For all you Frugal Laundresses out there, i.e. Bob, here’s the link to the detergent: It’s slimey, it’s wierd, and it works. If you’re having trouble finding supplies, let me know. I can help.
Obviously, I can’t leave well enough alone. So next time I’m adding essential oils and making it smell even better. Basically it smells like whatever soap bar you use. I used Fels Naptha. I’ve heard if you use Ivory, it never really solidifies. BUT Ivory would be a very gentle choice. Good on lingerie and baby stuff. I am a picky poo about my lingerie, so I still buy delicate wash. Sue me. I use it on hankies too.
So Spring Cleaning planning goes on. Yesterday I made Cedarwood Dusting Aid. I think it smells like dusting wood with nice fresh wood. Will says it smells like Murphy’s. Well, sure. It has Murphy’s in it. But those of us with more evolved nasal palates (when not congested) can pick up the delicate scent of 15 drops of Cedarwood, 4 drops of Sweet orange, and one of patchouli.
I also made my annual Spring Cleaning trip to Family Dollar. Now, let me just say that I can be a shop snob. I am all about a bargain, but if your front entrance can be locked away behind metal grates, I shall continue my journey to well-lit and over-priced Whole Foods. My husband, on the other hand, is a fervent patron of the most shady and questionable establishments ever run in our fair city. So obviously he loves Family Dollar. I avoided it like the plague until two years ago when I realized we didn’t own a bucket. For most people, this would be a passing thought. For me it was a mission. So I tenderly opened the doors to Family Dollar and was greeted with the welcomingly grainy recording of “YOU ARE BEING WATCHED FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY. WELCOME TO FAMILY DOLLAR.” Ah yes. Customer service at it’s best. Then I had to check in, not my zippable enormous purse/bag, but the resuable grocery sack with my lunch dishes in it, and as I would later discover, the shopping list I so carefully created. But no matter. The quest was buckets and buckets they had for incredible prices.
So I merrily skipped right in yesterday to buy concetrated dish soap, cotton cloths, micro fiber cloths, a sponge mop, and check out their prices on Borax. Well, they don’t have Borax. BUT they do have baking soda for 55 cents!!!!!! This is a 50% savings from Strack and Vantil, my favorite grocery store. (I will still be visiting Strack for cornmeal and Bon Ami. Actually, last night, Will said, “What’s Bon Ami?” And I said it’s an old timey environmentally friendly scouring powder. And he said, “What’s cornmeal?” And I said, “Are you serious?” And he said, “OH! Like actual cornmeal? I thought it was some weird thing you were going to make.”) Anyway, Family Dollar is the place to go for cleaning supplies, and hell, potted meat, vienna sausages and spam if you’re in the market. I was not. (Although they do have Queen Helene products….I love Queen Helene.)
So what’s in my Spring Cleaning Kit? Well, it’s not totally assembled yet. And I haven’t had a chance to tie any ribbons onto the bottles and buckets (I have to “own” it, you know?) but here is my ever growing list. I’ve combined resources after extensively reading Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook (Seriously, order me a pizza, hand me my leopard print blanket and that book and you won’t see me for a week.), Folk Wisdom for a Natural Home, How Clean is Your House?, The Naturally Clean Home, watching my Momma spring clean over the years (key word: WATCHING. What? I’m allergic? Why else would I own a pink bandanna?) and begrudgingly reading Real Simple. I find the magazine to be trite, but I like all the lists and the layout. Plus, some things you just learn the best way. There’s no cat puke chapter in Martha’s book, but there is in mine. Most homekeeping manuals don’t cover how to remove strange substances left by angry janitors at multipurpose theatres. Been there. Luckily, said angry janitors aren’t allowed in my apartment.
Okay Okay…list: Just remember: Research, Glamour and Experience. That’s how I roll when I make a plan to do something I never finish.
1. Three buckets: One for carrying, one for soapy water, and one for rinse water. You can decorate them however you like, but the handles are begging for ribbons.
2. 100% cotton cloths. I don’t know why. I use mostly old tshirts to do the cleaning, but Martha recommends 100% cotton cloths and most importantly Kim from How Clean is Your House does do, “Don’t tickle, Dear. Scrub!”
3. Microfiber cloths. These are good because they are lint free. I’m told. Could be embroidered. I’m not going to do it, but let me know if you do.
4. Paper towels. No not green, but see earlier comments on cat vomit. Sometimes a girl just has to throw something away.
5. A Squeegee. Because it’s fun to say. (Handle could be painted with acrylic paint. Probably a cherub or something.)
6. Old cut up tshirts: For actual cleaning.
7. A Sponge mop.
8. A regular mop.
9. A broom
10. A whisk
11. A dustpan.
- ‘s 7-11 can have their handles painted with polka dots. Cute, right!?!?
12. A scouring powder. I’m using up the last of my Ajax. I know I know. It’s caustic, but you should see the grout. No wait. You shouldn’t. Anyway, in a pinch try table salt, and instead of a sponge, use a lemon. Cool, huh!?
13. A person who isn’t allergic to dust to clean your ceiling fans.
14. The same person can then take the duvet to the laundromat where the water gets hot.
15. Baking soda
16. White vinegar
18. Washing Soda
19. A Cocktail
20. Essential oils
21. An All purpose cleaner. Using up the rest of the 409. BUT when that is out, I’m making my own.
22. A bowl
23. Murphy’s oil soap. I just found out my Mom hates it. Ah well. I like it.
24. Beeswax. Because you just look like you know what you are doing when you are carrying around a hunk of beeswax…which, coincidentally is my Dad’s euphamism for bullshit.
25. A Bible and a cross (or garlic). What? I haven’t looked under my bed in awhile.
26. Pre-cleaning team.
I’d like to take a moment and describe the pre-cleaning team. There are a group of people I have yet to hire that have to go through my house and pick up all the magazines and books because otherwise I will just sit on the floor reading them.
So that’s what I have so far. Oh, and rubber gloves. LOTS of them. I have red ones with black red and polka dot cuffs. I need to add maribou to my new ones (and wouldn’t you know I have some laying around).
I just need to get around to watching Best Little Whorehouse in Texas from Netflix so I can send it back and get the episodes of How Clean is Your House so I can feel better about myself. Pongy Beggars.