Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Praise of Elbow Grease

My mother always extolled the virtues of elbow grease for cleaning (her daughters' elbow grease, that is, not hers!), but it seems to me that all I hear on the television are ads for products that will clean and polish the world and everything in it without the use of any elbow grease at all, so that we can all spend our lives lying around, eating bon bons. Unfortunately, a lot of those products are pretty toxic. And expensive.

Just the other day, as I was bemoaning the fact that my weight has been creeping (galloping?) up again, I thought, Hey! Could there be a connection? Could the fact that I don't have to put much of an effort into housework be contributing to my weight problem? I sit all day at work, my favourite leisure activities (writing, reading, knitting) are all sedentary in nature, and when I clean house, I expect my cleaning products to work like magic. Maybe if I worked a little harder, I'd burn a few calories.

This line of thought coincided with my discovery (on Facebook, if I remember correctly) of a recipe for an all-purpose cleaner that I could make at home for pennies. The ingredients were non-toxic.

Deep inside my I Hate to Housekeep personality, there's a Suzie Homemaker crying to get out. Or so it seems. I rushed out and bought whatever ingredients I didn't have, and I made some Green Cleaner. That was just the beginning. My daughter jumped on the bandwagon and demanded the recipe. The next thing I knew, she was calling to say "Did you know you can make homemade Febreze?" The two of us spent hours googling and YouTubing, finding ways to Do It Ourselves (whatever IT might be).

So now I've got spray bottles full of homemade cleaner which, in fact, I prefer to the commercial preparations. I can't find the All Purpose Cleaner video that I saw originally, but the interwebs are full of recipes. The one I've embedded here is similar to mine, except mine has more borax and vinegar, but no washing soda. I'm going to try them all. I haven't even bothered with the essential oil, because I love the clean fragrance of the solution. My mission now? to use up the commercial cleaners I have lying around, and from this day forward, to roll my own - and use a little more elbow grease.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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