Showing posts with label Bathroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bathroom. Show all posts

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cleaning with Homemade Cleaners (Take 1)

I’ve cleaned my home for many years using both handmade and store bought cleaners.  When purchasing store bought cleaners I’ve tried to stay to more natural or eco-friendly cleaners (eg. Method).  Not until recently, have I felt ready to jump in and make a switch that will hopefully eliminate my need for store bought cleaners permanently.

One area in my house I have always used store bought chemical cleaner is… the dreaded cleaning of the toilets.  I somehow thought if I used a whole bunch of chemicals in the form of a blue liquid, that this was the only way to “safely clean” my toilets.  I had a mental block preventing me from seeing another solution.  After all, I knew there had to be another way.  Otherwise how would my grandmother have cleaned hers??  I'm pretty sure she was not investing in blue liquid.  But I needed to use a recipe from someone I trust.

I recently purchased the book “The Organically Clean Home” by Becky Rapinchuk (Clean Mama).  She has changed the way I think of “clean”.  Using her book, I’m making some changes and switching to homemade, natural, chemical free cleaners throughout my home.

The Organically Clean Home (by Becky Rapinchuk) - via

For years, I have cleaned my sinks and showers with pure 100% white vinegar.  Not a nice smell I know, but I knew it worked.  I knew that vinegar has a ton of germ killing properties.  I knew that it worked well in our old house to clean up the effects of hard well water.  Heck, “vinegar” has its own label here on my blog, I use it so much.  Sometimes vinegar was the only thing that would work to clean my sinks and showers at the old house, no store bought cleaner could compare.  But I could not get past cleaning toilets naturally and without a blue liquid.  With Becky’s book, I hope to conquer this fear.

Last night, I made 2 recipes from her book.  I wanted to start with recipes I knew I would use often and would make a big difference in our house.  One recipe is for my bathrooms – Lavender and Lemon Bathroom Disinfecting Spray.   And one is for my kitchen – Tea Tree and Orange Disinfecting Cleaner.  I’m not new to Tea Tree essential oil, and I know it has MANY benefits.  But, I’m most excited that I can now replace my 100% vinegar solutions.  My nose will thank me I’m sure.  And now I won’t be worried about using my cleaners before company arrives because I was afraid of the vinegar odour.  These cleaners smell wonderful!

My first 2 cleaners from The Organically Clean Home Book
I gave the new cleaners a test run, and I am very impressed with how easy they were to throw together.  I have all the ingredients on hand.  I can now replace my homemade kitchen cleaner and my 100% vinegar bathroom cleaner.  I’m so HAPPY!

I’m excited to try more recipes from her book.  I have sticky notes all over the pages of her book, marking recipes I want to try next.  The best part is most of the recipes use ingredients I already have on hand.

The Organically Clean Home, Post its marking recipes to make later
This week, I’m going to conquer my bathroom toilet cleaning fear.  I’m giving her very simple, chemical free recipe a try.  Not only can I pronounce all the ingredients and I know what they are.  Big step.  I will let you know how I make out!

As Always,

By the way, I’m not paid for this post, all opinions are my own.  I just love her book and want to share how it is changing my cleaning routine :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Recaulking Our Master Bath Shower…

When we first moved into our house the master bath shower was in bad shape.  All the caulking was black with mildew and mold.  It was GROSS, to put it mildly.

Recaulking Our Master Bath from

Around Door Before from
I decided to give re-caulking the shower a try.  I knew it couldn't get any worse that what it was.

caulking scraper from
First, I got to work with my scraper and scraped off and cut off as much caulking as I could.

Scrape caulking from
Here are the rest of the supplies I used to complete the recaulking…

Supplies for caulking from
Next, I used the silicone remover gel.  I just needed to brush it on with the attached little brush and wait.

Caulking remover applied bottom of door from

Caulking remover applied from
Then I used paper towel and my scraper to remove more silicone caulking.  I had to repeat this process a couple of times in areas, depending how much caulking had to be removed.

after caulking removed from bottom of door from

after caulking removed from
Next, I got to work on killing the mold and mildew.  I used an old paint brush and brushed on the bleach, being very careful not to spill or splash any.  Make sure to wear protective glasses and gloves, and old clothes.  I brushed the bleach onto any surface that had mold or potential for mold to grow.

bleach mold from
After leaving the bleach sit for about an hour, I rinsed it well with water using a rag.  To get off any soap scum and hard water build up, I sprayed and washed the whole shower with vinegar and rinsed well.

