Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fall cleaning follies

Not to mislead anyone; I very seldom do "fall cleaning" as such.  But I've done a bit recently and thought I would share some tips and links for homemade cleaning products and solutions.  Since my eldercare load has lightened up just a bit, I find myself noticing things around the house more and actually can find a few minutes to deal with them.

The one thing I've done this fall that could be considered traditional "fall cleaning" is to wash my living room windows inside and out, vacuuming out and washing the window sills and washing and replacing the window valances.  It feels great to have that task accomplished.

Several times a year I like to wash the fabric "bins" from the laundry sorter that lives in the upstairs bathroom.  Strange as it seems, the outsides get dusty.  I just completed that job today and the laundry sorter looks so much better!

Another task I tackled back in September was cleaning two louvered doors that we have -- one to a coat closet and one to a baking closet.  The louvers were absolutely filled with dust.  It didn't show unless one happened to have the door open when the sun was shining in that area.  I've cleaned these louvered doors before with a vacuum cleaner and crevice tool, and then wiped them down with a dust rag.  But that never lasted long.  This time I decided to search online for a better way.  I found it, too!
A ruler with an old sock fastened around it.  Who would have thought?
 I ran this homemade cleaning implement through every louver until all the visible dust was gone.
Stiff scrub brush
Castile soap
 Then I added some castile soap to hot water and used the stiff scrub brush to scrub down all the louvers.  I then went over it all with a dry rag. 
Wow!  Are these doors clean!
That was a satisfactory project done.  Although I know it'll only have to be done again, next time I know just what to do!

I enjoy using homemade cleaners and household products and am always looking for ways to clean more safely and effectively without a lot of chemicals.  So I want to share a few links to formulas I've tried.

I've blogged about Tub and Shower Magic before-- that magical mixture of Dawn dish soap and hot white vinegar.
Tub and Shower Magic
It really does work wonders on soap scum and I find I only need to use it once a month if I use a daily shower cleaner every day.  Tilex Daily Shower is the only thing I've found that works for our hard water and soap scum.

Trying a homemade daily shower spray has been on my list for eons.  I finally got around to making one.  I found the formula here: Essential Oil Cleaning Recipes.  Sadly, this just didn't work as well as I hoped, but I am keeping it on hand in case I run out of Tilex.  On this same site is a recipe for a soap scum buster bar which sounds really nifty.  I hope to try that eventually.  And I've recently seen a couple of other homemade shower cleaners which look worth a try.

I've also tried this Lemon Soft Scrub
Photo from Mom4Real
and it works very well on my bathroom sinks. I have pretty much found that any of the formulas from Mom4Real are great, and if you go to one of these links you will be able to access all of the homemade cleaners that Jess has developed.

Another project I've been wanting to make is this Homemade fruit and veggie wash, also from Jess.
Photo from Mom4Real
It works great!  I had at one time tried a different recipe for this type of product and I just didn't feel confident that it was working as well as it should.  This one is much better!

Lastly, I want to share a couple of laundry products that I've tried.  These are both from Mom4Real as well. This idea for scented dryer balls works very well.  I use only one tennis ball and it is fine.
Photo from Mom4Real
And on a related note is this Homemade fabric softener.  I usually just spray the tennis balls with a small amount of this rather than using the essential oils.

I usually just use white vinegar in my laundry (in addition to soap, of course) and that usually serves quite well as a fabric softener.  But for loads that seem prone to clinging, or for really stiff items like work jeans, I will add the dryer ball.

Several years ago I used to make my own laundry soap, but did quit that. 

It was quite a chore and the soap was just no match for my hubby's very dirty logging clothes.

Hope you've found some ideas you can use for your own fall cleaning or for everyday tasks like laundry!


  1. I like posts about cleaning so found this interesting. I got rid of my eight louvered doors because I could not easily clean them...found them at The Ponderosa. ; >

    1. Glad you found it interesting, Vee! I enjoy posts about cleaning too, especially tips and homemade formulas that people have tried and found effective. I can use all the help I can get!

    2. Oh, and I meant to say, I don't blame you for getting rid of eight louvered doors. How hilarious that you found them at The Ponderosa! Guess they weren't really gone after all!

  2. I tried the Thieves Cleaner that YLEO puts out but I did not care for it either Mrs T. I do use the vinegar and Dawn and I LOVE it. I am stealing your idea of a sock on a roller to clean those dusty louvers.

    1. That makes me feel better, Arlene, that you don't care for the Thieves cleaner. Surely that is better than the homemade blend I tried that I didn't like, but it makes me feel better that you didn't find it as effective as the vinegar/Dawn.

      I have recently seen two ideas for homemade daily shower cleaners that I am going to check out -- one from Marilyn at Mountain Top Spice, and one from Jess at Mom4Real. I think that Marilyn's is actually an all purpose cleaner, so I will be trying that as soon as I get some oranges to make more orange vinegar and let it steep the requisite time. I have some orange vinegar on hand, but not enough.

      Well, the sock on a ruler is not an original idea with me, though I don't remember where I did find it. What I can say is that it works!


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