Author Topic: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?  (Read 14264 times)

KBecks2

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What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« on: August 17, 2014, 01:18:15 PM »
One of the first things I did when I discovered MMM was cancel our cleaning service.  Now it's my job and I am still working to come up with a good cleaning system --

What do you use as your standard cleaning materials?
What is your cleaning routine? 

I have used Flylady in the past and would like to streamline / minimize our stuff and learn to clean wisely and efficiently.  Share your process / tips!  Thanks!

Karen

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2014, 01:51:59 PM »
Commenting mostly to follow.
I've followed Flylady in the past but it wasn't as successful as I'd hoped.
I read a book years ago that outlined something called the Mt. Vernon method for decluttering and had steps to follow for daily and weekly cleaning.
That book was very helpful...can't quite remember but I believe it was "Messy No More"?  It was the first in a series but the later books weren't as helpful.

I don't use a lot of products - lots of vinegar and baking soda alone or in combination.  I use lemon oil for wood.

missj

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 02:13:34 PM »
OMG! I need to comment in this thread just to see what others write.  As a mom who works 40+ hours a week I have long dreamed of a cleaning service, but never did sign up because I'm basically too cheap.  But, I really hate cleaning.  My mother in law loves cleaning.

What has been my normal routine up until now?
Load and unload the dishwasher a couple times per week after work
Do laundry 3 or 4 times per week. never put away, just live out of designated clean and dirty laundry baskets
sweep and vacuum once every couple weeks on my day off
change sheets once every couple weeks  on my day off
clean toilets and shower/tub once a month or so on my day off
husband is in charge of garbage and recycling and outside cleaning

Everything else I just wait until my mother in law comes over.  She can't stand it and just cleans the whole time she is here!  Free labor while suffering some minor judgement is the next best thing to a cleaning service, IMO  :-)


edit to add: you asked about products.  You will see from my routine I don't do much of the type of cleaning that actually uses products.
I do swear by the "magic eraser" sponges for cleaning tub/shower/sinks.  so easy and quick.  They are now making knock off brands which are cheaper and I've tried them and they seem to work just as well as the name brand sponges.

I use vinegar in my laundry in place of fabric softener and it's cheap and works great (and there is no residual scent).

We make our own laundry soap out of Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and Fels-Naptha bar soap.  It turns out to be much cheaper than store bought laundry soap, but the reason we do it is because it is better for our well/septic system and because my husband is very sensitive to allergens and scents.

I don't really use any other cleaning products, but again, I don't really "clean" per se :)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 02:22:18 PM by missj »

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 02:45:36 PM »
Years ago my mother gave me the book "Speed Cleaning," and I have done some of what the author suggests ever since. Main thing is that I got a bucket that holds all cleaning supplies, so it's all in one place. In the bucket: a couple of spray bottles (one has a mixture of Simple Green and water, the other plain water), large scrub brush, a small scrub brush, some old toothbrushes, some soft scrub cleanser, a bottle of lemon furniture polish (not spray), and a bottle of glass cleaner. For actual cleaning, I use rags (mostly old towels cut into smaller pieces), which I wash in small loads when I've gone through my stash. Cleaning is done on an as needed basis around here, but I'd say bathrooms about once a month, dusting and vacuuming every couple of weeks, kitchen floor once a week or more. DH and I do our own laundry about once a week. Clutter gets picked up when it builds to an unpleasant level, though in an emergency we could get the place ready for company in an hour or less. So not much of a regular routine, but we don't live in total squalor either.

When we first moved to this house, DH wanted to hire a cleaning service but I was dead set against it. I hated the idea of someone coming into the house when we weren't there and doing who knows what. Then we read "Nickel and Dimed" (Barbara Ehrenreich's book about working minimum wage jobs, one of which was working for a cleaning service) and he has never suggested it again. I figure time enough for that when we're too decrepit to do it ourselves.

KBecks2

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2014, 03:15:25 PM »
I'm glad that this is a good topic. Keeping our house clean is something that I struggle with, but, when the house is clean, I feel rich -- it makes me feel really good when the House looks good. So that is something that I need to work on for my happiness and that feeling of living in luxury.

I do not have a good routine. With three kids it is challenging! Running a house is no joke.

I usually try to stay on top of the laundry, but sorting and putting it away are very difficult. I also need to work on limiting the distractions like MMM. I visit a stock a website that I like a lot and spends too much time on. Right now our kitchen is torn apart with remodeling, but I'm hoping that the change will motivate me to keep everything a lot nicer around the house.

Today I did both our bathrooms, and I want to keep the area under the sink stocked with stuff so it's easy to do white dots. I probably am going to use more paper towels then I should, but if it makes it easy, it might be totally worth it.

I have never made my own laundry soap but it is very intriguing. First things first though, I've got a lot of decluttering to do.

I am thinking of using straight bleach for the toilets, and I also like a lot of bleach wipes. But I think bleach spray is probably cheaper then bleach white things.


Suit

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2014, 03:22:23 PM »
I like when my place is really clean but don't take the time to do it all that often. Usually I worry about sweeping up dog fur, taking out trash/recycling, doing the dishes and laundry as a baseline. Then if I know people are coming over or I just get in a cleaning mood I'll dust, organize things and thoroughly clean the bathroom. I use a swiffer, old kitchen sponges and bleach as my main cleaning tools.

missj

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2014, 03:27:36 PM »
For anyone interested in making their own laundry soap, I have included a couple of links with the directions and cost breakdown:

http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/

http://happymoneysaver.com/making-your-own-laundry-detergent-worth-the-cost/

The first link has the actual recipe I use, which is the cheaper and simpler recipe.

