Monday, April 26, 2010

Fresh as a Daisy

Springtime is here and along with it comes the task of
spring cleaning
and sprucin' up the Farmhouse. 

There are windows to clean, linens to wash, and rooms to freshen up.

This Farmhouse will be as
fresh as a
when this good old Fashioned
spring cleaning
is through.

Now I have to make claim that I am in no way a cleaning fanatic. I like it clean, I don't always like to do it though, lol! I could find a hundred different ways I would rather spend my time being creative.  Don't get me wrong I love being a homemaker, cooking, sewing, decorating, laundry and deep cleaning are at the bottom of my list though.  But a gal has got to do what a gal has got to do!  So when I have to do it, I try to find fun ways to do it and try to get excited about it.

I start by picking out a cute vintage apron from my collection hanging in the laundry room.  That will help get the tasks at hand completed, lol.  Now who doesn't want to clean once they've put their cute apron on, right? 
Don't they put you in a homemaker kinda mood?

So lets turn up the cleaning music
and go through the motions!  What do you listen to when cleaning...
do you have a preference?

The down comforters will be washed and stored away safely in my linen cabinet,
with lavender sachets to keep them smelling fresh all summer long.

Baseboards and door moldings are are wiped down, it is unbelieveable all the grime that they accumulate with little hands in the house.  The little handprints are awfully cute though, I have a hard time washing those away and leave a few for good measure here and there...just keepin' it real.

Windows and windowsills are washed inside and out. 

I have a front loader washer ( girl) that can get a little musty smelling after a while since they are air tight, a couple times a year I run a load with my cleaning cloths through it and I put baking soda sprinkled inside and peroxide into the dispenser. 
It freshens her up and makes her smell better.  She is eco friendly and uses less water, but I miss my Kenmore top loader, she was with us a long time and these new washers just don't compare...IMHO. 
Shhhhh....though, I don't want to upset my girl, I do still need her!
Glass light fixtures are taken apart and put into the sudsy sink for a bath.

Baseboards, doorknobs and Lightswitches are wiped down.

The flannel sheets are packed away and cotton sheets are washed and dried in the sunshine before covering the beds with them.  Who doesn't love the Fresh Smell
of Line Dried bed sheets?

Quilts are aired and put at the foot of each bed to keep everyone warm and cozy on those chilly spring evenings. 

Curtains are exchanged out for lighter, airier lace to let in more light.

Let in the sunshine! 
A brighter,
fresh smellin' home
makes us all feel refreshed and
ready for the warmer months ahead.

I have an enamel bucket that I keep all my grab n go cleaning products in.  It makes it easier to have them all in one place when I'm ready to clean.  They transport easily inside and out during spring cleaning.
I don't like to use commercial cleansers and I opt more along the lines of natural products whenever I can.

Some natural cleaning products I always keep on hand are:

Baking Soda:
I keep a shaker jar by the kitchen sink and one in each bathroom cabinet.
It is a natural, non-abrasive cleaner, perfect for wiping down sinks, and removing dried on food from most surfaces.  I like it because it is natural, inexpensive, available everywhere,
and non-toxic.

It is also great to use in the bathrooms to remove grime and soap build up.  Works great on sinks and showers.  I spray my showers down with a spray bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide in the evening before bed and it rinses away with morning showers, then I take a sponge and sprinkle baking soda on it and begin the process of scrubbing the shower down....
not my favorite chore though, hehe!
There is still something to be said about the cleaning power of 
Good Ol' Fashioned
We have a plethora of cleaning agents available nowadays that make cleanup and removal "faster", "cleans deeper" and "less scrubbing".  Have you looked at some of the chemicals in those bottles though?  I  have and I wonder just how quickly they get to us as well as the surfaces they clean.  Don't get me wrong occassionaly there is a need for something strong, but on average I'll take the good ol' fashioned scrubbing road instead.  Thank you anyway.

I think we are starting to see a return to safer products on the market though, some of the older companies seem  to be coming out with their own lines of "Green" Cleaning products lately.  Speaking of new age cleaning, Magic Erasers are in my cleaning bucket too, I have found they work well on refrigerator door handles, switch plates, glass oven doors, fingerprints on walls, and microwaves.

I keep a few cloth baby diapers in the bucket for dusting and a squeegee for windows and mirrors.  Nothing beats these, and they don't leave behind any lint.

To clean the microwave, I put a 4 cup measuring cup of water inside and power it up for 5 minutes or until it boils.  You can add a small lemon wedge to it for a fresh clean scent.  Turn it off and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then open it up and wipe it down.  The steam from the boiling water will loosen any hardened food particles and they simply wipe away.  I also disninfect my sponges in the microwave by placing in a safe bowl with a tiny bit of water and then I let it run on high for about 2 minutes. 

Hydrogen Peroxide:
I also keep a misting spray bottle handy to fill with small amounts of H.P.
at a time to disinfect counters.
Use about 1/2 cup in your dishwasher to sanitize dishes. 
It does the same thing as some of those "anywhere sprays" at a fraction of the cost.
It removes soapy residue and makes surfaces shine bright. 

