Cleaning…going a little deeper.

I’ve been meaning for months to do some deeper cleaning around the house. This, along with my desire to start making homemade cleaners, are finally coming to the forefront. What I did this week were maintenance type tasks that are good for appliances. I use these machines daily but don’t usually return the favor with tender loving care. It’s never to late to start.

Washing machine: I see the little brown specs and dog hair collect at the base of the rubber seal each time I put a load in and think, “I’ve got to do something about that.” I found the One Good Thing blog which gives lots of ideas for homemade cleaners and cleaning. Here is what I did to clean the washer. It definitely helped but as you can see from my picture below it did not get all of the grime that is under the rubber seal. It’s looks much better on the surface but this part has been stubborn. I’m trying to figure out if it’s a stain or actually something to be concerned about. I know the picture is gross but I don’t even want to think about what was there before.

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Dishwasher: Here is what I did for the dishwasher. I can’t believe how simple it was and how long it took me to do it. White vinegar. That’s it. Also, as a suggestion from my Dad, I wiped down the rubber seal along the perimeter of the door as it had some mineral deposits along it. Just a washcloth and water.

Stove: I’m tired of the grates on my stove never coming truly clean. There always seems to be a little residue left behind no matter what I scrub with. I tried this idea with great success. I’ve never bought or used ammonia for cleaning before and wow, is it strong. I took one grate out after 8 hours because I needed to make dinner and the others after 10 hours. You still need to scrub the grates when they come out but it really did give them a shine I haven’t seen in a long time. No more brown icky stains.

Onward ho!

There are still so many little things on my list, for example, wiping down the window sills. I’ve started using my fingertips to open and close the windows to avoid the dust build-up. For now, I would like to focus on making some homemade cleaners. I bought all the ingredients and just need to decide where to start.

Here are some ideas I have found:

Reasons Why

He and She

Little Mrs. Robinson

I would love to hear if you have experimented on your own and discovered what works for you.

Winter Cleaning

Boise has had some extremely cold weather lately. Usually the weather in the valley here is mild in the winter. We get snow but it tends to melt within a few days. Everyone is able to go about their business as usual except for the occasional snow storm and cancelled day of school. However, this past December and January we’ve had temperatures averaging around 0-10 degrees. Some days it’s been in the negatives and others stretching to 18 or even 20. The sad part is this has largely been due to an inversion but regardless, this is cold for me! We even had an ice storm last week that shut down 80 miles of the interstate.

Funny thing is that I’ve noticed it most when picking out which shoes to wear. I don’t have any heavy-duty snow boots or thick fuzzy lined shoes. Mostly Danskos and flats. Because the temperatures have been so low none of the snow has melted. This has made for either snowy, icy, or slushy roads. Constantly. Danskos have just about the worst traction of any shoe out there, second maybe to Uggs. Not to mention they’re a twisted ankle just waiting to happen. Flats are out of the question because everything is so wet. Neither provides a warm comfy place for my cold feet. So, it’s been running shoes and my one pair of boots (Dansko, of course).

The reason I’m rambling on about our miserably cold weather is because when it’s so uncomfortable outside, one tends to spend most of their time indoors by a warm fire. And I guess because I just want to complain a little! All this time warming by the fire has given me the opportunity to look around the house and take notice of all that should be cleaned and organized. So, I’ve compiled a list of winter cleaning items that I hope will give me a jump-start on spring cleaning. No stepping out of the threshold required!

  • Pantry: wipe down all surfaces, take notice of what needs to be used, throw away anything unwanted.
  • Junk drawer: clean shop!
  • Desk: clear top of any clutter and thin files (shred all unnecessary papers).
  • Bathroom drawers/under sinks: remove everything, wipe out, and throw away items no longer used.
  • Laundry room: wipe down all cabinets, throw away unused items, clean the washer and dryer. *If dryer vent needs to be cleaned, set up appointment.
  • Donate summer clothes and winter coats: I know, it’s a weird combination but to me it makes sense. I’m not using my summer clothes and donating winter coats means that someone in greater need can keep their body warm rather than it collecting dust in my closet.
  • Wrapping center: After Christmas I find it a good time to go through all my wrapping supplies and get rid of less desirable items.
  • Change passwords: I do this once a year and it’s easy to remember at the beginning of the year. Fresh start.
  • Run a credit report: You get a free one each year. Take advantage before tax time and make sure all your accounts are in stable condition.

Okay, what did I miss? Is there anything in particular you like to clean out during the winter?

In addition, I’m sharing something I tried in order to clean my rug. Despite the fact that I vacuum it twice a week and have a carpet cleaner come once a year, it just always feels covered in dog hair. Guess I was right. OMG. O…M…G. All I did was use a squeegee on the carpet.

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That pile is mostly dog hair but also anything else you can imagine that the vacuum leaves behind. Yuck!