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“Your Abuela-Approved Spring Cleaning Playlist y Productos!”

I can almost smell those childhood Saturday mornings as the blended scents of pungent chlorine, cologne-ish agua de florida and the linger of an earlier fried breakfast would hit my nostrils and remind me exactly what time it was in our very Boriqua household — that time of the week where we deep-cleaned the entire house to the sounds of Mami’s favorite salsa, merengue and bachata cuts blasting through the speakers all day. This day was also your weekly nerve-wracking attempt to actually clean to Mami’s liking, which you almost never did but always tried to do anyway. There’s truly nothing more traditional than using concoctions that generations of families swear by while listening to the musical icons they swear by, too. We compiled a list of our most trusted household products along with a nostalgic soundtrack guaranteed to have you moving through la casa in no time.

THE GOODS:

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1. BLEACH, BLEACH, BLEACH! One time my tia decided her son’s girlfriend was “the one” on the basis that she cleaned with bleach alone. In her own words, it just “smells like clean”. We love our bleach.

2. VIX. Keep a jar in your medicine cabinet at all times, for you know, everything. In case you weren’t aware, VIX is the cure for all ailments of the body and soul, per my ancestors. 

3. Fabuloso or Mistolin. These popular disinfectants get the multi-purpose cleaning done while leaving behind a fragrant smell of lavender, citrus or ocean breeze behind that people adore. Which brand to go with is an ongoing debate amongst the best of us, but you can’t really go wrong with dousing everything in either one!

4. JABON DE CUABA is a multi-purpose soap manufactured in the Dominican Republic. It’s an amber colored, cubed shaped soap that contains oil from a pine tree. The “Hispano” brand is the most popular but there are several others, too.

5. JABON ZOTE is a laundry soap bar made in Mexico. It’s commonly used as either a base ingredient for homemade detergents, or for hand washing delicates. The pink bar is also the cutest!

THE JAMS: 

“El Cantante” – Hector Lavoe 

“Chilam Balam” – Ruben Blades

“Aguanile” – Marc Anthony

“Esa Hombre” – La India

“La Incondicional” – Louis Miguel

“A Puro Dolor” – Son By Four

“Apiadate de Mi” – Victor Manuelle

“La Agarro Bajando” – Gilberto Santa Rosa

“Quien Eres Tu” – Luis Enrique

“La Salsa Vive” – Tito Nieves

Bailando, mi gente!