March 15, 2012

Getting Priorities Straight

I've gotten off track lately on spending and I'm doing everything I can to pull myself back on budget.  I have been overspending on groceries because I haven't been planning.  When I don't plan, I overspend.

I haven't had time to just sit and plan as I have been spending a lot of time volunteering at my church.  I love helping out and being part of something bigger but in the middle of "the fun,"  I realized that I had neglected home and family.  So - time to put things in perspective and put first things first. 

I decided to spend this week at home getting things organized and cleaned. As with the rest of the country we are experiencing beautiful weather.  When the weather is warm and the sun is out, I look around my house and see the dirt and dust.  Time to get at it.  I left a note for my family yesterday so that they would be aware that some big time cleaning was going to take place beginning today.  In the note I said that they were to beware of loud music being played in the living room and the smell of cleaning fluids would be permeating the air.

I had high hopes and high expectations that were totally unrealistic.  But --- I did make some progress.

I am on a quest to really deep clean my house without using a lot of harsh chemicals.  The first thing I tackled today was the large area rug in our livingroom.  Our labrador retriever had some urinary tract problems a couple of weeks ago and she had a couple of accidents in the same spot.  I cleaned them the best I could at the time, but sure enough when the warm weather began this week I could smell the faint smell of doggy urine.  

Now this is not a small area rug.  It is 11 x 7 feet.  Our living room has two of these rugs in it.  After doing some research on the web I decided to try the following.  I took equal amounts of white vinegar and water and I saturated the area.  Vinegar is supposed to neutralize the ammonia in the dog urine.  This morning I noticed another area of the rug that kind of smelled so I had two areas to treat.  I took a scrub brush and lightly scrubbed this solution into the rug making sure it went to the back side.  Then I also saturated the pad underneath with the vinegar solution.  The pad isn't very thick at all.  

I allowed the area rug and pad to absorb the vinegar solution for about 30 minutes.  Then I took a small wet dry vac and vacuumed up as much of the water as possible.  By this time the house was smelling a lot like vinegar and I decided it would be best to move the rug outside and let it dry on the back deck.  

I started to scrub the pad when I realized that I should just wash it in the washing machine.  I had a sample of Tide with Febreze and I decided that today was the day to give it a try.  When this was done, it went out on the deck. 

When the rug was almost dry I took a box of baking soda and sprinkled it over "the affected area" of the rug and then rubbed it in the carpet.  The baking soda is supposed to help make the rug smell fresh and remove the odor.  The rug is still outside and I am letting it sit overnight to totally dry out. 

The next step in all of this is to vacuum up the baking soda and apply a solution of 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of Dawn.  I'm not sure about this one as I don't want the color of the area rug to be affected.  So I may do a variation on this one. 

I am considering taking a couple of teaspoons of oxyclean and diluting that in a little bit of water and then adding it to some more Tide with Febreze, diluting it all down and then pouring it on the rug and letting it sit.  Then I will scrub it a little and rinse it with my garden hose. 

I am hoping that the vinegar and baking soda will have done their trick and then the Oxyclean and Tide with Febreze will finish it.  The rinsing of the rug with a garden hose will totally get all of the remnants of baking soda and detergents out of the rug as I don't want these to attract dirt.  Perhaps a good final rinse will make the rug smell fresh again. 

The jury is out on this one as to if it will work.  It's worth a try as I can't have a "smelly" rug in my living room and nothing else seems to work.  I bought some really expensive stuff from the Vet but it didn't take care of the entire problem.

The rest of my afternoon was spent washing my hardwood floors in the living room with Murphy's oil soap.  

I want to start making more and more of my cleaning products but I still own some store bought products such as the Murphy's oil soap.  I am going to use up what I have on hand and then I will start replacing those cleaners with homemade versions.   


Debby said...

It is hard to keep up with food when you have a large food storage pantry, I built a spreadsheet this past fall that seems to be helping some. I highlight in yellow what we are getting low on then only buy whats needed (most of the time)Staying away from the store is the biggest help of all! Ha Good luck with your spring cleaning

Jenny said...

I just found your blog yesterday and am enjoying reading and learning. Thanks! We have 2 dogs that could be more diligent in the "going" outdoors. Have you tried Nature's Miracle. I don't know if it really takes care of the odors in the opinions of our dogs, but I am completely unaware of any lingering odors. Thanks for writing a helpful and transparent post!

~Carla~ said...

Good for you! I use vinegar & water as much as I can for cleaning. Good luck with getting your stuff done! :)

Maria S. said...

Also try 20 Mule Team Borax for absorbing odors--it's amazing stuff and very reasonable!!

Sue said...

I've been enjoying your blog very much and have had it on my "favorites bar"! I just passed on the Liebster Blog Award to you as I hope it will bring more people to your blog so they can enjoy it too. You will see it on my blog.

Sue said...

I have been enjoying your blog very much and have it on my Favorites Bar. I passed on the Liebster Blog Award to you hoping others will find and enjoy your blog just as much as I do. You can see all about it on my blog.