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Green and clean: Two minutes at a time, keeps your home spic and span

By PAULA SIROIS

Some of us love cleaning, some of us hate cleaning and a subset of us haters, really hate – with a passion and all-consuming disgust – everything to do with cleaning. I fall into the latter group. I’m also a green freak, cheap freak and health freak. Kind of makes keeping house tough. But I also have a stubborn gene, which has allowed me to maintain my standards and clean my house. Here is my three-day plan to makeover your approach to cleaning:

Day one – Stockpile: It’s time to toss the heavy-duty chemical, don’t-breathe-in-while-cleaning supplies. After you’ve detoxed, head to the closest store to pick up your new, green, cheap cleaning provisions: baking soda, vinegar, lemons, limes, oranges, a bottle of vodka, some sea salt and a couple of scrubbing brushes. No, I’m not proposing baking while drinking. You’re collecting safe and effective tools of the cleaning trade: Vodka is a great disinfectant that doesn’t leave streaks; sea salt replaces abrasive scrubs; and vinegar can clean just about anything (and if you add some baking soda, you’ll have a great big bubbling scrubbing mix). Drop in the juice from the fruit and everything smells natural, healthy and clean.

Day two – Make a list, check it twice: For my list, I use a little yellow sticky stuck to my computer screen that reads: Monday, bathrooms; Tuesday, bedrooms; Wednesday, laundry; and so on. You get the idea. Put it somewhere handy, and be sure to include dusty, musty things like bookshelves and annoying things like floors. I have dedicated Thursdays just to floors: They rate their own day.

Day three – Got two minutes? Now it’s time to clean. While you won’t finish a whole room in two minutes, you can tackle part of it in two minutes, take a rest and then come back. Here’s how I do it. Let’s take Monday. I get my cleaning supply kit and head to the bathroom. I toss everything that’s not nailed down into a “clean box” (did I mention you need an empty box to toss things into?). I pick up my mix of vinegar and lemon-lime spray (from a repurposed spray bottle) and spritz every single thing in sight like a whirling dervish. Then I let it sit. Letting the spray sit is the secret to cleaning. The spray has to meet the dirt, have small talk, infiltrate and destroy. It takes time. The picking up and spraying should have taken under two minutes, so you are officially done. Leave the room and go rest.

Day three – Part two: After your break, head back to the soaked bathroom and with a reusable towel and brushes in hand, start scrubbing like Cinderella. You have two minutes, so make them count. When those two minutes are up, rest and then go back to buff and dry, then put back all the goodies. Add a little charm to each room you’ve cleaned by adding a small bouquet of fresh flowers, or better yet, flowers mixed with some of your homegrown herbs, like sage and rosemary. Get seed packs for under $1, and you’ll have a free and never-ending supply of room refreshers that are green in every way.

Repeat this two-minute rule for every room, on every day. By breaking up your home into days of cleaning, you’ll stress less. By using chemical-free cleaning supplies, you’ll feel better and save money while saving the planet. It’s good, it’s smart and it’s cheap.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/20/2275090/green-and-clean-two-minutes-at.html#ixzz1Pw0CjLUr

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