Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cleaning Up ... Literally

I have a few "cleaning" questions that I want to ask you and I would greatly appreciate any advice you may have to give.

1. Do any of you have leather furniture? If so, what do you use to clean it? We bought a leather living room set shortly after we got married and then when we got our puppy, I caved into her cute-littleness and always let her snuggle on the couch with me. Now that she is not so little anymore, she still thinks the couch and love seat are her territory. She is usually pretty good at only going on it when her blanket's on there, but I often wake up in the morning to find dusty paw prints from where she had been. Right now I am using Weiman Leather Wipes. They are like wet wipes that you can just wipe the furniture with. They work great but are a wee bit pricey so I'm wondering if there's something else I can use that's either cheaper or possible to make at home.

2. Does anyone have a good dish soap and/or dishwasher soap recipe? I tried making my own dish soap a few weeks ago and it was an epic fail. The stuff did not sud up, and although it cleaned my dishes I had to use a LOT of soap to get the desired effect. Therefore, I went through an entire bottle in less than a week. Not cool.

3. I'm going to try homemade laundry detergent soon. I had fully intended to start making my own way back when I started making my own fabric softener/dryer sheets (which I am still making and using all the time, by the way), but then my mom got a new HE set and had a bunch of detergent left over from before that she couldn't use and passed on to me. I am just now coming to the end of it and am planning on making my own. I've seen a lot of posts about this and I've gathered a few different recipes but I am wondering from those of you who do use homemade laundry detergent, do you prefer liquid or powder? What's better? I've always used liquid detergent but I'm wondering if powder is better for the homemade stuff? Any tips?

4. Lastly, I'm interested in knowing if you have a daily chore list or if you like to do all your house cleaning in one go or if you just don't clean at all. I tend to do all my cleaning all at once because if I do little jobs on a day to day basis, I find that by the time I'm through the cycle, it's all dirty again. However, if I do it all in one shot it takes up a bigger chunk of time and it doesn't last long either. While it's nice to have a fully clean house, I do get frustrated when I spend a whole Saturday morning cleaning and then the house looks like a disaster zone again by Monday. The thing is this - I am a neat freak but I'm not that cleanly.

If you popped by unexpectedly (please please please don't do it because I would be embarrassed) you probably would not find piles of papers scattered throughout the house, dirty dishes piled in the sink, an unmade bed or unfolded laundry. What you would find, however, is a layer of dog hair 6 inches thick on the floor, my hubby's whiskers left over from shaving on the sink and counter and soap scum in the shower. I am not sure why it is that I can't turn a blind eye to the slightest thing out of place in my home but I can ignore a mounting mess of dirt and disustingness. If I know I have company coming later in the week, I just figure there's no point in cleaning two days before or else I will just have to do it again when they come. Clearly, my cleaning "schedule" is not working so well for me and I need to figure something else out. So what works for you?


S. said...

so I have no answers for you except for the last one. I have always been a once-a-week cleaner. I wish I could set aside 15 minutes each day to do a little of this and a little of that (something my cousin has totally mastered) but I just can't get the motivation to do so. daily I try to keep things picked up and the dishes rotating, but of course it piles up more often than not. happy cleaning! :)

Brooke said...

i have pleather, and i clean it with whatever i like :) although i don't have pets or kids so its mostly just wiping it down with a dry cloth.

also, typically i do everything on Saturday, but since my runs are getting longer and longer (6 miles this week, which is running for an hour and 12 minutes) and will increase a mile a week from now until late November. I'm going to have to do those runs on Saturday. Also, I've got weekend plans running out my eyeballs. so i'm thinking there is no way i'll be able to go to football games, run that kind of mileage, and clean the same day. i've recently split it up this way:

monday: groceries/dusting
tuesday: baths
wednesday: sweeping/vacuuming
thursday: kitchen

then i've got friday to do the as needed chores like laundry, weeding the flower bed, and sweeping the porch and deck.

Kristen said...

I wish I could help you! hehe, but I have no answers :(

Shaina said...