Now for my favorite of all the cleaning tools.....(yes, I have a favorite.)
I purchased a steam mop about a year ago and I so love it!  They are a little pricey initially but in the long run they work out to be less than the disposable mops.  I still keep those on hand for quick wipe ups but thats about it (3 kiddos in a house require frequent quick wipe ups).  The steam mop only requires water, no chemicals and it sanitizes your floors.  It is especially great when you have a toddler who doesn't think twice about dropping something on the floor and poppin' it right into his mouth (ewww!).  Yes they do go by the 5 second rule around here....then they kiss it up to God!

A few years before I bought a hand held steamer for general cleaning.  It is wonderful for cleaning seasonally.  The fact that it cleans and disinfects all in one is a great time and money saver.  Use one of those on those little crevis' that you can't normally get to and you won't believe what your regular cleaning can miss.  They are also good to pull out when you have a flu bug flying through your house.  It disinfects doorknobs, faucets, toothbrush holders, you name it. 

I cannot say enough about the great properties of cleaning with steam! 

 Some of the natural cleaners I like to use are Mrs Meyers Clean Day ProductsThere is a whole line of all natural dish soap, counter spray, dishwasher soap, laundry products and all purpose cleaners.  You can purchase them unscented or in scents like geranium, basil, lemon verbena, snap pea and lavender. Don't ya just love the names?  I will tell you that when you put those dishwasher soaps into the dishwasher your
whole kitchen smells awesome too! 

They make wonderful house warming and bridal shower gifts all tucked into a vintage or new enamel bucket.   Throw in some krinkled brown craft paper into the bottom and a few of these on top wrap it all up in clear celophane with a gingham bow and how cute. 
Everytime I give one of those baskets the company gets a new customer
because they love the products lol. 
What newly appointed (or even experienced) domestic diva wouldn't appreciate that! 
Natural and cute ways to clean your home makes that task ahead more fun.

I will be at it for another week or so I'm sure.  I haven't set any timelines though so we will see.
So friends, have you finished your spring cleaning yet?  If so, what is your routine like?  When do you start, what do you do?  Any good tips or products that you love?  I'm curious to hear, so be sure to share!  I love to learn something new and updated ways of getting these
seasonal tasks completed! 
Well, Happy Spring Cleaning gals!

Take care now!


  1. I always put on an apron too. Sure does make you 'happier' while cleaning. I usually listen to my blog music, or your's, or another one of my favorites is Daisy Cottage. I'm learning more about cleaning with 'healthier' items. I loved the idea of the baking soda. I plan on doing that here now too. Thanks for all the wonderful tips. Very informative.

  2. I absolutely love this post and especially with all the pictures. You have such good advice!
    I am having a little give a way this morning and would love to have you join in the fun. :o)
    Sincerely ~ Tricia

  3. Wonderful tips, I'm in the mood to get busy cleaning :)

  4. Always love your blog and ALWAYS find myself nodding n thinking, "yup I do/think that too!" Last two days have been all about cleaning and I use my red shaker of baking soda everywhere... Vinegar too and now you've taught me about peroxide. An old country man turned me on to pumice sticks to clean yucky porcelain...
    Thanks for always sharing your farm fun. I've just started trying to document ours and need all the tips I can get!

  5. Hi Dee,
    First I wanted to let you know that I hung the two signs you made for me and posted about it on my blog. I love the signs! You have the cutest blog and this post is fun to read - even if it is about cleaning! I have a cleaning service that comes every other week but that doesn't mean I don't have to clean in between visits so your tips are very helpful. I wish we could hang our sheets outside but it's against those stupid HOA rules at my homestead. Have a great Sunday!

    Teacup Lane (Sandy)

  6. I LOVE this post!And, as far as cleaning goes...George Strait,hands down.I know all the words and I ain't scared to SING!!!LoL...I found you through Vintage Housekeeper's Circle,btw:)

  7. Hi Dee, I love your spring cleaning post and will refer back to it to pick up all your tips and cleaning ideas and recipes. I started back in January using basil Mrs. Myers all purpose cleaner. The scent is so fresh. I have also tried geranium. I did not know they came in much larger tubs.I love your ironing you think you can share where you found it? I also have a collection of my grandmom's aprons I use daily.Thank you for such a great helpful post and looking forward to using your tips. Take care, Emelia

  8. WOW your having a Marvellous Monday indeed, thanks for sharing, have a great week, and yep it all looks fresh as a daisy..Hugs Barbara

  9. I agree that aprons are a must~ even my guys don one when Mama's on a "binge & purge" & around here, swing & big band music means cleaning time :-)

  10. No, I am not done. The plan was to have it all completed before Easter. LOL! That didn't happen. Not enough hours in the day with work , family and spring cleaning too. I have just recently started to look at the Fly Lady site, and slowly my house is getting cleaner. Not that it was horrible... I have always liked an organized and clean house. But I had some messy areas that needed to be worked on. These daily reminders help inspire me to get to some of the deeper cleaning chores. I like to clean my microwave with steam and a lemon too. (And the kitchen drain too.) Smells so good! I will have to try out some of the Meyers products that you mentioned. Music needs to be fast paced when cleaning... I agree that big band is great! I also like to listen to Irish jigs and reels. Hope you are having a great day!

