Keeping your home clean can feel like an ongoing nightmare. A newly cleaned area is almost never safe from the perils of muddy feet, dirty paws, spilled sodas, dropped food… you name it. While you cannot exactly get rid of the children, pets, and otherwise messy human traffic, you can lower the burden of the cleaning task by staying prepared, and doing so in an organized, inexpensive way.
We all have a multitude of cleaning supplies in our closets, or under our kitchen or bathroom sinks, and keeping it organized can be daunting. Try making things easier by creating a cleaning essentials “toolkit” that can be carried around with you and cover most types of messes.
10 Essentials for Easy Home Cleaning
1. Cleaning Caddy
Having the option of mobility of your cleaning products will save you a ton of time and hassle. Choose a caddy with separate compartments to keep your tools organized. Local stores like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Wal-Mart sell many varieties for under $10. You can also find these online for similar prices.
2. Rubber Gloves
This one is simple. Protect your hands. Buy gloves which are comfortable and light, while still giving you an adequate amount of protection. Gloves with interior foam lining can help the level of comfort while wearing them as it will absorb the dampness within the glove.
3. Microfiber Cloths
Microfiber cloths are machine-washable and can handle many different tasks using only water, and are eco-friendly and cheaper than re-purchasing rolls and rolls of paper towels, not to mention paper towels tend to leave tiny left over particles… even the ones who say they don’t. Microfiber is both lyophilic and hydrophilic, which means that it has affinities to both oil and water, which in turn means that pretty much any type of dirt can be removed with microfiber cloths. Microfiber cloths are also excellent for simple dusting.
4. Spray Bottle
You will need a spray bottle to easily cover a large area with your cleaning solution. Plastic spray bottles are best, as metals on the other hand can corrode and rust. Multiple spray bottles are also great, such as, fill one with water and another with a homemade or store-bought all-purpose cleaner.
5. Disinfectant Spray or Disinfectant Wipes
Sprays or wipes can be bought which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates. This ensures that the product is able to kill different types of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
6. Hand Broom with Dustpan
A miniature hand broom and dustpan will come in handy to clean off small spills from the floors, but also from tabletops, desks, and counters. This is especially useful for cleaning off spilled baking materials, such as flour or sugar, as it can easily be brushed away with little effort.
Although vinegar is found in the cooking aisle (instead of the cleaning isle) it is a must have for any basic cleaning kit. Vinegar is an acid based, natural bi-product of organic products (such as vegetables, fruits, and grains). Because of vinegar’s acidity, it naturally breaks down bacteria, molds, and grease. Studies show that even with just a 5% solution, which can buy from a local grocery store, that it can clean 80% of germs, 82% of molds, and 99% of surface bacteria. It is a cheap solution to buying particular products for those types of cleaning, covering areas such as stove tops, shower heads, sinks, etc. The vinegar can also be diluted with water for even more longevity, making it a very cheap alternative to chemical sprays.
8. Dishwashing Liquid
Dishwashing liquid is cheap, and does not have to be used only on dishes. It is strong enough to help with stains, brightening or whitening of clothes, and works well on glass as well. Not recommended for carpet or dyed materials as it may discolor it. A clear fluid is best, without fragrance.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another safe, non-poisonous, multi-purpose, and cheap cleaner. Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is a natural material; it is the product of dissolving sodium carbonate into a carbon dioxide rich solution. It can be used to rid odors, put out grease fires, clean off food parts burned into pots or pans, clean silver, clean grease, help with drain maintenance, clean toys, and more. It is naturally abrasive, a natural scouring powder, and removes odors.
10. Leftover Grocery Bags
Saving leftover grocery bags can help you in many ways, inside and outside of the house. Use them on dog walks, as they will work for when Fido decides he must do his business on the neighbor’s lawn, and keep them in your caddy to pick up small pieces of clutter or to empty out the dust pan.