Who fired the maid?

When a friend of mine used to walk into her messy apartment, she used to say, “who fired the maid?” This was in jest, of course, because she didn’t have a maid.

We, on the other hand, had been having a cleaning service come in twice a month for the last couple of years. It seemed like quite the luxury, but not without its annoyances.

For one, they weren’t terribly consistent on when they arrived. Two, you feel like you have to leave your house when they are there so that you aren’t in their way. Three, you have to rush to clean up before they come so they can actually find your floors and such to clean. Four, it freaked out the cat … and a few times we thought she ran away. Five, I asked them to use green cleaners, and I think they nodded and smiled but didn’t really do it because the place always smelled way too chemically when we got home. Six, they would always put stuff away in random places (likely because we weren’t too great at cleaning up the clutter in the first place).

Well, one of the new years resolution was to cut back on expenses. So, I fired the maids. 😦 I figured this was an opportunity to turn a new leaf and A) actually clean things myself and B) venture into the green cleaning products.

First, I made my own laundry detergent. Which I LOVE! Here’s the recipe:
– 3 cups of borax
– 2 cups of grated bar soap. (I did mine with lavender scented soap in the food process with the shredding attachment. I didn’t smell the lavendar after all was mixed up, so next time I’ll use cheaper, all natural soap)
– 2 cups of baking soda (arm & hammer)
– 2 cups of washing soda (arm & hammer)

Mix these together and you are D-O-N-E. Use 2 tablespoons per load. Clothes come out just as clean as with store bought fancy shmancy detergent. (I read online that if you use the basic bar soap like Kirk’s Castile soap, the cost of the detergent comes out to about a penny a load)

Then, I made floor cleaner! We have a swiffer, and we have a regular mop. But I couldn’t find the swiffer sheet — and I don’t think they work all that well anyway, so we went with the sponge mop approach.

The recipe:
– mix 1/3 cup of Borax, 1/3 cup of baking soda with one gallon of warm water. Add one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. I added a few drops of lavendar essential oils, but I think next time I’d like to try orange or lemon.

And then! I actually cleaned the floors!

I realized that what I always really looked forward to the maids for was having that clean the kitchen floor. It gets pretty grimy with all the foot traffic and cooking that goes on in there. So, if that was my big incentive for house cleaning service, that amounts to a monthly saving of roughly $230. Not too shabby.


1 Comment

  1. Gretchen said,

    February 12, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Very impressed! One of my coworkers makes her on laundry detergent too. I’ll have to think about that instead of my TJ’s liquid…

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