Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How Clean is Your House?

If you've never seen this program (shown on BBC America), it is my absolute favorite! Ok, so I'm obsessive compulsive about organizing and cleaning but there's something about this program that makes me giddy! I got hooked on it in the UK watching it someplace, I think at my BFFs since she had cable and we were too cheap to have it in our house! I really got started watching it at my parents' house when I'd come home from the UK to visit; they have TiVo so we would tape it and then my dad and I would watch it at night.

Well, if you've never seen it, the hosts, Aggie and Kim go to the messiest, dirtiest houses in the UK and help the owners get them cleaned. I'm not talking clutter-messy, I'm talking FILTHY, dirty, disgusting, gag-inducing wretchedness! They swab various areas of the home (such as kitchen sink, fridge, toliet, floors, etc.) and Aggie tests them for potential bacterias and generally 100% of the time, they find some nasty stuff growing. They have cleaning teams that attack the house throwing out garbage, dirty furniture, and completely scrubbing and cleaning the house. They also show the home owners some great tips on how to clean the house. The good news is these tips are usually very GREEN! (Which of course pleases the LL.) :) The problem is that I always forget to have a notepad on hand to take down these tips! Oh, I'll remember them later, I tell myself. HA! That NEVER happens.

Thanks to the internet though, I found some of these tips and thought I would share them with you. If you check out the website, you can access picture galleries from previous homes, submit your own cleaning tips, etc.

I thought I'd share a few of these tips you all today, many of the ingredients you need can probably be found in your cupboards already! :)

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice

Pretty simple, huh? Here are a few samples from the page, you can check out the rest if you like these!

Glass: Wash windows with 2 to 3tbsps of vinegar to three litres of warm water. Dry with crumpled newspaper for sparkling results.

Wood: Mix one part olive oil with one part lemon juice. Rub on furniture or apply with a spray bottle, then polish with a dry cloth. Use this mix to make wood floors gleam.

Drain cleaner: Put down one part soda, followed by four parts hot vinegar. Leave overnight if possible.

Baths, shower doors, tiles and grout: Tackle body oils and soap scum with two parts soda to one part vinegar or lemon juice. The thick paste should be applied with a damp cloth. Leave for 10 minutes then rub with a brush or sponge. As you rinse it off, drains will be kept fresh too. Use this mix on shower doors, sinks, tiles and grout. If cleaning grout, rub with a toothbrush.

Here are a few of my reliable, green cleaning methods that I use around my house:

Cleaning the cat box: Dump out all the old litter and hose out the remains. Pour about 1 - 1/2 inches of white vinegar into the box and a fair amount of baking soda; let this sit for about 20 - 30 minutes and then scrub the box down. Rinse, let dry and put in fresh litter!

Cleaning the microwave: Put a bowl of white vinegar in the microwave and heat for 1 minute. Let it sit so it dissolves cuts the grease. Wipe down with a damp rag.

Fridge: Use a paste of baking soda and white vinegar to remove tough stains and odours.

Garbage disposal: Grind up lemons in warm water stream to deodourize.

I hope this helps! Remember harsh chemicals in your home aren't just bad for the environment, but yourself, you family, and your pets!

Happy cleaning! Please submit any tips that you use around your home! :)

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