Pre-Spring Cleaning

What’s my New Year’s resolution this year?

Sit back and grab a big mug o’ tea because I have many.

  1. Exercise more—a daily walk and yoga.   I haven’t really done either since March 2013.
  2. Don’t let stuff stress me out at work.
  3. Spend at least 15 minutes after work doing something physically constructive.   (Check out Old World Gardens “Fifteen-Minute-A-Day” philosophy.  They actually built an entire barn with this approach.)
  4. Cook healthier.  (Have you noticed my pumpkin soup, lentil soup and granola bar posts?)
  5. Spend another 15 minutes a day doing something clean-worthy in the house.

That leads me to the purpose of this post.

I am a slob.  I admit it.  (That is #6 on my list—be more honest with myself.)    More true confessions—the kitchen is usually a wreck.   No, there are no crusty dishes in the sink, but there is just clutter everywhere—mail, recipe clippings, stacks of plates for photo ops,  open cookbooks, etc.

And the cabinets—oh, those poor cabinets.

2013-12-29 13.42.33

Before…poor things.

At least twice a year I try to give them a spa day.   They are abused most of year and they deserve a warming cleansing.

This is a solution that I got from my sister years ago.   It is remarkable stuff.

Cabinet Cleaner
from The Sis

3 T. linseed oil
1 T. turpentine
1 qt. hot water

Mix together in a cleaning pail.   Dip a soft cloth (like and old wash cloth), into the mixture, wring out well, and go over cabinets.  (If you have sensitive skin, please wear rubber or latex gloves.)

Using another dry soft cloth, buff to a shine.

I do not know the origins of this mixture but it is gold!  You can buy linseed oil and turpentine at your local hardware store.

2013-12-30 08.51.24

After picture. This really doesn’t do justice to how much better my cabinets look.

After the cabinets were all nice and clean we noticed the French doors in the kitchen and the living room looked disgusting.   The Hubs mixed up a great window cleaner that he found online.

Magic Window Cleaner

1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. rubbing alcohol
1 T. cornstarch
2 c. water

Dissolve cornstarch well in liquid.   Wipe on windows and squeegee off.

One caveat here—I don’t know how well this would work without a squeegee.   The cornstarch might leave a slight film.  I haven’t tried this on mirrors yet.    I can say that it worked wonders on our French doors.

Since it is virtually impossible to take a picture of a clean window, I leave you with a nostalgic smile today.


I have been really on a vintage kick lately. These advertisements just absolutely kill me. “Women” will be cleaning on the moon.

If cleaning was on your list of resolutions this year, I hope this helps you out. Now as far as my  resolutions go, I have been doing pretty good with numbers 2, 4 and 5.   Still working on the rest. 

Here’s to a healthier, less stressful, and more productive 2014!

What were your resolutions this year?

18 comments to Pre-Spring Cleaning

  • wow your cabinet has turned out GREAT!

  • Hi Debra!

    I do believe my daughter had a new house built because she is quite the messy one. (okay slob, lol) Those cleaning supplies of yours sound like those I have seen in the back of old cookbooks. Just goes to show you, they did some heavy duty cleaning in those days with what they had. Until, Lestoil arrived. I do believe I have a Lestoil cookbook around here. I kid you not:)

    Thanks for sharing, Debra…Good Luck with that list of yours. I never make resolutions but it seems you are on your way to sticking with it!!!

    • You know, Lavesta, I don’t even know what lestoil is. The image just cracked me up. If you run across where these came from, I would love to know.

  • so, really these work?

    • I can hardly attest to the greatness of this cabinet cleaner. The Hubs did the windows and like I said, I think a squeegee is needed to maximize the window cleaner’s effectiveness.

  • I love the advertisement! I will send you one that I found in a old cookbook I bought at a yard sale – it’s for Contact. I think it’s 1974. Cleaning is not on my resolution list – of course I don’t make resolutions, I dedicate myself to learning about something new each year instead – but my mother had me convinced that if there was dirty laundry, trash in the trash cans, unmopped floors etc… at midnight on New Year’s eve, then it would be like that all year. When I married my husband he asked if that would prevent us from having to do any laundry at all – all year long? That’s when I realized the falacy of the old wives tale! 🙂 go ahead, laugh………I know you want to!

  • You’ve inspired me! Thanks for these great tips. Everything in my house needs a good cleaning!

  • kitchenriffs

    That cabinet cleaner looks great. Our can certainly use that treatment! We tend to be on the slob side around here, too. Should probably resolve to try to be a little neater. Do I really need 7 different stack of cookbooks on my office floor? (I just counted!) Good post – thanks.

    • That is not a good argument to pose to me b/c I would say that you indeed do need at least 7 stacks of cookbooks/magazines lying around.

  • Those are some very good and doable resolutions! Love the one of doing 15 minutes of house cleaning a day. By doing just that, we could free up our weekends. 🙂 Looks like the cabinet cleaner did a great job!

  • First, I love that advertisement – it’s amazing. My cabinets are pretty horrible, they get touched all the time with dirty hands while cooking but then I overlook them when cleaning up, gross.