Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why Domestic Goddess?

My husband gave me this name. In truth, I am a very poor homemaker. I hate cleaning, I hate picking up after people, and I hate the futility of it all. What's the point of tidying things up during naptime if my kids are just going to tear everything apart within an hour of waking up? They don't do these things on purpose. They just like to get into things and play. They do a haphazard job of cleaning up, which means things are put away somewhere, but that somewhere is probably not where I want it. Clearly, the title of "domestic goddess" is more of a motivational title to aspire to, not something I already am.

I take my domestic goddess responsibilities seriously. I do clean (over and over and over again), I wash, I cook, I play with my small children. I just do it all on my own time. Sometimes I get everything done in a day or two. Sometimes it takes the whole week. Nevertheless, nobody is going to get after me for not keeping to the timeline, because joy of joys, there isn't one! Nobody is going to inspect my work. Nobody is going to write me a performance evaluation or write me an award and need all the hair-splitting details of what I've done for the past three years.

All my husband really expects domestically is to know where his stuff is, to have some clean (not ironed-I refused to iron in the marriage contract) clothes, and eat at semi-regular intervals. God bless him. On the down side, that does mean he's messy and doesn't really notice when I get the cleaning/home arranging done. But that's okay. I've finally learned how to brag about my work. "Look, honey, I finished the whatever. What do you think? How does it look? I like it." Upon which he responds in a suitable, much needed manner. I absolutely adore, cherish, and love my husband!

Part of my domestic goddess responsibilities is making the house and our lifestyle greener. I recycle and fuss when good stuff gets thrown away. Then I take it out of the trash can, rinse it in the sink, and sort it properly in the recycling shed. I need to start a compost pile. I am trying to grow my own cantaloupes. I use coffee grounds as fertilizer. I keep the A/C on a higher temperature and only use fans to help cool rooms I'm using. I cook things at the same time, if possible, to reduce kitchen heating. Got any other ideas I can use? Let me know!

I am also using all the last of my store-bought, chemical-laden cleaners because it's better than dumping them down the drain. Once they're all gone, I'm going completely natural. I started with the toilets because I ran out of toilet cleaner first. I now use baking soda and vinegar to get a nice sparkle out of them. In fact, you can use baking soda and vinegar on almost anything to get it clean. Check out the following cleaning recipes and let me know how they work for you.

