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In the basement of our apartment building there is a “free room” where tenants leave stuff they don’t want and other tenants take it for themselves. Sometimes books or magazines get shared through the free room, or clothes/household items are left for someone who has use for them. With the eclectic mix of people and families in our building, there are not many things that get left in the free room that won’t eventually find a home. Matt and I abandoned a ton of clutter-to-us in the great purge of March two years ago, and within hours of taking it down, most items had been picked up.

Lately I have been on the receiving end of the free room, which brings me to the point of today’s post:DSC07169 This set of wooden puzzles was a great score – they’ll be fun for Torre when he’s ready to start puzzles, and there are 5 to choose from, with animals, vehicles, numbers, letters and shapes. Even if we had bought puzzles new from a store, it would probably be smart to disinfect them, but since we got them used it was a must. After a quick google search I determined the best solution to get everything clean without leaving chemical residue or putting harmful fumes in the air was simply diluted vinegar!DSC07170I mixed 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of water and used a baby washcloth to wipe down the puzzle frames and pieces.DSC07171 By the time I was done one puzzle, the previous one was dry and I could expertly put it back together. All in all it probably took 15 minutes, and now the clean puzzles are set aside for Torre when he’s ready.DSC07172 And if he wants to put the pieces in his mouth, they won’t be covered in grime! It’s a good feeling.

Most of the vinegar solution was left over after this little project, so I just added it to the spray bottle I use for spot-mopping our floors (a mix of vinegar, water, and dish soap) – not having any waste makes me happy too :)

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