You don’t need me to tell ya that adulting ain’t easy. The glory days of chores when “sweep floor” or “fold laundry” were the hard ones are looooong gone, and now the choice is: do I step up my ish and actually learn how to thoroughly *clean*, or do I skate through life pushing things under rugs (literally), living the pretense of a clean life but seriously hoping I don’t catch something from the mold in the shower because #FakeItTilYouMakeIt and #priorities.
I know, I know…tough choice, amiright? 😉 Really tho, it’s time to clean like a grown up. Due time. Let’s go, Erica. Get yo’ head in the game.
As much as I love baby wipes, hand sanitizer and all-purpose cleaner, there comes a time when you realize that adulting is messy in and of itself – ain’t nobody got time for literal mess in the one place you can actually control it (ie., yo’ home/personal space). Once J and I bought our own house, I quickly (very quickly) learned that cleaning a house is *much* different than cleaning a dorm room or one-room studio. For starters, there are multiple rooms (Captain Obvious over here). This means multiple carpets, floors, walls, and ceiling fans that collect dust for actual years before someone notices black soot flying off the fan in the heat of summer. Jokes, but not really. 😉 We’ve got more than one bathroom, too, meaning multiple toilets, showers and sinks. And then there’s an actual fully-functioning kitchen where more than ramen noodles and rice cakes is served – imagine that! I’m #blessed with a hubby who loves to cook AND two cats, so between the four of us, we definitely needed to figure out how to do a true, hearty, deep clean. Ya feel?
I was never a big bleach girl before having my own place. In my defense, in college I’d typically wait until I absolutely HAD to do laundry, and by then I had 4-5 loads; I was motivated just enough to spend a Saturday doing it all, and I was not about to go above and beyond by bleaching my sheets. My sheets were also black. HA. 😉
Now, though, I’m all about going all out and cleaning to get things really squeaky clean. Beyond that, I’m also on a budget. If I can pick up products that work for multiple things, you bet yo’ bottom dollar and weekly Starbucks run that I’ll be multi-purposing that UP.
I admittedly had NO clue how many different uses bleach has until I did some research, and girlfriend, there are a lot. So, here are my 5 favorite cleaning hacks using bleach, for all of my fellow millennials who not-so-secretly need to learn a thing or two about what *actual* clean looks + feels like.
1.) Shower grout.
Y’all. Black in the shower isn’t cute. It’s mold. Disclaimer: we have black coloration on our tiles, so the black there is NOT mold. Thankyoukindly. Any sort of weird yellow or any other discoloration in the grouting between tiles isn’t good, either. And when you’ve got black on your shower curtain…also mold. Are you grossed out yet? Because I am.
To combat it, mix 1⁄2 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach with 1 gallon of water to create an easy lil’ disinfecting solution. Let the solution stay on the surface for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water or allowing it to dry. I recommend adding a little elbow grease; if you don’t have a magical fairy wand brush handy, a regular cleaning brush or sponge used just for chemical cleaning will do the trick. 😉
This difference was SO obvious to us after letting bleach solution on a section for ~3-5 minutes only. Literally, you can see where the line of darker orangeish red picks back up from where we stopped!
Tip: Always mix yo’ bleach with water to dilute the formula, and use rubber gloves if you’ve got sensitive skin!
2.) Sanitize cutting boards + kitchen utensils.
Germs and bacteria basically LIVE in your kitchen. Great thought, since that’s where you eat, drink and make merry amiright? Luckily, a bit o’ bleach can go along way with kitchen tools that regularly come into contact with things like raw meat, or things that take a toll when you + your gal pals go a *bit* too hard baking before The Bachelor and egg the place.
For plastic cutting boards, first rinse it off with liquid dishwashing detergent and water before soaking it in a solution of 2 teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water. Let it sit for a few minutes before airing dry; I like to wipe mine down for that extra bit of scrub.
For wooden cutting boards, use about 2 tablespoons of Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water. Do the same drill: wash/wipe/rinse with dish detergent first, then apply the bleach solution and let it go (just make sure you don’t soak any of your boards in bleach overnight!).
3.) Make flowers last longer!
This one blew. my. mind. Honestly, I didn’t think it would work. But, obviously I don’t know my way around bleach yet, because this works like a charm. I put a cap full of Clorox® Regular-Bleach in my vase of water before putting in my roses; the recommendation is 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per quart of cold water. Even though it seems counter-intuitive to put a chemical like bleach on delicate flowers, it actually makes fresh cut blooms last longer! Why? #SCIENCE. It kills bacteria on the stems, and it sterilizes the water, preventing it from becoming cloudy and gross midweek.
I do this *all* the time anymore, because it WORKS!!! And you guys know how I love my roses…
Tip: If you’re pouring bleach, do NOT do it over furniture. Make sure you’re not standing over or wearing anything that you’d hate discoloring, since bleach can do that. 😉
4.) Sanitize + clean out trash cans.
You know that *ratchet* smell that comes from kitchen trash cans…sometimes even when you’ve just changed out the bag and there’s nothing even IN the can?! YUP, shouldn’t be there. You can wash your trash cans with soapy water, rinse, then deodorize + sanitize with 1⁄2 cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach and 1 gallon of water inside the basin. TBH, I cheated a little and didn’t even use soap – I just let it sit in bleachy water for 5 minutes before swishing it around and then scrubbing the sides by hand to really kill alllllllll germs.
TIP: This tricks works for coolers, too!
5. ) Basic – bleach yo’ whites.
The bleach hack we all know + love for whiter whites. I honestly did NOT realize how huge a difference bleach makes on whites until I started actually using it on whites separately (and not just throwing anything light-colored in there together…#BeenThereDoneThat.)
Tip: Don’t throw your more delicate white tees in with your white sheets or towels. They’re more fragile and will wear faster, especially if it’s a lighter material and you’re wearing it often. Do delicate whites separately, on a more gentle cycle and with less bleach.
Can we talk about how cheap bleach is?! Really tho, it’s cleaning. It’s not shoes or handbags, chicas. 😉 You don’t need fancy schmancy products and gizmos to get the job done here – you need elbow grease and products that actually work. Cost-effective will do the trick. Clorox® Regular-Bleach disinfects to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria. And I swear when they say 99.9%, it’s because someone somewhere will try to sue in that so-rare-it’s-basically-non-existent case when they do something stupid and try to blame it on the bleach. HA.
Do you use bleach for multiple purposes? And do you know any fun cleaning hacks that make a day of chores less awful?
Pleasepleaseplease, help a sistah out. If you know anything/everything about more ways to use bleach, or just other ways to clean better easier, drop it in a comment below!
*This post is in partnership with Clorox. When using bleach, always adhere to proper guidelines for product use, follow label directions, adhere to suggested bleach measurements, and take care to avoid mixing bleach with other chemicals. As always, all opinions and thoughts presented are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!