The Need to Clean

Have you had the need to wash something, to scrub down a floor or wall, just get your hands going in something that cleans your home?

I’m in that mode right now.  Hubby’s scared.

When I get into this mode, it means that he will be hauling trash outside.  It means decluttering, getting rid of old and useless things, finding dust bunnies of multiple generations, washing things that haven’t been given attention in a while.

I find this rewarding.

I may be an oddball, but I actually am enjoying standing on my head scrubbing the floor with a scrub brush.  I do not do hands and knees due to arthritis in both knees (ouch)..but I get the same affect just in different position.  The scent of the Mr. Clean Febreze liquid cleaner trails through the house.  Soon when I run out of Mr. Clean, Pine-Sol will be filling the air.  Anyway, I’m enjoying seeing little things that the mop misses, like the paper that got stuck under the dishwasher (portable) and got wet and dried to the floor, the little bits of this or that which has been missed with the mop, all brought up by the bristles.  I get to see the “clean” up close.

I also get hubby’s smiling approval for a job well done.

Next comes countertops.  Oh how they get so cluttered.  Small spaces seem to garner more clutter, or at least this is true in our home.  I keep my necessities: the dish drainer (I prefer handwashing my dishes over the leaky portable dishwasher with the butcherblock top–I use it for my bread baking station and storage), the coffee pot with a constant fill of coffee, the stand mixers (hubby insists I keep them handy yet I seldom use them).  Oh, and the radio so I can listen to KVCY out of Ft. Scott.  It is so easy to let these get cluttered and overfilled and unusable.  This happens often here.  For this, I’ve rearranged, decluttered, cleared out drawers and cabinet spaces, and all the extras have new homes.  Yay!!

The countertops I wash down wish a bit of Mr. Clean.  Ok, so it’s not organic and homemade and all that, but I like it, and it works.  I use this and a scrubby and scrub down the old cabinet doors and drawers.  The cabinets are original to this house, which is a good 100 years old or so.  While we are in this rental, I would like to keep them nice looking. 🙂

Our stove is another clutter point.  Our kitchen doesn’t have much room for storage, so many clean pots and pans stay either on top of or in the stove.  It is old.  It is gas with pilot lights, 2 burners no longer work.  They are in the back, so I’ve covered them with with a strip of folded foil, put the burner grates back on top, and it keeps the back of the stove from getting dirty and nasty, and provides storage space that doesn’t get quite as hot on top when the oven is going.  To clean, I just remove and replace the foil in the back, and wipe down the front half and oven front.  Inside the oven, I use foil to put down on the bottom and catch spill overs.  When I bake, I tend to put pans on a pizza pan or baking sheet as a precaution.  I also keep a cheap bread pan (Dollar Tree and Dollar General generally have these for a low price) full of water in the oven, and it seems to help keep things from burning on to the grates and provides the moisture needed to keep things from burning and turning in to concrete.  You all know what I’m talking about.  I’ve not used oven cleaners in my oven.  Those things scare me.  Instead, I use a little soap and water, and a little plastic scraper I picked up at a Mennonite store in Missouri.  For 99 cents, that little thing has been a life saver!

In other rooms, I use a nice little Bissell vaccuum, with the lowest setting on it.  I found this at WalMart for $35 a year or so ago.  I put drops of potpourri oil in the bag (I have tried the cannister vacs and really do not like them), which creates a lovely scent when using the vaccuum.  My carpet powder is home made:

  • A cup or two of cornstarch
  • A cup or borax
  • A cup of baking soda
  • A few drops of Essential Oil for scent
  • Put all this in a covered container and mix well, getting the powders slightly damp.  Let sit unopened for a few days to let the scent permeate the powder and let the powder dry.  Use as you would commerically made carpet powders.

As you can tell…I love using scented items in my home.  I enjoy smelling something that makes me think “clean”.

I grew up with the smell of Pine-Sol.  In my little world, the smell of pine equates to clean.  Yes, I know…odd…but that’s just me.  I can’t stand ammonia, as it reminds me of a litter box.  I already have a litter box and fight with the scent with 3 cats using it…ammonia isn’t something I want throughout the house.  But pine, flowers, lemons, and so on–I love it!

Air freshners are something I use a lot of as well.  I live with hubby and 2 boys (and a girl who tries to be like the boys).  Beano doesn’t work with this bunch.  So, an essential oil and water blend helps combat what Beano will not.  I love drops of rosemary and mint with a little water sprayed around the house.  Also, a half and half mix of water and liquid fabric softener in your favorite scent is great to use.  It makes the carpet fibers feel a little softer too if you spray the floor. 🙂

I hope this has been a little helpful in going about a little cleaning!  My goal for this year is to do more hands on cleaning and get into the deeper cleaning more often, as well as teach the children more about cleaning on their own.


6 thoughts on “The Need to Clean

  1. this has been very helpful 🙂 🙂 I’m actually getting ready to neaten/tidy up the kitchen pantry and cupboards etc…we have a lot of extra space that we’re not using right now, simply because we dont’ have to stuff to fill it up. However, it’s not organized and everything is put away in a random fashion.
    Oh, for cleaning, I like to dilute Dr. Bronner’s citrus castille soap in some water. That works nice…
    I hear on the oven cleaners. They scare me, too…so I just use Bon Ami, warm water and lots of elbow grease 🙂 :)…oh, and a scrubber, too 🙂 🙂 That works fine.
    I’ve never heard of having a pan of water in the oven while baking…but I just might give that a try!!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

    • We lived in a big beautiful Victorian house with tons upon tons of storage space, and it wasn’t ever put to good use…always cluttered… I miss that space..I didn’t realize just how valuable it is til we moved into the tiny little bitty house we’re in now.

      The water in the oven works great if you bake bread, muffins, etc that rise while baking. It keeps the tops softer just a little longer and allows them to “poof” and make a higher loaf or muffin. I discovered the cleaning aspect while using the pan of water for baking loaves of bread for Farmer’s Market. 🙂 I wish I’d have figured it out sooner!! 🙂


  2. Angie, I have been in an uncluttering mode for 4 days now. I have completed the kid’s bathroom, the linen closet, the utility room, the classroom, and the dining room. Today was our bedroom….my side of the room is so clean, organized, and neat…..notice I am not commenting on someone else’s side of the room. I am also finished with the kitchen…..then on the kids rooms. The basement is scheduled for next week. There is a sense of freedom in having a home ready for company at any given moment…..blessings to my favorite Angie.<3

    • LOL I caught that—“notice not someone else’s side of the room!” LOL I like that!!! You sure sound busy Susan! You are right…that freedom feels good…I’ve been wanting it for a long while, and getting it one room at a time. 🙂

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