Cleaner Than Ever? Maybe Not!

I just finished cleaning the bathroom and I wondered,  ” What would we do without spray bottles, the ones containing watered down detergent?” When I was a kid, we poured a concentrated detergent, like Pine Sole, into a pail, then added water. We got out the cleaning rag and, perish the thought, the scrub brush, and got to work. Another pail with clear water was for rinsing. True, we scrubbed the floor on our hands and knees, followed by a rinse.

I don’t remember my mother putting the cleaning rag into the washer, like I do after every use. But she did always rinse it. When it finally got stained and torn she’d get another one from the rag bag. Today there is something

Here I am trying to decide which cleaning product will make my house germ-free.

called a swisher. It has a long handle and a specially treated pad, but no rag or brush. Just recently I came upon a toilet brush which after each cleaning you dispose of the attached cleaning pad. That would eliminate the small brush standing by our commodes, just sitting in its tiny plastic holder, collecting germs.

I did buy “Scrub Free Clean Shower.” Of course, it comes in a spray bottle. You just spray it on the shower’s walls after each use and no scrubbing is necessary. ( This is something you have to train your husband and kids to do.) It promises to remove soap scum, etc. But then, who uses soap anymore? I’m not sure, but I think this stuff works. We use it, but I still do my usual scrubbing of the walls. I’m guessing most women are doing the same thing.

Our dusters at home came from the rag bag, too. We’d get so far in our dusting and then open the door, going outside, to give the duster a shake.This was when most everybody heated with coal and the house really needed a dusting at least every Saturday, really daily. Today we use magnetic dust cloths and I’m not sure where the dust goes. But this I know, I’m sold on these.

Of course, much of the extra cost we experience in cleaning supplies today, is to help keep our homes germ-free. Considering all the newfangled cleaning products, are we really much cleaner today, then when I was a kid? How then should we explain why the last time we went to church, one-third of the people were coughing?

The Psalmist said, “Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” Of course, this is making reference to cleansing from sin. This is no job for any of us, no matter what cleaning supplies are on hand. Only Christ is capable of doing this, and that comes only after repentance of sins. Then there’s no question of a thorough cleansing here because true repentance is followed by a changed life.

16 thoughts on “Cleaner Than Ever? Maybe Not!

  1. I started cleaning for others in January as a means of income and have thought LOTS about cleaning products. Which ones really work and what is mere commercialism?? I have found the best results are delivered on your hands and knees…reminding me I can have a clean floor and heart when I spend time on my knees!! I do love good old Murphy’s oil soap, swiffer products and a little soft scrub for white surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms…I love to leave a house or office looking and smelling clean!! I wonder if God has the same satisfaction after cleaning our hearts!?

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  2. Loved the commentary. My “grocery” bill would be so much less if we could go back. Problem so many of our fabrics today don’t make good rags. Nothing like cotton.

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    • Hi Alice: What fun hearing from you today. Don’t you have the old rag barrel at your house? During your lifetime you’ve seen and dealt with lots of fabrics and I agree that there’s nothing like cotton. Hope you continue to enjoy shirlandyou.

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  3. Hi Shirl, You are right, many cleaning products have changed over the years. Things are designed to be used and thrown away. These “disposable” products have to end up somewhere….and I am guessing that many of them end up in a landfil, which creates another problem. Do these disposable products that claim to make the environment “germ free” or “anti-bacterial”, really make a difference? There are still many cases of MRSA showing up in hospitals. The cleaning products that are available today are more convenient, but they are also more costly. Many of them are also not “pet friendly”. Did you know that febreeze and the swifter mop are both very harmful to parrots? In fact, many cleaning products should not be used around birds at all. (I am thinking of your Pedro, when I mention this.) For these reasons, I try to stick with the basics…..vinegar and water is still a great cleaner. It works, it’s safe, it is inexpensive and it won’t harm your bird. I suppose that everyone has their own cleaning routine and certain cleaning products that they prefer. I suppose what really counts is that you get the job done. Afterall, “cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

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    • Hi Colleen: Thanks for your comment to shirlandyou. You made a good point about cleaning products that are not pet friendly. We’re always careful around Pedro, especially with spray products. I always look forward to hearing from you.

