cleaning your scottsdale home for sale with a bucket and spongeThis is yet another Throwback Thursday post.  It was originally written on November 29, 2005.  Sellers are still putting their homes on the market for the summer selling season.  We're waiting for two listings to get ready for showings.  The sellers are de-cluttering, cleaning up, painting, etc.

This post goes hand-in-hand with Staging Your Home for Sale.  Even though it was written a decade ago it still holds true for today. The first step to marketing your property is getting it as clean as possible. I'd like this to be an interactive post. I need more tips! Here are a few I've found and I'll keep adding to this.

  • Mr. Clean Erasers - This is great for marks on walls and other things, like the refrigerator. You should wipe the surface down with a damp cloth after using the eraser to get rid of any residue.
  • For dirty stove grids place them in a ziplock bag with 1/4 cup of ammonia. Seal and let stand overnight. Be careful when you open the bag (stand back). Use a soapy sponge (the rough or green side) to wipe everything and it should fall off.
  • For the top of the stove and the refrigerator baking powder works well with a damp cloth.
  • Spot cleaner for carpet: 3 Tablespoons dish soap, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon ammonia, 3/4 cup water. Mix and put in a foamer container (you'll have to purchase one of these). Apply the foam to the carpet and rub it with a sponge. You can also use it on upholstery. I would suggest you test a spot first.
  • Homemade window cleaner: I found several "recipes" for this and I'll give two. For the first one, you'll need 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Put this in a sprayer and use it on windows and other surfaces such as chrome and tile.
  • Homemade window cleaner II: Combine 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent, and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
  • Cleaning mildew from the bathroom. Again, I found several different methods so I'll list two. The first mix calls for a squirt of dishwashing gel in a bucket of hot water. Rinse after using and dry.
  • Mildew cleaner #2: Plain old vinegar in a spray bottle! Supposedly, this is a good preventative as a spray-down after every shower but it can also clean mildew and soap scum.
  • Cleaning the oven: There were many non-commercial recipes for this but one tip that I found was to first turn the oven on to 200 degrees and shut it off when it's pre-heated. Then spray on your solution. The heat will help the cleaner penetrate. There were more recipes for this than anything else but I'll choose two. First, combine 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoon bleach, and 1 quart of warm water. Mix in a bucket or bowl and apply with a sponge to the oven's interior. Let sit for 45 minutes, scrub clean and rinse well.
  • Cleaning the oven II: 5 tablespoons baking soda, 3 drops hand or liquid dish soap, 4 tablespoons white vinegar. Mix the ingredients to form a paste. Apply it to the oven interior and wipe clean. Rinse thoroughly after.


I've never been a big user of vinegar for anything but coloring Easter eggs.  My son and daughter-in-law used house cleaners that used vinegar and vinegar for cleaning your houseI wasn't crazy about it as I must have stepped into the home right after they were there.  I didn't care for the smell of vinegar wafting throughout the house.

However, the vinegar smell goes away and takes other odors with it.  I now use a 1/2 water - 1/2 vinegar solution in my Libman floor mop with the attached cleanser dispenser.  I have 3 little dogs and one of them doesn't really like it outside.

I've been reading more and more about how vinegar is better for mold and mildew than bleach.  I need to try this as I have a couple of grout areas in our most used shower that tend to get mildewy.  

I've found healthy pest repellents that use vinegar as one of the ingredients.  I tried making a mosquito repellent but it didn't work very well.  In my prior house, I noticed ants in one of the lower cabinets.  It was a long, double-sided cabinet with a long shelf.  I used a solution of vinegar & water, let it dry, put the food back and I never saw those ants again!  I think I put it around the window that it appeared they were coming in and I put Borax or something outside under the window.  Who knows, maybe it was the Borax, but I only had to do it once that entire year.

If you do a search about household uses for vinegar you'll get a bunch of links and websites.  It's even good as a hair rinse.  We're trying to use more natural products in our house to get away from toxic ingredients.

Posted by Judy Orr on
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Extremely informative article! I am a housewife and I like to clean my home a lot. I try many different cleaning ways. I always prefer to use natural products like vinegar and lemon.

Posted by Lisa Garcia on Saturday, December 12th, 2015 at 5:37am

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