Wednesday, May 20

Works for me

I love the idea behind "Works for Me Wednesday" hosted by We Are THAT Family. I'd like to share with you a little bit of chemical magic that works for me.

I've spent enough time in hospitals (see yesterday's post!) to know that there is no disinfectant greater than bleach. Bleach really works to kill germs. Problem is, some of us are a little clumsy, and we've learned that bleach also kills clothes. Especially cute new clothes that we shouldn't have been wearing when we were cleaning.

I admire the way that many people simply use Windex to clean their bathrooms. But that solution never quite worked for me. With three boys and two dogs, our bathrooms get really dirty. And germy. And while I agree that Windex makes things shine, I'm not sure that it adequately kills germs. Now, I'm not trying to create a sterile environment (which is a good thing, since it would be a losing battle), but I do like to disinfect things if I can. So here's my solution: homemade cleaner. A cleaning solution!

It's easy to make. For a 32 oz. spray bottle (if you're like me, you have plenty of empty bottles around), combine 4 fluid ounces ammonia, 12 fluid ounces rubbing alcohol (70% isopropryl alcohol), and 16 ounces water. One note: if you're really sensitive to the smell of ammonia (for instance, if the smell of Windex bothers you), you probably won't like this. However, the smell does dissipate quickly.

This cleaning solution works for me because it shines AND disinfects AND it's cheap. It's a multi-surface cleaner. I use it to clean all my bathroom surfaces, including the mirrors. It's a little thicker than other cleaners, so it doesn't run all down vertical surfaces as quickly as glass cleaner. I simply use it with micro-fiber cloths: I keep one for countertops, etc. and one for mirrors stored with the bottle of cleaner.

So with little effort and little money, I have a way to keep our bathrooms sparkly and less germy. That works for me!

**SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING (or something like that): NEVER combine ammonia or ammonia-based products with bleach or bleach-based products, as the resulting fumes can be toxic or even deadly.** No fooling on that. This is a serious warning. I have a friend who got a severe case of chemical pneumonia from having mixed ammonia and bleach.


  1. Bleach really isn't good for the environment anyway so it's good to use an alternative. Thanks for the recipe!


  2. Hi Richella! I had to come say hello when I saw your comment on my blog, because you just cracked me up! I definitely was NOT fresh and dewy, but a good friend of mine always says that! Too funny!

    Have a great day!

  3. I'm working on getting rid of chemicals in my home because of the ordeal we had with my son's asthma. A little know fact about vinegar - it kills 99% of germs. It also does windows. I buy this stuff by the gallon now.

  4. That exactly what I use to clean mirrors etc. I also use vinegar a lot in the bathroom. Either one does a good job. If you want good for the environment, I recommend Bi-O-Kleen whole-heartedly.


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