by Eileen Rivera
We’ve all heard the saying, “Be a lady in the parlor, a maid in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.” I can’t help you with being a lady, my pearls don’t come out of their box very often. I won’t help you with the bedroom, you’re on your own there. But I can help you with being a maid because I have a lot of experience and I can help you cut down your cleaning time, whether you’re a Mr. or a Ms. The recommendations you will read here are mine and based on years of trial and error.
While dishes should be washed in hot water with a degreasing detergent (like Dawn) everything else in the kitchen could be washed with one soap – Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. It’s a fair trade, organic soap that is a wonder on grease and dirt and will cut down on cleaning time. Squirt a bit into a bucket with warm water and wash down your cabinets, your counter tops or mop your floor. It will also get the top of your refrigerator and the inside of your stove hood clean in minutes, with a minimum of elbow grease. Find it at your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe. Extra tip – it comes in different scents (using organic oils) and makes an excellent body wash also.
You looking for dishrags? Go to the automotive section of your local discount store and you will find microfiber clothes. Yes, the guys have been hiding the good stuff away from everyone! I once bought a product called Miracle Cloth, it cost me ten dollars for three cloths and I thought it was the greatest. When I needed to buy more, I couldn’t find it anywhere (it was one of those As-Seen-on-TV buys). Purely by accident, I found a twelve-cloth bundle in the automotive section and swore I would tell everyone about it (it cost six dollars). The cloths leave no lint or streaks behind and they are machine washable. They last forever.
Are your windows dirty? Pull out a spray bottle with an ammonia/water mix and newspapers. Windex may smell better but ammonia is cheaper. Newspapers will also save you money while leaving no streaks and no lint.
The bathroom is one room that should always be clean (the other one is the kitchen). Because I don’t want to spread germs, I use paper towels to clean the toilet and the washbasin. Everything gets sprayed down with the ammonia/water mix and cleaned until it squeaks. All wall-tiled surfaces get cleaned with warm water, Dr. Bronner’s and microfiber cloths (not every week, I’m not that bad). The inside of shower doors and curtains are sprayed with Tilex Mold and Mildew, the only cleaning chemicals I use. It’s pretty much spray and walk away.
Dusting is another place you could save money. You could spend the money and use Swiffer dusters (which are awesome; I swear that a woman invented these.) or you could just use a damp microfiber cloth. If you’re scared to use water on your wood furniture just use two cloths, one damp and one dry. It works.
You can multitask while vacuuming, just spray the vacuum bag with Febreeze or perfume, and you will sweeten the air while you vacuum the floor.
Last tip…when you wash your curtains, don’t put them in the dryer. Just hang them back up. Washers extract all the water and hanging them back up will keep wrinkles from forming, saves you time with drying and ironing.
Happy cleaning, from someone who likes a clean home, but hates the process.
Entertainment and Cultura Editor, Eileen Rivera.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of
the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.