Monday, January 25, 2010

Cleaning Adventure

Since I really need one more project (did I mention we're in the middle of painting our house, making cork boards for etsy, baby, sick husband...), I've decided to read through the entirety of Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook. If I were participating in the icebreaker game where you respond to the question, "If you knew me well you would know..." my answer would be, "I love Martha Stewart!" I started my adventures with Martha this morning.

Chapter 1: Cleaning Products

This chapter talked about the staples needed in your cleaning caddy. Here's mine:

It also touched on homemade cleaning products which is something I've always wanted to try. I already had a bunch of store bought stuff and thought now would be the perfect time to compare homemade to name brand. I did my own experiment with our main cleaning issue, master bathroom shower mildew, and an easier one, glass cleaner.

Mildew Cleaner
Our bathroom doesn't ventilate well and gets very humid. Within less than a week of scrubbing the shower grout starts to mildew. I decided to try Tilex, Shaklee Scour Off and Martha's at home remedy (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Here's the before...don't judge me :o)

And after:

It's hard to tell zoomed back, but I don't think the Scour Off was made for this job. It seems like more of an oven, caked on grime type of cleaner. Martha's solution and the Tilex worked equally well. However, because the bleach water was so diluted it didn't have the strong chemical smell of the Tilex, which was a plus. I ended up doing the whole shower with the homemade solution. It looks so much better. I'll have to see how long it lasts this time!

I was hoping the homemade cleaner would be "greener" than bleach. Martha says you can try an oxygenated bleach instead, but you have to let it sit for an hour as opposed to 15min. I might try again in a week or so with some of the Shaklee Nature Bright I have.

Glass Cleaner
For this I tried store brand glass cleaner, Windex Multi-Surface with vinegar ("greener" than normal Windex), Shaklee Basic H2 Cleaner and Martha's homemade solution (1 part water/ 1 part vinegar).

All cleaners worked well and were streak free. The Shaklee Basic H2 smelled the best, is environmentally friendly and is a general cleaner for all types of surfaces (so you don't need tons of bottles in your caddy!). The only downside of this one is cost. I think I would choose the vinegar/water as my second favorite based on price, it's a general cleaner too and there are no chemicals involved. Ansley could lick the mirror and I wouldn't have to worry :o)

(Which is a definite possibility after looking at this September picture of Carver)

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