That word has taken on new meanings. No longer is it merely a definition of a bad writer, or the term for a cab, or even the act of crudely cutting. Now it’s used to mean help. When I see the expression cleaning hacks or cooking hacks, I know there will be explanations of easier or better ways to accomplish certain tasks. There are tons of them on Pinterest. Just type in ‘cleaning hacks’ on the search box, and you’ll get hundreds of them.
At first, I just read them, and promptly forgot what they said. However, now I find myself not only reading them but also copying many of them. As a housewife with kids, I just used store-bought cleaners connected to the various chores. I’d get Lysol spray cleaner for the baths, and I’d use it for all surfaces. Either Lysol or Clorox products were my go-to cleaners for the kitchen. I’d just spritz a little on the surface, scrub it up, and rinse – easy as pie. Windows always got Windex, and dusting had Pledge. I’d use Brillo or SOS for scouring, and Clorox bleach for whitening. That’s a lot of chemicals!
The first thing I dropped was the Pledge and furniture polishes. We had our dining room table refinished several years ago, and when the workers reassembled it, they told me that those cleaners were like smearing grease on windows. They said I should only use damp paper towels when I dust and never use polish. It supposedly damages wooden surfaces. Who knew? But that was only one change; I needed many more.
It’s funny…when my kiddos were small, I never thought of any lurking dangers in the cleaners. I just followed the crowds and sprayed away. Then when I began to read about the harm those chemicals could do, I knew I needed to change. Circumstances worked against me, though. As my husband began taking over many of the chores, he just wanted the easiest way of doing things. Every week, he purchased a different cleaning product until we were overloaded with them.
Also, as my grandies came along, I wanted a purer world for them. I’m not insinuating that there’s anything harmful in these products, but I just wanted to go back to basics. That’s where those ‘hacks’ entered the picture. Now, if something needs cleaning, I look up natural solutions on the internet and give them a try. My husband is a skeptic and needs to see proof before he’ll buy into it. So, little by little, I’m making changes. It will be a continuing project.
Recently, I’ve made three changes. The first involved the carpeting. I don’t want commercial cleaners used there because the little guys and the pup are always sitting on the floor. The hack I tried was mixing white vinegar, baking soda, dish liquid, and water. I know the dish liquid is chemical, but it was only a small amount. I purchased several spray bottles at the dollar store and mixed it in one of them. My husband tried it on a spill in the family room, and it worked! Now, he’s using it on the stain left from the leakage caused by that horrendous portable A/C. It’s working, and I think I’ve converted him!
Next will be a cleaner for hard water build-up. That one includes vinegar, lemon juice, and dish liquid. I’ll mix it in one of the spray bottles and give it a try. The other one I want to investigate is a kitchen degreaser. One hack goes with the baking soda and vinegar again; the other uses dish liquid and borax. I’ve also seen hydrogen peroxide used for some cleaning jobs.
So, little by little, I want to toss those chemical products and use these new hacks. How about you? Have you tried any of these?