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  4. Why, I remember when you didn’t have to buy and install a dishwasher…you just married one! (Retaliation for the “training husbands” quip;-)

    Actually, I chuckle and shake my head whenever I look inside the doors beneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. There is a vast army of bottles that populate and seemingly reproduce in the dark underworld of these cupboards. There is evidence that every major manufacturer in the country has convinced us that we simply could not survive without at least one of their products in our home. I take solice that we are doing our part to stimulate the economy.

    Twenty years ago, my bachelor arsenal consisted of a bottle of windex and a gallon of SuperClean concentrate. With the latter, in the proper concentration, I could do everything from removing stains from my laundry to de-greasing a car engine. My life was simple then: my cupboards were devoid of clutter: my wallet was fatter for it. Oddly enough, the economy was doing…OK.

    I had heard rumors, back then, that in the proper dilutions one could employ SuperClean concentrate for such things as “washing floors”. I never ventured off into that experiment. After all, isn’t cleaning floors what brooms were invented for? And they don’t require water, or mixing, and all that stuff. Nowadays, you can “wash” your floors by simply spraying them with a pre-diluted solution of Bona, and whisking away the grime with a long-handled “cleaning pad”. So simple that one is hardly left with a viable excuse for not doing so. However, I find the prerequisite use of a broom a bit redundant. And there is the added burden of playing “Where’s Waldo” as you search for the Bona, cleverly hidden amongst it’s throng of peers gazing up at you from the dark underworld beneath your sink.

    I’m not sure what’s changed in those twenty years. Have we been duped into accepting our wants as our needs? Do we simply buy cleaning products for the same reason people climb Mt. Everest…”because they are there”? Or have we become enlightened, rising from the depravity of washing away our grime through hard “works”, allowing the products to do the cleansing for us?…sort of born again house cleaners.

    Hopefully, in our personal lives, we are not just scurrying about with multitudes of solutions that make us look clean on the outside. We are fortunate to have a Lord that can do the cleansing for us, from the inside. He is the “Scrubbing Bubbles” of our soul. If we let Him do the hard cleansing in those dark corners, we can shine on the outside with a quick rinse. He really does make life easier, and any “whiter than white” appearance will come from within.

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    • Hi Chuck: I don’t have SuperClean or Bona under my sink. I’m going to look them up. 🙂 Thanks for your response. I understand that many are reading shirlandyou comments, I hope they don’t miss yours.

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  5. HI SHIRL..WHEN I GET TO THE CLEANING ISLE IN THE STORE I STOP DEAD AND JUST LOOK AND THINK WHAT SHALL I BUY ..SO AFTER MANY TRIALS OF DIFFERENT BRANDS I FINALLY CAME TO A DECISION .. I AM NOW A CLEANING LADY WITH A DUSTER SWIFTER {WITH A LONG HANDLE } IN MY ONE HAND AND A LIBMAN WONDER MOP IN MY OTHER WITH A BOTTLE OF LYSOL BY MY SIDE BY ME SIDE HOPING TO KILL ALL THE GERMS I COME IN CONTACT WITH..WELL I GUESS I BETTER GET MY ARNSEL AND GET BUSY..LOVE YOU ADA MAE

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  6. I remember weeping on the floor while cleaning my toilet back when my children were very young…exhausted and worn down by life…asking God…”Is this all you have for me and my life.” Little did I know that God was working in me to clean up my life…my heart…my soul…from past and present hurts…helping me to deal with the baggage. God takes our nothingness and makes us His “Someone”. Brokenness is changed into triumph. Today I own my own cleaning service…the “Cleaningfairy”…!! Using earth friendly products and old towels for rags instead of paper towels. (laundry each night). Floor Steamer that only uses water and I make the steamer pads.

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    • I believe every mother has done this one time or another. Children tracking mud on a just scrubbed floor will do it. Praise God, we survived it and are proof to today’s mother that it is possible to.:) Thanks for your comments Karen. How you’ll write again.

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  7. Hey there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about
    this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

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