Mild all-purpose cleaner
4 T baking soda
1 qt water
-Mix together in cleaning pail or quart bottle
-Spray and wipe surface with soft cloth or sponge
-Vinegar is a great degreaser and works especially well to remove soap scum. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 c. white vinegar and 1 qt water in spray bottle. Spray on surface. Wait 30 s. Wipe away. Rinse off with hot water if you're cleaning soap scum in tubs, showers, or sinks.
-Place 2 T of liquid hand soap or dishwashing detergent in a bottle, fill with 1 qt warm water, and shake. You can add some lemon for scent. Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe up countertops, floors, painted interior doors, and walls. For exteriors, use a scrub brush.
Minty fresh all-purpose cleaner
2 T peppermint liquid castile soap
1/4 c. baking soda
1/4 white vinegar
Water o fill quart spray bottle
-Mix all ingredients in bottle. Spray on cloth, mop, or directly on surface.
Tile and vinyle floor cleaner
1/4 c liquid castile soap
1/8 c white vinegar
1 gal water
-Mix all ingredients in bucket. Damp mop.
Linoleum floor cleaner
1/4 c white vinegar
1 1/2 to 2 c water
-Mix all ingredients in a qt spray bottle. Spray soft mop until just damp and mop.
Window, glass, and mirror cleaner
1/2 to 1 c white vinegar
1 qt cool water
-Combine all ingredients in spray bottle.
-Spritz solution on surface. Rub until dry to avoid spotting with newspaper.
-For heavy duty cleaner, combine 1/2-1 c. white vinegar, 1 T liquid dish soap or detergent, and 1 qt water in a spray bottle. Spray and rub until dry.
-To clean glass vases, fill them 3/4 full with room-temperature water and add 1 t baking soda. Cover and shake. Rinse with clear water and air dry.
Dust buster
2 c water
1 c white vinegar
2 drops lemon oil (for scent)
-Mix all ingredients in bowl or spray bottle. Dampen cloth with solution. Wipe down collectibles.
Hardwood floor cleaner
3 c. white vinegar
1 T castile soap
3 drops grapefrut essential oil
3 c water
-Mix all ingredients in a bucket of water.
-Barely wet rag or mop with the solution. Run over floors and let air-dry.
Wood furniture polish
1 pt linseed or oil oil
4 or 5 drops lemon essential oil (for scent)
-Mix all ingredients in an open container
-Dab cloth with mixture. Rub oil into furniture, using sparingly. Buff into wood.
Carpet spot remover
1/4 t clear, plant-based dishwashing liquid
1 c warm water
-Mix dishwashing liquid and water.
-Dab mixture on spill. Blot to dry.
Stainless-steel sink cleaner
3 T baking soda
1 drop essential oil (for scent)
1 1/2 c water
Water rinse
-Mix baking soda and water together.
-Add oil for scent if desired.
-Rinse with clear water.
-Dry with a cloth.
Toilet bowl cleaner
Baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 c white vinegar
-Sprinkle sides with baking soda and allow to stand for a few minutes.
-Pour in vinegar and let stand for 15 minutes.
-Scrub with toilet brush and flush.
Toilet brush cleaner
-1 T dishwashing liquid soap
1 T white vinegar
Hot water
-Mix solution in bucket or toilet brush holder
-Place the toilet brush in the solution and swish until clean. Follow with a rinse in clean water.
-Shake to dry and return to the holder or stand
Drain cleaner
1 c salt
1 c baking soda
1/4 c cream of tartar
-Mix ingredients and keep in a well-marked container.
-Pour 1/4 c of this mixture into the drain. Rinse with water. Repeat as necessary or save the rest for later.
Drain declogger
1/2 to 1 c baking soda
1/2 to 1 c white vinegar
1 gal boiling water
-Pour the baking soda down the drain. Follow with vinegar, pouring slowly.
-Listen for a fizzing sound. Cover the drain and let stand for 5 min.
-Pour boiling water into drain.
White clothing stain remover
1 T borax
6 T water
-Mix ingredients to make paste. Dab on stains. Follow with normal washing.
Old linen stain remover
2 squirts dishwashing liquid
1 qt water
-Mix water and soap in a bucket or sink
-Place linens in the solution. Soak for an hour or so.
-Follow with a light swishing by hand. Rinse with plain water. Line dry.
Presoak and fabric softener
2 T cream of tartar
1 gal hot water
-Mix solution in bucket and let cool. Let the fabrics sit in the mixture for 1/2 hr or until stain is released.
-Rinse with fresh water. Launder as normal.
Dry laundry detergent
1 c soap flakes or shredded homemade soap, or any store-bought type without lotion
1/2 c washing soda
1/2 c borax
A few drops of essential oil (for scent)
-Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 1/4-1 c detergent, depending on the size of the load and machine type.
-For sofe water, reduce washing soda to 1/4 c. For hard water, increase washing soda and borax to 1 c.
Liquid laundry detergent
1 c soap flakes or shredded homemade soap, or any store-bought type without lotion
1/2 c washing soda
1/2 c borax
2 T glycerin
2 c water
-Mix soap, washing soda, and borax. Add glycerin and water, stirring until thoroughly combined.
-Use 1/4 to 3/4 c per load in cold or warm water.
Air freshener
1 t baking soda
1 t vinegar or lemon juice
2 c water
-Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle with fine spray
-Mix the air gently, particularly near the source of odors.
-Add 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks to 4 c boiling water. Simmer for an hour or so. Don't let all the water evaporate out of the pan.

These recipes were taken from
Green Cleaning for Dummies. All credit for them goes to the book's author.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the list! Definitely going to try some of these