But the 2nd link/recipe did a better job of breaking down the costs, IMO so I included it.  the 2nd article claims that  the cost is $0.04 per load vs. $.12 per load of the biggest, cheapest box of concentrated Tide at WalMart. 

In reality, my version that I make is much cheaper than that because I only use 3 of the 6 ingredients that they use, and I omitted 2 of the 6 most expensive ingredients.  So, I'd tentatively guess that my version costs $0.02 or $0.03 per load.  That is a 75-80% savings over Tide!  For me, it works out to be not quite as big of a savings, because I've never used name brand detergent to begin with (or name brand anything for that matter).  I'd estimate my true cost savings is 50-60%.  Still pretty darned good.

In case you don't have a food processor, you can definitely use a cheese grater and coffee grinder for the fels-naptha bar. Bonus, it cleans those appliances for you!  Of course, you'll want to rinse off the soap residue very well before using again which can be a little tougher with a coffee grinder as they are harder to "rinse".  if you don't have a food processor or a coffee grinder (or don't want to use your coffee grinder) you can opt for the ivory recipe which calls for microwaving and crushing the soap...i've never tried that one so YMMV.

Happy Penny Pinching!

missj

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2014, 03:47:21 PM »
oh, and in case you're wondering how time consuming this is and if it's worth your time...I tend to make a gigantic batch when I do this (only have to clean up etc once, so a time savings there) and I spend just under an hour including clean up, going at a pretty lax rate while watching TV or something. I end up making a batch about 2-3 times per year.  I do about 3-4 loads of laundry per week.

So figure worst case I spend $20 a year and 3 hours of my time vs. spending $40-$50 a year and none of my time. so it works out to be an hourly rate of about $7-10 which for me, is probably not really worth it but if you do more loads than we do, or if you are a lower wage earner, it may be worth it for you.  Again for us, the primary reason we do it is for our well/septic and husband's hypersensitivities.

palebluedot

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2014, 03:54:10 PM »
This blog has good motivational techniques: http://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/

Funny stuff too.

MayDay

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2014, 05:36:33 PM »
I like a tidy house (good for my mental health) but feel like bits a constant battle.

Laundry every two days, fold it once a week and put away.

Bathrooms every two weeks (should be weekly as the kids get them disgusting but I hate doing them).

Sweep kitchen daily

Vacuum every 4-5 days

Dust never

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2014, 05:54:13 PM »
If something looks grubby, I spray it (plain water? water and vinegar? depends) and wipe with a microfiber cloth. If something is dusty enough to annoy me, I swipe at it with an ostrich feather duster. If the carpet looks kind of gross, I ignore it and politely say nothing. Eventually Mr. FP will vacuum it.

Our rule, with very few hygienic exceptions (as in things that may have been exposed to raw chicken juice), is that if something looks and smells clean, it is clean. Household cleaning, including washing our sheets and towels, is as-needed, not on an arbitrary schedule. That's my problem with the FlyLady--I see the advantage of routine, but she has you going around every week washing possibly still-clean sheets and towels, mopping a floor that's still clean, and dusting things that aren't dusty.

MrsPotts

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2014, 06:11:29 PM »
I used to dust when I put out my Christmas stuff, whether it needed it or not, but since I quit putting Christmas stuff out a couple of years ago I haven't dusted.  The only person who is notices is my five year old niece who uses the dust on the ledges on my china cabinet to practice writing her alphabet.

I mop floors 1-2 times a month with hot water and vinegar, clean my bathroom with simple green and bleach about every two weeks, and vacuum about twice a week but I do a shitty job.   Dishwasher is run and emptied daily, as we rarely eat out and always cook from scratch, and I keep my kitchen counters rather spotless, again with simple green.   DH does laundry.   Twice a week I sort the mail and pay bills.  I try to put my books away when I finish them, religiously put my dirty socks in the hamper, and I wipe up shit as soon as I spill it.   And that's all. 

RichMoose

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2014, 06:15:57 PM »
One of the first things I did when I discovered MMM was cancel our cleaning service.  Now it's my job and I am still working to come up with a good cleaning system --

What do you use as your standard cleaning materials?
What is your cleaning routine? 

I have used Flylady in the past and would like to streamline / minimize our stuff and learn to clean wisely and efficiently.  Share your process / tips!  Thanks!

Karen

I keep a very clean house, but its not too difficult with 2 adults and an allergy friendly dog. My house gets dusty quite fast because I always have my windows open during the summer.

Cleaning materials include couple high quality micro-fiber, streak-free clothes; cleaning bucket; 2 spray bottles (1 with water/vinegar solution for surfaces and windows, 1 with water/disinfectant solution for toilets, countertops etc); quality vacuum cleaner; leather protector; and Vim product for those tough stains on counter tops or glass stove tops.

As far as cleaning routine, rule #1 is de-clutter big time. My house is very "Scandinavian" looking. We do laundry once a week and fold immediately. We hang dry towels outside immediately after showering so they don't accumulate in the laundry. Vacuum floors every week. Mop floors with cloth and hot water / vinegar every second week. Wipe all surfaces like tables, TV, kitchen cupboards and shelving, sofas, picture frames, etc. every second week. Sheets get washed about every month for bed we use. Spare bed gets washed right after guests. Leather furniture gets conditioned about every month as well. Interior pane of windows get sprayed and wiped every two months I would guess. Outdoor pane of windows get cleaned about twice a year (spring and fall on my big maintenance day where gutters are cleaned, siding sprayed etc).

