Judging by the amount of cleaning products I used to have, you’d think I absolutely loved cleaning. All-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, washing up liquid, scouring cream, oven cleaner… you get the picture.
So did I really love cleaning? Well… no. In fact, I never liked cleaning and it’s very doubtful that I ever will like it. I do like a clean house, though, so hence all the cleaning products. I figured they’d make my life easier. But did they?
To be honest, all those cleaning products made me feel uncomfortable. Guilty even, for they kept reminding me that I should clean. And then clean some more. Worse, they cluttered my kitchen cupboard, my pantry, and my bathrooms. Still worse, they were harmful. Ever seen the skull and crossbones on them? Nuff said.
All in all, I think I had good reasons to want them out of my house.
But what about the cleaning? I still wanted a clean house, of course. And I most certainly didn’t want to spend entire days scrubbing. What to do?
I asked my good friend Mr Google and he showed me a ton of sites where I might possibly, eventually, with a little bit of luck, and some patience, find the answer. So I clicked and read and clicked and read some more, and lo and behold I found the answer.
Meet my cleaning trio: soft soap, cleaning soda and white vinegar.
My all-purpose cleaner consists of one part vinegar to three parts water. And because I don’t particularly like the vinegar smell, I add a few drops of essential oil. Lemon is nice, but lavender too. I pour my all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle, and it’s ready for use. I’ve got a spray bottle in the kitchen where I use it to clean the working surfaces and cupboards. And the table. And the windows. I’ve got one in loo to clean not only the porcelain master, but also the sink, the waste bin and the door handle. A third spray bottle lives in the bathroom, where DD-14 uses it to clean the loo, the bath, the shower, the sink, the mirrors and – you guessed it – the waste bin. Now that’s what I call an all-purpose cleaner.
Cleaning soda works great for scrubbing the sink in the kitchen, which tends to get dirty rather easily. Half a teaspoon of the stuff, a damp scouring pad and some elbow grease make my sink shine in no time at all. This works for a dirty oven as well. Cleaning the fridge? No problem. Half a teaspoon of cleaning soda dissolved in some warm water, and a soft cloth are your friends. Ten minutes of work (OK, make that twenty), and your fridge is sparkly clean and odorless.
The soft soap, dissolved in some hot water, can be used to clean surfaces, cupboards, doors, floors, etc.
Three cleaning products, no nasty chemicals and no extra work to speak of. Clean, green and frugal. That’s what I call minimalist cleaning.
Now, did I miss anything? Yes, I did: washing up and laundry. But that’s for another post.