Painter's tape applied to bottom of door from

Painter's tape from
I let the shower dry fully for 2 days before I could finally begin caulking.  I used painter’s tape to mark off where I wanted to caulk.  I also wore gloves because caulking is hard to get off skin.

cut caulking tube on an angle from
I cut the caulking tube on an angle and squeezed the silicone into the areas to caulk.  I find the squeezable tubes easier to control compared to the tubes that require a caulking gun.

Be sure to use caulking formulated for a bath or shower.  After applying the caulking, I spread it with my caulking applicator tool.  So much easier than using your finger and less messy too.  I find it easier to remove the tape when the caulking is still wet.

Caulking by door completed from

Caulking complete from

Such a huge difference!

As Always,

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cleaning a Jet Tub…

Our new house has a jet tub in the master bath.  I have never owned a jet tub before and had no idea of the best way to clean it.  As a result, pink grossies keep appearing in and around the jets and mildew would collect inside the jets and litter the bath water with black chunks. ICK.  I needed a solutions so I could enjoy baths again.

How to Clean a Dirty Jet Tub from
After a little research, here is what I needed to do.

How to Clean a Dirty Jet Tub from
A whirlpool or jet system should be flushed twice a month or more, depending on usage.  Check your tubs instructions, but this is what I needed to do:

1. Close air volume controls by turning the jet clockwise.

2. Fill the bath with hot water to a level 2” above the highest jets.

3. Add 4 ounces of household bleach to the water.

4. Run the whirlpool for 5 to 10 minutes, then shut off the whirlpool and drain the water.

How to Clean a Dirty Jet Tub from
5. Fill the bath with cold water to a level 2” above the highest jets, and run the whirlpool for another 5 to 10 minutes to rinse.  Drain the bath and wipe it dry with a soft cloth.

I don’t use the jet tub lots especially since we get our water hauled out (we have a cistern).  But I do enjoy an occasional bath and I’m glad I found a pretty easy way to clean and sanitize it.  Now I can enjoy baths again!

As Always,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Painting Progress… Before and After Pics

We decided to paint our whole main level before we moved in.  I’m so glad we did!  Click here for our paint choices.

Lets start with the entrance…

Entrance Before
Entrance Before

Entrance Before 2
Entrance Before

Entrance After
Entrance Mid Painting

Entrance After


Main Level Before
Living Room, Kitchen and Dining Room Before

Kitchen Before
Kitchen Before

Kitchen mid move
Kitchen in the Middle of Moving

Living Room and Dining Area After
Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen After

Kitchen After
Kitchen After

Living Room...

Living Room After without Furniture
Living Room in the Middle of Moving

Living Room After
Living Room After

Staircase to Basement…

Basement Stairs Before
Basement Staircase Before

Basement Staircase After
Basement Staircase After

Master Bath…

Master Bath Before
Master Bath Before

Master Bath Before 2
Master Bath Before

Master Bath After
Master Bath After

Now that we have painted the trim, I can’t imagine going back to the original oak.  I love the white!

As Always,

Simple is Pretty Parties Here…

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Towel Washing Advice

Do you have bath towels that don’t absorb water?  How about stinky washcloths or dishcloths?  I’ve found a solution…

Vinegar for Towels from


When I get new towels, here is what I do after I get them home from the store.  I add about 1 cup of vinegar to the wash cycle.  No need to measure, just pour.  I do this for the first couple times I wash them.  This allows the towels to absorb water better.  If you have colored towels, vinegar also helps to set the color.

Towel Washing Advice from

I also use vinegar as a fabric softener.  Don’t worry about the smell of vinegar in your laundry.  The smell is gone after the clothes are washed.  If you still smell vinegar, just give your clothes or towels an extra rinse.  Much cheaper than store bought fabric softener!

If you have stinky washcloths or dishcloths, try adding vinegar to the wash cycle to get rid of the smell.  If that doesn’t work, try soaking the cloths in a solution of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water for an hour and then throw them in the washing machine.  Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties which gets rid of that yucky smell!

Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

As Always,

Simple is Pretty Parties Here…

Friday, June 7, 2013

Decision… White Towels?

I’ve struggled with this decision for years.  Invest in white towels or not.  I’ve heard mixed reviews on keeping white towels looking clean, bright and fresh looking.  The last thing I want is stained or grey marked white towels.  YUCK.

I decided to take the plunge.  I looked a little online to get an idea of prices to replace all the towels in our house.  I scared myself.  I’ve never bought bath towels for our house.  Our collection of towels was a colorful and eclectic mix of house warming gifts, grad gifts (graduating from high school, yep that old), and towels my husband had before we got married.  On my last visit to Costco, I came across some white towels and checked out the price.  I couldn’t believe it…

Wash Cloths (24 pack) for $12.79 or $0.53 each
Hand Towels (12 pack) for $18.49 or $1.54 each
Bath Towels (6 pack) for $25.49 or $4.25 each

White Towels

The towels are nothing fancy.  Plain white 100% cotton towels.  I’ve used them for a couple months now and I’m really impressed with them so far.  They are soft and are holding up well.  Still looking CLEAN! 

I’ve retired all our old towels into rags.  My new towels make laundry easier.  They all get detergent and a little bleach.  No need to sort different colors to different bathrooms, since all our bathrooms get the same white towels.

Best part… I was able to replace all the towels in our house and didn’t break the bank!  If these white towels don’t work out for us, I don’t feel so bad since I was able to get 6 bath towels for the price of 1 towel at another store.  CRAZY!

Check out my advice for washing towels, click here.

As Always,

Sunday, May 5, 2013

FREE Printable from Tidy Mom

I came across this cute FREE printable from Tidy Mom.  Just right for our upstairs bathroom.

Upstair Bathroom printable close up  from Tidy Mom... via
I just re-purposed an old frame I already had.

Upstair Bathroom printable
It was time to replace the flower pictures and I wanted a splash of blue in the room.  Here is the Before…

Bathroom Counter After
And the After…

Upstairs Bathroom After

White Towels
Clean and Simple.  To check out more of our Upstairs Bathroom Remodel click here.

As Always,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Upstairs Bathroom Remodel

This bathroom is the most used bathroom in our home.  Most guests use and see this room.  Since we completed the downstairs bathroom remodel, we now had a fully functioning bathroom to use while we started work on the upstairs bathroom.  The upstairs bathroom desperately needed a makeover!

Check out the before…

Bathroom Before

I love looking at Pinterest for inspiration. Right now I’m really drawn to white and grey colors. I just can’t get enough of them!  I wanted the room to feel as large as possible so we decided on Gray owl (OC-52) from Benjamin Moore.

Here is the after…

Bathroom After

I have 2 small boys who use this room lots. I find less is more. I try not to keep much on the counter. Less to keep clean. As for the medicine cabinet, I gave it a little face lift a little while ago here.

Bathroom Counter Before #2

Bathroom Counter After #2

We reused the old toilet, sink, tub and tiles. The toilet was already replaced a few years ago.

Bathroom Toilet Before

Bathroom Toilet After

My husband installed a new counter top to replace the old scratched, scarred, green counter top. Such a huge difference.

Sink Before

Bathroom Counter After

The faucets needed an update so they were replaced.  We were able to also reuse most of the hardware and towel racks.  I spray painted the brass on the towel bars and toilet paper holder to give it a quick update.  The light fixture got a quick spray as well.

Fixture Paint

Fixture Before brass finish

Fixture After

The old linoleum had holes in it and was way passed its prime. We installed new vinyl waterproof flooring right over top of the old lino.

Bath Tub Before

The bathtub needed some attention.  The previous owners must have had tub stickers at one time because outlines of little butterflies were on the left bottom of the tub.  The tub was almond and the tiles on the walls are white.  This difference in color drew even more attention to the almond butterfly tub.  Not the look I was going for.

Shower and Tub After

To save some money, we painted our tub with special white bath tub epoxy and regrouted the bath tiles.

Shower Curtain After

I also used a bright and modern shower curtain to lighten things up.

Bathroom BeforeBathroom After

Our bathroom is so much brighter and cleaner.  Such an improvement!


As Always,

Simple is Pretty Parties Here…

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