DIY kid-friendly cleaners
I can’t see myself in my bathroom mirror. Nah, it’s not cracked or anything, my youngest just got into a cleaning kick the other day and rubbed the entire thing with a sudsy washcloth. She was so proud of herself. Even though I’d like to be able to see a little more clearly, I don’t want to discourage her efforts.
So just how do you convince your kids to clean up? Lately, I’ve been giving that some thought, especially since my kids are in the kitchen with me so much. I don’t just want them to help in the cooking–and eating part–I’d like to get them into the cleaning up afterwards routine too.
That can be tricky with heavy cast-iron pans, knives and caked on cooking gunk. And then there’s the temptation to redo what they’ve already done (which is why I’m still squinting at myself in the mirror). While I don’t have the whole solution, I’ve been getting some ideas from Secrets to Cleaning with Kids on Motherboard.
One solution I’ve been working out is trying to use products I have on hand to clean up instead of breaking out heavy duty cleaners. Here’s a few ideas I’ve found–I’m excited to hear yours.
Baking soda paste for stove tops/counter. Give the steel wool a rest and instead make a paste of 4 parts baking soda to I part water and then spread it on your stove top. And you don’t have to be too precise, just dump a little baking soda in a cup with a little water until it’s a clingy consistency. Leave on the stove top for a few minutes and then let your kids wash it away with damp kitchen cloths.
Mandarin orange rinds instead of sponges. Paige Wolf, author of Spit That Out: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt rubs mandarin orange and lemon rinds leftover from dinner all along the inside of her sink to clean and de-gunk it. She even used it on her stuck-on, stained George Foreman Grill and it came out squeeky clean. Right now, her son is just 18 months old so he won’t be the one doing the scrubbing, but Paige says he’s happy to do the eating part.
Bye-bye stopped up drains. I haven’t tried this yet but I think my kids would get a kick out of it. Fellow blogger buddy Kris Bordessa uses a mixture of 1 cup each of salt and baking soda and pour it down your drain (it’ll kind of pile up on over the drain hole). Then slowly pour 4-5 cups of boiling water over the dry mixture. She has lots of other tips to share on her blog, Attainable Sustainable.
Your turn: do you have any cleaners that your kids can use? Or do you have a tip to share about how to get your crew to clean up?