Mothering Forum banner

About to move and new home is FILTHY!

746 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  RiverSky
We signed the lease on our new home today and we can move in Saturday. We already have the keys and I'm fairly certain they won't mind me getting a jump on cleaning (we live right next door) which is great because this place is nasty filthy! When the last tennets moved out they left garbage everywhere (including nasty food in the kitchen) and everything needs a good cleaning. The garbage was taken out of the house by the leasing company but they won't be cleaning or making any repairs, which we're okay with, we're going lease-to-own and we know this place needs work.

My worry is this: I'm pregnant so I want to keep the cleaners safe and as natural as possible. So, is it possible to clean an entire house with only water, vinegar, baking soda and Dr Bronners? Does anyone have any tips? It's cold and dreary so keeping the windows open is a no-go
but you can bet once it warms up the place is getting a nice airing out
See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Still dust is still an issue get gloves and a dust mask.
Grab rags, dollar store scrubbies, more than one pail, some mops, newspapers are great for so many things, your vaccum and go!!!

hot water and a little soap type I find the hot water usually does most of the 'work' anyhow.

and girl get some help!!!
definitely get some help... and yes the cleaning can be done like that. I would crack a few windows just to be on the safe side, get whatever odors that are whifting about out before bringing children in, but that's just me..
I agree with the hot water doing most of the work. And when you are done you can wipe surfaces with a germicidal essential oil like lavendar to make it feel relaxing instead of stressful.

Originally Posted by CryPixie83
[/U]It's cold and dreary so keeping the windows open is a no-go
but you can bet once it warms up the place is getting a nice airing out

Can you really not leave the windows open for a few hours, even an hour, with the heat off, then turn it on and get cleaning? Or clean in the cold a little? I would think a good first airing out would help so much.

I really think you can do it all with just

water, vinegar, baking soda and Dr Bronners
and rubber gloves, a face mask, and tons of cleaning clothes, scrubbies, brushes, etc.

Is there wood in the house? Like built-in cabinets or in the kitchen? I really love to use lemon oil for wood, it smells so nice. You could start by scrubbing with hot water/soap or vinegar, then dry and finish off with lemon oil.

I think using a spray bottle filled with full strength white vinegar with a bunch of drops of lavendar really is a great way to go over all surfaces AFTER you've done the hot water/Dr. Bronner's. Then again, I suppose you could use lavendar Dr. Bronners, too.
Oh and a vacuum cleaner, brooms, a mop with multiple heads. If you have paper filter bags inside your vacuum, you could sprinkle some essential oil on the bag, which I would think would scent the filtered air coming out of the vacuum, which would make the air just that much more pleasant as you can cleaning and hanging out in your new place.

Are you going to paint the walls (preferably with low VOC paint or milk paint) after you clean them? (a mop in hot water with Dr. Bronners would be an easier way to accomplish that, I'd think). I find that there is such a fresh feeling after painting, particularly when previous tenants have smoked or just been generally unclean.

Is there carpet in the unit? I have heard other posters say that using a carpet cleaning machine with just hot water and vinegar is actually quite effective. Another thing I read mentioned using a small amount of Dr. Bronners but then doing a second run with water/vinegar to get all the soap out. Sprinkling baking soda on all the carpets and letting it sit for a while before vacuuming (then steam cleaning) might be a good way to lessen vicious smells, also. If you find that there are any pet smells, try to use an pet enzyme cleaner, such as Nature's Miracle (available in pet stores) to clean obvious areas, or add it to your carpet cleaning machine reservoir.

Here are a few cleaning hint links that I've collected, hopefully you'll find something that helps you:

If the previous occupants were that messy, the place might well have a pest problem. You might want to get started on that ASAP by using diatemaceous earth:

Hope that helps! Good luck!
See less See more
This might be a bit late but can you borrow a steamer from anyone? It will loosen the horrible sticky stuff for you then you can mainly mop/wipe it off.

I don't use any chemicals at all now between the steamer, hot water vinegar and bicarb.
Can you explain how you use diatemaceous earth, not on an animal, but if house is infected?

We have three cats and I hate that we have to use tht flea stuff on the backs of their necks. We would love to be doing something else...

Originally Posted by bellini'smama
Can you explain how you use diatemaceous earth, not on an animal, but if house is infected?

We have three cats and I hate that we have to use tht flea stuff on the backs of their necks. We would love to be doing something else...
Are they indoor cats? I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. Is the house infected with fleas? First, I'd start by making sure the cats have no fleas on them. At this link: , they describe pet use as such:

Our best friends come in all shapes and sizes. Protect them with Diatomaceous Earth. When lightly rubbed into their coats it is very effective against fleas, ticks, lice, and other pests on pet dogs, cats, and their premises. It can also be used as an organic wormer and will kill any worms or parasites the pets may have. When using as a de-wormer, mix the Diatomaceous Earth into their food. Ask your vet how much for your size pet. General application rates are listed below.

