Monday, August 3, 2009

Apartment Cleaning Smackdown - Round 1

Round 1 = The KitchenLook! The galley is shiny-clean!

As I mentioned the other day, I am transitioning to a new job soon, and am blessed to have a few weeks to chillax before that job starts. Of course, being the person I am, which is the sort of person who likes to give herself projects and goals, I set a big goal for my first week of "freedom."

Each day this week, I plan to clean one room of my small apartment - but not just clean. Deep clean. Organize, do the floors, take everything off the shelves and scrub them. I figured one room per day would give me the opportunity to do
other things each day (of course, I have goals for that "free time" as well).

Each day, I'll be blogging about how I wrestled dirt and germs to the ground, using cleaning methods of a variety of shades of green. I'll be labeling them Green, meaning I used the least environmentally-harmful methods I know; Light Green, meaning I was used methods that were somewhat green; and Red. Red means traditional cleaning. I hope you'll be able to try out some of these methods as well, and if you have any suggestions for my Red cleaning options, let me know.

  • I cleaned the cupboards, shelves, stove, fridge doors, and pretty much everything else with undiluted vinegar, spraying it just as I would a store-bought cleaner and wiping with a wet sponge.
  • I used a combination of vinegar and baking soda to clean the sink. First I filled the sink with about an inch of vinegar to cut the mineralization, then rinsed it and scrubbed using the baking soda as a mild abrasive.
  • I used homemade rags (cut up T-shirts from my closet-cleaning adventure) to dust and dry.
  • I recycled a bunch of containers and cans, and found some reusable stuff for Goodwill.
Light Green:
  • I washed the dishes with Mrs. Meyer's dish soap, which uses plant-based cleaners.
  • I used about 5 paper towels. They were a recycled brand - Small Steps. They work well, I've found, as compared to some others I've tried (see below).
  • I washed the rags, rug, and towels with Tide Essentials with Baking Soda. I don't think it's really any different than Tide, because it has the same material-safety data sheet. It doesn't, however, have the uber-chemically fragrance of regular detergent. When I have tried more environmentally-responsible detergents, such as Seventh Generation, they have not worked AT ALL. I actually had to wash my clothes again after using Seventh Generation, because they were still stinky. What's the point of buying "green" products if they don't do what they're supposed to? (Seventh Generation is on my bad list for this particular reason, after their paper towels also failed me.)
  • I used some floor cleaner that I had under the sink to mop.
Tomorrow: The living room!


Darci said...

You should try washing your clothes in biokleen (I think that's how you spell it!). It's a Vancouver, WA based company so this might be more realistic (and green!) when you return to the Great NW (hint hint)

Darci said...

check out the website:

Catfish said...

Ah, tempting me back to the Northwest with your fancy environmental cleaners!