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Spring Cleaning

I’ve been in a stupid and totally self inflicted cycle of Spring Cleaning, paying the price for so much activity, recovering, and then doing another cleaning project to start it all over again.  *laugh*  My latest medication system has helped me to get a lot more done than I’ve been able to do for several years now, but it does take a few days to recover from each project.  Since I want to utilize what energy and ability I have I am all about cleaning hacks.  I found two that are super handy, so I decided to share their links with you and I really hope that you’ll check them out (and try them if you’re in the midst of cleaning!).

The first is for cleaning the inside of the microwave.  I never used to mind cleaning a microwave, but in this house our microwave is mounted under our top cabinets right above our stove, so fun sized me has a lot more problems seeing into it let alone cleaning it.  As a result it got messy and once I finally got onto a medication that made me stable enough to be able to stand on a chair for a bit to reach inside (and see lol) some stuff got cooked in.  I hit Pinterest to see what hacks were out there and here’s the one at Practically Functional that really worked well for me (just click the name since I embedded the link there).  Basically you fill a microwave safe bowl with the recommended liquids and steam lose everything.  I went ahead and dropped a toothpick in my water and that turned out so well, because you can use that moist toothpick to get into the nooks and seams.  I also dipped my cleaning rag into that solution after I finished steaming and it worked perfectly for the spots that were really stubborn despite the steam.

With the microwave above the stove, and a lot of frying done on said stove, the outside of the microwave had some horrific and thoroughly embarrassing (I can’t believe I’m actually admitting to this since it’s so embarrassing for me) grease spots and finger prints.  Over at One Good Thing by Jillee there is a life altering post about removing grease.  I have so many sensitivities to cleaning supplies that I am tickled to have found an easy method that I can actually tolerate!  I’ll wait while you go and read the post (it’s not long, so really, you should go read it really quick and come back…).  I used vegetable oil since I had it on hand, along with several paper towels, both of my cleaning rags, and quite a few toothpicks, but the outside of the microwave is now cleaner than when we moved in!  It seems counter intuitive, but it cut the cleaning down to one session instead of working on this for days.

Next is to work on the filters and stove hood, but I gave that job to Larry since it involves a big pot and boiling liquids.  I may be more stable since I started the Marinol, however I still have enough bruises at any given time that I don’t trust myself with that project.  If you’d like to try out that hack it’s over here at One Good Thing by Jillee again and a lot of people say it works.  Everything I’ve ever tried from her blog has worked so well that I tend to trust her posts.  While he does that I’ll probably bite the bullet and do a thorough cleaning of the bathroom.  It’s amazing how such a tiny bathroom can get out of hand.  *laugh*  Oh, and in case you’re scratching your head and saying Spring is pretty close to being over so why am I just now doing “Spring Cleaning”, well, I’m not setting a time limit on this year’s cleaning.  My brilliant friend Leah asked me why I was pushing myself so hard to try to get all of this cleaning done quickly when I started planning out my plan of attack, especially since I haven’t been able to clean thoroughly for the past few years, and that question really gave me a lot to think about.  As long as I’m finally able to get things done who cares how long it takes?!  It’s also a handy perspective when it’s taking an average of at least four days of recovery per project.  *grin*  I have completely redone my home office, organized two shelving units (and corresponding rooms) that Larry assembled for me, redone about three-quarters of my kitchen, cleaned and organized the refrigerator, and cleaned and organized the storage room.  I’m pretty proud of myself honestly.

Anyway, I hope you find these cleaning hacks helpful too and have a great weekend!  I’ve been experimenting with a soothing bath blend while trying to ease the pain from cleaning and hope I can share a new successful product with you soon.  Once I get this blend just right you’ll truly have some happy pampering ahead of you if you try it.  *grin*

Another Homemade Cleaning Spray

I’ve been on bed rest for the most part for several days now due to an infection that my whole body is now fighting. Top that off with a phlebotomist that blew every vein she tried to draw from, and I’ve been a bit unsociable. *grin* Since I haven’t been able to do a whole lot I thought maybe you’d like some information about an incredibly easy DIY product I made a while back.

If you go to here
you will get the whole skinny about this homemade cleanser. It’s just warmed vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap. You let it soak in and work some magic.

