Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY Swiffer Refills

Welcome to Day 2 of my new clean 2012 self.  If you missed my first post on cleaning my kitchen, you can check it out HERE.

I love my swiffer.  Granted I don't use it as much as I should, but that's a given.  I don't clean as much as I should.  The absolute worst though is when I am in a cleaning mood...those are real and very important when it comes to cleaning...and I go to the closet and dust off the old swiffer wet jet.  Lo and behold there is no swiffer juice!  Ugh!  Oh well.  Guess it won't get clean I tell myself and go back to watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Well now, I have given myself no excuses after a long while of the swiffer being empty.  No I didn't want to pay full retail price for the refill.  Not important enough to me.  Like I said, cleaning isn't my most favorite skill.

I made my own swiffer solution and refilled the bottle myself.  
Duh, your 90's trained brain says, that must be so easy.  Au contraire mon frere.  Swiffer is a smart company.  They don't want us refilling our own bottles.  Too easy.  Too much money lost.  So there is a trick to removing the lid on your swiffer bottle.

Heat a mug of hot water in the microwave for two minute.  Turn the empty solution bottle upside down in the hot water for one minute.  
Then refill the bottle with the floor solution of your choice.  Ammonia and water.  Pine sol and water.  Whatever is to you liking.  I chose to fill the bottle with half water and half vinegar.  I added half a fresh squeezed lemon for a little extra yummy citrus smell.  
I'm not gonna lie.  Vinegar is a strong smell.  However, clean is clean.  I'll deal when it cost me like 25 cents max to refill the bottle.  Like I said in my first cleaning post, you are welcome to drop some dollars on the lavender essential oils.  I'm just too cheap to care.

Once refilled, simply return the cap to the bottle.  Pop the bottle back into the swiffer main frame.  A little tip I learned during research said it would be a good idea to pop the bottle back off when you are done cleaning and return it to an upright position to avoid excessive evaporation.  So I did.  You are welcome to test the theory and leave it on the frame afterwards.

Hope some of you will try it out.  It took all of 4 minutes to do.  Faster than running to your favorite grocer for a legit refill.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Started Off Fresh & Clean

Okay so I didn't exactly start off 2012 on a blogging bang.  Sorry guys, I've been reading the Twilight series 4 years later than the rest of you, so I have been a bit busy hiding under the covers speed reading.

I was off work for an extra day to start off 2012.  I hope that is a great predictor of what is to come this year.  However, the long weekend wasn't all pillows, rest, and pajamas.  We had to get a little accomplished on our rare time at home.  I decided a good cleaning was in order.  So I hopped on over to Pinterest for a little inspiration.

I had 3 conditions...I wanted something cheap.  Homemade.  And Natural.
Who doesn't love to save money.  Although I don't live my life in full embrace of the organic and natural lifestyle mostly due to the my first, I do believe it is important.  I don't want my first born, Paisley Blue, to be licking bleach off the floor.  It just can't be good for her.  And homemade just feels good and it is the best way to save money.

While doing research pre-project I learned a lot about natural cleaning.  Thanks in part to the Pink Pistachio I learned about a few simple ingredients I needed to gather.

Baking Soda -- Cleans, deodorizes, and scours
White Vinegar -- Kills 99% of bacteria and 80% of viruses, cuts grease
Citrus -- acidity is antibacterial and anti-fungal, bleaches, removes stains
Soap -- cleans, cuts grease

I also needed a few handy tools.
Empty spray bottles -- If you are really green, you could upcycle some old bottles you are no longer using.  However, if uniformity if important in your obsessive compulsive brain like it is in mine, you can pick up a few bottles at the Dollar Tree for guess what? $1.
Sponges -- I chose Scotch-Brite greener clean sponges.
Rubber Gloves -- Baking Soda paste is hard on hands.

I chose to tackle the kitchen first.  I made a simple all-purpose solution to use to clean just about every surface in my kitchen, from countertops to appliance fronts.

DIY All Purpose Cleaning Solution:  1 Tbsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp. dish soap, and 2 Tbsp. vinegar.  Combine in a spray bottle and shake.  Let it rest.  It will need it because the chemical reaction is crazy and bubbles fill the bottle in no time flat.  Fill the remainder of the bottle with warm water.  Add 1 Tbsp. of fresh lemon/orange juice for a little extra bam and a nicer scent.

I'm not going to lie, the spray smells of vinegar, but who cares, its clean and the smell fades in a little bit.  If you are really worried about the smell or just can't handle it, buy some of that expensive essential oil and toss in a drop or two.  I'll stick with my cheap fresh squeezed lemons.

