I've been called many things in my life, but never a Becky Home-ecky. However, one of my favorite students called me that today and I'm totally okay with it. It was my husband's drill weekend and the kids were visiting Grandma, so I spent my time trying out some homemade cleaning products that I found on Pinterest. I have been amazed and uber pleased with their performance!
I sort of wish I had taken before photos so I could truly demonstrate the efficacy of these products. However, now that I see the results, the 'before' was so shameful, I would not want a record of it! I know lots of military spouses who face the white gloves when they move, so having a way to eradicate the funk of family living in a short time without spending a ton of dough can be a lifesaver.
This is a Kenmore Series 80 top-load washer that was purchased circa 1994-95. It has been through a couple of moves, upwards of three children and has been borrowed by good friends and inlaws for use when their machines were broken or when they lived in apartments with icky laundry rooms.
This thing was NASTY, especially the fabric softener dispenser that was gummed up with more residue than should be allowed on an appliance meant to clean things. I used the first half of the tutorial explained on Ask Anna's blog because I didn't need to proceed to the bleach step thanks to vinegar's miraculous properties. Vinegar + Hot water + time = the ability to wipe away years of laundry skank from your machine's innards. I also used baking soda in the fabric softener dispenser and let the vinegar I poured into it bubble the residue loose. An old toothbrush & some Q-tips and this thing was awesomely clean.
What else did I try? Have a look after the jump!
Nothing says "I love you" to my husband more than coming home to find the shower in our bathroom cleaned. Usually, it's his job to do because he can stomach the caustic chemicals we previously used to erase the residue left by city water, soap, shampoo & Lord knows what else. Now, though? I'll be able to have the kids doing more dirty work thanks to the bath and shower miracle cleaner my friend found on Pinterest.
This little gem is chronicled on a recipe website and involves nothing more than a popular brand of dishwashing liquid and vinegar. I was especially jazzed because I picked up a handful of empty spray bottles at Wal-Mart for 98-cents a piece and they were embossed with the measurement marks which made mixing this up super easy.
Next time I whip up a batch, I think I will cut it with a little more vinegar--it seemed kind of thick for what I needed it to be doing, but we'll have to see if that thickness is part of the magic.
We'd already chronicled the success of the homemade laundry detergent (it's almost time to make more) and I have used this method for cleaning my glass range top more than a few times. Although, I don't usually use the soapy water (just a hot, wet towel) because I thought I remembered someone telling me that using a soapy rag to clean the range top would leave soap residue. The baking soda has worked perfectly great for us.
There is absolutely no reason to fear the inspection of your home whether it be prior to a PCS or a home study visit. Also, no reason to spend hundreds of dollars per year on everything from laundry detergent to all-purpose cleaner to chemical to eat away soap scum (and the lining of your lungs by the feel of it!). These inexpensive and people/pet friendly products are easy to use, easy to find, and easy on your wallet.