The Tool You Can’t Clean Without

(Hint: it isn’t the soap; it’s what you do with it.)

The other day, I was deep-cleaning my apartment.  The spring cleaning bug has bitten me rather early this year…

But as I was cleaning, I realized something that I hadn’t quite put together before.  We had run out of most of our cleaning supplies, so I flipped through this book, and gathered up a few supplies we had on hand.

Everything worked well, but occasionally, there were spots that just wouldn’t come out no matter what I poured on them.  Frustrated, I grabbed a wet towel and scrubbed at them—and they came off.  Quite easily, in fact.

That’s when I realized that the best cleaning supply we have is friction.

Yes, formulas and mixtures help—sometimes it doesn’t work without them—but nothing can replace a thorough scrubbing.  This is true for most things:

Friction (or rather lack of friction) is why sometimes you have to scrub a pan even after it’s run through the dishwasher. It’s why laundry loads work better with a full load than half a load; the friction between the clothes is what cleans them. And it’s why, when no amount of soap and water will remove a jelly stain, wiping it with a cloth will.

It’s also free, non-toxic, and you don’t have to worry about your children finding it—in fact, it’s better if they do.

Getting back to a simpler life brings a lot of these realizations.  Most of the time, the old-fashioned, time-tested methods are the ones that work the best.

Have you had any cleaning revelations recently?

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5 thoughts on “The Tool You Can’t Clean Without

  1. I don’t want to appear rude, but as a slightly older homemaker, I am amazed anyone would expect any kind of mark or stain to diappear without rubbing/scrubbing/friction? Do young women depend on chemistry alone? I hope I have misunderstood, here.
    Warm water and elbow grease (i.e. friction, for those unfamiliar with the term) are all most cleaning requires, possibly a little grease-cutting soap, though sometimes hot water is enough (drop of lemon juice). Some things require cold water for a better result or to avoid fixing stains. The only modern tool I use are microfibre cloths, which make it all a little easier. Otherwise, mild soap, lemon juice and a little oil are my ingredients, no chemicals if I can help it. Just friction…

    • I understand your concern; the way I said it sounds a little naive. The truth is, I’ve always known that cleaning involves scrubbing. I’d never put a word (friction) to it, but I know how it works.

      The intention of my post was more to address the idea that cleaning companies push at us that we need THEIR product or our homes will never be clean. I wanted to emphasize that good-old fashioned scrubbing can never be replaced by new products.

      I absolutely believe in your cleaning methods. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: My Spring Cleaning Arsenal | The Color of Souls

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