DIY Cleaning | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

DIY Cleaning | Mark’s Remarks

By on January 17, 2018 at 9:30 am

This time of the year, there seems to be a good amount of cleaning out, polishing up, and scrubbing down.

After tearing down the Christmas stuff, the absence of lights and shiny things sitting around may seem a little depressing. So, why not take the beginning of the new year and spit-shine a few things?

Michelle and I constantly gripe about the price of things.  We run out of a cleaning product and go to pick it up at the store. Even at discount stores, a lot of cleaning items are too expensive, in our opinion.

As late bloomers to most things new and innovative, it took us a while to get on the Pinterest bandwagon. However, one day we started reading about do-it-yourself cleaning products and decided to try our hand at mixing up a few concoctions.

Our first shot was hardwood floor cleaner, with ingredients that included tea, dish soap, and water, among other things. We mixed up the stuff and followed the instructions. Neither of us thought it did a particularly great job at making the floors look clean and shiny. In fact, they even felt a little sticky. We had followed the instructions to a T, and were disappointed with the results.

Next, our potion of choice was a DIY tile-and-grout cleaner, which I know turned out as  a sort of paste made with vinegar, peroxide and baking soda.  This one was a success. We keep a container of it handy for periodic scrubs here and there.

With our spic-and-span tile shining in our memory, we set about trying many other mixtures to make the house cleaner.  Sure, we used the old vinegar-and-water mix for windows and shiny things. We purchased rubbing alcohol for some of our experiments and were constantly using vinegar for just about everything.

One day, we were searching high and low for a couple of very special ingredients; I don’t even remember what they were as I write this. All I remember is that we eventually looked at three different stores for one particular item. I am not sure we ever found what we were looking for. 

It suddenly occurred to us that we were working way too hard to purchase all the ingredients for the DIY products. We also had spent a good deal of money buying everything we needed even though much of it was inexpensive. It adds up when you are trying to go “all DIY.”

It was our final opinion that most of the cleaners we made ourselves weren’t quite as effective as we had hoped.

In the end, we still embrace baking soda, peroxide, vinegar, and good old bleach as standout products in the DIY world.  Those products almost never let us down in the quest to clean and scrub.

Still, we gravitated back to a few of our old brand name cleaners -– and we decided how to save money on all of them!

Just clean less. Good idea?


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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.