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elementary school class

We all remember what it was like being in elementary school... That back to school time was both exciting and nerve-wracking as we had to get new school supplies, make new friends, and get back into the nightly homework routine. Some of us couldn't wait for school to begin, while the rest of us expelled tears at the thought of it. The absolute least of our worries during that time was cleaning up after ourselves, and that trait has most likely been passed down to our children… yay for us!

Now that it’s that time of year again… the time of last-minute trips to the beach, end of summer barbecues, and hasty trips to Target for school supplies, you may let out a sigh of relief that your children will soon be out of your hair until 3 PM everyday.

While school can be a blessing for those of us who work long hours and those of us who have to entertain our kids all summer, it can also be a curse. Because with school comes new supplies. And with new supplies comes new messes. Kids come home with dirty backpacks and smelly lunch boxes, with stains on their knees and glue and paint all over their school supplies. And then after all the cleaning you do for them, they want you to make dinner too?! What’s a parent to do?

Luckily, we have some quick tips for back to school cleaning troubles that will help you save time. Don’t spend hours cleaning and scrubbing after your kids as they whine. Take the easy way out so you can use that time to drink wine instead!

Back to School Cleaning Tips using Vinegar & Orange Oil

girl cleaning backpack

For dirty backpacks… take all the unfinished homework papers and #2 pencils out of the backpack. Then simply put the backpack into the washing machine! Add approximately ½ cup of white VINEGAR to the cycle to clean and deodorize those gross gym clothing smells, and make sure to use a little vinegar+scrubbing action on stains before putting it through the wash. The backpack will come out without those nasty smells and stains… good as new!

For glue & sticker residue… use orange oil to break up adhesive residue from fabrics and hard surfaces without lifting paint or damaging the surfaces. The sticky parts will be lifted in minutes!


yellow lunchbox with apple

For smelly lunch boxes… wipe down the inside with white vinegar to get rid of that bologna sandwich smell and any disgusting looking stains left behind. Then leave the lunchbox open and out in the sun or on a windowsill to air dry.

For crayon or ink stains on hard surfaces… kids love to color and can get overzealous when they’re creating make believe half-animal, half-human hybrids with the touch of a crayon. Thank god for orange oil, which can be used to lift away stains from hard surfaces like floors, walls, tables, doors, and more.


grass stains on white tights

For dirt and grass stains on pants… scrub the spot with white vinegar! Vinegar works great at getting stains out of clothing and it can even work to make the color more vibrant when added to the washing cycle. Just add ½ cup of vinegar to your cycle where you would normally put detergent.

For freshening up sneakers… Wipe them down with some vinegar to get rid of bad smells and dirt. Then use orange oil to make the sneakers smell amazing!!


orange oil bottle

To freshen up the smell of ANY surface… use orange oil! This concentrated oil can clean and refresh any surface that is stale, looking dull, or not smelling its best. Use it to freshen the smell of backpacks, lunch boxes, pencil cases, and really any surface in your home that needs a little sprucing up.

Back to school is a great time for both you and your children. Don’t let the new messes stop you from enjoying this time as your children learn and grow as people. Just get yourself some easy cleaning products and you will get through the year in a flash! Next summer will be here before you know it.

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