While I love a good apron and The Gentle Art of Domesticity, cleaning has never been a particularly sexy task around our house. However, I loved the article below that ran in our local paper on Tuesday of this week.

It makes me happy that living clean is going mainstream.

Maggie loved mixing the ingredients with me in the kitchen last night.

BUT, I still swear by Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena for washing our clothes…

*Make your own apron like the one above with the Bloomers Pattern available as a pull-out from our Alabama Stitch Book.

From the pantry, quick homemade cleaners
By The Associated Press

(AP) – These recipes were adapted from “Smart Mama’s Green Guide” (Center Street, 2009):

All-purpose cleaner: Combine 2 cups distilled white vinegar with 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired. (Do not use on limestone or marble.)

Another all-purpose cleaner: Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Transfer to a spray bottle to use.

All-purpose disinfectant and deodorizer: Mix 1/2 cup Borax with 1 gallon hot water.

Carpet deodorizer: Sprinkle with baking soda (or cornstarch), let sit 30 minutes and vacuum.

Kitchen cleaner: Use baking soda on non-scratch surfaces and a vinegar-water mixture on other surfaces. Apply to rag or directly to countertop for cleaning. (Do not use vinegar to clean limestone or marble surfaces.)

Microwave cleaner: Place lemon slices in a microwave-safe dish and at least 8 ounces of water. Heat on high for 3 minutes. Let sit for 3 minutes without opening microwave door, then open the door and wipe down the insides.

Oven cleaner: Make a paste of baking soda, salt and hot water.

Garbage disposal cleaner: Add citrus peel to eliminate odors. Or freeze vinegar in ice cube trays (1 cup of vinegar per tray, then filled with water) and drop a few down the disposal. The ice will sharpen the blades, too.

Wood floor cleaner: Apply a thin coat of 1:1 olive oil and vinegar and rub well.

Tile and tub cleaner: Mix 1-2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap and 1/2 cup water, then add 2 tablespoons vinegar (add last or it will react to the baking soda).

Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle in some baking soda, let sit, then clean with toilet brush.

Window cleaner: 3 tablespoons vinegar per 1 quart water in a spray bottle.

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