Housework won’t kill you, but then again, why take the chance!
–Phyllis Diller

It is that time of year that many of us like to give our home a very through house cleaning. This involves a lot of work for many of us since it means moving furniture to clean everywhere. The house I live in is heated primarily by a wood stove so the all the walls should be cleaned but walls get dusty anyways. My technique is to do one room at a time. This helps to keep it from not becoming so overwhelming. Today I will do my bedroom from top to bottom including the closet and walkway. Anyway, below are some links for tips and some less toxic mixtures to help.


To remove stains from clothing, try soaking fabrics in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda, or white vinegar.

Fabric can be softened by adding one-quarter cup of baking soda to the wash cycle; A quarter cup of white vinegar will also soften fabric, as well as eliminate cling.

Polish furniture with a mixture of one teaspoon olive oil and one-half cup white vinegar, or Mix equal parts olive oil and lemon juice for a natural furniture polish. Just apply with a soft cloth and buff to a shine. You can also use this on wood paneling.

Baking soda and vinegar can clean a lot of things. I put about 1/2 cup in my dishwasher to clean and help dissolve the calcium deposit and then run it empty

For a stronger cleaner.

Make your own spray cleaner. Fill a spray bottle with 3 tablespoons ammonia, 1 tablespoon vinegar & the remainder with water.

Spots on stainless steel also can be removed with vinegar.

A few drops vanilla extract on a piece of cotton placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors.

Wood Floors

  • Floor cleaner is a solution of 1/2 cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water. Damp mop with a mop squeezed nearly dry. It is safer to mist the mop with the cleaner than to apply to floor. Do a section at a time and throw an old towel on the floor and scoot back and forth with foot to dry and prevent streaks. Standing liquid from mopping, spills, and pet accidents can damage floors.
  • The greatest damage done to wood floors is from grit. Mats at doors are necessary to collect grit and it’s important to keep these clean. I require everyone . except guest, to take off shoes when they come in. It really help to keep grit down.
  • Put a piece of waxed paper under your dust mop. Dirt will stick to the mop and the wax will shine your floors.

I like to scent my home here are some ideas. Since I have a wood stove I have a cast Iron teapot with water on top and usually put one of these inside.

• Simmer your own air freshener on the stove. Just use low heat and check them often, so they don’t boil dry.

• Cut two lemons into quarters then cover with cold water.

• For a crisp effect, drop six sprigs of fresh mint into four cups of cold water.

• For a delicious Christmas-y smell, combine five cloves, two cinnamon sticks, and four cups of cider. This one just might make you yearn for gingerbread!

<