Choosing the Right Product for the Job

Having the right Cleaning Product for the job at hand is essential for making light work around the house, office or business. As a homemaker for more than 32 years I have experimented with many a product and have found that generally, there are some common ingredients that make easy work of most tasks.

Five Great Products

1. Bleach.

Armed with four spray bottles and a stack of towels and rags I'm ready to get to work. For sanitizing kitchen sinks, and bathroom fixtures I find a strong mixtures of bleach is essential. I mix one part bleach to 5 parts water and use this mixture to spray the inside of my kitchen sink to kill germs and remove coffee stains. It works great in the tub too and kills mildew and mold in the toilet and on the shower curtain liner. Be careful using bleach because it will ruin your clothes and avoid getting it in your eyes or inhaling bleach or any other chemical. I usually wear an apron and gloves when doing serious cleaning.

If you don't want to make your own household cleaner you can always buy any number of premade cleaners which contain bleach as the essential ingredient. These work fine too but if you are like me and are all about saving money you'll find mixing this yourself couldn't be any easier.

2. Ammonia

Ammonia is great stuff. By mixing 1 part ammonia to 4 parts water you will have a great mixture to use on mirrors, glass doors, faucet handles and more. Ammonia cleans and sanitizes and doesn't bleach anything or damage many surfaces. Its good on hardwood and anything greasy or sticky. Unfortunately ammonia gets a bad rap. This is because when the fumes of ammonia come into contact with the fumes from bleach you may accidentally create deadly mustard gas or some such thing so I am told. Therefore I also finish all cleaning with bleach products at one time before I ever go do the mirrors or windows. With any chemical you will want to make sure you use them in a well ventilated area and protect your skin and eyes from spills.

Used at nearly full strengh ammonia can do many things that other cleaners can't. I once spent days trying to clean some badly soiled greasy wood cabinets. I tried pine cleaners, window cleaners, cleansers, powdered cleaners, detergents and nothing worked. I'd nearly given up when I tried some straight ammonia and I felt so silly. The greasy grime rubbed right off so easily it was unbelievable. A bottle of ammonia is a must have around the house. Just make sure you keep it away from the Clorox.

3. CLR

CLR is an amazing product. I love it. Mix a little CLR with some water and you have a cleaner that will work wonders on shower doors, tubs, sinks and faucets and more. This is really great stuff and a bottle will last for a long time as you don't really need a lot. Instructions for how much to mix are found on the bottle but I've found this is a safe product to use and not dangerous when mixed with other chemicals. CLR won't bleach stains like bleach will and it is not the best product for greasy grime but it sure makes a faucet shine and there is no need for anything but a little CLR water on the shower door anymore!

4. Fabuloso

Fabuloso was recommended to me recently by a friend whose home smelled amazingly clean all the time and I couldn't figure out why it smelled so good. She told me about this product which is just a good general all purpose cleaner much like Pinesol but Fabuloso comes in a variety of great smells and mixes with water to clean most anything. I use it to do countertops, table tops, floors, kitchen appliances and whenever I don't want to use a stronger chemical and it cleans, sanitizes and leaves a great smell! If you don't want to use Fabuloso there are other more expensive general purpose cleaners that you could try but to be fully armed for any cleaning job you should have a general purpose cleaner in your aresenal.

5. Magic Sponge

These little sponges can clean crayon marks off of walls like nothing you've ever seen! They are also great on anything that is stuck on surfaces that are hard to get off like the bottoms of pots and pans with baked on grime. The Magic Sponge dissolves quickly so I use them sparingly but they are great for using to clean stove burners, walls and the inside of the microwave and more.

With these products you will be well armed to launch an assault on the dirtiest messes.