Thursday, September 6, 2012

3 Weird Cleaning Tips I Use Regularly. Seriously!

     I read a bunch of cleaning tips on the internet, and I wonder how many people actually take the time to gather the materials to use them. I am not the most organized person in the world. I am also very forgetful. It runs in the family. I forget everything... from why I walked into a room... to my daughter's birth year. I gave up taking a daily vitamin a long time ago. So it's no surprise that my cleaning tips are things that I find in the yard or are super easy to do. I find whatever is at hand. I'd like to think that I am recycling or reusing, but, really, I'm just too lazy to walk back to the house. The following tips are more farm and animal-related tips than house cleaning tips.

 Tip One: Onion Bag
 My hands are always dirty. I'm the person that has to wash their bar soap after using it. I don't particularly like to use pump soap because the bottle usually gets covered in grime and looks none too pleasing to pump. My artist Mom taught me this trick. Cut up an onion bag and wrap it around your bar soap. It makes even the most stubborn soap create a luxurious lather. It scrubs your hands clean at the same time. You can also tie a string to the onion bag and have a nice soap-on-a-rope for outdoor use.
Tip Two: Leaves!  
Please do not underestimate the scrubbing power of leaves. Our horse trough is far enough away from the house that I really don't feel like walking back to find a scrubber. I just grab a big handful of whatever leaves are closest. The bigger the leaves, the better. I've scrubbed a horse trough with sycamore leaves, pecan branches, ginger lilies, an old palm branch and some other things laying around. Leaves are wonderfully abrasive and clean up the algal bloom on the trough quite nicely. Just make sure you rinse the leaves out before you fill up the trough!
Tip Three: Pea Gravel
        We have a guinea pig. His name is Ponyo. He is named after the little sea creature girl Ponyo in the movie Ponyo. He's scampering around with a girl's name and making a real mess of his enclosure. He has been outside this spring and summer and his water bottle used to get algae on the inside of it until I thought up this little trick. I know that this is the time where you say, "why doesn't she just hang a bottle brush next to Ponyo's house?" My retort is, "do you have children?" If I did not have kids, I would hang a bottle brush and BAM! Done! However, kids move everything that is not nailed down. I can already see the next headline on the local newspaper: "Woman Spends Thousands of Dollars Replacing Bottle Brushes for Ponyo." So, anyway, back to my point. Instead of using a bottle brush, I grab a handful of pea gravel from one of our failed walkway attempts, drop it down into the bottle, fill about halfway with water, screw the lid back on and then get to shaking. In just a few shakes, I've cleaned a water bottle, cleaned some rocks and gotten some exercise. It's a real win-win... especially for little Ponyo.

I will not even pretend like I have a spotless house, so I will not list ways to clean it. For a house showing once, I literally threw dirty dishes in a cardboard box and put them in the back of the truck. I am the "messy house, happy kids, happy chickens" type. Do you have any weird ways to clean around the farm? Let me know by leaving a comment or let me know on Facebook. Thanks!


  1. I've been reading your blog and thinking to myself "man, she runs a farm. Takes care of animals, processes her own chickens, sews, cooks, takes care of the kids, photography. All this while *I* can barely keep the house picked up, much less super clena and organized. I'm so glad to hear your house isn't perfectly clean.

    And that's what I took from this post. Ha! (Also, if you hung a brush on a cage outside, wouldn't it just get filthy anyway? Pea gravel is a much better idea!)

  2. BRILLIANT! and you are so right, everything that isn't nailed down moves - on its own, sometimes. And I only have ONE child. GREAT tips, and I can use ALL THREE,thank you very much.

  3. Nice tips! I am with you, the easier the better and happy animals are more important than a spotless house.