Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY Cleaners

A couple of years ago, B.P. (before Pinterest), I happened to notice a lot of people saying they'd made their own laundry soap. I thought that sounded crafty in a way so I gave it a try and posted a tutorial at myfirst blog site Yay For Mommy!  Click over and take a peek.

Since then I've tried various ways to minimize the chemicals I use around the house with varying results.  I haven't been impressed with the old science experiment drain cleaner (you know, baking soda and vinegar combo that is also a 'bubbling volcano' if you're in grade school).  I like vinegar for it's naturalness, but it's smell, eh notsomuch.  I have a small hand held steamer that does a nice job but I usually have the perception it's a big hassle to drag it out.  My floor steamer is nice and makes me feel like I'm really cleaning the (hardwood) floors not just wetting the dust and spreading it around more evenly.

Since Pinterest has come into my life, the ideas for decorating, organizing, crafting, cleaning etc etc etc knows no bounds.  I wish I could say that about my available time to try everything I pin.  I did just try a recent cleaning pin that I've been seeing over and over.  Perhaps you've see it too?  Have you tried it?  Well I did and here's my take on it.

Simple. Dawn liquid, vinegar, spray bottle.  Three ingredients...if you count the spray bottle you need to mix it in, so it definitely has simple covered.

Inexpensive, relatively speaking, though Dawn liquid is far from the cheapest dish soap around.  Someone's instructions said it HAS to be the blue Dawn so I didn't dare try another type or brand.  I suppose I could have just compared ingredients, though. 

Easy.  Heat 12 ounces of white vinegar in the microwave.  Pour into spray bottle.  Add 12 ounces of Dawn ...uh BLUE Dawn dishwashing liquid.   Mix.  Use.

Effective?  Yah I thought it did a really good job.  Not unlike a movie that gets overhyped, I was expecting a LOT from this combo that everyone is raving about.  Not unlike a movie that gets overhyped I was probably expecting too much.  But objectively, I thought it worked really well.  I cleaned two bathroom sinks, a tub, a shower stall, the kitchen (stainless steel) sink, the glass stove cooktop, and the glass oven door.  It didn't do much for the oven door but the rest of the places I mentioned sparkle.

Miracle cleaner?   I like that it's not overly chemically.  As in vinegar is natural and Dawn is at least made to be used on your food serving items.  It does leave a nice shine.  On the down side, I hate the way it smells.  I'm weirdly sensitive to fragrance and dislike Dawn's fragrance.  A lot.  I've also got to learn how much is enough because I ended up with oodles of soapiness I had to rinse away.  I suspect being a bit less trigger-happy would manage that.  It's only a miracle if one use keeps everything clean forever, though.

So I rate it a solid A-.  I don't think I should hold it's smell against it and come spring when the windows can be opened I may even learn to like it.  I definitely suggest you try it - especially if you already have the ingredients on hand.  Then when someone says they tried this new cleaner from Pinterest you can brag or complain about it too!  Oh and of course you can clean with it as well.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Hodge Podge of Mod Podge

I do think Mod Podge (often mispronounced Modge Podge) is a pretty cool product. I have discovered, however, that it challenges my inner perfectionist. I can't seem to force it to be perfect and it doesn't give me a "do-over" like I get with a stitch. Anyhow, I have friends who are mad-about-Mod-Podge and I DO like so many of the things made with it, so I've been dabbling. This past Thanksgiving I threw together a wooden sign with a scrap piece of plywood I found in the yard. Really, I just kinda took scrapbook paper and winged it. Here's what I ended up with...

Once it was up on the wall and I couldn't inspect it so closely I came to like it.

I also made a family sign for my sister for a Christmas gift; the top board has hooks on the bottom to hang a seasonal plaque below.  Here's the one I did for 'summer'. 

Winter was four penguins, spring was four bunnies and fall was four pumpkins so there is a family 'picture' to change with each of the New England season changes.

The other Mod Podge project I did is my favorite of the bunch.  I followed this Paint Stick Ornament tutorial that looked like a fun little giftie/decoration idea and added some embellishments of my own.

It's important to always have teeny tiny jungle bells on hand!

So there's a sampling of my Mod Podging.  I'm thinking about birthday countdown cubes next....well after I cross off some house projects, and cleaning projects, and sewing projects...<sigh> the list never ends!