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Green cleaning follow up: a "sorta" success

April 18, 2011 - Jennifer Brookens
There is a reason why this blog was delayed, in more ways than one.

Last time I wrote, I was all excited about cleaning my house (first sign that something was seriously wrong) with the all-natural ingredients, such as baking soda, vinegar, etc. Well, as predicted, I walk into the house with my all-natural arsenal, and looking at piles of dishes, an overflowing laundry pile and the mystery mess of the day instantly zapped any enthusiasm.

So rule #1 - remove all clutter. Some days I think that would require the big tornado wiping out our house down to the foundation to start fresh. This is a constant work in progress, but we finally have several rooms accomplished. It wasn't really until this past weekend that I could experiment with "green cleaning." I attack the shower stall with straight vinegar to get rid of the mildew and soap scum. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, my daughter whines about how it stinks, even though the smell dissipated from the night before. I try to wipe off, and it sorta comes off. I scrub harder, a little more. I finally grab a scrubbing brush and scrub away. It works, but requires more effort than what we're used to with the "wipe and go" cleaners.

Then I had a chance to try the carpet stain remover, when The Boy got a hold of some of big sister's lip gloss, and ended up wiping his hands on the floor, leaving a Berry Delight (which was hardly delightful) red-purple streak on the carpet. I saturate the area with the vinegar, then sprinkle on the baking soda. Wait for it... But I don't want to wait, I'm so used to the "Get it out asap!" method of stain cleaning. I start scrubbing. Fades a little. Scrub some more. Fades a little more. OK, give it a rest... I CAN'T!! More scrubbing! The next day, it's faded significantly, but can still see it. *grumbles* Should I have used the salt since that's supposed to work on red wine spills? Or would the weird goopiness of the lip gloss cancel that out? These are the challenges I face for only getting a "C" in chemistry class.

Then there is the least favorite chore of the house: the litter boxes. Because I agreed to adopt my mother's two cats, that lovely chore is always left to me. When the dirty deed is due this weekend, I rinse out the pans with vinegar and let them set for 15 minutes. Trouble is, kitties are looking for their boxes. OH NO!! I quick fill one up, throw baking soda on top and get it back inside. It is accepted, but get glares from three furballs the rest of the evening. But we haven't smelled the "regular" box scent yet.

So while some of these remedies worked, you had to work a lot harder at making them work. Plus when we're used to cleaners that are "spray and go," it's easy to write it off when we don't see an immediate improvement. Will I try it again? Probably. But it may be a work in progress, just like the remedies themselves.


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