I know there are some weirdos out there that actually like to clean, but I’m not one of them. Tidy – yes. That is me. I am an orderly, tidy person – probably to a slightly freakish degree but I’m not particularly fanatical about cleaning on a regular basis.
When I was growing up my mum cleaned our house EVERY DAY. Not just a room, the WHOLE THING. Like wiping, polishing, hoovering, mopping. EVERY DAY. She now realises she was mental and that you have to be out of your mind to do that. I’ll tell you what though, nobody can clean like my mum. She knows all the tricks of the trade and has opinions on vacuum cleaners, types of buckets and everything. I don’t know what she does to sinks but mine always look brand new when she comes to stay (you know, instead of being perpetually tea stained).
Sure, our house isn’t a health and safety hazard. Sure, we keep on top of laundry, dishes, spills and muck etc., but I can think of exactly 2348972 other things that I would rather do on the days and nights I’m not working than remove all the tat lined up on my countertops, shelves and mantles to free them of dust.
There are a few things that really make me get my clean on though. Only a few, and none of them are without some sense of urgency and a mild begrudging spirit. They include:
1) The imminent arrival of a parent/parent in-law
2) The imminent arrival of a friend that is particularly shiny (although I don’t tend to gravitate towards those type of friends).
3) When I step on a particularly sharp crumb and it hurts my un-slippered foot.
4) When it stops raining and for 5 minutes the glorious sun shines in your windows revealing a lovely thick layer of dust & fingerprints on all things.
5) When Levi starts missing most of the parts to his jigsaws and games. I will quickly realise that they are all under the sofa and nobody has looked under there in a very long time.
When one or more of these instances happen, it’s time to clean. As much as I dislike the process, it is definitely satisfying to look at a nice clean room so I’ve been trying to embrace it lately with all these fresh spring days. Here’s a few of my tried and tested cleaning recipes:
1) Daily Shower Spray
I made this shower spray with water, vinegar and tea tree essential oil. It smells excellent (if it smells clean, it IS clean right?) The tea tree oil is a natural bacteria fighter – keeps the grime at bay. Now, this doesn’t mean you never have to do the big clean of the shower – you know the one where it’s probably best if you just take your clothes off and do it naked? Just me? No? It DOES mean that you won’t have to do it as often.
2) Surface Spray
Honest to goodness I can’t bring myself to use toxic chemical-y spray anymore. I can’t do it. And now that I’ve worked out an alternative more earth-friendly recipe I don’t have to. Grab an old spray bottle, mix one cup of white vinegar (me with the vinegar again), half a cup of ecover dish soap and fill the rest with warm water. Vinegar and water by itself cleans pretty well but I live with a toddler and 75% of my house is covered in weetabix and that crap doesn’t come off easy.
3) Floor Cleaner
Of all the cleaning tasks, I resent this one the most. Dave is our in-house floor cleaner and I am very grateful. Our floor cleaning recipe is similar to the surface spray only obviously the quantities go up to fill a bucket. I also add in some essential oil because I’m a sucker for smell.
The moral of this story is that cleaning sucks but it doesn’t have to break the bank, kill the planet or fill your house with toxins if you don’t want it to.
In that spirit, I’d be interested to know – what is your LEAST favourite cleaning task? My top 3 are:
2) GRILL PAN (I’d sooner throw mine out than clean it some days – I don’t – but I’d like to)
Come on, lets have a whinge together.