Efficiently and Thoroughly Clean and Disinfect Two Bathrooms

I have one and a half bathrooms in my one-story house. Both bathrooms get regular/frequent use. When I clean, I get them both done at once. I did not include the shower because personally, it is my least favorite thing to clean in the whole house and I do it on a different day. I also did not include the floors. I mop all the linoleum in the house on the same day. This works well for two bathrooms on the same floor, because you will be running back and forth between the two. This is because the disinfectant takes a few minutes to really work.

Efficiently and Thoroughly Clean and Disinfect Two Bathrooms

Materials needed:

  • 12-14 small rags (it’s a lot, but prevents cross-contamination)
  • Glass-cleaning cloth (I use a microfiber cloth specifically for glass/windows)
  • Towel (mine is an old, stained hand towel. Doesn’t have to be big at all)
  • Toilet cleaner (I used Borax) and toilet brush
  • Disinfectant (I make my own: 1 part rubbing alcohol + 2 parts water + a few drops of dish soap + shake well)
  • All-Purpose Cleaner (I use Branch Basics, diluted for all-purpose)
  • Glass cleaner (I use Branch Basics, diluted for glass)

Here are the steps I follow.

  • Put toilet cleaner in toilet bowl #1, swish around with brush, let sit.
  • Repeat for toilet #2.
  • Liberally spray toilet #1 with all-purpose cleaner. Repeat for toilet #2.
  • Wipe down toilet #1. Use as many rags as you feel necessary – I use 2-3.
  • Using new rags, repeat for toilet #2.
  • Liberally spray all parts of toilet #1 (including in the bowl) with disinfectant. Let sit. Repeat for toilet #2.

As the bowl cleaner and disinfectant sits, move on to sink #1.

  • Clear off sink #1. Liberally spray all-purpose cleaner on sink #1. Repeat for sink #2.
  • Wipe down sink #1. Wipe down sink #2.
  • Liberally spray disinfectant on sink #1. Let sit. Repeat for sink #2.

As the toilets continue to disinfect, and the sinks disinfect,

  • Spray and wipe down mirror #1. Repeat for mirror #2.

Back to toilets/sinks:

  • Wipe down toilet #1. Again, I use 2-3 rags just to be on the clean side.
  • Scrub toilet #1 bowl with brush and flush when finished.
  • Wipe down toilet #2. Scrub bowl #2 and flush when finished.
  • Wet new rags and wipe down/rinse sink #1. Technically, you should rinse the disinfectant like this – I don’t for the toilets because I don’t want to use a towel to dry the toilets.
  • Use a towel to dry sink #1.
  • Using the same wet rag, wipe down/rinse sink #2. Towel dry sink #2. (May or may not need new towel depending on how soaked you got it the first time!)

YOU ARE FINISHED! Enjoy your shiny, clean and disinfected bathrooms!

Additional tips:

Let toilet bowl cleaner drip dry into toilet before putting it back in its container. Do this by placing it between the toilet seat and the rim, with the brush part over the bowl.

Wipe your mirrors in an S-like pattern, starting at the top and working your way to the bottom, for no streaks.

Clean your toilet in an order that makes sense to you so you don’t wipe rim/seat germs back onto the handle, etc. For example: Rag #1 wipes (in this order): top of tank, sides & front of tank, handle. Rag #2: Outside of lid, inside of lid, top of seat. Rag #3: underside of seat and rim.

Always shut the toilet lid before flushing to prevent floating water/particles from spraying on your walls… or toothbrushes… etc. It is known that the spray can reach 6 feet.

If you use a reusable cup to rinse after brushing your teeth like I do, bathroom-cleaning day is a great time to remember to change out the cup (or simply wash and replace it!)

Don’t forget to wipe down any toothbrush holders, soap dispensers, etc that reside on the sink. Clean and disinfect that stuff too!

How often do you clean your bathrooms? Do you have a routine?

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My tips for using Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap

My tips for using Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap

In honor of the Buy One, Get One Free sale happening now at econutssoap.com (through 1/25/15), I want to promote them and give my tips for use.

Eco Nuts soap nuts are, in a “nutshell”, organic laundry soap. Technically, the “nuts” are berries, so they are nut allergy safe. The soap, called saponin, is naturally produced in the berries.

Something my husband has had a hard time wrapping his head around is this: Bubbles and foam do not make clothes clean. Commercial laundry soaps have artificial foaming agents. These soap nuts do not produce foam or bubbles. I am here to tell you, the clothes still get clean!!

The website recommends 4-5 soap nuts in the cloth bag. I always use 5 for more cleaning power. I don’t have to tie the bag – I used to and it got difficult to untie when wet – but the bag stays closed if you just pull it shut thanks to the cloth strings. (Disclaimer: The website recommends tying the bag shut.)

I use the bag about 7 or 8 times before checking the status of the soap nuts. When they look broken apart and just…dry, I will throw them away (you can also compost them) and replace them with a new 4-5 soap nuts (in my case, 5) in the bag. If they don’t look quite broken up yet, I’ll just add 5 new ones to the bag and have 5 new and 5 old inside. HERE is a chart and video on the Eco Nuts website to help you know when the are used up.

