The price of a clean room

Yesterday I found out the going price for a clean bedroom. I told my son to clean his room. He HATES cleaning his room. Instead, he paid his sister to clean it for him. He just sat back and told her where things belonged. She did all the work, although I think also he helped her make the bed. I don’t care as long as it got done by anyone other than me. So what’s the going rate for hiring your little sis’ to do your chores?

Apparently it is $3 for the work, and another $2 if it passed inspection the first time. I didn’t even get out of his room before she had her hand out demanding payment. 😆

What do you use water for?

My husband and I own many apartment buildings. All the units have modern low flow toilets and shower heads which cut our bills in half when we installed them. On average, they currently use about 50 gallons of water/person every day. Not 50 gallons per apartment, but 50 per person! That seems incredibly high to me but it is the average in all the buildings so it’s not like one building is using more than others unless there is a leak.  Nor do we water lawns.  So this is all domestic use by the tenants.

I have 4 people in my family. Even when doing laundry and we all have a bath, we won’t use 200 gallons in a day. We have a 1000 tank which lasts us about 3 weeks. So I’d like to know a few things about your water use. For you homeschoolers, this may make a good conservation project or discussion starter.

1. How much water does your family use averaged per person each day?
2. What do you do to use all the water?
3. Are you trying to cut back on your water usage and if so how?

Please leave me a comment letting me know. Thanks!

Spring car cleaning

My husband went to Seattle for a week this afternoon  😦  However, I decided to take advantage of the extra spare time with the car, that is to say time he isn’t in it, to thoroughly clean it inside. I’m not a neat freak, but after a busy winter maintaining 3 coal boilers, there was coal dust along with just regular dirt and grime everywhere. I try to clean inside the car extra good about 3 times a year, usually late spring, mid-summer, and early fall. Now that breakup is over, it was definately time to get in there and clean, clean, clean.

The kids sorted all the toys and trash in back while I sorted papers and other stuff that had accumulated up front. Then it was time to start wiping. I used half a roll of paper towels and about a third of a bottle Armoral. Finally, swipe the windows with Windex and it’s almost a new inside. What a difference! I just need to get to the super vac at the car wash to finish.

Not only did the car get cleaned, but my husband had one of our maintenance men clean out his truck. There’s now a pile of stuff for him to sort through when he gets back next week. If I have time before he gets back, I’ll surprise him by wiping inside it too.

Unfortunately, even after all the cleaning, the reader I want to use for my daughter still hasn’t shown up. I was almost certain my son left it in one of the vehicles. We found lots of “lost” toys and other books, but not the one I really wanted to find.

Cleaning the microwave

This is a subject I don’t post about very often, basic household cleaning. However, I do come across a tip from time to time that works so well I just have to share. Today is such an occasion. This tip relates to cleaning the microwave.

I don’t like harsh cleaners. I use them to clean apartments between tenants because they are quick and effective for thoroughly cleaning unknown crud. But at home, I prefer mild soaps and hot water. In my bathroom I do use a bleach cleaner in the toilet. For the sinks and tub though, I use a powder without bleach, perfume, phosphorus, or dye called Bon Ami (works just as well as Comet or Ajax but without all the harsh ingredients). Usually just a wet cloth is enough to clean the counters. In the kitchen I use a bleach cleaner occasionally inside the refrigerator to keep away mold, but usually just warm water.

I use regular dish soap on my dishes, but not bleach or antibacterial. I can understand the need to bleach dishes in a commercial setting such as a daycare or restaurant when you don’t know what kinds of germs are on them. At home, I know who’s sick and with what. The germs are in the air and from coming into contact with the person most of the day. Chances are if one of us will catch it, the dishes aren’t the most likely reason.

Also, recent studies have shown that children in homes where antibacterial products are used (including dish and hand soaps), the chances of getting asthma and other respiratory illness increases. The homes are actually too clean so that the kids can’t build up immunity. Plus, the small percentage of germs left become super germs resistant to antibiotics and therefore are more dangerous. So anyway, that’s why in a nutshell I don’t use them.

A side note here since it’s flue season. Along with regular cleaning, vacuum more often when someone is sick. A recent study shown that germs are killed as you vacuum due to the harsh action, especially upright ones.

Still, I like a clean kitchen. After washing the dishes, I use the rinse water to wash my counters and stove. Sometimes I have to let water sit on a stubborn spot for a few minutes, (especially applesauce or oatmeal) but it will eventually rinse off. A friend occasionally washes my counters. She smears dish soap on the rag then washes them. Unfortunately, she doesn’t rinse them, so we have soap residue left on the counters. Ugh. She does the same at her house only she uses the antibacterial soap.

Often I forget to wash inside the microwave, or only do a quick wipe to the tray. Especially since we don’t use it very often other than heating water to make bread. On Saturdays, I try to do an extra good job cleaning the house. Today that included cleaning the microwave. While the bottom tray was clean, there was a lot of bits of dried on food stuck to the sides and top. (It’s amazing how many people never clean the sides and top inside.) A hard wiping with a wet dish rag got off about half of it. Now, I can’t exactly soak the sides or top like I do the table to get off the stuck on bits.

Instead, I filled a shallow dish about half full of water then turned the microwave on high for 5 minutes. This got the water to boil for awhile and filled the inside with steam. After a few minutes, I opened the door and wiped it clean including around the bottom edge under the tray. Finally, I left the door open for it to dry. Easy and clean with no harsh cleaners.