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Spring! A good time for some cleaning!

Mar 21, 2019

Below is a copy of the transcript of my video blog - enjoy!


Hey, everybody. So it's Mary Beckett on again from Blue Ice Essentials and it's spring. Although today outside Inuvik, in Tsiigehtchic, we're having a little bit of that stuff that's not quite rain, not quite snow, we're not quite sure what it's trying to do. But it's a little bit blustery.

Anyway, it is the beginning of spring and spring for me is always when I start to notice everywhere in my house that I didn't quite get enough tidying done, or enough cleaning done, or whatever, and I usually get this burst of energy with all the sunshine that we get and I start cleaning everything in sight. And one of the things that really drove me into looking for alternative things to use in my home was the skull and crossbones that you see on a lot of the cleaning supplies that you buy and, I'm sorry, I'm cheap. I hate paying so much money for something that doesn't even necessarily do a really great job. So I have been using alternatives for cleaning for quite a long time. And I'll tell you some of the things that I use and then maybe you can find a way to use them for yourself.

The thing about cleaning is that you know we always were taught that you gotta use bleach, or you gotta have a really strong cleaner you know that big muscly guy is gotta come and help you or your house won't be clean. And that's just not really true. What's really true is good old fashion soap and water goes a long way, but so do things like baking soda and vinegar and of course my favourite essential oils. But what I have done, years ago, is I went and bought myself a steam cleaner. Now a steamer is an awesome way to clean things because that steam, as it hits things, it's you know hot, hot, hot and so it kills germs and whatnot on contact. But it's also super good at lifting grime. So if you've got something that has been filthy for awhile and you're not really sure ... (Hi, Holly) ... and you're not really sure how you're gonna get that thing clean, I gotta tell you, get out your steamer. It's incredible. The steam comes out at really high pressure and so it ... in a very teeny little nozzle so you can sorta aim it something and really just lift it off.

And between the heat and a little bit of water that's there and the pressure of the steam, you'd be amazed what you can get rid of. You know a shower that is maybe a little grimy on the floor ... I know, I love my steam cleaner too. You know those shower walls that get water stains because your water's not necessarily soft and between the shampoos and the ... you know just the shower water you get sort of funky grunge going on it that are really hard to clean off because it's not like tile where you can ... ceramics will give things up whereas those plastic shower liners don't tend to give up the stain nearly as much. So, I'll give you a hint, spray it down with your favourite cleaner, sure, but you your steamer on it. It will take a lot of stuff out.

And my favourite cleaner is, I have a glass bottle and I put vinegar in it and water. And then I add some essential oils. And my choice is usually to go for some of the citrus oils, but I also really like to use On Guard because I know that On Guard is really, really good at killing germs and bacteria and all kinds of weird stuff. And I feel really good if I put that in so I always put it in my jar with my water and vinegar. And I just wanna mix them about half and half. I have to tell you, I don't worry too much about the exact measurement because it's one of my things. I said to my husband the other day, "Don't you just love using a spray cleaner that when you spray it on your kitchen surfaces, if food touches next it's okay because what you just used is something you could've eaten?" I mean water and vinegar, that's basically similar to pickle juice I mean really. It's nothing weird, right?

So I know that as I'm spraying down surfaces, and it works really well, but as I'm spraying down surfaces I'm not worried about it. Same with, I had a pan the other day. I was cooking in a strange place with a strange set of dishes and I love quesadillas so I'm always cooking tortillas with cheese in them and stuff, and I ended up with black on the bottom of my pan because the quesadilla charred a little bit. And the pan just didn't wanna give it up. So what do you do? So old school, you get out something with the skull and crossbones on it, but really old school you do what my mother would've done, what my grandmother did, and you get out the baking soda. Because baking soda is otherwise known as washing soda for a reason. It is awesome at being a really fine grit that won't damage your pan, per se, but it will really get rid of that black charr off the bottom.

So I take a little bit of that baking soda and I sprinkle it over the pan that is just sort of barely damp. And then I take my lemon essential oil and I drop that, you know half a dozen drops or so, over the surface of the pan and I let it sort create kind of a paste over the pan and make sure it's really well coated. And I leave that sit for five minutes or so, because it does seem to work better if you just leave it sit for a few minutes. And then get in with the tips of my fingers. It's all it takes. And I rub that stuff around and it lifts all that black stuff off the pans.

