One room is clean! I got started on cleaning the rest of the living room walls and Mom got home early from court so she jumped in and helped me Big Time! I am a smoker plus I have a wood stove in the living room so the walls get covered in smoke and tar that can be tough to clean. A few tools and cleaners really helped Mom and me get the walls clean:
- Magic Eraser sponges: You can get generic “magic eraser sponges” cheaper at Big Lot’s or the Dollar Stores compared to the cost of the Mr. Clean magic eraser sponges. These little sponges do a great job on textured surfaces, bathtub rings and the glass on my wood stove. A big plus for these sponge clean very well using just water.
- A big car washing sponge: I get these at the local dollar stores and they work great for cleaning off dirt efficiently. These sponges also work great for cleaning pet hair off furniture and carpets when you use them slightly damp. They work better than any lint brush I have used. When the sponge collects up hair just give it a rinse and most of the hair will fall off the sponge.
- Get both a soft and stiff bristle scrub brushes at the dollar stores. These are cheap and you should find many ues for them around the house. The soft bristle brushes tend to work best on hard surfaces like walls and the hard/stiff brisle brushes tend to work better on soft surfaces like rugs and fabrics.
- Mom’s Carpet cleaner is a Bissel “Deepclean essential complete” and looks like a beast of a machine but is very easy to use with my disability. My favorite feature besides it doing a great job cleaning a carpet, the machine is super easy to clean up after you are done. My old carpet cleaner had all kinds of nooks and cranny’s that were almost impossible to get clean without dismantling it. This carpet cleaner is a breeze to clean the tank, the beater bar and where the dirty water is sucked into the machine. I also recommend the cordless bissel spot bot if you have pets or kids for small little carpet messes.
- Dawn dish soap: This is about the best multi-surface cleaners I have used. From dishes to a fabric spot remover to cleaning walls it is great. If you find the concentrated version buy it!
- Spray cleaners: I used First Street Degreaser that I bought at Cash in Carry for around $4.50 per gallon. Mom used Lysol Lemon scent multi-surface cleaner/anti-bacterial, she can buy for $2.00-$2.50 per quart. Both worked great on cleaning the tar stains on the walls but the First Street degreaser was a bit cheaper by the gallon. I have tried both Bleach and sudsy Ammonia to clean my walls and both the Lysol and First Street cleaner did a better job without all of the fumes or smell of bleach or ammonia. Always follow the directions on the cleaner as adding more cleaner will not make it work better. Heck a few times I was driven out of the barracks in the Army by simple pine-sol becuase some idiot figured if a little works good more will make it clean faster/better! Trust me it is not true of Pine-sol and playing that game with ammonia or bleach can seriously harm or kill you.
Some people claim “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. I looked it up in the dictionary and cleanliness is next to cleavage. LOL Seriously, having a clean home is a very good idea for preparedness. A little dust and dirt will not hurt you normally but if the grid goes down for a couple of weeks. I know I want every dish and pan in the house clean, laundry is done, bathroom is clean, floors are vacumed/mopped. If you do a deep clean in Spring and Fall and keep up basic cleanliness every week, you can let indoor cleaning slide for a week or two in a disaster. Since I usually have no idea when a disaster will hit I do normal cleaning, If a storm is coming I clean everything that requires power such as vacuuming or washing clothes prior to the storm. I have a couple of good size generators with fuel and oil so I can run my fridge and freezer for a couple of weeks and perhaps run a couple of other appliances. But fuel will run out eventually and giving yourself some time to adjust to the new normal is well worth the work.
As you deep clean you start to notice things around the house that need fixing. Perhaps it is simple little water leaks/dripping faucets, paint, caulking or somewhat major like a cracking foundation. This is a great time to try DIY type projects and the internet is chockful of instructions for simple plumbing or carpentry jobs. I will admit I’m a bit skittish on any DIY plumbing job that requires turning off the water main. I have plenty of water stored, but I also know how much effort is involved to move/heat water. Trust me it sucks even with practice!
As a prepper you should learn basic home repair skills, have the tools needed to do the job. Because if tshf you may be on your own. But putting off a plumbing job long enough for the apocalypse is probably not wise idea! While you may not be able to pay off your home, you can make basic repairs and improve your security a little bit each month.