Sunday, July 21, 2013

PODE!: 7 All-Natural Solutions to Annoying Cleaning Hassles

It's a Sunday, which for me means cleaning day at the condo. Cleaning has never been fun for me, per se, but let's face it, some cleaning chore can be a lot more torturous than others. And it's these cream-of-the-painful crop kind of chores that give cleaning a bad name.

So for this week's PODE (Project: Overcome Domestic Entropy!) and in the interest of helping out cleaning's reputation, I've scrounged the interwebs for the top seven household hassles and provided a quick, easy, natural solution for each one.

I try to stay away from harsh chemical cleaners since I have dogs who live with me and I wouldn't want them licking floors or inhaling fumes from harsh cleaning chemicals. I use a lot of Droplets of Nature and Messy Bessy when it comes to cleaning products, which leaves less of a footprint in the long run and doesn't irritate your dogs or small children.

You can probably relate to these common annoying cleaning problems:

Rather than scrubbing your burner grates by hand, let chemistry do the heavy lifting. Mix equal parts baking soda, water, and vinegar in a large bowl and pour the solution into four plastic bags (or more, if you have more burners - I just have two). Place each grate in a bag and seal, allowing them to soak for five hours and voila - clean burners!

Simplify smoothie clean up by filling the blender's pitcher half full of hot water and adding a squirt of liquid soap. Blend for 20 seconds and then rinse. If stubborn food particles remain (like dried up spinach gunk or protein powder chunks), refill with hot water and two teaspoons of baking soda, let it seep in for a minute or two, and blend for another 20 seconds.

You'll know that your plastic shower curtain liner is due for a cleaning if you see mold and mildew stains adorning the bottom edge. Rather than involving the backyard, buckets and bleach, simply toss it in the washing machine - throw in a few pairs of socks to help absorb the force of the spin cycle. When complete, hang it up or drip dry it over the tub.

I'm hosting a housewarming party soon and I'm pretty sure this is bound to happen sooner or later. All it takes is one careless drinker to forgo a coaster and bam - there's a drink ring on your wooden table. Before you de-friend the offender, try this easy fix: Mix equal parts white toothpaste and baking soda, applying the paste onto the ring in a circular motion using a cloth. Wipe clean with regular surface cleaner.

Stainless steel appliances make for a sleek looking kitchen - until fingerprints arrive. Rather than scrubbing around the clock, tackle them in one fell swoop with olive oil or coconut oil. Dampen a rag with a few drops of your oil of choice and rub gently. The oil removes the mudges quickly, leaving a smooth, shiny surface.

Before you face a reheated lasagna crime scene head-on, let the best microwave cleaning trick ever do the heavy lifting. Boiling water and lemon slices will not only loosn food particles, but also infuse your nuker with a nice citrus scent.

When grit and grime get the best of your showerhead, the cleaning process doesn't need to be complicated. Simply soak it overnight in a plastic bag filled with baking soda and white vinegar.

So when mucking around your house, frustrated from all that scrubbing you have to do, ditch the expensive cleaning solutions and save by cleaning smart instead. It's amazing what some hot water, baking powder, and cider vinegar can do!

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