  11. Lovely post!!!

    Love all the tips and adorable pictures!!

    I'm not a fan of cleaning, but love when things are clean!!!!

    I'm a big fan of cloth diapers...use them for everything!!! Magic eraser too, and Bon Ami!!

    Love Mrs. Meyers and the Watkins products I can get at Target...aloe and green tea is my favorite. A suttle hint of spring freshness!

    Music depends on the weather. Really sunny? open windows? Something a little upbeat, with the word summer in them! A little Faith Hill, Matt KEarny,Rascal Flatts, Lady Antelbellum...something with a good beat.

    Rainy outside?? Mellow...Anne of green gables, Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Jim Brickman. Music really does set the mood!!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Hi Dee,
    OK now I am truly inspired!!! I have been putting off my Spring cleaning this year. I have not really been in the mood but after reading your post and seeing all of your lovely pictures I am finally ready. Sometimes I wish I could just twitch my nose and it would be all done---but since that is not likely to happen I am going to put some of your great cleaning tips to use and get cleaning!! I have borrowed my moms steam cleaner and I too love to use Mrs Myers cleaning products. I think I will get out my Lady Antelbellum or my SugarLand CD and give my house a good scrubb'n. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  13. Okay you have done the've made spring cleaning sound fun and enjoyable...If only I could just continue to read about your cleaning instead of actually putting my elbow grease into it!

  14. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your post/blog.......thanks so much...smiles, Linda

  15. Hey Dee,
    I have just recently found out that peroxide can be used in cleaning and disinfecting. So far, I love it!
    I started my spring cleaning after Christmas and I'm still not done! I am paring down and going through closets, storage building, etc. I planned to take my time as long as I'm done before summer gets here. By then, it's too hot to do anything.
    I have never used the cleaning products yuo mentioned but will look for them. And I have wanted a steam mop for a long time. I need to make that a priority and just go ahead and get one!
    Have a happy week and enjoy your clean home.

  16. Love your blog and what a great post. I can relate about your "newer" washer. I have one too and am rather disappointed...(plus it jiggles SO much! Now the new ones aren't suppose to...oh well! I signed up to follow you too! I'll be back soon!

  17. Now yu are making me want to clean. :) Actually I've been busily cleaning preparing for our son's graduation and party. I like your idea for the hydrogen peroxide as an anywhere cleaner. I'll copy that one. Thanks for the inspiration today. :)

  18. I do love Mrs Myers too - great natural cleaning products, You have inspired me too look for some lace curtains - so fresh and springy!

  19. Oh darl'in you always have the best advice! I wear an apron to and have a big colletion of them! Vintage & new! Thanks for all the advice on spring cleaning!

    Can't wait to get my little Clothesline Fresh sign!


  20. Hi your blog...! we seem to have a lot in common...I am happy to find someone who has used mrs. myers as i had wondered if it was i can go buy some. Come by farm and fru fru anytime...we can trade tips!

  21. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I was happy you did because I was able to see yours. I love your Vintage Garden sign. I also noticed a Campfire Marshmallow candle in one of your photos and was curious where you found it. I love anything marshmallow! :)

  22. wow, you have been one busy girl! i have been cleaning too, i just can't wait to get things in order so i can spend lots of time outside with my camera and kiddos! have a great day! susan

  23. I absolutely love your blog and your commen sense cleaning ideas! Hey, if you or any of your readers are interested in a Giveaway. Check out this link in my blog on Country Cottage Living at
    Win a $40 CSN stores Gift Certificate if your name is selected after becoming a follower of my blog!! Don't miss out! Deadline: May 14, 2010

  24. I found your darling site through Lisa at Hospitable Pursuits...and I am thrilled!

    I have so enjoyed peeking around! I am a cleaning freak and I love this post. I like seeing what other people use for their cleaning and appreciate any tips I can get to make it easier and more fun!

    Happy Mother's Day!

  25. As I read this post, I immediately recognized a Kindred Spirit! I have the same shaker with Baking soda in it under my kitchen sink! Mrs. Meyer's is my favorite line of cleaners, and I've even given it for gifts! Same HE washers, same beadboard bathrooms, same 'you name it'. And I love spring cleaning! It makes me feel so energized!
    Thanks for stopping by Homestead Revival and becoming a follower!

  26. Here's a little tip!

    That liquid Ivory Spoap, makes great bubble bath, and it makes your skin so soft and smell so good! My grandma has always used it, and I do too. I love it!

  27. Dee! I am not sure how I stumbled across your blog. But I love it!! I feel like we are kindred spirits! : ) From the love hate relationship with my front loader to decor to favorite blogs...are you sure we're not related?! : ) I linked to your website from my kitchen blog today. Have a great day!! *hugs*

  28. I LOVE your blog, some could say I was maybe a bit obsessed with your blog. It's FANTASTIC! I have checked out your mercantile & I'm sure we'll be in touch...

    Love, love, love it!


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