All in all, my weekly routine takes about an hour for 1 person. Bi-weekly routine takes two hours if my wife helps as well, otherwise it's four hours.

labrat

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2014, 06:20:25 PM »
I checked this book out of the library so many times - it's super-thorough but helped me organize and streamline my routine: http://www.amazon.com/Home-Comforts-Science-Keeping-House/dp/0743272862#

In a nutshell here's what I do:

At the end of every day: tidy up & quick wipe down as needed of kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks & faucets, stovetop, coffee table, dining table, kid's changing table, empty dishwasher and dish rack, sweep kitchen floor

Monday: damp mop hardwoods, mop kitchen floor
Tuesday: laundry
Wednesday: clean bathroom floor
Thursday: laundry, vacuum bedroom & living room
Friday: off!
Saturday: mop kitchen floor, wipe down windowsills & bedside tables, clean desk space and wipe down TV and computer + keyboard, deep clean bathroom mirror, shower, toilet & floor, clean kitchen sink & disposal w/salt & lemon
Sunday: laundry

Monthly: vacuum vent covers and air returns, wipe down baseboards & fan blades, wipe down inside and out of washer and dryer & sanitize, sweep out garage & porch, dust along ceiling for cobwebs, clean windows, clean oven

As far as cleaners go:
1. I make my own vinegar spray cleaner (just search google) for all purpose cleaning
2. Stovetop, shower and sinks are cleaned with baking soda + vinegar cleaner
3. I use Kaboom for mold/mildew
4. Sparkle is used for windows and mirrors
5. Greenworks for the turlet

In case you haven't figured it out, I'm one of those weirdos who enjoys cleaning & organizing :)

Rural

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2014, 07:42:56 PM »
My routine is to be sure we have clothes to wear and dishes to cook on each weekend so that we are fed and not naked (the base of Maslov's hierarchy is important, after all).


Every now and then (couple weeks or so?)I remember that I have a floor-sweeping robot and run it around the joint.


I send the trash down the mountain with my husband, usually a couple of mornings after it has gotten full.


Otherwise? I clean things when they stink, and otherwise nothing unless my mother or mother-in-law is coming to visit.


Products: foaming bubbles from the dollar store because I'm lazy and they do a good job in the bathroom. I have a dollar store sponge mop for the shower surround which I use in combination with the scrubbing bubbles -- quick, easy, cheap, and effective. I try to find the kind of bubbles without bleach since we're on a septic tank.


Other than that, water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol for grease on the stove (best thing ever), salt or baking soda when I need a scouring powder - salt is more aggressive. Oh, and a good Hoover (which we found in the trash years ago)  and orange spray for the rug in the dogs' room.

missj

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2014, 07:57:23 PM »
I see we have a healthy mix of a few neat freaks and lazy people like myself. 

sometimes I feel bad about being a terrible housekeeper.

I have a perfect remedy for this: watch a couple of episodes of Extreme Hoarders.  You will feel instantly better about yourself and think that your home is a pristine castle...and usually you'll end up  cleaning and de-cluttering a bit right after watching it.

4alpacas

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2014, 08:15:11 PM »
This blog has good motivational techniques: http://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/

Funny stuff too.

I spent a few dollars and bought the app too.  It's helped me motivate myself on weeknights.  I try to do one UFYH a night, even 5 minutes helps. 

I've stopped buying most cleaning products.  However we have a large stockpile of cleaning products previous over purchasing.  When we run through everything, I plan to use vinegar, bleach and microfiber cloths. 

I will admit that my schedule is a work in progress.  I try to vacuum, change the sheets, and do laundry every weekend.  During the week, I try to do the dishes every night and keep our kitchen clean.  By Thursday, I'm usually too tired and dishes pile up until Saturday. 

mc6

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2014, 08:18:01 PM »
Because I have 3 cats who track litter everywhere I have a Roomba.  It gets used several times per week.  I mop the kitchen and bath with Armstrong Floor Cleaner and a Libman mop a 1-2 times a month. 

I spray down the kitchen counters with whatever spray is under the kitchen sink.  I have not had good results with vinegar aside from using it to clean bathroom mirrors.  I keep my hair short and the water quality is good in my town, both of which make bathroom cleaning pretty easy. 

My best laundry trick is to use a Zote bar for pretreating  stains (can buy it at Latin shops).  It works really well for oily or tomato-based spills down the chest area of a shirt. 

I feel I have searched the world over for something to effectively remove blood stains from sheets and clothes.  No success yet.

RiskDown

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2014, 09:05:53 PM »
Welp -- just getting starting in this field...

But here was the first logical thing I concluded:
Empty your dishwasher AS SOON AS IT'S DONE. Dirty dishes should be cleaned off and loaded directly into the dishwasher. Run dishwasher once it reaches 80-100% capacity. TRY TO AVOID DISHES TOUCHING YOUR SINK.

May be obvious to some... but I've seen so lots of people who are too lazy to unload their dishwasher first, fill there sink up with dirty dishes... only to have to transfer them to dishwasher later on, when they finally get around to unloading dishwasher. Think like an engineer, touch something as few times as possible.

JoyBlogette

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2014, 09:30:12 PM »
I use microfiber and water to clean everything except for the toilets.  I even have a microfiber sweeper/mop which is the best thing EVER.

