Boy, I feel like I'm at a Vikings game again. Or am underage.
Today is Monday and for me that means bathroom cleaning day. I've taken to following a cleaning schedule since we moved into the new house. It's worked out really well thus far. Each daily task only takes about 30 minutes or so. When I've got a little extra time, I try to check off one of the monthly or quarterly to-dos. I'll post about that at some point, but for now, Skol!
I've been slowly but surely getting rid of all purchase, chemical cleaners in our house and switching over to DIY organic cleaners. With the girls I just didn't want things around that they could accidently swallow or were just really not good for our bodies. With news about kids eating laundry pods because they looked like candy, I wanted to take a totally different approach and feel like I'd made our home a little more kiddo friendly. Also, when cleaners are classified by OSHA as "hazardous" causing skin corrosion or irritation and serious eye damage/eye irritation, well I want to think that there are better, non-corrosive, non-irritation options.
Now, a quick note. Do cleaners come with instructions for safe use? Of course they do. Do any major companies expect you to go squirting a bathroom cleaner in your eye? Nope. Do we keep our cleaners up high and away from the kids? You bet. Yet, according to the CDC,
"every day, over 300 children in the United States ages 0 to 19 are treated in an emergency department, and two children die, as a result of being poisoned. It’s not just chemicals in your home marked with clear warning labels that can be dangerous to children. Chemicals in and around the home can poison people or pets and can cause long-term health effects. Every 13 seconds, a poison control center in the United States answers a call about a possible poisoning. More than 90% of these exposures occur in the home".
So, that's a little scary to think about, huh? The Environmental Working Group is a fantastic resource for finding out more about your current cleaning products and safer alternatives. They rate and review most over-the-counter brands and products. Their website states that "products with artificial fragrances can trigger allergies, and products can contain low levels of formaldehyde (a carcinogen) without disclosure, among others, which can lead to birth defects in pregnant women using the cleaners". Who needs that?!?!
Okay, enough soap box. The point is, I decided to do my best to go green and organic and get rid of the chemicals as much as possible in the house. So, here we are, back at bathroom cleaning day and in need of cheap vodka.
See, vodka is not just great for lemonade. The alcohol in vodka helps kill mildew, mold, germs and avert rusting.It also has antiseptic properties due to the alcohol. So basically, it disinfects, which is what we want to do in a bathroom when we clean, right? Apparently, it also aids in reducing stress and has anesthetic properties, but really, I think we all intuitively knew that...or learned it early on! For more interesting, fun vodka facts click here.
Today I present my favorite bathroom DIY cleaner recipes using vodka. I buy the cheap stuff (like Skol) because why waste good vodka on your shower?
When you clean with essential oils, and just use them in general, you'll want to purchase glass or stainless steel spray bottles. Some essential oils, especially citrus, can leach petrochemicals from plastic. Some great options are available on Amazon.
My big aha moment with cleaning? You gotta let it sit. This is important people! Even brand name cleaners need time to disinfect. You can't just spray it on and wipe it right off. I tend to spray down each bathroom, then go back to where I started to wipe everything down. I like using microfiber cloths (wash and reuse!), but paper towel works just as well.
1 part vodka
1 part white vinegar
1 1/2 parts distilled or boiled and cooled water
Essential oil if you like to scent it (10-20 drps)
** part can be 1/2 cup or cup depending on your container **
Daily shower spray
This I like because it makes me feel like the shower is clean all the time, and it smells great. Plus, it can keep soap scum from forming. Bonus! If you are a morning person, try using peppermint, grapefruit, or any citrus oil. It's a great wake up. Prefer a night time shower? Try something more grounding like Balance, cedar, or lavender.
1 part vodka
2 parts distilled or boiled and cooled water
Essential oil for scent (5-10 drops)
**There are lots of cheap vodkas out there, I just happened to choose Skol because it was the cheapest at my local liquor store and I buy the biggest bottle available :) **