Once again I was lucky enough to find some great tips on-line. This time they are from “Country Living.”
12 Housekeeping Secrets To Steal From Grandma
1. Keep Up, Don’t Catch Up: Grandma kept after her messes. It’s easier than saving all of your chores for one big cleaning session. Get into a daily routine and your house will look neat as a pin (you hope): Make the bed, do the dishes after avery meal (load the dishwasher), and sweep the kitchen floor daily.
2. Stockpile Tea Towels: Instead of using paper towels, invest in flour-sack tea towels instead. They’re 100% cotton so you can dry glasses lint free , wipe down the stove or let dishes drip-dry on them. They launder well and dry fast. Grandma approved bonus: They come in pretty patterns, colors, and motifs to add vintage charm to your kitchen.
3. Use DIY Window Cleaner: Your grandma didn’t have fancy window and mirror cleaning sprays, and you don’t need them either. Mix up this streak-free recipe, courtesy of Rapinchuk:
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 T vinegar
1 1/2 T rubbing alcohol
3 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix in a spray bottle, spray liberally on windows and mirrors and wipe with a lint-free cloth.
4.Renew Stained Linens: Can’t get rid of stains on napkins, tablecloths or doilies? Grandma wouldn’t toss them; she’d tea stain them. Add four or five bags of black tea to a bucket of hot water and let them steep for 10 minutes or so. Remove tea bags, add the cloth (swish it around so it absorbs the water), let it sit until you reach the desired shade. You’ll get a lovely creamy brown. Let dry to set, then wash in cold water.
5. Go Old-School With Some Products: Some of the products grandma used are still available, because they’re inexpensive and they work great. Use lemon oil such as Old English or Milsek to dust furniture and add a sheen to kitchen cabinets. Try scrubbing powder such as Bon Ami on pots and pans, or baking soda on a damp rag as a light abrasive in sinks or for scuffs on floors.
6. Deep Clean With The Seasons: There is something to be said for cleaning with the calendar like grandma did. A least once a year wash your windows, change the furnace filter, deep-clean your carpets, flip and vacuum your mattress, and purge your closet. Keeping clothes you don’t like or wear is not sensible, and grandma wouldn’t approve.
7. Less Is More: You don’t need a million specialty cleaning products in your arsenal. “Borax” is a multipurpose cleaner that has been around forever and is incredibly versatile. Sprinkle a little on a damp sponge to clean tile, floors, porcelain sinks, or fixtures. Use it to wipe down greasy kitchen cabinets. Add it as a detergent booster, especially to rid laundry of odors, or use it as a pre-soak for tough stains.
8. Practice An Ounce Of Prevention: Cleaning as you go prevents little messes from becoming big ones. Squeegee down the shower after every use. Wipe the bathroom sink after you brush your teeth, so toothpaste blobs don’t dry in place. Place throw rugs inside and outside doors to prevent dirt from getting tracked indoors. Vacuum your traffic patterns frequently to keep grit from grinding into carpet fibers.
9. Freshen The Air Naturally: Use 100% vanilla extract for deodorizing.It gives a clean, fresh scent instead of a chemical smell. Douse cotton balls with vanilla and hide them in plants, or rub one over a cold light bulb; when it heats, the room will smell great. To improve the smell of your microwave, put two tablespoons of vanilla in a glass bowl and heat for 30 seconds, then let sit inside the microwave for a few hours. If you have lingering cooking smells, simmer a few tablespoon of lemon juice in a pan.
10. Use Vinegar To Descale: Degunk your shower head by pouring straight white vinegar in a plastic bag. Use a rubber band to hold it in place around the shower head for a few hours. Remove the bag, and scrub off the residue with a toothbrush. Vinegar also degrimes shower curtains. Toss the curtain in the wash with a few towels, a bit of soap, borax, and a vinegar rinse (pour into the softener dispenser). Give the curtain 5 minutes on low in the dryer and it will look like new.
11. Stock A Rag Bin: Grandma was thrifty, so she never threw a scrap of fabric. Clothes that were too worn became cleaning cloths. Use cotton diapers, or tear old flannel sheets and cotton t-shirts into square cleaning rags. They’ll last forever. We always had a bag of cleaning rags when I was growing up. It was in the broom closet for everyone to find.
12. Make A Natural Whitener: If you have yellowed white laundry or linens, make a natural lemon whitener. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a gallon of hot water in a laundry bucket. Let them soak for one hour or two hours. Run through a rinse cycle or rinse by hand, then set them out in the sun to dry.