Guest Post: Jenn Hein, Cleaning Guru

Jenn is a very good friend of mine here. Among other things, she is an expert at cleaning and cleaning products. Her house is immaculate; three kids under the age of 5 (I know, I know, she makes us all look bad). I have her on speed dial so when I’m in a situation i.e. Baby Hank ____ (verb, past tense) on the _____(noun, household item) she is only a click away to tell me exactly what I should use to get the stain out. She is also thrifty and green (a combination I thought couldn’t exist). But she does it, and she’s going to tell us all how. Plus she’s gorgeous, so she makes cleaning look super hot. 1. What are your favorite cleaning products and for what surfaces?

I think my favorite green cleaning products are baking soda and vinegar and I will tell you why. They are so cheap and versatile. Plus, you can buy them in bulk to save on container garbage aka what ends up in the landfill after they are used and gone. These are the two fundamental products of green cleaning. There are plenty of websites that will tell you just how great they are good ones.

I have recently started using a product by Shaklee called Basic H2. I absolutely LOVE this product. I use it to clean the bathroom and kitchen, mirrors or anything you want to sparkle like chrome or windows. It’s super concentrated like nothing I have ever seen before. It has absolutely NO smell which in todays world of “clean fresh scents” it takes a little getting used to, but it’s worth it. It does a great job. If you buy any one product out there, buy this one (and no, I’m not a sales rep for the company).

2. Talk to me about getting out stains. Baby Hank leaves his mark wherever he goes and in whatever he wears.

Ok. Stains. First of all, I will mention a wonderful but non-green product called the Magic Eraser. I have no idea what it is made of but never ceases to amaze me. One thing I have noticed is that if you use it enough, it practically disintegrates, so that seems green-ish, right?

Two other fabulous stain removers that I have found, also non-green, are Spray and wash with resolve and Zout triple action spray. I only use very little of both and will continue until I find a greener option but for now they are on my go to list for stains.

Borax. It’s similar to OxiClean. I have soaked stained clothes in it and it gets out most stains. It’s cheap and easy and you can get a big box of it at your grocery store. I have also heard it is great at cleaning those yucky plastic, porous tubs. If you don’t know what I am talking about you are lucky and if you do, I am soooo sorry.

Hydrogen peroxide is another essential in my house for removing stains. It is the BEST at getting out protein based stains like grass, blood and perspiration stains. I use it full strength, but as with vinegar you would want to try diluting it and using it first in an inconspicuous area before going full strength.
As far as carpets and rugs go, I don’t have very much of either. My house is mostly wood floor and we don’t wear shoes in the house so the rugs stay pretty clean. I am also hoping to purchase a
steam cleaner in the next little while for my floors.

3. Last time you were over you made fun of my swiffer and broom you called ‘decorative’. What should I be using to clean my kitchen floors?

A good soft broom is my favorite. Swiffers work great, but you leave a deposit in the landfill with what you throw away. Plus you can never seem to get the bigger crumbs with a swiffer so you have to go to a broom anyway. I sweep a couple times a day (I know, it’s a little obsessive, but like I said, we don’t wear shoes in the house and I hate it when stuff sticks to my feet!). That usually does the trick. I also mop with hot water and vinegar occasionally or wipe up any spills with a mixture of castile soap and water. I am hoping the steam cleaner will do the job even better.

4. Are there certain cleaning products you would never buy an off brand version of?

I love off brand versions! I haven’t come across one yet I didn’t like. There aren’t many off brand environmentally friendly products out there yet, but as the bigger companies start going green, you will see more and more.

5. Honestly now. How often do you clean your bathtub?

Liz, I think this question is just to make you feel better. I clean my bathtub once a week, honestly…

6. What are some cleaning tips you have found to work that others may have not thought of?

First of all, I have mentioned vinegar. I have used vinegar full strength to clean my floors, toilet, chrome, mirrors and to get off water stains on just about everything. I have also used it to get pet stains out of the carpet. However, not everyone loves the smell of vinegar. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil and viola! It leaves a very light lemon scent behind and cuts the vinegar smell. It’s one of the cheaper essential oils too.

Another fun trick I discovered after using bottle after bottle of draino, is a plunger works even better. I am on the look-out for a mini plunger to use in my sink, tub and even garbage disposal. Fabulous!

And last but not least…Never underestimate the power of a good cleaning rag, scrubbie, sponge etc.
I am in love with microfiber!

Thanks Jenn!!! {I think if she knew how often I really scrubbed my kitchen floors or cleaned the bathroom tub, we might not be friends}

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