To simplify cleaning:
1. Declutter - the fewer things you have to pick up when dusting the better
2. Organize - keep all cleaning supplies together in a bin you can carry from room to room or keep supplies "where used" (I keep a bottle of toilet cleaner in each bathroom)
3. Simplify - clean things right away when you notice that they are dirty - unload the dishes right away - clean the sink if its dirty - a little bit every day is better than a huge marathon

My routine for each room I'm cleaning
1. Wet microfiber cloth
2. Wipe mirror, frames, light switches, counter/table tops, etc (rinsing when necessary)
3. sweep and then mop floor
4. vacuum, clean toilets and empty garbage as needed

horsepoor

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2014, 09:58:40 PM »
There isn't much of a routine, per se... DH is pretty good about sweeping and vacuuming each weekend, and sometimes he dusts too.  Our steam mop died, and our vinyl plank kitchen floor is all fucked up, so there's not much mopping occurring right now.  We each do our own laundry, though I end up doing the household stuff most of the time.  Sunday night we change the sheets.  He does basic cleanup after dinner, but I do the more detail-oriented kitchen cleaning, fridge cleanouts, etc. as needed.  I also am the detail person on cleaning, but it's totally sporadic, based upon when I have the time and inclination to do it.  I used to be much more regimented about cleaning, devoting a few hours each Saturday morning to getting everything ship-shape, but what worked in an 860 sf house just can't be accomplished in a 3,000 sf house.  Instead, I focus on clutter prevention and try to groom the dogs semi-regularly so they don't shed inside quite so much.  We have a Bissel carpet cleaner, and I clean the high-traffic area every couple months, and the rest of the house's carpet about annually.

Cleaning products - newspaper is > paper towels for cleaning mirrors.  A vinegar solution works really well with it, though we've still got the CostCo serving of Windex purchased about 8 years ago (shows what neat freaks we are), so we use that.  I also like the Method products from Target, but have started cutting the remainder of the bottles with citrus peel-infused vinegar.  We've also got tons of Swiffer pads and Scrubn' Bubbles from Costco, so that's what we use for bathroom cleaning.  DH likes the Swiffer dusters, but I just use the microfiber cloths if and when I get around to dusting.

Every now and then I get Fly Lady on it and try to clean/organize for 15 minutes per night.  It helps, but I tend to forget after about 3 days or so and fall off the wagon.

lifejoy

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2014, 10:20:59 PM »
For me, cleaning/tidying while I talk on the phone or while listening to epic music is what helps me most. I even have a friend I call, and we clean our respective houses together :)
Also the rule that you leave each room better than it was when you entered it. Good idea!

Goldielocks

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2014, 12:36:49 AM »
Declutter areas you want to keep clean.. Kitchen and bathrooms that have nearly nothing on the counters are very easy to very quickly clean.

Keep quick supplies at point ofuse. And make a carry caddy for weekly clean as anothger said. It only takes two minutes to clean a toilet when it is right there, so I may clean it as soon as it is not perfect.  I can leave the sink and the rest for a Saturday clean up.
 Make it really easy for five minute mini cleans through the week.  Water and cloth and just doing it is enough 80% of the time.

Daily pick up of living room for papers and cups.

Lots of torn up towels, water, a mild grease fighter if you must like dilute orange cleaner or pink solution in a spray bottle, windex, toilet bowl cleaner , scrub powder for bath. 

Scrub brushes! I love scrub brushes!

Bleach for kitchen, mold and mildew killer for once per year use if needed.

And I assigned dishwasher load and unload to my kids.  Lowered standards are needed for this to work.






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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2014, 12:48:39 AM »
Daily
- Wash and put away dishes as they're used.
- Wipe the bench.

Weekends
- Toilet/Shower done on the weekend: We have a 'bathroom bucket' filled with bleach, a scrubber, a chux, a microfibre cloth, a window-wiper, a toothbrush (for hard to reach places), and a more gentle spray.
- Floors: vacuumed and mopped on the weekends.

Yearly or Half-yearly
- Lawn mowed (it doesn't rain here).
- Clean fridge.
- Clean blinds and fans.
- Clean air conditioner vents.
- Check smoke alarm.
- Spray for spiders / insects.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 12:50:19 AM by Nudelkopf »

bonjourliz

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2014, 03:36:17 AM »
For product s, we use it only a vinegar/water spray, a castille soap/water spray, and bleach (in bathrooms).  With old school cloth diapers, and scrubby brushes for the toilet and shower.  Oh, and also pledge for dusting.

The castille soap followed by vinegar is great for cleaning fabric.  Vinegar spray alone is fine for most countertop/table messes and mirrors. 

The kitchen and living areas go back to ready every evening at bedtime. No dishes in sink, nothing to clean in the morning. Laundry is my DH's OCD so he does that, nearly every day. 

An hour or so vacuuming and spraying down bathrooms one time a week.  A few times a year I get in a fit and clean all the windows and blinds with the vinegar.

Keeping a minimal supply of cleaning products has really made it all seem much more manageable.

mak1277

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2014, 07:27:33 AM »
Laundry - Once a week, usually on a lazy Sat. or Sun.
Dishes - As needed

Everything else - Huge scramble to clean anytime we're having visitors.

Beyond that, we don't really have any planned cleaning.  If something looks gross, it gets wiped off.  Kitchen counters are cleaned most frequently to avoid contamination from raw meat.  Other surfaces in our house have probably never been touched in the 6 years we've lived there.

Jacana

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2014, 08:06:17 AM »
Flylady was great for getting into the swing of things and realizing what actually needs cleaning and how often, but I couldn't get into the strict routines. It's just not for me it seems. UFYH is great for motivating miscellaneous cleaning challenges but again I can't seem to do daily routine lists even though in reality I do clean daily. My 2 year old helps me clean, so I use no chemicals on a regular basis.

Standard products: Spray bottle with white vinegar/water in kitchen and for glass, microfiber and regular cleaning cloths distributed throughout the house to be used with water, hand soap and toilet brush for toilets, good scrub brush for bathtub, broom, vacuum, and CLR spray once in a blue moon when things get bad.

