Condo Blues: DIY Scrubbing Bubbles!

Monday, October 20, 2008

DIY Scrubbing Bubbles!

I was skeptical about cleaning with vinegar, which is supposed to be a natural disinfectant. However, after Blitzkrieg entered my life I had to find a pet friendly floor-cleaning alternative. I was very surprised to find that a combination of vinegar, water, and a sploosh of dish soap did the job very nicely.

And it is butt cheap too - bonus!

After that, I tried a few more cleaning with vinegar experiments. I made my own green version of scrubbing bubbles to clean some baked on crud under my stovetop.

I sprinkled the crud with baking powder, then a bit of vinegar and let the foaming begin. After the foaming stopped, I easily wiped up the mess. This method worked much better than any other cleaner & loads of elbow grease I tried (and failed) on the job earlier that day.

“Hi, my name’s Lisa and I was a skeptic. Now I like to clean with foaming baking soda and vinegar volcanoes.”

“Hi Lisa!” you say.

I also found that my green version of scrubbing bubble cleaner did a great job of cleaning my bathroom.

It fizzed up just like the commercial foaming toilet cleaner I used and cleaned the toilet just as well. However, unlike the commercial foaming cleanser, it didn’t leave that heavy cleaner perfume smell hanging in the air hours after I cleaned the bathroom.

I didn’t mind the commercial cleaner smell so much when it was just me hanging around the house but if I used it in anticipation of people coming over to visit, well, from the faces of my guests; I could tell that they could smell it hanging in the unintentionally heavily perfumed air too.


That’s why I started to look for a bathroom cleaning alternative.

After that, I tried cleaning the rest of the bathroom with vinegar and the results are pretty good. I keep a spray bottle of a mixture of half vinegar and half water under the bathroom sink and use it to clean the mirrors and counter tops.

If I need a little extra bit of scouring oomph I sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the sink spray it with the vinegar/water mix (since it’s watered down, the vinegar doesn’t bubble much) and wipe it up with a rag.

Before you ask, no my bathroom didn’t smell like pickles for very long. In fact, the vinegar smell dissipated from the air much more quickly than the traditional scrubbing bubbly commercial cleaner I used to use.

Now out of all the cleaning jobs around The Condo, I absolutely hate cleaning the shower and bathtub because I can’t find anything that easily cuts through the soap scum of the bathtub ring.

I made the bathtub ring cleaning issue a little easier by switching from using bar soap to liquid soap in the shower and bath. I got this tip from a bath person at a home show – apparently bar soaps leave a thicker ring on the tub and shower than bar soaps. I had nothing else to lose, so I tried it. Switching to liquid soap made cleaning the bathtub ring easier. I noticed that the liquid soap was much kinder to our skin, which tends to dry out more during the winter. I also realized that I didn’t have a bunch of waxy bar soap wrappers clogging up my trash can. In my city, I can’t recycle those, but I can recycle the plastic bottles that the liquid soap and shampoo came in. Sold.

So now I’m able to get most of the shower clean expect the sliding glass shower door. In the meantime, I’ve found that an eraser sponge does the trick but I suspect that it’s not very environmentally friendly. However, my research doesn’t confirm or deny that. So if you know of any other options to cut through the yuck that builds up on my shower door, I’m all ears.

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Lisa said...

Works great to clear drains too! :)

Lux said...

My mom uses vinegar (and baking soda, too) to clean a *lot! She just mixed up a batch yesterday. Good stuff!

She's heard it's also good (mixed with a little dish detergent) for killing weeds.

Anonymous said...

I feel good about using vinegar and baking soda to clean with. I know they are less harsh than bottled chemicals...and like you said--cheaper.

Jennifer Erwin said...

Most people in my neighborhood uses vinegar and baking soda and i can really say that its effective and great, and yes its cheap.

Elizabeth M. Mechem said...

Bar soap actually resolidifies in hard water, which makes soap scum and those nasty rings. That's why liquid soap is easier- the liquid stuff usually isn't soap at all, but a detergent.

By the way, very basic shampoo (NOT 2&1) and liquid soap are actually the same thing. So it's nice that when you run out of one, you a can substitute the other in a pinch.

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