Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Well, it is a start!

Some of you may be acquainted with my desire to save money. Okay, okay--*all* of you should be acquainted with it, by now, lol. Shoot, for a family of seven, living on one income is hard enough. No sense to be spending money on products and things that simply don't need to cost that much.

For instance, one can shop at decent thrift shops and get great clothes, for bargain prices--you might have to be picky, and dig through the racks, but you can find some wonderful things! With five children to clothe, not to mention El Husbando and myself, well, you can imagine I try my best to limit our "brand new clothing" purchases. It just gets too darned expensive, especially when in most cases, the clothes last a season, if that!

Another way we try to cut costs around here, is by making many of our own cleaning products. I make our laundry detergent (which also doubles as a dishwashing detergent, toilet/sink/tub cleaner, etc), use white vinegar (mixed with water, in a spray bottle) as a spray all purpose cleaner. Well, today I tried a new homemade cleaner recipe, and so far, it seems to have worked really really well, especially in comparison with the purchased-in-the-store-products.

Our home is 30 yrs old. And honestly, the master bedroom tub/shower has been awfully difficult to get clean. I keep trying, and it just doesn't work. Soap scum. YEARS of soap scum. I've scrubbed, I've scoured, I've soaked. So I searched around on www.tipnut.com and found this recipe for a homemade softscrub-style cleaner http://tipnut.com/homemade-softscrub-cleaner-recipe/ . One note--do not, whatever you do, SHAKE the mix. I did that. White volcano all over the kitchen (and yes, the kitchen is now very very very very clean, lol). I had reused an old large spice container, and figured I'd shake it to get the blending done. No. Not unless I was already standing in the shower. It was like champagne...only without the price tag, lol.

Fortunately for me, there are a few of these little people around, with fast feet and good ears. Screaming for one of them to come quickly (okay--it was more like yelling, but I had one hand on the lid, one hand covering up the mouthpiece on the phone, since my mother was on the other end of the line, so bear with me! LOL), we put the container into a mixing bowl, and I hurried through the house to the bathroom. Releasing the contents was...interesting. LOL. It definitely got onto the surfaces I wanted cleaned. And it removed a good bit of the soapscum build up. I am going to be doing it again...and this time letting it sit after I scrub it into/onto the walls/side of the tub, instead of scrubbing/washing off. That may actually get enough of it off, that I can then polish the sides of the tub and the shower surround with my spray on Turtle Wax, and not have this problem again.

Turtle Wax? What? Isn't Turtle Wax for cars? Boats? The occasional motorcycle? Yes. But wait! Like a really bad Ginsu knife commercial, *there's more*! Spray on Turtle Wax RAWKS in keeping dirt, soapscum, and other nastiness from adhering to the sides of your tubs and tile shower/surrounds. Oh. My. Word. I first did this in North Carolina, when I was early on in, I *think*, pregnancy #3. I knew I would get unwieldy, and frankly, scrubbing my bathtub with the mop was getting really really old. So, in looking for a way around the tedium and sheer danger of dangling over a tub when in full pregnant mode, I found Spray on Turtle Wax in my local Wally World. I figured, hey, it isn't that expensive, if it doesn't work, oh well, I'm out a few bucks. But it worked. For pennies. I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but other than the bottom of the tub, and wiping down the faucets/knobs, I didn't have to clean my tub for a very, very, very long time. Seriously. It always looked neat, clean, shiny, and bright. No one would have ever guessed I hadn't cleaned my tub in MONTHS. And MONTHS. Get that, folks? MONTHS of not having to risk cracking your head open while cleaning the tub. And still having a shower and tub you aren't embarrassed to have your parents use when they come to visit!

One *VERY VERY* important note. DO NOT USE THIS ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR TUB!!!!! The very slickness that makes it ideal for keeping soapscum at bay, for letting dirt just slide right off, also makes it great for "slip and knock yourself/your child/your elderly grandma unconcious" . ONLY USE IT ON THE SIDES!!!! You can still clean the bottom off easily with a mop. And you won't have to lean over (for those with bad backs, or pregnant, or just plain lazy, this is great).

Now, I am sorry to say (okay, I'm not. Ya'll don't want to see the way my tub looked before) that I don't have pictures. I will take pictures once it has dried, and you can extrapolate from there as to how bad it looked before...And I will try to remember to take more pictures of it as I scrub away the (goodness knows how many) years of accumulated ick. I highly recommend this cleaner mix, though--it rocks. I scrubbed down the kitchen sink and countertop with it (cause of course it sprayed everywhere), and while it was white before, it is really really really white now.

Just whatever you do...don't shake it. Unless you're standing where you plan on using it. And don't use a tight screw on lid!!! Mine 'vented' (it was one of those larger spice containers, where one side is big enough for a largeish spoon, and the other side has the holes--you know what I mean), and so it had an escape. Without that escape, I shudder to think at the possibilities! I think a spoon and a large bowl would work well. I recommend a bowl you want really clean, too. :-) Or maybe that stockpot that the chili stuck on, and you're having a devil of a time getting it off. Just think before you mix, unlike me. LOL.

Hopefully, you don't need soapscum removed, spray on Turtle Wax, and such helpful implements to keep your bathroom clean. Hopefully, you have a very nice woman who comes in once a week, and scrubs it for you, and you never have to look at it, think about it, or give it one moment's thought in the depths of the night when you are lying in bed trying to sleep, figuring out how to get rid of the nastiness before your most critical relative comes to visit. For a week. And they are staying with you. And you have one bathroom. But just in case you do have those nightmarish thoughts in the dark of night, well, this post's for you!

GL. And I'll post pictures later...


  1. oooh! I'm shuddering just thinking about that nightmarish scenario... urp...

    one of the benefits of being a single mama: no in-laws! ;)

  2. Oh, I don't dread my ILs coming (my parental ILs are deceased, long ago, but DH is one of 13 children). I've got tons of ILs, but they don't really come down here to visit (they all live north of us, but only four of them have visited us in the last 18mos, and two of those, only came to our home for a couple of hours, and then went and stayed in a hotel).

    That wasn't to reflect on my housekeeping though--they just wanted more space than my little (hahaha) house had to provide for them.

    Now, if my mother was coming to visit? *THEN* I'd be worrying if I'd forgotten something like that. Fortunately (not really--I miss her terribly) she lives in GA, and I'm in OK. And she works FT, and for the county, and can rarely get time off. So she and my dad come out once a year. They came here in May, right around Mother's Day. I hope to have them back here sooner rather than later, but it won't likely happen.

    Think of it this way, Diane--one day, you will *be* the IL! And then....just remember to be gentle! :-)