It is impossible for me to remember from day to day how many loads I have washed with the current bag, so I have a small dry erase board (I attached magnets to the back) and I make a tally mark when I do a load. When I add new soap nuts to the used ones, I start a new line of tallies under the old tallies just so I know how many the old soap nuts went through altogether. (SIDE NOTE: Dryer lint makes for an awesome dry erase board eraser!)

In the corner of the dry erase board I add up how many uses I got because I’m curious! The box I’m using is for 360 loads. However, I rarely use all ten because you can use it “up to” 10 times and I, wanting the ultimate clean, replace before 10 loads all the time. Plus, I always use 5 nuts instead of the also acceptable 4. I’m not worried if I don’t make it to 360 loads.

What i love about soap nuts is the cost-effectiveness. Check out this chart (link) for the price per load of Eco Nuts Soap Nuts compared to other brands. Not to mention, the various other selling points – Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are fragrance free, SLS free, no dyes or optical brighteners, and have a natural fabric softener. That chart also says that the 360 load box is 9 cents per load. Until 1/25/15 you can buy 2 boxes for the price of one, and that would be 4.5 cents per load! Pretty impressive, considering the free and gentle I used to buy is 29 cents per load according to the chart.

My tips for using Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap

For my cold laundry, which is at least 4 loads a week, I make a soap “tea” by putting the bag into a mug filled with hot water and letting it soak for the amount of time it takes to add clothes and fill the drum up with water. Then i pour the whole thing – “tea” plus soap nut bag – into the washer. This is recommended for hand wash and heavy soil, but because I want my clothes to get the cleanest clean and the soap nuts are better activated in hot water, I go ahead and make the tea every time I use not-hot water to wash anything.

The website says you can leave the bag in for the rinse cycle, so I do. It does not leave clothes soapy, and in fact continues to provide the natural fabric softener. You can also remove the bag to get more use out of your soap nuts. I don’t usually have time for that! 🙂

Since I have been using the Eco Nuts soap nuts, my clothes smell clean but not like an artificial fragrance, and they look clean, too. I have seen some bad stains remain and my next adventure will be trying oxygen bleach sold on their site as well.

I highly recommend Eco Nuts Soap Nuts if you have sensitive skin – like me, or if you want to save money (who doesn’t?), or if you want to be more eco conscious (I do!). 

Would you switch to an organic laundry soap? 

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under our kitchen sink was a horrendous mess! Mostly because we never cleaned it out before moving in. I thought hey, if the previous owners kept the painting supplies etc under here, it must be a good place, right?

Wrong! I’m used to keeping other things under there, and there was hardly room.

Under Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step one: Empty everything out. Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step 2: Wipe out the inside of the cabinets.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step 4: Get rid of things that don’t belong. Paint supplies moved to the garage. Phone books will be recycled as soon as I unsubscribe from each. There were way too many plastic sacks that I will recycle next time I go to the grocery store (I did save several, though.)

Step 5: Categorize what’s left. I store my ziploc bags, wax paper, foil, parchment paper, and paper bags under the sink for easy access. I also keep my garbage bags (including grocery sack liners for small trash bags), brown paper grocery sacks for cardboard recycling, and blue recycling bags under the sink.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Here’s my plastic box full of trash day goodies.

I also installed a wire shelf-like thing from the Container Store on the cabinet door. I put the parchment paper, foil, wax paper, brown paper bags, freezer bags, and gallon storage bags in this.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

END RESULT:

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Much cleaner and easier to find anything I want. On trash days I’ll just pull out the plastic box and take what I need since everything is grouped together. I also added the soap refill.

How’s the underside of your kitchen sink looking? Does it need a makeover?

Dawn and Vinegar Shower Cleaner

DIY Shower Cleaner

I decided to try the blue Dawn dish soap and vinegar mixture for cleaning showers that was circulating Pinterest for a while. I tried at our old house, but I wasn’t sure about it. I tried using just a little Dawn, and later I tried squeezing the Dawn into the shower first and then spraying vinegar over it and letting it sit. Don’t do that! It doesn’t work.

This time, I put some vinegar in a spray bottle, and an EQUAL amount of Dawn. I shook it up really good and sprayed – rather, saturated – the floor and walls of the shower. I let it sit for an hour. 

I did take pictures before and after, but the truth is, my shower didn’t really look all that dirty to begin with. I was pleased with how shiny the floor looked post-cleaning, though.

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(There are some flaws in my shower, chips and stuff like that, and you might see those in the picture – they are not dirt.)

Vinegar and dish soap are two things I tend to always have on hand. I happen to use blue Dawn as my dishwashing liquid of choice anyway, too. I’m pleased with this cleaning recipe. The shower is one of my least favorite things to clean at home because of all the bending. This recipe makes the bending time spent while cleaning the shower much less!

The only thing I have concerns about is how long the mixture will last. I have some left over from today’s cleaning but I don’t plan on cleaning the shower again for a week or so. I’ll let you know!

