would Netflix it. Or borrow it from someone who had it on VHS or DVD.

MH said...

oh my I am copying and pasting these into a word document right now! I needed these tips! The only thing I wonder about is the smell of the vinegar, I assume it isn't too strong since it is watered down?

Deann said...

Yes vinegar does kill weeds! J asked me last week to get him the "cleaning soda" so he could scrub the tub :) And Matt is all about green cleaning, especially using the essential oils. It's like a science experiment. LOL