I’ve been on a kick lately of watching old episodes of How Clean is Your House? on youtube.
Nothing inspires you to clean, more than watching a video of someone going in to someone else’s home, swabbing the counter, sending that swab to a lab, only to have the results come back saying “your counter harbours 10,000,000 bacteria, most of which are in the same family of the bacteria that caused the plague.” THE FUCKING PLAGUE!?!! How do you even do that?! How do you let your home get so incredibly disgusting and filthy, that you actually have the plague on your countertop?
Between episodes of people who have mounds of various kinds of poo encrusted on their carpets (and walls?), people with hoarding problems so terrible that when the cleaning team moves a pile of dirty dishes, takeout boxes, laundry and puzzles (what made you think those things should go together in the bathroom, by the way? is it an artistic statement?) that mice jump out and start running around trying to escape the vacuum… somewhere in there I got super paranoid about bacteria.
My kitchen counters are usually cleaner than most. It’s almost a problem, how anal I am about the dishes being done. I can’t relax with a dirty kitchen. If I went to have a nap (because that happens aaaaaall the time, I hope you can hear how much that sentence is bleeding sarcasm), I wouldn’t catch a wink if my kitchen were filthy.
Other areas of my house… could use some attention, however. The laundry room, or the basement in general. Just like anyone else, my house is a chaotic mishmash of bullshit storage solutions. We’re working hard at it, but it’s exhausting. This isn’t a new thing, actually. We are in perpetual motion trying to get the house organized. It probably shouldn’t be this difficult, but with a baby, and too much stuff, it’s a real undertaking. We really do need to get rid of stuff, but it’s hard when a lot of it is sentimental.
It can also be difficult trying to get a house
livable tidy when you feel like you need to go out and buy a whole bunch of products to clean with… when really, you don’t need all of those harsh chemicals (sometimes you do, though. I’m not stranger to bleach).
So here is at least one tip. How to remove tea or coffee stains with salt or sugar. We drink a lot of coffee, and pretty near as much tea. I was raised in a house where you always had a cup of tea on the go, and I can even remember having it in a bottle when I was quite young. You can use equal parts salt and vinegar to remove the stains, but just salt with a touch of water will work. For the sake of a comparison, I used both salt and sugar to see if they were equally effective, and I would honestly say that salt works best, however sugar will work. Just make a bit of a paste with water and salt (if you’re choosing not to use vinegar) and rub it in to the stain with your thumb, and it should work damn near immediately. I’d recommend perhaps soaking your cup first in some warm to hot water to soften the stain a wee bit, but it will work if your cup is cold too, it will just take longer and require more effort.
Did you know that you can clean brass with sour milk? The more sour, the better. No joke.
Limescale on your taps? Soak some paper towels (or just towels) in hot vinegar, and wrap them around your taps for an hour. Hot vinegar in a kettle will remove limescale as well.
An old one but a good one: Vinegar and water in equal parts to clean windows and mirrors, with newspaper.
Oil spill in the oven? Cover the oil (or grease) with a good whack of baking soda, leave overnight, and in the morning you should be able to wipe it right up.
Equal parts borax and baking soda make a great scouring powder.
Stinky carpet? Sprinkle a box of baking soda over it, leave it for an hour and vacuum.
Slow moving, stinky drain? Dump down some baking soda, followed by some vinegar, then plug the sink hole.
I have so, so many more.. but alas, housework is actually calling my name as I type. More to come another day, my lovelies!