Routine(-ish): Kitchen gets top priority and gets cleaned several times a day: do dishes, wipe countertop, wipe table, sweep, etc. Laundry: 1 load daily until it's done. Living spaces: put things away daily, vacuum and dust ~once a week. Bathroom: Clean toilet and wipe mirror/sink every few days.

Everything else as needed, when I see it is needed. We have a small house and I like it clean and decluttered so it's pretty easy. However much time I have (30 min, 1 hr, whatever), I pick an area that clearly needs it and then I keep cleaning and putting things away, bouncing from thing to thing without stopping to check lists. I just keep going and I don't sit down or it's all over. Whatever catches my attention gets cleaned, whether it's the microwave or a dusty baseboard. And if I'm still motivated once that area looks good, I move on to another. House stays pretty clean.

MandyM

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2014, 09:48:13 AM »
I'm not great at keeping a clean house, but I thought I would throw in a few things that have helped me do better:

Cordless vacuum. I have all hardwood and resisted buying a cordless vacuum, but I wish I hadn't waited so long. It isn't perfect, but it is so easy to grab it and give the floors a once over. I end up using it several times a week and it only takes a minute or two.

I don't sort my laundry. I have a few things I like to bleach occasionally and new red or black items are separated, but otherwise its all just tossed in. I swear, it doesn't make a difference.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 02:26:36 PM by MandyM »

Zikoris

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2014, 10:15:21 AM »
Daily:
Wipe kitchen counters and stove (me)
Dishes and sink (him)
Litter box and sweeping up stray litter (him)
Taking out garbage (him)
Shredding, recycling, or filing incoming paper (me)

Weekly (Saturday morning routine)
Laundry and hanging everything to dry (both of us)
Vacuum (both of us)
Quick bathroom clean - spray and wipe shower, toilet, sink, and mirror (me)

As-needed basis
Clean the kitchen floor (me)
Deal with cat puke (him)
Fridge (me)

As far as products go, I use a biodegradable all-purpose bathroom spray for the shower and vanity, store brand glass cleaner for the mirror, and some combination of water and SOS pads for nthe stove and sink. I buy a big thing of normal laundry soap every three years, no fabric softener or other strange laundry things.

AH013

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2014, 10:41:46 AM »
Dollar Tree stocks a lot of the basics for a $1.  My supplies mainly consists of bleach, yellow ammonia, blue ammonia, generic pine sol, spic & span, and wood polish.  Used baking soda from the fridge rounds out the supplies.  Bleach & yellow ammonia take care of the bathrooms & tile/laminate floors, pine sol for the hardwoods, blue ammonia for mirrors/windows/glass surfaces, and spic & span for kitchen counters & appliances.  Anything that needs a delicate scouring touch or has hard water stains, a little baking soda will take care of it.

Toilets -- scrubbed weekly to avoid mineral buildup
Floors -- vacuumed/broomed every week, cleaned every season (hard surfaces) or every year (carpet)
Kitchen surfaces & appliances as used
Wood furniture -- polished 2-4x a year
Fridge (interior) & oven (full clean) -- every 2-3 months
Everything else (walls, siding, patio, etc) -- annually

minimustache1985

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2014, 10:42:59 AM »
Dishes we do as we dirty them, I wipe up the kitchen quickly when dinner is finishing up, and we'll clean the kitchen probably 1-2X a month after dinner one night just based on when it needs it.

Everything else is done on the weekend, usually Sundays, but on an as-needed basis so sometimes it's just our weekly laundry.  Toilets/vacuuming gets done together based on the toilet getting grody or the cat hair getting to the point of no return in this routine: put cleaner in bowls to sit, vacuum downstairs, scrub bowls, vacuum upstairs, scrub and flush bowls.  Laundry is every Sunday, if I do towels I'll use the hand towels and water to buff out the splashes on the mirrors (you only need ammonia/vinegar if you're looking to disinfect) before I throw them in the wash.  Cleaning the rest of the bathroom is more like a quarterly PITA that I really should do more but I dislike it the most, and I'll steam mop the kitchen tile before company comes or after a pool party where wet feet get our tile dirtier than vacuuming can handle.

Cleaning product wise I use the Costco brand disinfectant wipes for the kitchen and bathroom surfaces, Softscrub for the bathroom counters and Tilex for the shower when I do clean those, and Clorox toilet bowl cleaner.  My steam mop is a shark we got as a gift, and its nice that it disinfects via steam but I don't find it works much better than say, swiffer wet pads I've used before.  I use vinegar for more occasional cleaning including sucking smells out of the fridge (just put a cup of vinegar in there overnight and dump it after) and cleaning the dishwasher (put it in the soap dispenser and run an empty pots/pans cycle).  I still use Tide because H likes it and Shout for stains, but get them (and the Clorox bowl cleaner) from Costco when it's in their coupon book.

Disclaimer: We are a 2 adult and 2 cat household.  I may switch to a more firm routine once there are kidlets involved, particularly for their chores.

Chranstronaut

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2014, 10:44:39 AM »
Every now and then I get Fly Lady on it and try to clean/organize for 15 minutes per night.  It helps, but I tend to forget after about 3 days or so and fall off the wagon.

Story of my life.  This thread is perfect timing because I'm on a cleaning binge now.  Maybe I can get some kind of routine to stick.