Here’s where my results are a little less enthusiastic as the pinner/blogger…it did a good job on cleaning up dirt and even Goodyear Grime, as I call it (my husband works in a Goodyear Tire Plant), yet it doesn’t touch hard water stains.

I have been embarrassed about our shower/bathtub ever since we moved in. At first I thought the previous owners didn’t bother cleaning (which, by the way, they didn’t. I think it’s kind of gross to clean the toilet in your new home that first day because the previous owners never cleaned the boy’s “miss”take.), but I’ve fought the dinginess and hard water in that thing for ten years now, so it wasn’t just in need of a regular cleaning. It is the one area of the house I am too embarrassed about to even consider a before/after shot, but you can use that tutorial for that. *smile* This solution did a much better job than any other product I have tried, honestly. Compared to her bathroom I actually had to get out my Scumbuster to put some umph behind the solution, but the extra pressure really helped. It even shined up the faucets and stuff really nicely. It doesn’t clean caulking that has discolored or those fun hard water stains, but it’s not full of harsh chemicals and it’s even safe to get on your skin while you’re cleaning, so I’m impressed it can do this well.

Here’s where it gets good, though. I decided to try it on my seriously messy crockpot. I made crock pot ribs one night and then started the first round of getting sick. My husband tried to be nice, so he filled the crockpot with hot water that night, since the BBQ and juices had formed this brown lining that didn’t want to come off even with a scraper after soaking for a bit. When I finally was able to be up on my feet and get some things done, I was surprised that pot hadn’t grown legs and left the building. It was bad. Thankfully I had the spray bottle sitting there with the remaining solution (I needed 1 1/2 batches for my bathtub and shower), so I sprayed it and laid back down for a few hours. In the blog the user stated she just wiped everything down after the solution sat for a few hours and then rinsed. I tried that on the crockpot and the crust slipped right off! I’m telling you there were stains that disappeared with this one treatment!

I hope you consider trying this out, especially if you have any trouble with chemical sensitivities or have had trouble finding a cleaner that works for you. I honestly think it’ll take pumice, elbow grease, and a miracle to get the hard water areas clean, but for your normal in-depth cleaning, this is a really effective mixture. It’s super easy to mix up and requires very little effort compared to most products.

I hope you have a happy (and healthy!) weekend. 🙂

Adhesive Be Gone

I haven’t been overly *cough to cover the muttering of my “good” shoulder angel about fibbing* productive lately, but I have actually gotten a lot of non-business things done. *smile* I thought I’d share one of my projects with you, since I’m pretty happy about it and think it’d be handy for everyone to know.

During that cleaning frenzy I unearthed a bagful of plastic jars that I have saved to reuse (not for sale, just for storing stuff or putting test product in so I’m not using up the good stuff), but there were sticky partial labels all over the place and several jars literally stuck to the stupid bag. You know how you think patiently peeling that label will get it all off and you’ll be rewarded with a clean jar? That never works on plastic. At least, not for me! I hit Pinterest for the crafty tips from the home pros and several talked about the ease of removing left behind adhesive with oil, and if you use vegetable oil overnight, then you don’t even have to try to remove the label. Since I had varying examples of label peeling OCD in the bag I thought the variety would be a smart test for this method. I don’t have a specific link to share with you because I honestly ended up combining techniques from several posts/pins that I read. I’ll just give the total process and my additional tips as I go.

At the beginning

First, you’ll want to cover your counter or table with something disposable. Newspaper, paper towels over a bed of dish towels, whatever. I found it really handy and a LOT less messy to move the project into a plastic bag on top of the bed of towels. (I truly tried the straight forward approach, but still got oil all over until I had a stroke of genius with the bag.) Pour some of your oil into a shallow glass bowl (plastic will be pretty difficult to cover up unless you have a lid, but I had Saran Wrap, so glass moved from my second choice to the smart choice *grin*, and I promise that it’s much easier to brush the oil on than try to lightly douse a napkin straight from the bottle without a mess. I’m all for moisturizing my skin, but DUDE! Just trust me. Lol.). I used my middle of the road paint brush that I typically use for egg washes. And I can’t stress this enough: have a partial box of disposable gloves on hand. Oiled plastic will slip out of oily hands like a sudsy bar of soap. It’s a pain in the snicker doodle and you might end up with the oily and sticky mess stuck to your hoodie. Really. Anyway…also keep a stack of napkins in easy reach.


