Courtney is the perfect blend of 1950’s housewife and modern housewife. She keeps things simple. On her website, Homemaker Hero, she features tips and tricks of how things were done “back then” and applies them to modern living. You can also find Courtney on twitter @HomemakerHero.
Housekeeping: The Power of Soap and Water
If you’ve been following along every Tuesday, you’ve probably read my short bio that sits above the article. If you’ve read that, you’ll know that I am all about keeping things as simple as possible when it comes to all things homemaker. That’s how my grandmother did things and probably how your grandmother did things.
So many companies out there want us to believe their product is so much better than the basics. Isn’t there a different cleaner for every type of surface these days? When it comes to cleaning, there is no reason to pay store prices for chemicals that harm people when you breathe them in.
150 years ago, after dealing with mothers and infants who were dying from bacterial infections, doctors used soap and water for simple hand washing. They realized this technique was saving lives.
Soap and water remains one of the best defenses against germ-borne illnesses in hospitals and homes. Believe it or not, antibacterial soap is even less effective than using soap and water! In fact, it may even pose some potential risks.
There’s no longer a need for each surface of your home to have its own special cleaner. Get back to the basics with soap and water! Soap and water can actually take care of cleaning dishes, window screens, hand-washable silk materials, most hard-surfaces, floors, stainless steel sinks/appliances, and porcelain fixtures.
Where soap and water doesn’t do the job, there are plenty of other basic products to use for cleaning. They are all nontoxic, inexpensive, natural, and effective. Most of them are things you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet or pantry. Other cleaning remedies include using vinegar, salt, baking soda, or lemon juice.
I’m sure you know soap and water won’t clean the grime from your oven. Instead, combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda with 4 tablespoons of steamy water to create a paste-like soap. Apply it to the inside of your oven using a soft bristle brush – such as a toothbrush. Let it sit for one minute and then scrub it with the brush. Wash with water and a sponge until no traces of baking soda remain. For really tough grime, mix 1 cup salt, 1 cup baking soda, and 1 cup of water. Apply to inside of oven and then heat oven to 500 degrees and let it sit for 1 hour. Then wipe clean with a moist sponge and rinse well.
For a good all-purpose cleaner, combine 2 tablespoons of Borax, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and 2 cups of water. Dissolve Borax in the lemon juice and water. Then put it into a spray bottle and use it like you would a conventional all-purpose spray.
IMPORTANT: Don’t mix homemade cleaning products with conventional cleaners. Keep these and all cleaning products away from children. Keep large batches of cleaning products in tightly sealed containers or reusable spray bottles.
Find more helpful hints at Works for Me Wednesday.
Disclaimer: Treatments and cleaning methods are recommendations only from personal experience and research. Please use common sense in using these methods and understand that damage may occur to certain materials. IS World Media is not responsible for any damage that may occur due to the cleaning methods described.