Springtime has long been associated with a time to clean our houses. I think it's because, years ago, houses had to be kept closed very tightly during the winter in order to conserve warmth. Heavy draperies were kept at the windows to reduce drafts. With spring came the opportunity to open windows and let in both fresh air and light--but that light revealed months' worth of dirt, all needing to be swept away.
Whatever the reason, spring brings to me a wish to clean, and one of my favorite cleaning tools is something I make myself. Now I know that many people already have a favorite cleaner--perhaps a special "green" product, or maybe one of the new designer cleaning products. But if you're looking for a heavy-duty cleaner that works well, smells good, AND disinfects, you might want to give this a try.
We've had enough hospitalizations around here that I'm really into the disinfecting part of cleaning. Bleach is the ultimate disinfectant, but it can be tough to use for cleaning. It smells so strong that it can be sickening, and woe betide you if you happen to splash any onto your clothes. So I don't use bleach that often. Still, I want something that I know will kill germs. My secret ingredient? Rubbing alcohol.
To make a great all-purpose cleaner, I combine
4 oz. Pine-Sol (I'm currently loving the Orange Energy scent)
12 oz. 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol
16 oz. water
I pour these three ingredients into a 32 oz. spray bottle. I use an old spray bottle onto which I've taped a homemade label. To clean, I just spray and wipe!
This works great on just about anything that can be cleaned with all-purpose cleaner: countertops, appliances, sinks, etc. And it smells so good!
I also make heavy-duty window cleaner. Here's that recipe:
4 oz. ammonia
12 oz. rubbing alcohol
16 oz. water
This is the best window and mirror cleaner I've ever used, but beware--the Pine-Sol-based cleaner smells nice and fresh, but the ammonia-based cleaner stinks. The smell dissipates, of course, but it's really strong at first. Still, if you have heavy-duty window cleaning to do, this stuff really works. For light-duty window cleaning, I just rub glass with a lightly dampened micro-fiber cloth, then wipe with a dry micro-fiber cloth.
So how about you? Are you a spring cleaner? Do you have a favorite cleaning solution?