Feed Grade Diatomaceous Earth can be mixed right in with the animals feed for deworming. Feed once and check stool for parasites the following afternoon or next day. Collect stool when you find it and discard it safely. It can contain eggs and partially dead worms that can reinfect your pet or any oother animal that comes by to smell it. They can infect you too so, wear gloves when handling animal manure of any kind. If you suspect that your lawn and property may be a source of parasites, you can mix DE with dry sand and apply it like fertilizer to your lawn areas. Wear a dust mask and don't do it on a windy day. Water it in after application.

Feed again if worms are still present in the stool. If you continue to experience problems with parasite infestation, you'll need to put some thought into where they might orgininate. Another dog or place where they hang out can often be the source.

For daily maintainance on cats and dogs, cut portion by half. Small dogs and special breeds can be sensitive to any change in diet. Use common sense and consult with your vet if you have any concerns or questions.

Cows/Horses get 1-2 oz per day
Sheep/Goats/Hogs get 1/2 oz per day
Dogs/Cats get 1/2 teaspoon per day
Large Cats - 1 teaspoon
Kittens - 1/4 teaspoon
Dog 100 lbs + - 2 tablespoon
50 - 100lbs - 1 tablespoon
Under 50 lbs - 1 teaspoons
Mini dogs - 1/2 teaspoon
Next, I would get rid of fleas in the yard.

Want to control fleas from the ground up on your property? I'm sure you do. Nematodes applied to the lawn and yard area kill flea larvae in the soil. Stop the Breeding cycle at the source. Click here to read up on them and order if you like.
- from the DE link above, which leads to:

Then there is Crab Shell Fertilizer:

Crab shell is not a fungicide or nematocide. It's a great fertilizer with calcium and some extra benefits not found in other fertilizer products.

Crab shell is high in chitin, which promotes the growth of chitin eating bacteria. The exoskeletons of fungus and harmful varieties of nematodes eggs are high in chitin. When added to the soil, crab shell helps to create a hostile environment for the fungus and root destroying nematodes by feeding the biological life that eats chitin and chitin based organisms
This one says it is for "serious infestation of your home and treatment of pets":

Perma-Guard D-20
For serious infestation of your home and treatment of pets that are just miserable because of the pain and itching, we now have a more powerful product made with Diatomaceous Earth as the primary ingredient.

D-20 contains .2% Pyrethrins, a vegetable, digestible extract made from Chrysanthemum flowers. It is one of the oldest, natural insecticides known to man. Evidence of it's use dates back to the Egyptians. Pyrethrum is deadly to insects and other cold blooded life forms. It is known for its fast knock down action but, its value is reduced by the fact that it evaporates in minutes. It works well in Permaguard formulas because it is time released by the dry powder of Diatomaceous Earth.

The next ingredient in D-20 is Piperonyl Butoxide 1%. It comes from the Sassafras plant. It is an effective insecticide in its own right, and helps magnify the effect of the Pyrethrum. Without it, ten times more Pyrethrum would be needed to get the same effect of using them together.

I would think that some constant and repeated vacuuming would get rid of the fleas in an infested home once your pets were treated by putting DE in their food regularly and if the yard is flea-free so that your pets (assuming they go outside) don't get re-infested.

The Dirtworks website talks about how carcinogenic regular flea collars and flea sprays are. I don't know if Advantage or Frontline count when it comes to that.

Does that help?
See less See more

Originally Posted by bellini'smama
Can you explain how you use diatemaceous earth, not on an animal, but if house is infected?
I just noticed that there is a short mention of ridding fleas from inside the house:

" Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are the most common fleas found on both cats and dogs. Flea eggs and adult feces fall off the host and accumulate where the pet rests, making these the prime flea breeding foci.

Flea breeding in these areas can be reduced by establishing one sleeping area for the pet, choosing an area that can be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, and using bedding material that can be laundered weekly or thrown away as often. If human flea allergy is the cause of the complaint, pets should be excluded from areas of the house frequented by the person(s), or keep the people out of where the animal lives. That's my preference anyway (stay out of my room, I'll stay out of yours!). After all, which came first, the dog or the person?

Vacuuming flea breeding areas is also beneficial. Byron and Robinson (1986) found that a beater-bar vacuum would remove 15-27% of larvae introduced into a carpet and 32-59% of the eggs. In addition to removing the juvenile stages, vacuuming will also remove adult flea feces, the essential food source for the developing larvae. Pupae appear to be unaffected by vacuuming, because their silk cocoons are tightly bound to carpet fibers. Attachments should be used to vacuum cracks, crevices, and upholstered furniture where pets rest. Vacuuming alone will not remove the entire flea population but will help keep them reduced. The steam-extraction carpet cleaning method should effectively destroy all stages of fleas present.

So vacuum, vacuum, then use a steam cleaner to destroy what's left. Interesting...
See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.