Anyone have tips for cleaning venetian blinds?  When I started renting my current place, they were really dusty.  I tried wiping them down with wet cloths and all it seemed to do was smear the dirt around.  I'm awful at dusting them and whatever dust or dirt is on them doesn't come off easily with just a duster.  They are some kind of wood alternative with laminated exterior.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2014, 10:59:01 AM »
I've been making our laundry detergent for about a year now. We're only on the second batch (5 gallons). It's not really because it's cheaper (though I'm sure it is) but because it works much, much better than any detergent I have tried. I use a recipe I found through this site (1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax, 1 bar Fels Naptha soap). We add a little vinegar to the wash water. Everything comes out clean and fresh smelling -- including towels, which were not getting clean at all with commercial detergents.

andrea-stache

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2014, 11:47:00 AM »
I developed this routine when my husband was laid off.  Once he went back to work, we focused on paying off the house and stuck with the routine.  Once the house was paid off and we are debt free, we hired back the cleaning crew.  I despise house cleaning.  Both DH and I work full time...we don't want to be cleaning during our limited time off.  Only about 10 more years before we are comfortable enough for FIRE....but, I digress. 

Here's the answer to 1/2 your question:

Monday:   vacuum, mop kitchen and bathroom floors (Basically all floors in house)
Tuesday:   dust
Wednesday:   load of darks, clean showers, toilets + Mirrors, wipe down bathroom counters (Kid #1),    empty trash + put out at curb (kid #2)
Thursday:     clean kitchen counter and stove
Friday:  NOTHING
Saturday:   laundry - Lights/whites, sheets & towels
Sunday:   Darks

My strategy with the schedule was a little bit each day so it wouldn't be too overwhelming.   

Products...nothing I feel strongly enough to write about.  Whatever is on sale...

lizzzi

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2014, 12:07:10 PM »
Start by de-cluttering and de-junking your whole house. The less "stuff" you have, the easier it is to keep neat and clean. Make sure that what you do have is stuff you love, so your house feels individual, warm, and welcoming--if you love your house, you will be more likely to take care of it.

Having said that, I don't really have a cleaning routine, and my cleaning supplies vary, but usually come from the Dollar Store or Aldi's. But I always make my bed the minute my feet touch the floor in the morning, and empty the dishwasher every morning while I make breakfast. Then all dirty dishes are washed or put in the d/w immediately after use.  Since house is minimalist, there is a place for everything (pretty much), and I recommend simply keeping things where they belong.  (Coats in the closet, not just thrown on the couch, etc., etc.)  Doing a load of laundry also includes drying it, folding it, and putting it away--or it doesn't count. So…beds are made, dishes done, no piles of half-finished laundry, no  cluttered-messy areas. You are half-way there…however you decide to clean, it is going to be quick and easy. Just keep up with it as needed…no rigid schedule necessary.

My one recommended item that  surprised me with how useful it is is the re-chargeable hand-vac. It may be meant for car vacuuming, but I find it is good for quick pick-ups around the house.

I like the book "Speed Cleaning" that someone mentioned up-thread, and also would recommend ufyh's "20-10" method if you are having trouble making yourself do a task.  (Work hard 20 minutes, rest ten minutes, repeat until task is done or until you feel you've accomplished enough for the day.)

Emilyngh

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2014, 12:09:08 PM »
DH does our real cleaning, but I tackle organization and clutter.   We always get compliments on how clean our home is, but really, I think it's mostly because we keep it picked up and without clutter more than really cleaning.    I often spend free time getting rid of things and perfecting our systems for storing and easily putting away what we have.   I kind of enjoy it, so this helps.

The regular cleaning consists of:
-unload dishwasher each morning and load throughout the day, running at night
-before bed and nap each day we pickup toys completely from all of the main parts of the house.   B/c we pickup this often, it's a 5 minute job.   We often let the playroom go until it's a disaster and/or then gets at least completely picked up at least before vacuuming once a week.
-I bring in the mail each evening and immediately sort, recycle, and file it
-laundry as needed, usually a load every day or 2, with homemade soap and hung to dry
-we pickup all of our things (eg., projects, shoes, papers, etc) and put away each evening before bed
-we wipeup the kitchen as we use it through the day (just wet cloth)
-vacuum and wet mop floors (use Dr bronner's in water) once a week
-light clean bathrooms once a week (use natural liquid dish soap and cloth on stick to clean toilet and vinegar spray to wipedown sink, etc)
-compost is taken out daily and trash and recycling once a week

Other than that we will only occasionally:
- clean the bathtubs (scrub, soak overnight with vinegar for our hardwater, and scrub again) when they look dirty, so once every month or two.   We usually wash and bleach the shower curtain also when we do this.
-use a steam cleaner to clean the fridge and to really deep clean the bathrooms and kitchen-about twice a year, often motivated by having company
-dust-a couple times of year before company.   We usually do the full shebang when we do this-cleaning baseboards, polishing wood furniture, etc.
-wash windows-once a yearish, usually in the spring

I feel like we clean less than many, but with the constant decluttering, it really seems to keep things looking nice.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 12:13:06 PM by Emilyngh »

4alpacas

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2014, 02:00:36 PM »
Posting to follow, very interesting to me
After I read this post last night, I went and cleaned most of my apartment.  It's small (but messy), so it took a little less than 2 hours.

TrMama

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2014, 03:12:25 PM »
I delegate as much as possible to my kids. They start being useful about age 4, when they can vacuum their own rooms. They also like to scrub toilets, clean mirrors and do all those once or twice a year chores that I detest. In the interest of teaching them to be mustachians, I happily pay them for the chores I hate the most.

However, they also create an enormous amount of mess so I think I'm only breaking even, at best. At least I'm not quite the domestic slave I was when they were toddlers.

