Cleaning the House-Homemade Stylin’

About two years ago I  started making my own laundry soap.  At the time I also stopped purchasing commercially made cleaning products and started making my own.   There were two reasons:

1) It’s cheaper

2) I wanted less ‘stuff’ in my laundry closet.

We don’t have much storage space in our house.  To get into the laundry/cleaning closet you have to wedge past coats and reach into the nether-lands for a cleaning product because it’s also the coat closet.  Over the  years I’ve organized it and reorganized it but it came down to- I needed fewer cleaning products.

Cleaning the house is a family activity 🙂  We all love it!  Every other Sunday(yes, we wait that long), we rock some weird French pop station from the internet and get our house cleaning on!

One of the first things I taught the girls is how to clean the bathrooms.  We have two, and for me that’s one too many!  You see, I love, love, love a clean bathroom but I don’t love, love, love to clean them!

Anywho,  the girls now clean their own.  It took a while to get to this point.  To get them started I gave them a training session.  This ultimately bit me in the arse because each week the girls would turn to me and say, “show me again how to scrub the shower walls the ‘right’ way”.  Smart cookies they are!  Next, I had them take notes (oh yes I did).  They wrote the  notes on thick note cards that were put in an envelope.  Each week they would pull a few out, follow the instructions and viola the house was clean.

Now that the girls are old pros they split their cleaning tasks between the two of them.  It seems to all shake down fairly evenly.  The fact that I don’t use commercial products doesn’t seem to faze them.  The fact that they have to clean makes them whine.  I like that we’re using pretty safe products.  If you already make your own homemade products you may notice that I don’t use ammonia or rubbing alcohol.  I’ve found substitutions that I prefer and feel safer about the kids using.

Ingredients for homemade cleaners

My favorite still life

Products I use:

Distilled White Vinegar – cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.

Lemon juice – one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.

Baking Soda – cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.  I have a 14lb bag but keep some in an old spice jar (a super size one).

Washing Soda – or SAL Soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, a mineral. Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains and softens water. It does not leave a white film that Baking Soda does.  Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.

Molly’s tricks of the trade and recipes

Disinfecting  vinegar spray:

  • 1 part distilled vinegar
  • 2 parts water
  • Put into a sprayer

Use for cleaning windows and disinfecting surfaces.

Cleaning tile and linoleum floors:

  • 1/4 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
  • add into mop bucket and fill with warm water
  • SCRUB!

Bathroom mold: 

  •   Use disinfecting vinegar spray  or lemon juice full strength. Apply with a sponge or scrubby.

Disinfecting Chopping Blocks:

  • Rub a slice of lemon across the chopping block


  • Plastic food storage containers- soak overnight in warm water and baking soda
  • Garbage disposal- grind up a lemon or orange peel in the unit
  • Carpets- sprinkle baking soda, leave for a few hours, vacuum

Toilet cleaner:

  • Pour 1 cup of distilled vinegar into the bowl, leave for 15 minutes scrub and flush.
  • Next sprinkle baking soda into the bowl and scrub with toilet brush, flush.
  • Take disinfecting vinegar spray and apply it to the entire toilet.  Wipe off with clean cloth.

Sinks, tile and stove top cleaner:

  • Shake baking soda or washing soda on the surface
  • Using a damp sponge with the green scrubby surface scrub and spread the baking soda around
  • wipe down with a damp cloth

If you need any one-on-one training come on over and I will hand you the note cards and let you practice on my toilet.  Really,…no charge!  In fact, we have an internship available for the right candidate.

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