Well, it's that time of year when I really have to start thinking about spring cleaning! I know, it's not always an easy thing to think about, but it must be done! It's been a long winter, and we have been cooped up in the house, we've had colds and viruses and quite frankly, it's time to do a deep cleaning and get rid of all the evidence!
I'm not an advocate of commercial cleaners, the only one I really use is Murphy's Oil Soap, because it is just natural soap and natural oil. I also like Dr. Bronners peppermint soap and Sal Suds Cleaner. I worked for a cleaning company once and ever since, if I even get around heavy duty cleaners, I have an asthma attack, they're not good for you!
So, here are a few suggestions that I use to get myself started:
1. Make sure that you are dressed for the job - wear your grubbies. Now, this next one is a hard one for me . . . wear shoes! You will more than likely be on your feet all day, you don't want sore feet, and more than likely you will be going in and out, so lace up!
2. Open all of your windows and really let the fresh air come in and get rid of all the stale, winter air in your house! Good clean air is the best air freshener! If it's still cold outside, turn off the heater - yes, I do this! You don't want frost bite, so don't do this if it's under 35 degrees outside. When it gets too cold, shut the windows.
3. Do one room at a time - make a list of all the cleaning that needs to be done in that room and stick to it. Don't wander around cleaning here and there, you'll never get anything accomplished that way (don't ask me how I know this), clean one room at a time until it's finished.
4. Make sure that you have all of your cleaning supplies in one spot. I have a caddy with my Dr. Bronners, baking soda, vinegar, scrubbies, rags, old toothbrush . . . everything I need is in the caddy and I just bring it from room to room, along with my bucket. Make sure you have your broom, mop and vacuum cleaner handy, but not in the way, where you can trip over it (don't ask about that one either).
Now, it's time to get down to business!!
I just want to share my favorite homemade spray cleaner and air freshener recipes with you:
One of my favorite spray cleaners, is a gentle, but effective spray cleaner made with 2 cups white vinegar, 20 drops tea tree essential oil and 20 drops rosemary essential oil, and about 2 tsp. of Dr. Bronners liquid soap. Just put it in a spray bottle, shake, and clean away. I sometimes add lavender oil until it smells like a lovely day in the fields. This spray is antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antibacterial.
Vinegar is one of my all time favorite cleaners and it's a mild germicidal - I know, it doesn't smell good! But, it's wonderful to clean just about everything with! One good use is in the bathtub. To clean the bathtub, sprinkle baking soda in your bathtub, mix with a little water and scrub, add a little vinegar and you have your own scrubbing bubbles - it works great, try it! You can go on-line and find a trillion uses for vinegar!
I also like to make my own air freshener by filling a large mister bottle ¾ full with white vinegar, add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 5-20 drops of your favorite essential oils. Once it has stopped bubbling, put the sprayer back on the bottle and spray away. My favorite is a mix of lavender and rosemary oils, and for fall and winter I like to combine sweet orange with a touch of clove and cinnamon oils...mmmm. Experiment until you find your favorite!
Now, last but not least, you will need to take care of yourself, you've worked hard and you deserve it! Run the tub full of very warm water, add your favorite bubble bath or essential oils. Turn the lights down or off and light a candle to provide a soft glow to help you relax. Turn on some soft music to really set the mood! Enjoy, but don't stay in for more than 30 minutes - you could fall asleep. After enjoying your bath, put on your favorite body lotion or body oil, put on your night gown and slip into bed for a relaxing night’s sleep! Yaaawwwnnnn.
I can't leave you without giving you the most wonderful recipe for an all natural, Brown Sugar Facial Scrub. I got this recipe here, you will love it!
Brown Sugar Scrub: 2 cups brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/2 cup olive oil, safflower or almond
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla (real, not extract)
Place the brown sugar in a medium-size bowl. Add the oil, honey and vanilla. Mix well. This will fit perfectly into a pint jar or two half-pint, one for you, one for a friend.
Your all-natural scrub will separate. Stir before each use. Moisten your face with warm water, scoop out a bit of the scrub, and apply to your skin. Work it in gently–you can even leave it on for 10 or 15 minutes, (while you are taking your bath) to increase the nourishing benefits before washing off with warm water. Use a couple times a week and you won’t believe how soft your skin will be!
The brown sugar in this recipe is the exfoliant. The olive oil is for the moisturizer. Honey is a natural antibacterial (as well as another moisturizer), and vanilla is for the added scent.
Now, these are all just suggestions and fun ideas, please comment and let me know what you do to make Spring Cleaning easier! I would also love to hear your homemade cleaner recipes and tips!