..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A clean house = bliss ineffable!

It's always a struggle for me in the Spring... should I work in the yard or should I start Spring house cleaning? Today it's overcast and will probably rain, so it's definitely a cleaning day.

When I was a child in the 50s, I watched my Mom perform Spring house cleaning chores every year. She'd wash windows, clean and re-install window screens, shake out rugs, launder curtains, wipe down walls and cabinets, flip mattresses and of course, scrub floors. Mom didn't have a very big house to take care of, but still, it was alot of work. She taught me well and I like to think I was partially listening.

I begin my ritual with window and screen cleaning, then decluttering... that takes several days. Then I loosely follow Mrs. Clean's advice in no particular order. Sometime around June, I'll decide I've done enough.

Throughout this process, I use a homemade, frugal, less-toxic all-purpose cleaner that I just love. Here's the recipe: to a big bucket of hot water, add 1/2 cup borax, a splash or two of ammonia, and a teaspoon or two of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap (I use peppermint). It has just the right mix of clean smell and fragrant smell... much better than store bought. And it gets me motivated! So for the next couple of weeks imagine me as the retro gal above... except I won't be wearing the dress.


  1. I love Dr. Bronner. Although I haven't yet gotten up the nerve to use it for mouthwash . . . Unfortunately for my husband, whose mother was the wall-washing clean-freak type, he married someone who does not equate a clean house with being a good wife. I dearly wish I were like you, but watching my own mother clean house only made me think that when I grew up I'd definitely need a maid.

  2. Christine, I've tried it as mouth wash and after I spit it out all over the sink, I concluded that the recommendation to use it that way must be a printing error! It was awful!

  3. That's too funny... I have never even tried it as a mouthwash... can't imagine it's very good. Like something your mom would use on you if you cursed.

  4. I really like the homemade recipe. I'm a firm believer in using less toxic cleaning products. Clutter management can be such a pain in the neck, too!

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