(Put your gloves on now! *grin*) Take your plastic jar and coat all labels and adhesive with oil using circular brushes; working over the opening to the bag. Straight brushing didn’t work nearly as well. Coat it liberally; as in, nearly dripping off. Then slap a napkin over the area. It took a few rounds before I discovered that this step is more effective if you also brush the oil over the napkin that is covering the treated spots. I did a few different amounts, but saturation cuts several hours out of this process. Put the wrapped jar into your bag and continue the process with all of your plastic jars. I found that butting wet areas together worked better, because they weren’t as apt to dry and stop working then.

20131111-165137.jpg All oiled up and no tanning bed in sight

Now, let them soak in the oil bath overnight (12 hours seemed best). I could be all quaint like the posts I read and tell you that they might be ready to clean right off now, but I won’t. I’ll be honest. Only the lightly gunked ones will be ready now (or else they forgot to mention where they got the industrial strength oil or fairy dust, because following the instructions only worked on the cleanest of the group!). Take the cleanest one and rub lightly with the oily napkin that had been covering the area. If the adhesive starts to slip off with the circular rubbing, then you get a brownie button! Hehe. Couldn’t resist. Ahem. Awesome for you! Just keep it up until the goo is all rubbed off. Now, if your jars are more like mine, then there’ll be a little bit of cleaning around the edges, but the napkin might be sticking to the adhesive at the point. Flipping it off won’t work, so don’t bother. I tried. *wink* Just brush some more oil over the napkin and it should release. Liberally swirl more oil onto the labels and adhesives (although all of the labels came off at the this point for me, leaving just the adhesive), and repeat with all of the jars. Now, I haven’t ran the experiment a second time to get a different view on the times with the improved methods, so I can only recommend that you check them every few hours. Following the combination of instructions and then finding my own improvements the whole process took three solid days, but the more liberal application with the swirling movement made a huge difference, so I will plan on 2 days next time. If the oil dries, then you basically just need to give them a bit more attention and reapply oil every hour or so. Otherwise, I aimed for every two hours.

You should notice that a bit more comes off each time you reapply after the 16 hour mark. If you want completely scratch free jars, then you might want to try a soft cloth instead of the napkins, because I noticed after I started doing the 2 hour check ups that the surfaces started to look pretty scuffed. Since I just wanted them clean I got rather ruthless and started using some elbow grease on the third day. With my gloves on I slowly scraped my nail at the edges of the adhesive and began to push the adhesive up. Every few pushes I’d add a little oil, since the lubrication makes a huge difference when you’re rushing the process apparently. *grin* I swiped off the balled up adhesive with a napkin and within about half an hour all of my jars were free of adhesive.

20131111-165949.jpg See my pretty jar!

There is one stumbling block that I have no real advice for and that’s how to get the oil easily off of your jars. It took me three very soapy washes with the heavy duty degreasing version of Dawn before all of the oil was gone. I swore after an extensive washing the first time, complete with a sponge bath, that they were spotless. They sure looked that way until they finished drying. As soon as the water evaporated I noticed beads of oil left behind inside of the jars. A few more really soapy washes later and they are squeaky clean to the touch. *big grin*

All in all, this is a pretty easy cleaning technique. I just covered my oil between treatments and will actually use what’s left the next time I have to do this. I actually used maybe an ounce of oil throughout all of this. (We won’t discuss how much I overestimated that I would need…) It takes some time and frequent checking, but I’d much rather do this technique than fuss with a razor or label scraper. If you’re as dedicated as me about keeping your fingers intact, I’d definitely recommend this technique to you. *grin* There’s very little cost and a simple clean up since you can bundle up all of the mess right in the bag; although you’ll still have a few paper towels from outside the bag to toss that caught drips, but maybe you’re neater than me. Good luck with that! Lol. One last note, this wasn’t nearly as effective on glass as the vinegar soak is that I previously posted about. I tried this first attempt on 5 jars and a glass bottle. The label peeled off the jar after the overnight, but it took until the end of the second day before any of the adhesive came loose, whereas it took only a couple of hours in the vinegar bath for a sink full of glass to come clean.

With the holidays I thought this might be handy for those that like to reuse, reduce, and all that happy stuff. Or you might just be frugal like me. *grin* Whatever you are, I hope this helps you and don’t hesitate to ask a question if you have one.

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