Ugh. I hate cleaning. I feel like nobody can ever just drop in unexpectedly because we have clutter. I hate clutter. And I hate feeling like every time someone comes over, we have to do this massive cleaning effort to get the apartment ready! Grrrr. Oh yeah, and...6 inches of dog hair on the carpet? I'm THERE, sister. And that's with a twice a week vacuuming job.

Kayla said...

I try to clean every Saturday. I do laundry and dishes here and there, but the deep cleaning happens all at once. If I were to do a little each day, I would never have the satisfaction of having it all clean all at once, because I'd be forever running in a circle to do things over again once they get messy in a few days.... Make sense? lol Seems to work out best when I take one day to do it all, then at least I can see the finished product and relax for a few days before it gets messy again!

...::Mrs. Southern Bride::... said...

I always cleaned my parents leather furniture with warm water and little bit of soap. It worked well. :)

Nicole said...

I think you and I are homemaking soul sisters. I am orderly, but never said I was clean.

Kristin said...

I don't have leather furniture.I'm suspicious of homemade soaps and I'm picky about laundry detergent because I've had a few too many clothes fade too quickly. I clean whatever needs to be cleaned that day but I tidy up every evening. I'm terrible at getting "larger" chores done though (eg. washing windows, cleaning cupboards).

Taryn said...

1. No clue. Google it.
2. I tried this too- Oh my goodness- epic fail does not even begin to describe it. I gave in and bought more so I don't have to think about it for awhile. Maybe you can figure something out for me. = )
3. I use homemade detergent- I love it. So easy and cheap. I use powder because I am lazy. I used to use liquid when I bought stuff- but to make the liquid detergent required another step and I didn't want to do that extra step. I think the powder works really well.
4. I made a schedule just last week- but failed to even begin to follow it. So yeah. I will tray again when I am not sick. But I don't know if it will make any difference- I am not one for cleaning.

Gwen said...

I use Lexol leather conditioner/preservative in a spray bottle on our couch and chair. I get it from the auto parts place, don't laugh, it is cheaper than the stuff that you get at the store.

I don't make my own soaps. The process just seems like too much work to me right now, but that might change in time.

I am horrible at cleaning, but keep the place picked up and Monday is the day that I tackle the household laundry and hit the bathrooms. I also cheat and have someone come in and do a super cleaning once a month. (My parents paid for it when I was on chemo last spring and it was so helpful that we have kept it up)

I "trained" my guy to clean up after himself in the bathroom. I just wish that I could train the dog to keep his hair in one place!

As far as schedules go, flylady.com and the lists at Homeeverafter.com (http://www.homeeverafter.com/printable-housekeeping-cleaning-checklist-kitchen/) were a huge help for me when I was doing it all.

Brittany Ann said...

As I'm the same kind of neat freak...I'm intrigued...but I can barely offer any help. I'm sorry my friend. I, however, do make a daily chore list, but if the week is going to be crazy, I try to schedule in a block of time over the weekend to clean everything in one go.

Still, I am reading these comments and checking back. I desperately want to make my own dish detergent.

Lucky in Love said...

Dude, we are so the same about this. I have to be super neat about where the mail is and the island has to always be cleaned off...but I seriously have never scrubbed our shower. I think Matt did once. But we do use this spray everyday in the shower to clean it...but still.

I tried to do one room a day..which worked for a little bit...but then I got sick of going home and having to clean everyday. So now I clean when I think things look dirty. AND...I always do a massive house clean when we have company...but this I do in spurts...a few rooms at a time. To me though, if my kitchen it clean...then I'm okay :)

Tereasa said...

Hey Lu, I love my homemade dry detergent. I usually start the water out hot to dissolve the soap. It's just a habit of mine, not sure if it's necessary.

Check out flylady.net for cleaning scheduling.

Tereasa said...

P.S. I don't think I've been good at cleaning for a long time. BUT, when I was good at it, I did one big day a week and a few touch ups everyday. Worked great!

C @ Project Pretty said...

Glad you asked about the leather.. we just got ours not long ago, and I imagine it will need a good cleaning after the move!