Tuesday, February 5, 2013

spring cleaning

Is it cold where you are? If you're in New Jersey (which I know most of you are), it's been downright frigid this week and snowing a little bit every night (yuck).

Even though the first day of spring is 43 days away (but who's counting), on Saturday, I was feeling quite motivated by Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of an early spring. I decided I would clean all those things that fall by the wayside. You know, the cleaning you should do, but that gets bumped to the bottom of the list because the tub is gross, the floors need to be washed, and the laundry needs to be done.

Here's what I tackled:
  • the Brita pitcher
  • the Keurig machine
  • my makeup brushes
  • the washer
  • the dishwasher
  • the microwave
  • the glass stove top on my oven
  • the bathtub

  • And here's what I used:

    A gallon of white vinegar and a few other cleaning supplies I already had around the house. The vinegar probably cost about $4, though I don't remember because I bought it so long ago. I used about half the gallon for Saturday's cleaning extravaganza.

    The Brita pitcher was the easiest, obviously, since all it required was washing the pitcher out in hot, soapy water and replacing the filter. Did you know you're supposed to soak the new filter for 15 minutes before inserting it in the pitcher? I didn't. Oh the things you'll learn when you actually read directions!

    For the Keurig, I followed these instructions I found on Pinterest. I put the drip tray and K-cup holder in a pot of hot soapy water and wiped the outside down with a few Clorox wipes. I dumped out the remaining water in the reservoir and washed that out as well. I filled the reservoir back up with 48 ounces of white vinegar and proceeded to run the largest cup cycle until I couldn't smell the vinegar anymore. Actually, I had to have The Hubs sniff the last couple cups for me because I became desensitized to it. I haven't noticed any difference in the taste of my tea, but at least now this is done for another six months or so.

    Next I moved onto the washing machine. My LG washer has a "tub clean" cycle, so I just poured the vinegar into the tray where my detergent usually goes. About half way through, I got the idea to put the bath tub grippers in as well. Once the cleaning cycle was done, I just opened the door to let it air dry since front loaders have a tendency to get mildew-y (yuck!)

    Then I took a lunch break - Cleaning is hard work! ;-)

    I cleaned my makeup brushes using a method I found here - very easy, very effective. Since I was in the bathroom anyway, I cleaned the tub. This was my only non-eco cleaning - I love the Kaboom Foaming spray.

    I simultaneously cleaned the dishwasher and microwave at the same time using a method I found at One Good Thing. For the microwave, nuke a bowl containing 1 cup vinegar & 1 cup of water for about 5 minutes (depending on how high your power is) then remove the bowl (carefully!) & wipe up the stains. You can also add a lemon peel to the mixture for a fresher scent. I took the hot bowl of water & vinegar, dumped it into a pot on the stove, and brought it to a rigorous boil so it could get any stains off the bottom of microwave too. Easy peasy.

    The dishwasher uses the same premise, although instead of using a diluted vinegar solution, you do one cup of straight vinegar in the top rack of your empty dishwasher. Run the hottest cycle available (newer dishwashers might have a self-clean cycle). In our dishwasher, this was a "normal cycle" with a "Sani-Rinse", since our sensor is half-kaput and only certain buttons work on it. The instructions also say to run a second, shorter cycle with baking soda to freshen the inside and loosen stains, but I skipped this step due to the aforementioned sensor issues.

    I tried to clean our glass stove top last using this method, but it didn't work for me. I think the number one issue was my liquid wasn't hot enough, but I also didn't have any rags which were big enough for the whole stove top. Instead, I used a hand towel, a kitchen towel, and a washcloth. The instructions also mention you might have to repeat the steps, but I was over cleaning at that point. Groundhog Day was on repeat and I was ready to park myself on the couch.

    What are your favorite cleaning methods? Anyone else out there getting more bang for your buck?


    1. I looove using vinegar to clean. I use it on our dishwasher and our top-loading clothes washer, and it seriously works magic on our tea kettle. We have very hard water, so the inside of the tea kettle can get gross pretty quickly, but it's as good as new after I boil some vinegar in it!

    2. I use vinegar often. It also works well as a fabric softener btw... and as odd as it sounds, as an air freshener! I have been noticing my dishwasher leaving stuff on the dishes so i started to add apple cider vinegar, I don't measure it I just toss a little in to the bottom of my dishwasher whenever I run it... works like a charm! I add vinegar to the water when i run the steam mop and as for the glass top...I use vinegar for that too... super easy I will show you on easter. Lol infact I can probably make a list of stuff I use it for by then