How to Clean Greener, Better, and for Less.
Cleaning your home without buying expensive and noxious chemicals is possible. Plus, I have a super inexpensive and easy to make mix you can craft at home.
Why am I Talking About Cleaning on a Hiking Site?
- First, I am inherently averse to cleaning. Hate it. Like the results but I’m not a big fan of the time it takes.
- Second, I’d rather spend my money on new hiking boots.
- Third, I’d rather BE HIKING!
So anytime I find something that is greener, easier, cheaper, safer, and saves me time! BOOM!! Now I don’t need to spend so much time cleaning and I can spend more time doing something I truly love – hiking!
I thought you might be interested in more hiking time and living a wee bit greener too.
My favorite products are white vinegar, blue Dawn, a sprayer, and essential oils.
Let’s Break That Down.
White vinegar is an acid. Caution: Don’t use vinegar on anything that has calcium carbonate in it. What does that mean?
Don’t Use Vinegar to Clean:
- Rings with pearls
- Stone countertops like marble, granite, or soapstone
- Stone bathroom surrounds
The acidic nature of vinegar dissolves calcium carbonate so if you put it on your marble countertops – you will damage the surface.
What Can You Use Vinegar to Clean?
Bathrooms! Showers, bathtubs, shower doors, sinks, and toilets!
Use a mix of equal parts of blue Dawn and distilled white vinegar. I like to add a little bit of water to thin out the mix a bit. Also, I’m don’t heat the vinegar
What You’ll Need:
- Blue Dawn
- Distilled white vinegar (the least expensive brand at your local store will work just fine)
- Tap water
- Sprayer (I love this sprayer)
- Lemon essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- 18-inch scrub brush for decks (because you’ll do less work and be done in less time!)
- Old toothbrush
Pour blue Dawn in a yard sprayer and then gently pour in the vinegar as to not create a crap ton of bubbles. And then, swirl the mixture to not create more bubbles. (Bubbles get EVERYWHERE if you don’t take it easy on the mixing.)
Notes on Sprayers
Pressurized sprayers need to be treated with care. Gently pull up and depress the plunger. You don’t want bubbles leaking everywhere and they will if you go all psycho on pumping up the pressure in the hand sprayer – not that I have any personal knowledge of this…
And, that is why I like this sprayer. It is just the right size for cleaning all the bathrooms and I don’t have to repeatedly pull a trigger. Yay! Just pump up the internal pressure, aim, press the top thumb trigger, and coat the walls. No aching fingers and best of all NO pinch points. My sprayer even has a trigger catch so I don’t have to hold down the trigger! (It’s the little things that make me happy.)
Add in the essential oils you prefer. I prefer lemon scents. It also happens that lemon and lemongrass essential oils are known for inhibiting the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. BOOM!
The amount of essential oils that you use is really a personal preference. I typically use about 20 drops of both the lemon and the lemongrass essential oil when making my shower cleaner.
Ventilation in Key
Next, I head to the bathroom and turn on the fan because white vinegar is pretty strong and not that great to be inhaling full on. To get the best clean possible, remove everything from your shower.
Gently pump the sprayer and then starting at the
This next part is really hard – go someplace else and wait for at least a half hour. I usually spray the showers and then go back to work or get a cup of coffee and plot my next hiking adventure around Cincinnati.
Come back with your deck broom. Run a little bit of water into the bottom of the tub and starting at the top of the shower walls scrub down. DO NOT SCRUB HARD. You’re just moving the soap buildup, water stains, and grime around and getting it nice and loose.
Use the smaller brush and old toothbrush for those weird hard to get to spots like curves, corners, and around the fixtures.
Now just spray water over the walls and watch your shower become sparkling clean. Wahoo!