Make cleaning a breeze with these essential cleaning tools.
Folks often confess that their cleaning arsenol consists of supplies they bought, used once, and stored in the attic for the next garage sale. They have separate cleaners for toilets, showers, baths, carpet stains, clothing stains, 5 window cleaners that all streak, all the cleaning tools ever advertised and none of this stuff works, Let’s widdle this down to the necessities and take the confusion and expense out of cleaning. The following list is geared to serve a typical home.
1) Start with a divided tote tray found at hardware stores. Do not use cleaning aprons unless you like trips to the doctor to straighten your neck due to the weight. Or worse email me asking what to do after bumping a sprayer and the cleaner ruined your antique coffee table.
2) A large plastic cup to hold a plastic scraper, stiff bristled toothbrush, non-scratch pad or other small cleaning tools.
3) A plastic container with holes in the lid filled with baking soda. You can also use a clean, plastic parmesan cheese shaker. Use baking soda to scrub sinks, tubs and shower floors and toilets.
4) A gallon of vinegar. Use to remove hard water stains in the sink and add a bit to your diluted concentrated cleaners. Vinegar boosts the cleaning ability of a cleaner. If your concentrated cleaner calls for one ounce per quart of water add ¼ cup of vinegar and use ¾ of an ounce of cleaner.
5) Toilet bowl brush – do not use the ones with the metal ring as the metal part scratches.
6) Sink brush
7) Two clean spray bottles for dilution – three if you use my Wood Care. It’s the only wood cleaner and conditioner on the market that can be diluted.
8) A concentrated eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner like my CleanEz. They clean most counter tops, appliances, toilets, showers, tubs, clothing and carpet stains. No you don’t need separate products to do these chores. Concentrated cleaners save you a bundle of money so look for concentrates.
9) A streak free, concentrated bottle of glass cleaner. I carry a good one called Benya. Make certain it does not contain acids or ammonia so it’s safe for Corian, granite and marble countertops. Glass cleaners are especially useful for frameless glass showers (Glass Shower Direct let you design showers online) and large windows. This is because they can leave you with a streak-free shine.
10) Color coded towels. I use blue terry towels for the bathroom, white for the kitchen and a green one for the floor. Then baby diaper cloths for dusting and lint free towels for windows. Windows and glass are the only safe surface for microfiber. Buy the expensive microfiber cloths. The cheap ones leave lint and smear.
• Note: I use color coded towels because they are faster. You’ll dig for hours looking for the right towel to clean the bathrooms, or kitchen or dust. Don’t waste the time. Color code your towels for fast cleaning.
11) A good mop. Of course I’m a bit prejudice but I feel the one I manufacture is faster and outlasts anything on the market. Plus it does cobwebs, walls, windows and dries off cars, Rvs and boats. Again do not use microfiber mops unless you like replacing or refinishing flooring.
12) A good vacuum cleaner. Here is where we may part company. After using Kirbys, Hoovers, Eurkea’s and half a dozen others during my 12 years professionally cleaning, I’m hooked on the Meile vacuums, even ones that you can hold in hand are powerful. This is a personal choice but I’ve been very pleased since switching to Meile. They are expensive and worth every penny. If you’re having trouble deciding on a good vacuum cleaner, I’ve found this site to be helpful: http://appliancehunter.co.uk/cheap-vacuum-cleaners/
Lastly always refill your bottles when you finish cleaning. That way they are ready to go for spills or quick clean up.
- By Mary Findley