Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Clean-up on aisle..."

Having recently moved, there has been a ton of cleaning going on in my house - from bed sheets, to bookcases and cupboards and curtains... These chores are necessary parts of life and to some extent I must say there is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from completing these tasks!

However... and this is the part we all know way too well!! Cleaning solutions can seriously put a dent in one's budget!! Seriously! From the grout cleaner to the shower spray, to the laundry detergent - this stuff ain't cheap! I know I dread the week when I run out of laundry detergent and have to place that item on the shopping list! One bottle that will get me through about a month of laundry costs anywhere from $12-16! With this in mind I am endeavoring to find much less expensive alternatives to the bank draining hogs of my cleaning closet!

Below are a handful of "recipes" (NOT TO BE EATEN OR INGESTED IN ANY WAY!!) that I have tried and that have worked well in my estimation. Many of them are from other blogs or pinterest. When possible I have tried to link to the original home science genius so that proper credit is given where it is due!

While going through receipts from the last few weeks of this moving adventure, I started having heart palpitations! Totalling up all that I have spent trying to get just the right products, or to cook up the perfect recipes, really blew me away! Really - and y'all - that takes a lot! I couldn't believe it! And now that all that mopping, and scrubbing are done it's time to start all over again! I'll keep needing cleaning products, and I'll keep having to "rinse and repeat..."

When I got to thinking about the cost to get things clean - the effort - the labor - the elbow grease... my mind and heart meandered down the road of personal reflection - and I had to stop and look at my attitude, my thought patterns, may actions towards Ray & our kids... My life was in serious need of cleaning! Honestly - cleaning can sometimes just make me plain cranky and I am not who I ought to be. And then CALVARY! The price for clean-up on aisle Whitney was not cheap - but it was free to me - a gift of love from my Savior who knew the price and chose to pay it for me.

Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."

In Romans 6:23, we are told, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

If you are finding yourself in the need of housekeeping, know that the only Cleaning Solution you need is Jesus Christ - and His love doesn't cost a cent! And incredibly - He doesn't ask that we tidy things up before having Him over - He knows what we've swept under the rug and He wants to come over anyway. He not only wants to come over, but when He comes, He seeks out the deepest darkest corners of our lives and dusts, scours and scrubs until the cleaning is done...

I could go on forever with this housekeeping analogy - it's one that has a lot of simple application to the life of this southern girl... but the main point remains - if you feel dirty, Jesus wants to clean you up.

Laundry Soap

6 cups Borax
4 cups baking soda
4 cups washing soda
4 cups Fels-Naptha laundry soap (approximately 2 bars, grated)

Mix all ingredients together in a large air tight container - a shoe box size rubber maid container should do the trick - I doubled the recipe and put it in a 5 gallon tote with plenty of room to spare. The original blog post has some labels and fun suggestions on how to do this up to make your laundry room look pretty. I have to admit this laundry powder smells AMAZING! So clean!!

The Math...
     Borax              $3.67
     Baking Soda     1.94
     Washing Soda  1.74
     Fels-Naptha      1.94
TOTAL                $9.29

Now I haven't finished my first recipe but according to some bloggers, this recipe makes a 9 MONTH supply!! Please & Thank You!! OH!!! And my mom shared that I originally left out how much to use - 2-3Tbsp/load... Thanks Momma! You're the best!!!

Grout Cleaner

1 part Peroxide (3%)
3 parts Baking Soda

Mix ingredients to make a paste. Lay paste in grout lines and let set up for about 30 minutes. Lightly brush over with a grout brush. Wipe off tiles & grout area with a warm damp cloth. If there's any residue leftover, use a combination of vinegar & water to wipe it up. Seriously - you will be amazed!! I could not believe how well this worked!! I won't lie - if you have a huge area, it's gonna take some time, but for a small area - this is so worth it!!!

The Math
       Peroxide            $0.80
       Baking Soda        1.49
TOTAL                     $2.29

Shower Cleaner

1 cup vinegar
1 cup Dawn dish soap

Warm vinegar in the microwave for 2 minutes (FYI - the steam created will help dissolve things hanging out in your microwave - bonus!). Pour warm vinegar into a spray bottle. Pour Dawn dish soap into spray bottle. Screw on the top and spray all over shower and tile surround. Wait ~15 minutes. Wipe down the shower with the scrubby side of a sponge - shouldn't take much if any effort. Spray off with water and bust out your sunglasses - the sparkle and shine may blind!

Thanks Alena - my awesome friend who first pinned this one!