The saying, “what goes around comes around” has never been truer than with household tips and tricks. Cleaning short-cuts and tips got their start during the depression years to help the woman of the home save time, money and solve a common problem, household tips have been traded and shared by anyone running a home for years. There’s even been a series of books that made the New York Times best-selling books list for three years, Mary Ellen’s Household Hints was hugely popular through the 70’s and 80’s.
These days those books have been replaced by Pinterest, and hints and tricks pages abound and are new to the younger generation who in turn are improving these home tips and making them their own. You’ll find it’s no longer the women of the house who gets in on the fun, the man of the house enjoys these shortcuts as well.
The common thread for many recipes that will safely clean your home without the worry of being toxic is white vinegar. White vinegar is harmless, non-toxic and can successfully clean many surfaces just as quickly as the expensive cleaners from the household cleaner aisle at your grocery store. I swear I smell a good amount of vinegar in my favorite store-bought cleaning supplies.
For a general all around housecleaning solution I take a canning jar and fill 3/4’s with white vinegar and top it off with the rinds from oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruit, any combination will do. Cover the jar securely and keep in a dark place for 2 to 3 weeks. When ready to use strain the citrus rinds, return the vinegar to the jar and when needed pour about a 1/4 cup of vinegar into your cleaning pail and fill with one gallon of hot water, use as you would have used a Pine-sol type of cleaner. This solution is perfect for kitchens and baths, cutting soap scum, removing calcium deposits plus deodorizing the air. Who knew that simple vinegar and leftover citrus rinds could make your home smell better!
The other vinegar solution I always have on hand is one just for showers. In a 32 oz spray bottle (use a good quality bottle) fill almost full with water, measure in approx 2 to 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and follow with a 1-second squirt of dishwasher rinse aid such as Finish or Jet-Dry. Cap the bottle with the spray nozzle, give it a quick shake and place in the shower. To use, simply spray down the shower walls after every shower, you don’t need to go overboard; a generous misting is all that’s needed. This solution will prevent mold and calcium buildup, plus those permanently etched water stains will not form if used after every shower and you won’t need to clean the shower so often (maybe once every month or 2 instead of every week). I have been using this solution successfully for so long I don’t remember where I got the tip to credit the creator.
These two solutions are perfect for spring cleaning, will save you time, money, and deodorize the air. Is there a better enticement than getting the job done now so you can get on with welcoming spring?