Really, I drive my husband crazy when I clean. It's a new thing, really. And it's not like I need a perfectly clean house. (HA!) It's far from clean.
In fact, our house is quite "comfortable." You know, it's lived in. We have toys throughout. Our island always has a pile or two growing on it...and often a stray butter knife and some crumbs leftover from the previous meal (or more). We are both the kind of people that can go to bed without picking up the clutter and toys. Some might call that laziness.
So how is it that I am driving him crazy? Vinegar. I started mopping with a vinegar and water mix a year or so ago. I only mop, at most, every two weeks, so that was tolerable for him. I like that it is chemical free. Vinegar is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and incredibly frugal. What's not to love? Well, a little smell. All cleaners have an odor though, right? Apparently not all odors are created equal.
A couple months ago I decided I wanted to start using a vinegar as my all-purpose cleaner, especially in the kitchen. Though I know good ol' soapy water cleans the counters and table just fine, sometimes I want a bit more kick to remove the syrup, medicine, or jelly. (Oh, yes, E's anti-seizure medication is very sticky!) I used to turn to whatever was under the kitchen sink, but then I read somewhere that using a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water would be very effective in cleaning...and it's safe for kids. It took me quite a while to get an empty spray bottle. (Do NOT reuse a bottle that had chemicals in it for this. Just recycle it!)
Well, a month or so ago I finally bought my empty spray bottle! I promptly wrote on it that it was vinegar, since I didn't want it to mistakenly get sprayed, and filled it with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. I went to town cleaning my countertops and our kitchen table. I went on to clean E's high chair. I spot cleaned under his high chair. It felt great to clean!
Then Derek came home from work. The smell really does disappear as it dries, but he really hates it! He noticed it immediately. I think he may have gagged a bit. Sorry, Dear. He told me he was surprised I could stand it since I tend to be sensitive to bad odors. But I continue to clean with it, though I do try to do most of the spraying/cleaning several hours before he gets home from work. He has asked that I light a candle, so I do if I'm still cleaning when he is in the house.
Our three year old has noticed the stink, too. She tells me about it when I am cleaning...but she also puts her nose to the table to really inhale the full vinegar scent.
Vinegar has lots of uses. One of these days M, E, and I are going to make a volcano erupt. In the meantime, you can visit Vinegar Tips or the Vinegar Institute if you are interested. Both sites have tons of ideas for cleaning with vinegar.
A friend suggested I use essential oils to change the smell of the vinegar and water solution I use. I don't have any, so I have not done this. Does anyone have any other tips for me? I want to continue to use vinegar, but it really is not much fun to torture my husband.
Clutter Update - We've been digging out from under the rubble of clutter since Christmas. Things have slowed down, but I'm still plugging away when I can. [image: Clutter qu...