Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011: Miscellaneous Spring Cleaning Recipes

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I’ve been laboring under a delusion for some time now. I always thought the first day of spring – the vernal equinox – was scheduled for March 21st. It was my pastor who set me straight. I did a bit of research on www.timeanddate.com and found out that the equinox can occur on either the 20th or 21st of the month and this year it happened to be the earlier date. Spring officially began at 11:21 PM, marking the date when day and night became nearly equal.

So… I had meant for today’s post to be about spring cleaning in honor of the first day of spring but I guess I’m a few hours late. Oh well, this stuff happens. Onward and upward with our spring cleaning chores!

I tend to break up my spring cleaning chores because it’s just too much to do all at once. Each time I clean my house, I select one job that I never get around to but once or twice a year. A few weeks ago it was cleaning the back side of the wooden louvered doors to my pantry. Boy, that was a real eye opener! The back of the slats were black with grime. Yuck! Now, however, they are clean and dust-free. This past weekend I moved my couch out from the wall and vacuumed up all the dog hair, dust bunnies, and accumulated filth from underneath. It’s tasks like those that make spring cleaning very time-consuming – but oh so satisfactory.

I’ve shared lots of cleaning formulas this past month and now I’ve compiled a list of miscellaneous recipes for various cleaning tasks. Here they are, in no particular order.

Mold – make a paste of salt, vinegar, and a bit dishwashing liquid and apply to the mold, then wipe off with a wet rag. Or you can use foamy shaving cream.

Carpet Cleaner – make a paste of Fels Naptha soap suds, water, and borax. Test on a small, inconspicuous area first to be sure this solution doesn’t bleach your carpet.

Sterling Silver and other types of jewelry – scrub with white toothpaste then rinse with water. Be careful of soft stones, such as opals, which shouldn’t be scrubbed.

Mirrors – brew a week tea using plain Lipton or other black or green tea and put in a spray bottle. Wipe off with dry, white coffee filters.

Dusting (non-wood items) – in a container with a lid (like the one I use for homemade all purpose wipes), add water plus a few drops of lemon. Add paper towels (cut a roll in half) or white dusting cloths. Squeeze out excess water from the paper towel or cloth and use to clean the dust from veneers, plastics, countertops, etc.

Brass – use full-strength Worcestershire sauce (wipe on and then remove with a clean, damp cloth), ketchup, or a paste of lemon juice and salt.

Silk Flowers or plush baby toys – place in a paper bag and sprinkle with salt. Shake and remove.

Garbage Disposal – for tough odors, make a tray of vinegar ice cubes and toss a couple down the drain, then run the garbage disposal.

Toilet Bowl – if your toilet bowl is terribly stained, soak paper towels in cola, then plaster them along the inside rim of the bowl. Let sit for about an hour, then remove and flush.

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