I can’t tell you how much time I spend in a week cleaning up after my kids. It doesn’t matter how much I clean in one room, because another gets messy while I’m doing it. It’s a never ending battle. The biggest areas of issue in my house are my kitchen and my bathroom. Between the kids trying to get their own drinks and snacks and other little ones being newly potty trained, there is always some sort of germy mess to be cleaned. I have tried and discarded so many different cleaning products. I don’t like the overly bleachy smell, and I don’t want something that leaves streaks or residue. I just want something that cleans and helps minimize the messes so I can spend less time being maid and more time being mommy.
I have never been one to make one day a week be cleaning day. I would much rather have small things done every day or every few days to keep things cleaned up. And being that I have kids, I have had to come up with a few creative ideas of my own as well as use some of the good old methods that have been passed down for generations. Here’s a few examples.
In the kitchen I have a horrid irrational hatred for that “dirty trashcan” smell. An extremely easy and effective way to rid myself of that problem is to simply sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the bottom of the can.
I also like using vinegar when it comes to safely cleaning things my small kids might put in their mouths (or noses…). Our kitchen sink and countertops are from around 1950-60. I love them but they are rather porous so they collect a lot of germy nastiness and stains. To clean them I use a mix of vinegar and baking soda and make a paste. Then I just scrub the sink and countertops with it. I like to avoid using cleaners that may be harmful if my little monsters eat their food right from the counter. (And on the note of keeping things clean and safe for kids to eat off of, the vinegar also works wonders on the kitchen floor!)
I have a lot of stainless steel items in my kitchen and love the look but hate the fingerprints and streaks I find on them constantly. Wiping them down with a wet sponge is an option but apparently there’s a way to avoid this altogether. I was at Home Depot the other day and saw that they have faucets that are fingerprint and spot resistant, and it also has antimicrobial protection built in. If you just want to avoid the issue altogether, there’s motion detecting faucets that you don’t even have to touch!
For the bathroom, I have a stern rule of ‘if you use it, make sure it is clean’, and amazingly…. none of my children follow it. So again, I have had to come up with some fun little tricks of my own to limit the damage done in there. I used make it a point to have one of those little bleach tablets in the toilet tank at all times. They help with keeping the toilet bowl in a generally clean state, but there was always that hint of a bleach smell. But I found Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Gel, and that keeps the toilet clean for up to a week and doesn’t smell like chemicals!
I also have a small spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide sitting next to the toothbrush holder, so before and after brushing all you need to do is spritz a bit of it on the brush and it keeps it clean and germ free!
One of my biggest pet peeves is a gross shower or bath tub. I cannot stand a shower with soap scum or a spotty shower head. I stick with the things I know work, and work well, when it comes to those thing (Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?). I use Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foam after every few showers and I instead of dealing with mineral deposits and trying to get them off, I highly recommend a self cleaning shower head.
You’d be surprised at how much work you can actually eliminate by using some household items that have functions that help you maintain their own cleanliness, and products that can help things stay cleaner longer. A quick browse around your local Home Depot will give you lots of ideas on how you can cut down the amount of time you spend cleaning, so you can maximize your time being mommy instead.