Friday, June 25, 2010

Squeaky Clean that we've discussed organization and general tidiness. Let's talk about the actual cleaning. The let's-not-find-last-week's-can-of-soda-behind-the-nightstand kind of clean. (Unfortunately, I didn't just pull that statement out of thin air.)

With what do you clean?

I believe in keeping my kids toxic free. I've always used fragrance and dye free laundry detergent and dryer sheets. But in saying that, there are a few things that just work better because of the chemicals.

These are my cleaning friends:

Method Products
I've become a big fan of Method. They believe in clean cleaning--no harsh chemicals. Everything is plant-derived and people friendly. We use their all-purpose wipes, hand soaps, wood polish, stainless steel cleaner and home fragrances. I also like their wet dryer sheets, but the cost makes them a luxury rather than a staple.

It's a perfect way to clean drains and laminate flooring. In the drain, you pair it with baking soda, and it's a great way to freshen your garbage disposal and clear out small clogs. On the floor, it gets up gunky residue and doesn't leave a film behind. Hey, it also keeps ants at bay!

Formula stains be damned! OxiClean stain-treater works to get those spots out of bibs, baby clothes, and your clothes too. I also add a cup from my big bucket o' powder to the wash to make everything smell better and get cleaner. Oh, and it's great for spot cleaning carpets (but not so much on our red sofa). My biggest complaint is that it clumps on the cold cycle in the wash. The best way to prevent this is to put it in as the water's running, use a towel or burp cloth to swish it around, and then load the washer. I may try the little Max Packets for convenience when I run out of my big bucket.

Never ever turn your nose up at bleach. It should be a parents' staple. You can sterilize toys, bottles, sippy cups, high chairs, bath tubs and even fruit and veggies (if it's super diluted). It will make socks and burp cloths and cloth diapers as white as the day you bought them. I pour some in all the toilet bowls, let it sit and then flush. Voila! Clean! To make the experience more pleasant, I buy the splashless Clorox bleach with a fresh scent. Not that I'm going around sniffing my bleach, but the scent does help cut back on the awful bleachy smell.

Scrubbing Bubbles
I'm lazy. Even though I love to see things sparkling and clean, I hate taking a long time to do it. I would rather my cleaning products work well and not require a lot of extra work from me. Ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you Scrubbing Bubbles. All those cute commercials are true. This stuff is a cleaning powerhouse. I spray in in the shower, in the sink or tub, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and wipe and rinse. It's amazing! While I was pregnant, I discovered that they make a natural cleaner. It works well, but not as well as the original. I use the natural spray on the sinks and counter tops while the original still goes to work on the tub and shower. I've even used it on the bathroom floors. I love it!

I just discovered this company, and I'm already loving their hand sanitizer. It's alcohol-free, so I don't freak out when I use it and then Lille or Dani decides to grab my finger and chew on it. The smell isn't the best in the world, but it's not icky. They also carry laundry detergent, baby wash and shampoos, as well as all kinds of home cleaners. The company's motto is much like Method's--safe for the environment as well as the family. I did smell their laundry detergent, and I would recommend staying away from that unless the scent dissipates in the wash. I plan on trying their other products if the prices are better than Method.

Well, with all this talk of cleaning. I feel as if I should go clean some bottles. Happy cleaning everyone!

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