Zikoris

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2014, 03:20:25 PM »
I should have also mentioned - we live in a 400 square foot studio suite with a bed that folds into the wall, and minimal stuff. My cleaning jobs take maybe 5 minutes a day, maybe 15-20 on weekends when I hang laundry to dry and clean the bathroom.

galliver

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2014, 03:55:14 PM »
Arsenal:
Dishsoap (for dishes)
Fantastik for kitchen and bathroom counters/fixtures and for disinfecting (e.g. chicken juice).
Comet powder for sinks, tubs, and scrubbing the stove.
Cheapest gel toilet cleaner.
Pledge squirt 'n mop for floor (used to use Fantastik for this too but it leaves a sticky residue).
Windex for windows/mirrors (I like shiny, totally not a necessity).
Rubbing alcohol and acetone (for taking things off that nothing else does!)

Cheap white washcloths for rags...(t-shirts and jeans don't work great for this and I haven't worn out any towels yet; pretty sure that $2 pack saved me much more in paper towels over the years).
Mop with a flat bottom. Used a swiffer (with a rag on it!) at my old place where we had lino in kitchen&bath, now got a scotchgard microfiber hardwood mop for our new place with laminate everywhere.
Vacuum for carpets, if any.
Broom&dustpan.

I clean anything when it looks dirty and I have time. For floors, when feet are dirty after walking on them.

I understand the draw of natural/basic products (vinegar, baking soda, bleach, ammonia) but can't stand the smell of most of them. Also have a tendency to ruin clothes with bleach so I stay away from it.

Dr. Doom

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2014, 04:28:33 PM »

I don't mind cleaning all that much, and my wife does, so I end up voluntarily doing most of it, with the exception of daily dishes.

15 mins Nightly:  DW- dishes  Me: Countertops, taking trash out
5 mins in the morning: putting dishes away, making bed

Weekends are when the bulk of it gets done, usually Sat morning unless we have some other scheduled commitment
- Vaccuming and floor washing (only if they need it... usually 2x a month.  I actually just use a slight bit of dish soap on the floors, and use a stringy-head mop because I think they last a lot longer than the spongy types and clean better to boot.  Super Hot water = More important than chemicals here, IMO, so sticky things get dissolved.)
- Bathrooms (also twice a month... A bit of borax and vinegar on the toilets, and just regular soap on the sinks.)
- Few loads of laundry.  I'm a fan of borax and bleach on whites but we have some "gentler" tide detergent that DW insists on using for delicates and bright colors.
- General decluttering
- Trip to the town transfer station for recycling and disposal of waste
- yardwork, weather permitting
Most days I'm done before noon.  I like ripping it out and then relaxing the rest of the weekend.   

I don't use bleach for anything but laundry, btw.  It doesn't smell great on floors or countertops -- seems to linger.

DW gets in the mood to do a full house dusting about 3 times a year.

Just read @Emilyngh's post, and it looks like our routine is quite similar.

missj

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2014, 04:51:21 PM »
I've noticed a few people mention hanging their laundry to dry.

I wonder why they choose this instead of using the dryer?  Is it simply to save money, or do they prefer the result?

And, out of curiosity does anybody know how much it typically costs to "Dry" a load of laundry?  I know this will greatly depend on your appliance and your electricity rates, I just want a ballpark.  If we're talking 30 cents I'll keep using my dryer, if we're talking $3 or $5 per load, I'll probably use my dryer less....

I already have a line outside but right now I usually only use it for blankets/towels/tablecloths/sheets not for daily items (mostly because the bulk of our laundry is tiny kid clothes and I don't feel like hanging up the 30 or so tiny pieces that fit in 1 load.

Zikoris

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2014, 05:05:19 PM »
I've noticed a few people mention hanging their laundry to dry.

I wonder why they choose this instead of using the dryer?  Is it simply to save money, or do they prefer the result?

And, out of curiosity does anybody know how much it typically costs to "Dry" a load of laundry?  I know this will greatly depend on your appliance and your electricity rates, I just want a ballpark.  If we're talking 30 cents I'll keep using my dryer, if we're talking $3 or $5 per load, I'll probably use my dryer less....

I already have a line outside but right now I usually only use it for blankets/towels/tablecloths/sheets not for daily items (mostly because the bulk of our laundry is tiny kid clothes and I don't feel like hanging up the 30 or so tiny pieces that fit in 1 load.

1. Saves money
2. Your stuff lasts 10X longer - this is a big one for people like me who hate shopping for new things

SummerLovin

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2014, 06:25:09 PM »
De-clutter
If your house is full of clutter, then you need to start there.  If it's completely overwhelming, then start with one room at a time.  Make that room the focus of the week.
Start with a garbage can/bag= trash, box= give away, keep= put in proper place (also helps with finding stuff, if you are consistent with putting things in the same place you'll be able to find them.) If it's a bedroom and there are clothes on the floor, bring a hamper or clothes basket. Divide the room in quarters, then start with each quarter with the 20/10 rule until are 4 quarters have been scanned and all items have a home.
Vacuum/Dust
Start from the top and work your way down, in the same quarter break down.
Clean
I use bleach and water for tough stains/ toilet.  I also use a vinegar and water instead of Windex, and vinegar/ Dawn dish washing liquid for pretty much everything else.  Floors, showers, sinks.
The key to cleaning is to start with the largest surfaces first- counters, beds, dressers, sinks.  Floors are last.
30 minutes per day for general maintenance.
It is much easier to clean things as you (and everyone else in the family) use them, than waiting until the end of the week.

Laundry:
Washing loads based on the clothes that are dirty.  I also take hangers down with me so I can hang them up right out of the dryer, and take them to the closet, then bring down the next load.

Misc:
Music is very helpful!
Get everyone to do their part, whatever it may be.  Chores should be assigned by the week to keep it fair. Sometimes it helps to make it fun, or turn it into a competition. "who can pick up and put away the most toys in 10 min, or clean their room the best.
Do not let your children or your spouses get away with doing things halfway, or make excuses make them do it properly. They intentionally do it badly, knowing that you will end up doing it for them.  "but honey, you do XYZ so much better than I do..."

