Potential Projects

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cleaning Tips

Let's be clear, I am the last person on earth who should be giving cleaning advice.  I was the child who was constantly in trouble for leaving messes everywhere, not making her bed, not doing her dishes, etc.  I am the adult who stacks things into (fairly) tidy piles, and tosses all kinds of random stuff that "looks interesting, and I'm sure I'll look at it later" into a drawer, a closet, or the garage.

So all that being said, I obviously joined the throngs of people making plans for 2011 to be the year "I finally get (a little bit) organized!"  And I am going to keep myself honest by documenting a little bit of that here.

A few promises:  If you have problems with cleaning and organization, I do not judge you.  I thank you for likewise not judging me.  Life is a journey.  We can all try to improve.  Also, since I do not come to cleaning or organization naturally, I also can't promise to share anything that you don't already know.  I'll just share tips that I pick up along the way.  And feel free to email me your tips, or post a comment below.  I need help!

OK, so today I did something that I kind of love, but also feel a bit guilty about often times when I do it.  I dropped Elliott off at daycare, and then came back home.  That's right, I didn't go to work.  I just came home.  Today I didn't feel much guilt.  I have gotten a ton done, and the little guy has only been in daycare a few hours.  I'd probably feel more guilt if I came home and just read a book.  Isn't that odd?  Yes, I struggle.

At any rate.  So today I discovered a couple of cleaning tips that surprised me by how well they worked, and I thought I'd share.

TIP #1:  I used a baking soda and water paste to clean my class stove cook top.  Have you done this before?  It worked like a dream!  Admittedly it took a lot (A LOT!) of elbow grease.  But I've been cleaning that stove for the last 5 years with a glass cleaner, and the baking soda paste took off TONS of marks that I had thought were just scratches on the glass.  If you'd like to try this, I used ratio of about 2 parts water to one part baking soda.  I poured it on the stove just as my phone rang.  So it ended up sitting on the stove for about 10 minutes before I started scrubbing.  Not sure if that helped or not.  It seemed like it really was the friction from the baking soda that loosened up all the gunk that I hadn't realized was gunk.  And it didn't scratch my stove, it was cheap, and not chemically!  Woot!

I should mention now, that I have thought about buying one of these to clean the stove.  Has anyone tried it?  If I ever do finally buy one I'll let you know.  In the meantime, baking soda was cheap, and on-hand.  

TIP #2:  I followed these directions to clean out my dishwasher.  This might be one of those times where you look at this link and say, "Where have you been Emily?!  Don't you do that regularly?"  The sad truth is, this is the first time I've cleaned the inside of my dishwasher.  I'm embarrassed to admit we've lived in this house over 5 years.  Better to start now than a year from now though, right?  Especially because I use that thing a ton.  Practically daily since Elliott was born.

OK, those are my tips for today.  Do you have tips to share?  Leave a comment below.  I can use all the help I can get!  Happy Friday!


  1. Emily,

    Being the spacy, reader type, I have struggled with cleaning and organizing my entire life. Fly lady.com helps. I love everything written by Don Aslett, the two sisters who are messy and have written books about how they reform and "The Messies" series. I make myself watch Hoarders as motivation--even though I am not a hoarder--just lazy. I never even KNEW you were supposed to wash the inside of your dishwasher!!I NEVER have!!

  2. Hi Emily,
    This is your "queen of clean" mother and I never knew you should wash your dishwaser either. I've cleaned out the grate in the bottom once in a while but that's all. Proud of you. Good job!!! :)
    Love you!!