Cost = like cents.  I can't even do math that small.  Oh wait, I can and I did.  Like 4 cents for a 24 oz bottle.  I could pick that much off the floor at the grocery store.  So like FREE!

Next on the battle plan, the microwave.  Oh what a battle it was.  You know those things you have been meaning to clean for some time.  Every time you see them, you think...I really should clean this soon, but you are too busy or hungry in this case to do it right then.  Yea, I had been thinking that for a long while with this microwave.  I am going to be brave and show you pictures.  Judge me all you want .  If I cared I wouldn't show you the picture.

Here is the before...
Aaaaahhhhhhh!  I know its scary.

Here is how I got it clean.
1.  Put one or two cups of water in a large, heat-proof glass or ceramic bowl.  Add 1 Tbsp. of white vinegar.
2.  Microwave until about half the water is evaporated.  (I just kept checking every few minutes.)
3.  Wait about 10 minutes and don't open the door. This allows the steam to penetrate the baked-on nastiness and the water can cool off a bit.  Be careful the water will still be hot when you remove the bowl.
4.  Scrub the walls of the microwave with a sponge sprinkled with a bit of baking soda.
5.  Wipe down the microwave with a reusable cloth dampened in clean water and the oven will be sparkling clean and odor-free.
I still smile every time I open the microwave door.

Stay tuned for a tutorial on DIY swiffer refills.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Resolutions I May or May Not Keep

A new year.  A fresh start.  A clean slate.  

It funny how on December 31 as we party it up we reflect on another year passed.  We have only a few hours left to lose the weight we said we pay off the debt that's been run that marathon we just never quite got ready for.  Does that sound familiar?  I totally agree.  So instead of working hard to meet those new years resolutions by july instead of waiting to the last minute, I take another approach.  I just make some nice detailed yet lax goals for the year.  Like a new soft pair of comfortable workout pants that are inspiring but make you feel so different than that tight pair of skinny jeans that are constantly squeezing you in all the wrong places and making you feel bad about yourself.   I enjoy my resolutions and I try to take them seriously but I really try not to stress about them.

Resolutions are inspiration for a better self.

Here are mine for 2012.

Resolutions for my marriage:  
A regular date night, once a week.
I heard recently from a friend about a neat idea for date planning.  
He plans a date he thinks she will like.  She plans a date she thinks he will like.  
He plans a date he knows he will like.  She plans a date she knows she will like.  
Not only does it inspire a little creativity, but it insures date nights don't always become dinner at your favorite Mexican restaurant and a browse around TJ Maxx Home Goods.  Or is that just the date night I always enjoy?

Eat dinner in the dining room with no T.V. at least twice a week.
You can save your criticism if its there for not eating there everyday.  I believe in achievable goals.  2 out of 5 is what is best for our resolution.  Make your own if you don't agree.

Attempt to speak my husband's love language more fluently.
Vague I know, but its just a general life style choice that I want to choose to do more consciously.

Resolutions for my body:
Decrease my caffeine intake to no more than 1 beverage a day.
I have had this goal every year for at least 3 years.  Varying medical professionals have suggested it multiple times and I last about 3 weeks before I start slipping back into the delicious and rejuvenating refreshment of my favorite caffeinated beverages.  As you can see.  This goal is loosely added to the list.

Exercise at least 2-3 times a week.
No, I don't currently do that.  Yes that is awful of me.  I don't think the 3 reps I do of every exercise as I demonstrate for patients at work count for exercise.

Resolutions for my spirit:
Continue a morning quiet time most days of the week.

Remember the blessings.
I recently started a monthly ritual of documenting answered prayers and the best moments of the month.
I think its refreshing to keep a running list of the good in life.  I keep mine in my day planner and its a nice list to be able to look back on later in the year.

Pray often and sincerely.
And not just when their is a crisis in my life or in the lives of those I love.

Well there's my list.  I'll try to keep you updated on how things go.  I am hopeful for the year to come.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011: A Year in Photo Review

Happy New Year!
2011 was a year divided.
The first two thirds was filled with nose to the grindstone, blinders and sweatpants on marathon to the grad school finish.  The last one third was a whole new world where adults work...I know I'm 27 and just got a real job... and wear professional attire...oh please, business casual better describes it..., and weekends are faster than ever before because you can do whatever you want... minus the occasional all weekend continuing education course...blah.  Overall an awesome year!  

Let's do a little photo recap.

I hope as you have looked back over 2011 you have relived a lot of wonderful memories and discovered a lot about your yourself.  I know I have...which leads me to my new year's resolutions!  We will talk about those soon.  Enjoy this 3rd day of 2012!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...