Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm taking the shortcut !!

My daughter likes to take the "shortcut" to the kitchen.  From our front door, it's a straight shot to the back of the house, where the kitchen is.  Along that straightaway, to the left is the living room and dining room.  A couple of very small walls seperate the spaces.  The "shortcut" consists of my daughter running through the living room and dining room, then rejoining the straightaway into the kitchen.  She thinks it's a shortcut, because she always gets to the kitchen first.  What she hasn't figured out, is she gets to the kitchen first, because I'm a grown-up, and I don't run in the house.

When it comes to taking care of our house, myself, or really anything, I'm a huge fan of a shortcut.  As long as I don't have to run through the living room and dining room in order to make it work. 

One of my favorite shortcuts, is "cleaning in a can."  I'm a quasi environmentalist.  I do care about the planet, but I care more about my family.  It doesn't make sense to me to clean with chemicals if there is a solution that doesn't involve using them.  And if it actually works.  Cleaning in a can is simply, disinfecting wipes.  There are several "green" types available, and I've found they do work.

Don't want to scrub the bathroom?  Cleaning in a can.  One wipe for the counter and sink, one wipe for the seat and outside of toilet, one wipe for the floor around the toilet.  Squirt some cleaning goo in the toilet bowl (cleaning in a can does NOT work there)  Swish it around with the toilet brush....voila, bing boom.  Bathroom's clean. 

Or at least the half bath downstairs is clean.  Cleaning in a can doesn't break through soap scum in the shower.  I'm afraid I don't have a shortcut for soap scum, besides a stiff brush and a bit of elbow grease.  Cleaning in a can also doesn't clean the mirrors.  Don't try it.  Trust me.

For some insane reason, the builders of our sub-division thought it would be a great idea to put wall to wall mirrors in all the bathrooms.  I have no mirror less than 6 feet long and 4 feet high.  Really?  Who want's to see that much of themselves when they are stepping out of the shower?  But I can clean the mirrors to a lovely streak free shine in less than two minutes each.  How?  Vinegar and water and a really good squeegee.  The key is the squeegee.  Mine has a silicone blade.  4 parts water to 1 part vinegar.  Squirt some on the mirror, clean with a damp cloth, then squeegee.  Top to bottom, one fluid movement.  Then wipe the squeegee blade before starting the next pass.  Works like a charm.

Cleaning in a can also works great for quick wipe ups in the kitchen and the laundry room.  It took me awhile to warm up to the idea of tossing the wipes away.  Seems so wasteful.  I had originally bought them for "emergencies."  But after a couple of "emergency" cleanings - ie someone's coming over in an hour, I realized how great they were.  Not having to drag out the cleaning products, find cleaning rags that weren't crunchy cause I hadn't done a load of gross laundry for awhile, etc.   Then I thought about all the wipes I tossed away during the diaper years. We also repurpose, recycle and compost so much in our family of four that we only put out one small can of trash a week and it isn't always a full can.  Eight or ten wipes a week suddenly didn't seem like such a huge carbon footprint.  More of a toeprint  really.  Pinkie toeprint.

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