Just kidding. At least about this post being over.
TFH has a complicated relationship with cleanliness. As a wee lass, she was well-known for her filthiness. Her childhood bedroom was like a hoarder's wet dream, with piles and stacks and this and that in every possible place. Once, The Frugal Mother was so incensed by the reckless abandon with which FruHo treated her belongings that she (FruMa) stuffed every item of clothing that FruHo had left on the floor into big black garbage bags, which were hidden in an undisclosed location for an indefinite period of time. The Frugal Hostess wore a bathing suit to school for six days.
Another time, FruPa (The Frugal Father) was amused to discover a pork chop bone resting on the passenger seat of The Frugal Hostess's car. Needless to say, it had been gnawed to nothing. And, when FruHubs and FruHo first started dating, he was shocked when everything she said about her apartment turned out to be true. He said on the occasion of his first visit, "Huh. Girls usually exaggerate about how messy their house is. Not you."
Time has passed, and TFH has grown up (and watched many, many episodes of "How Clean is Your House?"). It's almost hard for her to concentrate when her surroundings are out of order. (And, FruMa and FruPa? No one wants to hear your cackles of disbelief.) In fact, she's had people call her "OCD" before, about certain organizational practices.
When she was still working for The Man, FruHo had a housecleaner. Man, was that awesome. But now that she's The Frugal Hostess (rather than The Spendthrift Hostess, or The Credit Card Hostess, or some other kind of hostess) TFH has some cleaning tips that will save you time, money, and chemical havoc.
Episode One | Frugal Cleaning in the Bathroom
Toilets: Sprinkle baking soda around the bowl, just above the water line. Squirt white vinegar on it, and let it bubble for a while. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush. Then, and this is the exciting breakthrough part, use the brush to push the water down the hole. That's right! It totally works. You too can defy gravity, or whatever scientific principle is at play here. Without that pesky water in the way, you can use a rag* and some Charlie's Soap Spray to really clean that mother. You can clean the crap out of your toilets!
Har. Haha. Ahem.
Mirrors: Know how there are always toothpaste spit dots and finger prints on your mirrors? And remember how you used to just douse them with Windex and wipe it around with paper towels? Well, block out those memories, because you're never doing that again. Take a dry rag*, and use it to rub all the spots out of your mirror. Seriously. No spray required. Just rub really hard (good for the triceps, TFH has heard, although her triceps became extinct at the turn of the century, so who knows), and all of the spots will come out. This is especially good for last minute clean-ups (translation: all the cleaning ever attempted at The Frugal Homestead) and can even be executed with your tee-shirt.
Sinks & Counter-tops: Before you gather up all the dirty towels and damp washcloths for the laundry basket, treat your sink and counter to a day at the spa. Wherein spa means getting a dirty rub-down. Use an already dirty damp cloth to wipe and scrub away at any unsightly stains. Then employ the similarly grody towel to wipe away lint and hair. Once the big stuff has been vanquished, pull out a clean, dry rag* to finalize, perhaps with a spritz of vinegar if you're feeling fancy.
Other: Empty the trash can; don't be gross. Put away all of your ointments and tinctures. Hang up your robe. Or, better yet, wash that foul thing - remember the last time you did that? Neither does the robe. Make everything straight and orderly, and you will feel fine about totally ignoring the bathtub, shower, and floors for another week.
What frugal cleaning ideas do you have for the bathroom? And don't say anything that includes the word husband, because that would be a straight-up lie.
*Rag: If you ever buy another paper towel or rag for cleaning again, you need to have your head examined. Take one (or 84) of the tee-shirts that you don't wear anymore, and cut it up into rags. Tee-shirt material is freaking awesome for cleaning, and the obvious bonus is that you don't spend money and can wash them again and again. You can even use them for draining bacon, so there goes that excuse.
Photo by Karen Horton
The Frugal Hostess has written the longest blog post in history. Are you still awake? If so, please comment. If not, sweet dreams.