Awakening: Spring Cleaning is actually fun
Confession: my husband had to confront me about my over-use of paper towels. His honest comment inspired me to use washable cotton cloths and microfiber cloths. After that switch I paid more attention to homemade cleaning remedies. I kept hearing about using vinegar + water as an all purpose cleaner, then I read in "The Magnolia Journal" on more natural cleaners for your home. So that was it! I was going to try a new way of cleaning.
I wanted to share some of these new found loves and tips.
All purpose cleaner
I use one cup of white vinegar, one and a half cup of water, and a few drops of dish soap. I read on HGTV that this mixture is also safe to use on wood. It works! I mixed it all up in an empty spray bottle and started with our kitchen table. We had some grease build up and I was amazed at how fast this spray got the gunk out so easily. The table legs are painted white, but the spray did not ruin the paint. It left my kitchen table looking brighter. The smell was potent at first (my husband inquired why the house smells like vinegar) but it didn't last long. Now I use this spray on everything, even the walls that have random splatters of tomato sauce and coffee (no idea how that coffee got on the wall).
Grout cleaner for tiles
Since we've moved into our apartment I noticed the dirty kitchen tiled floor. I would mop and mop but the grout wouldn't shine. Finally I found a great recipe in "The Magnolia Journal." It's 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 cup of baking soda, and 3 teaspoons of dish soap. I tested it first on the bathroom floor and even my eyes sparkled. I was so amazed at the instant clean and the bright shine it left. I planned my next day to take over the kitchen with a deep tile floor clean. It was a patient time of listening to the Bible and scrubbing away. It took from listening to Genesis to the beginning of Exodus to finish the kitchen floor. Some spots were a little more stubborn than others but I was content with the results. Now I can actually see all of the crumbs and spills on the floor.
Microfiber and cotton cloths
What I like about using these cloths is the easy rinse and re-use of it when you're cleaning over the same spots. For instance, I used a microfiber cloth to wash off the grout cleaner and it's basically like mopping. I wiped the dirt, rinsed it out, then wiped again. It also feels better not constantly throwing away paper towel after paper towel, or constantly reaching for the roll to rip off more.
Also, microfiber cloths work better for dusting than the Swiffer duster, period. The microfiber clothes easily cleaned off dust from shelves, even my suede heels I plan to donate, without needing any other cleaner or liquid. And of course, microfiber cloths are great for cleaning mirrors and electronics.
Sink and bathtub cleaner
I heard of this cleaning paste on an episode of "Young House Love Has a Podcast" of guest Melissa Maker who recommended equal parts baking soda and dish soap for a paste to clean your sink and bathtub. So I tried it and I was so happy with the results. The sink was shining! I really loved how the bathtub ended up as well because normally I would use Ajax, but Ajax would leave a lot of residue and was harder to completely clean off. However, with this homemade paste there were no scratches or residue left.
A nice spring cleaning opened up my heart to take more care of our home. I love this place and I know it's not all ours, it's God's. It's His place gifted to us, and knowing that holds me accountable to take good care of it. Of course we want to live comfortably and a clean space allows that.
Now for some reason my mind keeps popping up with other spaces I didn't know needed cleaning, I guess that's the Holy Spirit answering my heart of wanting to take great care of our home.
An important message for wives: give your husband a heads up the day before of your deep cleaning plans. It's better to warn them instead of just forcing the plans on them or nagging them to help you clean. No one likes to be forced to do anything, and I'm sure not everyone in this world loves to clean.
I prepared my husband the day before on my plans to clean, that way he knew what to expect for the next day. Then when the day came he met me as I was cleaning the kitchen to ask how he could help with enthusiasm. He gladly took on clearing out our home office and gave it a great clean and reorganized it so there's more walking room.
Your excitement and care for your home can move others living there to feel the same. It's not a burden to clean, it's a lovely tune up to your comfort space.
She works energetically; her arms are powerful.
— Proverbs 31:17
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
— Psalm 24: 1-2