It's also really good for cleaning around the edges of your stove, you know like where the burners have the little rings and stuff. Just clears all that gook that gets stuck down because it's hot and then you know you spilled something on the hot ring and it just sorta sticks to that metal part. You know the baking soda with lemon oil trick works a dream. I have a cast iron enamel pans with the nice light coloured enamel on the inside and beautiful dark colour on the outside, but that light colour picks up the colour of a lot of the food that you cook if you're not careful. And again, get out that baking soda and lemon and it will take things right off.

I was doing a tip for people doing their windows, because spring is also the time when you notice just exactly how filthy your windows are. And so my mother's trick for cleaning windows always was hot water with vinegar and a newspaper. And there's a little extra wiggle to that if you wanna get really scientific about it. You can add a teaspoon or so of cornstarch to that. And of course since I'm an essential oil girl and I know how well my citrus oils cut through any kind of stickiness or greasiness or anything like that, I always put 10 or 15 drops of essential oil in as well. Give that shake and spray it on your windows and then wipe it off with newsprint. And you won't get the lint that you get from paper towels.

You won't use paper towels, which I don't like to use anyway. I have a roll of paper towels that came inside of a care package because somebody used them to take up space, but that one roll is more than three years old and I don't use them all the time. So I use newsprint when I'm going to wash my windows because a crunched up newsprint will give you a nice polished window with no lint on it at all. And then the vinegar, water, cornstarch, and lemon thing, it will totally clean your window and you will have absolutely gorgeous windows. Although if you are ... if you have a decent size steamer and you have a squeegee attachment on your steamer, I have to tell you, the absolute best fix for cleaning windows by far is to use that steamer on your windows. And I wanna tell you why. It's because it really does actually remove every single bit of grease and everything off your window.

And we used to run a store in town and, you know, plate glass doors, and little kids with their fingers always go after leaning against the door and looking out through it, you know because that's their thing, right? And if you've just finished cleaning it with one of the popular cleaners that you buy in the grocery store then you immediately have massive prints all over your window, no matter how clean it looked. Do the same thing with a steamer and it will be weeks before you see any prints show up. Because the prints the kids are leaving aren't from their hands, it's actually the cleanser that you were using has left a skim of scum on your windows, but it's a nice clear skim of scum and so you think your window's clean until somebody rubs their finger into it and makes a mess of it and it's not nice and neat anymore. And then you realize that that isn't as clean as you thought it was.

I never realized how bad that was until I started using the steamer. And holy damn, if you haven't got one you really do have to consider getting it. It's also how I love to clean my floors and it's pretty awesome for cleaning walls too. And it's really good for furniture. And if you have a ballgown that needs to be steamed out, you can use exactly the same steamer with just a slightly different attachment on the front, and it'll work for that too. So there you go. And I don't even sell steamers, so I'm not making any money telling you this. I'm just telling you it is a really good fix.

But like I said, in my kitchen for cleaning surfaces I use water and vinegar. I use water, vinegar for cleaning on my windows and stuff. And then for the things that are needing a little bit of scrubbing where you might have otherwise gone for a cleanser as such, I reach for the baking soda. And then for things where I want sudsy dishes and so on, I have to say I use the doTERRA cleaning solution for my dishes and other things. It doesn't have as much glycerin and other things in it that make it suds up the way some of your traditional dish soaps do. But I know my dishes are getting really nice and clean because it's got lots of that On Guard stuff in it, which I really trust to keep me safe.

So those are my spring cleaning tips. And I'd love to hear some of your spring cleaning tips. If you have anything that you really love to do, let me know. Also you can check my membership site. I have a whole bunch of spring cleaning tips that I'm putting up for ... in the next week or so, including how to clean your leather furniture, how to do wood polishing, and so on, all without buying stuff that has that nasty skull and crossbones sign. So I hope you have a really good day. And I hope you're enjoying spring. And we'll talk to you later. And check out our website. It's Bye bye.


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