NOTE: Right at an hour, my husband came home from work (landscaping) and needed a shower right then. It was really quick and easy (no real scrubbing power required) to wipe down the shower and walls and then rinse. Rinsing took the most time!

What’s your favorite Pinterest cleaning recipe?

Uses for the Magic Eraser (and product review)

Uses for the Magic Eraser (and product review)

 

 

 

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Before today, I had never used a Magic Eraser. I bought a 2-pack not too long ago and still hadn’t used them. I wasn’t sure how – was there a trick to it? What if it didn’t work? Tonight, I decided to give one a whirl…

I read a bunch of blog articles and found lots of uses for the Magic Eraser. Here are the ones I tried tonight that I was super pleased with.

Dry erase board: Lots of smears on the one on my fridge. Came out much shinier and nicer, completely clean! (Of all the experiments, I was most pleased with this.)dryerase

Keyboard. Grime between the keys and on them. Gross. Came out really well. I might go over it again, in fact.  

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The refrigerator door. Not too bad, so it’s hard to tell, but near the handle there was some food grime. fridge

 

Stovetop. This mess just happened tonight. I usually use a rag and baking soda with water like in this post, but I thought I’d give the Magic Eraser a try… I had to wipe remaining smeared grease up with a rag after, though. stovetop

Toaster. The outside was really dusty, including the metal in the center, the little crevasses on the sides, and around the knob.toaster

Range head. It was SUPER dusty, had never been wiped off since we moved in. I’m not used to it since I’ve not had a range head in my adult life. Hard to tell, but it was perfect and shiny afterwards.rangehead

Wall. From moving furniture though this part of the hallway, there were some scuffs. In the first picture it looks like there’s a wet spot… there is: I wiped some down before snapping the first picture.

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Bottom of wall, more scuffing. I think I rubbed to much here – although the scuffing lifted, I think I lifted some of the white paint, too! (Where you see blue in the bottom picture.) Not good!wall3

I’m pleased with the Magic Eraser, but I won’t be so rough on the walls next time. Also, I would like to point out that it started falling apart pretty quickly (possibly related to how hard I scrubbed?) 

This is a new one compared to the one I used tonight. And I had the “extra power” type, too!DSCN1302

I would not use it on grease again, even though it worked fine, because it got SO dirty and would not rinse out completely. I am fine with a rag and baking soda for those situations!

Do you use a Magic Eraser? Where else should I try it? 

*This post was not sponsored or endorsed by Mr. Clean or anyone else. The opinions shared are the author’s alone.*

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Natural Microwave Cleaner: Vinegar

I clean my microwave about every week, and it never gets too dirty as we don’t use it that often. I usually wipe it out with vinegar sprayed onto a rag… but I wanted to write a post about a trick I learned on Pinterest that I’ve used a few times when I need a deeper clean.

My microwave wasn’t all that dirty to start out:

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I used the following Pinterest trick:

Put half water, half vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. (Pinterest says 1 cup of each… I use less. The vinegar smell is awful and lingering if you use too much.) Once I microwaved straight vinegar because I forgot and I had to leave the room because of the smell.

Microwave on high for 1-3 minutes, depending on how stuck on the food is. Some Pinners say 10 minutes. I have not found that to be necessary. 

The steam from the vinegar mixture loosens the food/grime on the walls and ceiling of the inside of the microwave.

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Remove the bowl with oven mitts. Dip a rag in the (VERY HOT!) solution and wipe down walls and ceiling.

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It’s a good idea to remove the microwave plate to wipe it down, or wash with dish soap if you need to. 

I always leave the microwave door open a little while to air it out. I also wipe down the outside of the microwave to disinfect a bit.

VERDICT: This Pinterest trick works nicely. I like that it uses vinegar, which is safe to ingest. I also like how easy it is. I haven’t had the opportunity to use this method on an extra-dirty microwave in a while, but if I remember right, it works well for those too with a few extra minutes of microwaving. If you find yourself needing to scrub too hard, microwave the vinegar/water mixture a little longer. 

Comment if you try it!

Natural, Easy Stovetop Cleaner: Baking soda

I’m all about natural cleaning and my favorite cleaners are vinegar and baking soda. To clean the stovetop, I use a tiny bit of baking soda and some water.

I clean my stovetop regularly – every weekend usually, but it’s been a couple of weeks at this point. My stovetop looked like this:

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I move the grates and sprinkle the middle part with water. Then I sprinkle just a little baking soda. A little goes a long way:

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The baking soda is a natural, safe cleaner that serves as an abrasive when I scrub with a cloth. It works amazingly on dried-on food.

However, I had a big birthday candle melt on the top and leave a big waxy residue.

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So I used a dull knife to scrape off the wax, leaving a pile of shredded wax which I wiped into the trash can.

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Then I wiped it down again real fast with the same rag.

End result:

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Shiny clean with just water and baking soda! 

Now, this does not clean the grates. I would like to do that in a way that doesn’t involve ammonia. Also, there are some dark stains around the holes that baking soda does not get up, but those stains were around since before I lived in this house.

Have you tried baking soda as a stovetop cleaner? Will you?