A few months ago, our little family made a BIG move. To our hopefully forever home. I hate moving. Almost as much as I hate New Year’s resolutions (sorry, I just do).
It’s not the actual packing up and hauling boxes that I hate (don’t get me wrong, moving boxes totally sucks), it’s the fact that it takes forever to appreciate the subtle nuances of a neighborhood: I like the comfort in being woken up by the loud rumble of a truck that belongs to that guy whose name I don’t know as he leaves for work every morning. Before 6am. I love rolling my eyes at that annoyingly yappie dog who yaps on the hour. Every hour. There’s something appealing about being able to tell the time by that pair of ladies who walk by the house, every day, rain or shine. And I feel all cozy whenever I hear the clicking of the furnace and that weird noise the fridge makes when the coils are doing whatever coils do. All those sights and sounds that makes your place, yours.
When you move, you have to get to know all those things again. It’s hands-down the worst part of moving. When I’m in a new place I get all dramatic and creeped out, and become convinced that those creaks in the floor aren’t charming reminders of the house settling, but are actually footfalls of an axe wielding murderer stalking the hall and hiding around corners that I still can’t find a light switch for. And the footprints left in the snow up the front walk is a sure sign of a crazed lunatic, thirsty for new blood, and before you ask: no, the crisp letters in the mailbox don’t convince me otherwise.
New houses mean change: new sounds, new routines, and new ways of doing pretty much everything. Even though you’ve moved in, with your furniture and knick knacks; it’s still different. In our old place I had my cleaning routine on lock. Now, I feel kind of lost. Because the windows open up and down instead of side to side, and the hardwood floors needs a little more love, and the stairs, seriously, I can’t even talk about the stairs yet. It’s retraining my previously zen cleaning master self into a new, and hopefully improved cleaning ninja. So, in honour of new ways of doing things, I thought I’d share one of my greatest, easiest, and environmentally friendliest way to clean, brighten and shine bathroom tiles. Obviously.
Get ready to be wowed. And clean. Sorry, you’ll have to.
I love my new shower. It’s all roomy and white and rainshowery. When we first saw the house, I thought: this. This shower will be all mine. The only downside: all that white comes with a price. Teeny, tiny tiles and floor-to-ceiling subway tiles means acres and acres of grout. White grout. White grout that shows every, single microscopic discolouration from mildew, mold and serratia marcescens (that’s fancy talk for bacteria that likes damp places like your shower and toilet. It’s pinky red and all grotty.) But have no fear, it is super easy to get rid of, naturally, and with little fuss.
Let me start off by saying that I take these moments where I can show someone something pretty amazing very seriously. And in the name of science and green living, I approached this post by doing something incredibly drastic: I didn’t clean my shower tiles for one whole month. I know, the things I do to make a point. It really is suffering for my craft. I waited until my grout got nice and watermarked and red, and then I unleashed my secret shower weapon: hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide: no for cuts and yes for clean. Got it?!?
You probably have it in your house. Or maybe you have memories of pouring it on a cut when you were a kid, and it fizzed and someone told you that it was because it was cleaning out all the dirt. And you know what? Whoever told you that was totally right! But, and here’s a big but: hydrogen peroxide is a cell killer on all levels. This means it doesn’t differentiate between the good guys and the bad: he just oxidates (destroys) them all! Which isn’t a good thing when you have a cut, since you need your good guys to help heal the skin. However, hydrogen peroxide’s intense killing action IS GREAT for cleaning non-porous surfaces!! I’m gonna step out on a limb and call it the vinegar of 2017 * (**disclaimer: for cleaning NOT ingesting. Drinking hydrogen peroxide=not the best idea ever. Unless you like being rushed to the hospital. Or dying). It doesn’t get a lot of fanfare or cool Buzzfeed lists dedicated to it, but hydrogen peroxide is an antibacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal powerhouse that is totally up to the challenge of household chores.
Hydrogen Peroxide is uh-mazing, but like all superstars, can be a little needy.
Now before you rush off to the store to stock up on cases of hydrogen peroxide, you need to know a couple of things:
- Greener cleaning usually comes with the caveat that there will be some elbow grease involved. I wish it was as easy as those crazy scrub free sprays on the market, but it just isn’t. On the bright side your lungs and endocrine system will be totally starting a wave in your honour.
- Hydrogen peroxide is the vampire of the cleaning world. No, it won’t suck your blood, but it does like to be kept in dark places. If exposed to the light, it loses its efficacy, which isn’t a good thing. What that means is you can’t create a batch of hydrogen peroxide mix in your clear spray bottle and keep it in your cleaning caddy. You either have to make up a batch every time you’re planning on using it, or, get a dark, opaque spray bottle.
Now grab that bottle of hydrogen peroxide and declare war on your shower!
Hydrogen Peroxide Grout Cleaning Miracle Spray
3% hydrogen peroxide
- spray bottle
- scrub brush
- an old toothbrush
Combine equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Shake well. Spray onto tiles and grout.
Let sit for 10 minutes or so. (Usually I’ll go make beds or some other such nonsense while I’m waiting for it to do its thing.)
Scrub the tiles/grout with a combination of toothbrush and scrub brush. All that goop should come off pretty easily, meaning, a little elbow grease, but not sweat-inducing.