The frugal life: Spring cleaning on a budget

Spring has sprung early in Edmonton. The sun is shining, the snow has melted except for places where the sun just can’t get to during the day. The birds are chirping. And today, I can hear street cleaners and lawnmowers going. What does that mean for me?

It’s annual spring cleaning time!

Not only is it time for my annual spring cleaning spree, but I’m moving in about a week. So, I have more spot cleaning to focus on so I can get my security deposit back. I thought I’d share some products I’ve discovered and tips to get things like the tub and toilet sparkling clean.

I’m trying to move away from using harsh chemicals like bleach cleaners which you need for cleaning up after pets and mice – and have been using more natural products which work wonders in the home.

The Pumice Stone

We have hard water where I live which leaves nasty rusty stains and rings around the toilet and bathtub. No matter how much you scrub them with regular cleaners, they just don’t get clean. I hopped onto YouTube out of desperation, and found many videos suggesting pumice stones.

What are pumice stones? Pumice stones are formed when lava from a volcano and water mix together. It is a very light stone which can be used for cleaning or removing dead and dry skin. However, there are mixed reviews on this and some people believe that using pumice on the skin is a bad idea.

But using pumice stones on water stains in your porcelain toilets or tubs — works amazingly! I did this last night in the bathroom next to the master bedroom. I hardly use it because the water tap has never worked. It took me ten minutes of scrubbing and the toilet was completely clean.

I do recommend spraying the toilet with vinegar first. Let the vinegar sit for a few hours. Use your toilet brush to scrub the stain a bit. Dip the pumice stone into some cold water. Start scrubbing.

The sound it makes is awful – and loud- but you will love the results from using this stone! Just don’t use on toilet seats or lids. And wear gloves because – toilet water, right?

Bathtub Stains

The bathtub has been the hardest thing for me to clean – and keep clean. It’s an older tub and turns yellow easily. A bad knee keeps me from being able to kneel for too long to scrub the tub. I’ve found a few methods that work for deep cleaning.

Baking soda – pour baking soda over the stains of the tub and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Using a spray bottle, spray vinegar on top of the baking soda and watch the magic happen. I love this. It’s like a science experiment in your bathroom.

Once the baking soda has dissolved, grab some paper towel or a cloth and wipe down the tub. Do this a few times and your hard stains should disappear.

Another great product I discovered is a spray foam that I picked up from Loblaws. It isn’t so great for stain removal, but it makes the tub and sinks look like new. It gets them very clean.

Laminate Floor

My condo has zero carpet in it. It’s all laminate flooring – and very hard to keep clean. Even if I sweep or vacuum daily, my feet still get dirty by the end of the day. I’m so looking forward to having carpet when I move next week. Of course, I’ll need to buy a new vacuum.

For cleaning the laminate floor – I have found bleach does not work. Bleach leaves stains that are hard to remove. My aunt suggested trying water and vinegar and this is what I use from now on. A bucket of hot water mixed with some vinegar can really get rid of dirt.

I also picked up a $35 stick vacuum from Amazon and this thing is amazing. It gets under the heating vents with the special attachments, into the lazy susan in the kitchen, and it can reach places that I just can’t get to physically on my own. It’s great for picking up crumbs, hair and even dirt. I highly recommend it.

Dusting and Wall Scuffs

I’ve started cleaning the top of the heating vents, window sills and floor boards on a daily basis. I find what works well is again, vinegar and water. I used an old spray bottle and filled it 1/3 way with pure white vinegar and the rest with water. I’ve used this solution on everything. It’s a very strong smell, but it’s the only solution that seems to work on old dirt or scuff marks on walls.

And so, that’s where we are this Wednesday afternoon. I’m almost packed. I’ve made some good progress with cleaning and am doing a little bit each day. For packing, I’m waiting to do some things until next week. I still need to order a new mattress but cannot decide on what to get. I cannot wait to move! I’m so looking forward to change and starting this new chapter of my life.

Posts may be sporadic over the next bit as I get ready for the move. Once I’m settled in, I’ll create a new posting schedule with themed posts – and I want to get back into fitness training as well. So, stay tuned!

Thanks for reading. What products do you love for spring cleaning?

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