Back to the Basics: Spring Cleaning

We all talk about Spring Cleaning, but what’s a girl on a budget to do?!?!  The cleaning supplies aisle could overwhelm a chemist these days and everything is so darned expensive.  It’s time to take it back to basics!  Your purse will thank you and so will your nose!

I recently learned about Castile soap and all of its glorious uses.  I called my mom thinking I just struck it rich with knowledge on how to clean everything without being the Bleach Queen carrying a basket with fifteen different products to clean fifteen different things.  She nicely listened to it all and flatly replied, “Those are the things we used to clean with before everything got so fancy”.  Well blow the wind right out of my sails!

After many months of trying different recipes and concoctions, it turns out that baking soda and vinegar are two of the best ingredients you can have on hand.  Baking soda, who knew?  Let’s get started with some basic tips to make your cleaning spree easier and just as productive.  First, clear the clutter.  This saves you from dusting around items that you will pick up and put away later anyway.  This is also the perfect time to decide what needs to make its way to the rubbish or recycle bins.  Better yet, sell it!  If it stays, dust it!

homemade cleaning productsIt seems we’ve developed a notion that an “all-purpose cleaner” just doesn’t do a good job.  Well, that notion is wrong.  Grab a reusable spray bottle and get ready for this quick mix that will not only clean but won’t burn your sinuses while doing it.    On your next trip to your local store, pick up a box of washing soda (different from baking soda), bottle of Castile soap (don’t let the price tag knock you over), vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.  At first, this may seem like a pricey endeavor, but you’ll quickly see these items are in higher concentrations than your store-bought pre-mix and will last much longer.

For your all-purpose cleaner, drop ½ tsp of washing soda into the spray bottle along with ½ tsp of Castile soap, 2 cups of hot water and 15 or so drops of essential oil (I like to use citrus but the scent is up to you).  Shake it up and start scrubbing!  When you get to those beloved tub and sink drains, shake a little baking soda in and follow it with vinegar.  Run some warm water after a few minutes and you may have just loosened that nasty drain clog without hurting your plumbing!  Baking soda and vinegar can make a great quick paste when an extra scrubbing is needed (ahem, the toothpaste blobs in the sink).  Enjoy your freshly cleaned house and the pleasant essential oil aroma!  Open the windows and welcome Spring!

If you like this cleaning post, keep an eye out for our future Back to Basics quick tips on a budget!

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