Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lazy cleaning tips

I haven't done a cleaning post in forever, so I thought I would do that today.

So. Here are some tips to make your attempts at not being a dirty person unworthy of love a little easier:

Gross Shower Curtain Liner

Has it been over a year? Buy a new one.

Yes, you can occasionally wash it down, but how do you rinse it? You're not going to be able to rinse it off satisfactorily with the shower head. You're going to spray water on yourself, and the floor, and you'll have to wipe that up because you're worried about slipping, and you'll probably get toxic cleaner chemicals all over your arm. Even if you're using borax, you're supposed to be careful because it's a heavy metal and you have to wash yourself off if it makes contact with your skin.

Besides, it's kind of dumb to spend so much time scrubbing a shower curtain liner. Some liners are fabric and can be machine washed every month. I do not have one.

After years of purchasing mold-resistant liners made of the same toxic PVC-laden cheap ones at three times the cost, I bought a cheap one a month ago for $2.69 at Target. It's thinner and dries faster and so far, we're looking good.

Gross Bathtub

There's a borax solution or a vinegar solution or maybe even a lemon juice solution, but I can't recall any of these because I lost some really good saved links a while ago.

What I will tell you is that regardless of whatever you use to clean your tub, scrub it off with a used dryer sheet. I've read this on a lot of frugality websites that recommend recycling floss, etc., but this is a Good Thing because it's really, really effective. I mean it. So spray something on your black mold and soap scum and whatever horrific cooking grease your husband washes off of himself every night (I just don't......ugh) and get down to business with a used dryer sheet. Holy smokes. You will be happy.

Then wash your hands because, you know, toxic cleaner chemicals. Even lemon juice burns!

Grease Jar

Cody's had a bacon grease jar for quite a while. He would store it in the fridge because our kitchen heats up like crazy whenever he uses the oven. It sat unobtrusively in the fridge for a really long time and he'd take it out, measure out some grease for some project, and put it back in the fridge.

He used up all the grease the other day. Rather than place the jar back in the refrigerator like any sane person would do with a juice bottle, milk jug, or bag with one tortilla, Cody just ran some hot water over the jar. As it sat in a bowl. With some measuring spoons. On the wrong side of the sink.

Don't worry, I handled the problem. I ran several gallons and used several squirts of soap on the jar, the bowl, and the measuring spoons. I prewashed all of these items before washing them for real. I also let a great deal of hot water run continuously because if you ever rinse off something with grease, oil, or butter, you need to run a ridiculous amount of tremendously hot water down your drains afterward because if that grease, oil, or butter hardens you will be doomed to a miserable life of clogged drains and bad smells forever.

You can also throw the grease jar directly in the trash.

Believe it or not, I am recommending the quitter's option. Listen, people. Glass biodegrades a lot faster than plastic (because plastic degrades, like, never). And it's not like Mason jars are hard to come by. You can find them for really cheap at garage sales, or for free in a relative's garage. You can even find them on the side of the road. (I have.) For the sake of your sanity, your time, and your drains, I'm going to encourage you to either let that jar sit empty in your fridge until the next time you fry something or just toss it out. Please.

Clogged Drains

#1. Pray.

#2. Dump up to 1/4th of a box of baking soda into the drain.

#3. Slowly pour vinegar down the drain, pausing for when the fizzing (spoiler alert!) comes out of the drain.

#4. Feel like a mad scientist.

#5. Pour in vinegar several times until the fizzing stops entirely.

#6. Try to dig out hair from the drain.

#7. Gag.

#8. Pour in more baking soda and vinegar, followed by very hot water.

#9. Pray.

#10. Drain-O.

Just kidding! Well, not entirely. We've only had to do this once (okay, once in this place). But a lot of people recommend running some baking soda and vinegar through your drains once a month and following up with some boiling hot water just for maintenance purposes.

I like to do this (when I remember) and it's a nice way to avoid the scenario up there.

Greasy Dishes

Spray them with vinegar.

I'm not kidding. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar that I use like Windex and when the dishes are especially gross, I spray them with vinegar. This breaks down the grease a little and then I can take care of a few more things I care about before I go crazy with the yellow gloves and hot water and soap. It really does help. You know why?

Because absolutely everything is better when you use vinegar.


Mom2Four said...

We really need to get you into a place with a dishwasher!! I admire your "green" work ethics, though!!!

Travis T said...

I always throw the shower curtain in the washer with a little bleach. Wash alone and good as new.