Trust me, I was in the military, and men can and do clean very well, and women can mow and edge the lawn and take out the garbage! Nobody, (ok maybe somebody) likes "doing that stuff", but it always feels better once it is done.


jeninco

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2014, 07:53:43 PM »
I finally registered mostly to join this thread!

I agree with many upstream posters:
1. Declutter as much as possible. Wiping dust off surfaces is about a million times easier if you don't have to lift and replace many small objects. Plus, the cats will just knock things down...
2. Teach the kids to clean! We usually all clean on Saturday mornings: I go to the farmer's market and the grocery store and do the laundry. DH supervises the kids while one does the bathrooms and the other vacuums the carpeted rooms of the house and the area around the doorway, including shaking out the mats. (They alternate: no one prefers bathrooms). Everyone is responsible for his own room, although I'll help organize when the boys (10 and 14) look overwhelmed. Usually, things are adequately guest-ready in about 30-45 minutes of their time, and we're set with a week's worth of meals planned and shopped for long before lunch on Saturdays. Plus, my very, very privileged boys get the message that cleaning up is something they are expected to do for themselves, rather than having someone else (female and ethnic, where we live) clean up their messes.
They started cleaning the bathrooms when they were maybe 4 and 7 and I was completely fed up with stepping or sitting in puddles of pee upon waking. My protestations were invariably met with a stereo version of "it wasn't me!"-- but the only one it absolutely couldn't be was me!  Amazingly, when they started cleaning the bathrooms, their aim improved 100%!
3. I work from home and not full-time, so I cook 95% of the time. I try to clean as I go along, but everyone can stick dishes into the dishwasher… Remaining dishes are done by one adult or the other, before bed.
4. I do cat boxes (although I've offered to pay the 10-year-old for this). We pay the interested kid to do the lawn, and the older one cleans and vacuums the cars perhaps once per quarter, for a fraction of the price we'd have to pay anyone else to do it. Other jobs are negotiable.

Jacana

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2014, 10:01:11 PM »

And, out of curiosity does anybody know how much it typically costs to "Dry" a load of laundry?  I know this will greatly depend on your appliance and your electricity rates, I just want a ballpark.  If we're talking 30 cents I'll keep using my dryer, if we're talking $3 or $5 per load, I'll probably use my dryer less....


There are calculators online if you are really curious. There's a simple one at http://energyusecalculator.com/. Ours costs about $0.28/hr. If I put the front-load washer on the highest spin cycle, it takes 30 minutes to dry a load. So... 14 cents a load. Assuming 1 load 4 days a week... ~$30 a year

RichMoose

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2014, 10:56:45 PM »
I've noticed a few people mention hanging their laundry to dry.

I wonder why they choose this instead of using the dryer?  Is it simply to save money, or do they prefer the result?

And, out of curiosity does anybody know how much it typically costs to "Dry" a load of laundry?  I know this will greatly depend on your appliance and your electricity rates, I just want a ballpark.  If we're talking 30 cents I'll keep using my dryer, if we're talking $3 or $5 per load, I'll probably use my dryer less....

I already have a line outside but right now I usually only use it for blankets/towels/tablecloths/sheets not for daily items (mostly because the bulk of our laundry is tiny kid clothes and I don't feel like hanging up the 30 or so tiny pieces that fit in 1 load.

I tend to hang dry because it saves a bit of money (in energy use and clothes wear and tear) and its environmentally friendly. I'm more or less with you though. I hang dry all towels, sheets, jeans and sweatshirts (so they don't shrink). I throw socks, underclothes, small clothes, t-shirts, and anything else small in the dryer. By hang drying the larger items, the dryer takes a short cycle rather than a long one.

MandyM

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #47 on: August 19, 2014, 06:03:53 AM »
I've noticed a few people mention hanging their laundry to dry.

I wonder why they choose this instead of using the dryer?  Is it simply to save money, or do they prefer the result?

And, out of curiosity does anybody know how much it typically costs to "Dry" a load of laundry?  I know this will greatly depend on your appliance and your electricity rates, I just want a ballpark.  If we're talking 30 cents I'll keep using my dryer, if we're talking $3 or $5 per load, I'll probably use my dryer less....

I already have a line outside but right now I usually only use it for blankets/towels/tablecloths/sheets not for daily items (mostly because the bulk of our laundry is tiny kid clothes and I don't feel like hanging up the 30 or so tiny pieces that fit in 1 load.

Straight from MMM himself:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/06/27/my-new-1000-annual-return-on-investment-clothes-dryer/

ShortInSeattle

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #48 on: August 19, 2014, 09:23:58 AM »
Great tips. Here are a few things that I've added to my routine since moving into a small studio.

1. Dishes - Empty in the morning, fill dishwasher as dishes are used, wash after dinner. (no sink/counter mess)
2. Laundry - Darks/Jeans go directly into the washer, start when full. Whites go into a laundry bag, and are washed weekly.
3. Divide & Conquer - I take care of dishes, laundry, countertop cleaning. DH does floors, garbage, recycles.

We use a Mint (like a Roomba for hardwoods) nearly every day to keep pet hair down. It runs around and cleans while we relax at night.

I use vinegar and water for most cleaning. Seems to get the job done. :)

Alex321

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Re: What is your house cleaning routine? Standard products?
« Reply #49 on: August 19, 2014, 10:54:32 AM »
For the past several years, we've had a lady come in every two weeks who cleans the whole house. In between, we're just tasked with maintenance cleaning. For a little over $100 a visit, it's well within our budget and makes life much easier.