The next stops in our green cleaning adventure is in our Living-room and Bedrooms. Today I will touch on a couple of points that could really apply to both areas of our home. I think no matter where you live, these are two rooms in homes that we truly “live” in. Did you know we actually spend almost 1/3 of our lives in our bedroom? With that said, we want this area to be as safe and clean as possible. So here are a few green tips to keep in mind:
Shoes-One of the best ways you can try to keep germs and even dirt from entering your home, is to remove your shoes as soon as you enter your home. Why would you want to bring in all the outside germs that you have picked up all day from everywhere your faithful feet have taken you? To cut down on the extra dirt, just take them off. If you are cold-natured or don’t like just wearing socks, have slippers or flip-flops that are specifically for indoor use.
Floors-Depending on the type of flooring you have in your home, you will clean it different ways. For carpeting, it is best to vacuum regularly, to pick up the dirt and prevent it from settling into or worst under the carpeting. Have you ever removed old carpet? Let me tell you, it is not pretty to see what has settled below!
Here are a few recipes to clean Wood Floors:
#1-Simply mix half a cup of distilled white vinegar with one gallon of warm water in a bucket. Vinegar kills bacteria as well as mold and mildew and disinfects all at the same time. Use a sponge mop to clean the floors with the mixture. Be sure to wring the mop out well; wood floors should never be saturated with water. If there is water left behind, dry it with a towel.
#2-Using a mixture of distilled white vinegar and vegetable oil or olive oil will clean and add shine to wood floors. While the vinegar cleans and sanitizes, the oil adds moisture to the wood. Combine the ingredients in equal parts and apply a thin coat. Make sure to follow by a buffing the floor with a dry, soft cloth to remove any excess cleaner. This will give your floor some of it’s luster back!
Dusting-Whether we like it or not, we all have dust! Period! After a long winter, our homes having been all closed up seem to be producing more and more. Dusting works best from the ceiling down. So pick where you want to start, pick your choice of rag (I like to use microfiber to dust) dampen it with vinegar or a water vinegar combo and start from the top, literally!
Ceiling Fans-If you have ceiling fans, that is where I would start. It can almost be embarrassing to see the amount of dust that accumulates on top of our ceiling fans. If you use your ceiling fans frequently and they are dust covered, you are simply redistributing that around the room. I am not a fan of feather dusters as they can make a bigger mess. I simply like to use vinegar to dampen my microfiber cloth. No matter how careful I am, some will fall and it is very easy to sweep up or vacuum at this point. To make it even easier, use an old sock on your hand, damper with vinegar and get to it! (This is also a very easy way to let the kiddos dust!
Blinds-If they can be removed, place them in the tub with a few cups of white vinegar and baking soda. Allow them to sit and fizzle for a few minutes and then scrub them with a brush to remove all sorts of build-up you didn’t want to know existed. If they are fixed you can’t remove them, try closing the blinds and use either an equal part water and vinegar solution to wipe them down. Then reverse the blinds and repeat on the other side.
After you are finished with those, then start with windowsills, your dresser, picture frames, shelves and lastly baseboards. Have you ever thought of using your vacuum to help dust? Try placing the end of a used pair of pantyhose on the end of your vacuum hose. Secure them with a rubber-band and then vacuum your vents, lampshades, corners of your windowsills and baseboards and other pieces of furniture. This will help to pick up the remaining floaters left behind. Once you do a good through job, it is best to try to dust with a dampen cloth regularly, even everyday or every other day to prevent build-up. (Do I always do this, well no!)
Once you are finished dusting your furniture, make sure you give your wood furniture a cleaning and good shine with homemade furniture polish.
Furniture Polish-Making your own wood furniture polish is very easy and works so well. Simply mix a quarter cup of olive oil, four tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and two teaspoons of lemon juice into a spray bottle. The olive oil moisturizes the wood while the vinegar and lemon juice clean and disinfect. Simply spray onto the wood furniture and then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Be sure to refrigerate any mixture left over to prevent the lemon juice from spoiling.