I’m many things – a wife, a mom, a writer, a teacher, a cook. But I’m also a housewife. And I don’t want to be a crappy housewife (a little nod to one of the crappiest songs – and videos – of 2011. Seriously, it makes Rebecca Black’s Friday sound like something Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote).
I’m always on the lookout for things that will help me do the hausfrau part of my life a little better. After more than ten years at it, I’ve grown very fond of certain kinds of things. Things that are useful. Things that are simple. Things that are green, that I don’t have to be afraid of storing under my kitchen sink where eager, small hands can find them. And swallow them. Nobody wants their kids to swallow this:
Over the years, I’ve developed a fondness for trying new things, even if they seem a little off at first. Even if the hubster doubles over with laughter in the grocery store when I tell him I’m buying grapefruit to clean the bathrooms with.
Him: You’re buying grapefruit why, again?
Me: To scrub the bathroom sinks and tubs. The kitchen, too.
Him: With a grapefruit?
Me: Yes. And salt.
Him: A grapefruit and salt?
Me: Yes. I don’t like the way the cleaners smell.
Him: Your smeller’s broken.
Me: Shut up. I’m very busy and important. (Stomps off toward the baking aisle in search of salt)
Right. So, here it is. The other day, I was cruising through the ginormous time-waster that is Pinterest, and came across this blog, which detailed how to clean your bathtub with nothing but a grapefruit, salt, and some elbow grease. It immediately piqued my interest because (a) totally safe and green cleaning alternatives get my blood pumping, and (b) I cannot tolerate the smell of any cleaners thanks to the preggers hormones that have made my sense of smell as strong as a bloodhound’s. I decided immediately I would try it.
I did a couple things differently than the tutorial. First of all, they let their bathtub go uncleaned for a month. Ew. Ew, ew, ew. I can’t do that. Just thinking about it eebs me out, big time. *shivers* Secondly, I used the salt I had on hand. No idea if it was kosher or not.
Okay. Here’s what I started with:
One grapefruit, halved. Salt, poured into a bowl. I didn’t measure it. I just poured what I thought I’d need.
I started with the kitchen sink as a test. I dipped the grapefruit in the bowl, sprinkled salt around the sink, and got to scrubbing, ‘juicing’ the grapefruit as I went. The salt and the grapefruit juice mixes to form a kind of grimy paste, and it scrubs beautifully. Once the sink and fixtures were scrubbed, I rinsed them and dried them off. Sparkly and clean!
But I was still a little skeptical. My kitchen sink gets scrubbed several times a day (OCD much?), so it was time to move onto something a little more challenging. I moved upstairs to my bathroom. Even though we scrub our tubs once a week, I had noticed a couple days a go a little bit of mildew growing in some of the grout of the tile in my shower.
I went to town on it, and was amazed at how well it cleaned! Same deal – dipped the grapefruit in salt, sprinkled salt around the tub, and scrubbed. This time I simply wiped down the walls and tub with a damp rag. It was amazing to see how the mildew and soap scum came right up. Added bonus, when I was all done, I chopped the grapefruit and sent it through the garbage disposal. Now my kitchen smells delicious.
I’m so stoked about this one, you guys! Not only does it work (take that, T-man), but it works well, is totally green, and is budget friendly. I cleaned my kitchen sink and two bathrooms (not the toilets) with one grapefruit and about a 1/4 cup of salt. Here’s the price layout:
1 bag of grapefruit (about 10 in a bag) $4.00
1 container of salt (I’m guessing about 2 C. of salt in each container) $.50
I can clean 8 kitchen sinks, 16 bathrooms, and have a couple grapefruits left over to eat, for $4.50. Not too shabby!
The Happy Hausfrau tried it so you don’t have to…but this is one cleaning alternative you should totally give a try!