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Friday, June 8, 2012

Invest in High-Quality, Multi-Tasking Cleaning Supplies

Antibacterial Windex- Being someone who's had every upper respiratory illness there is (well, minus tuberculosis, thank goodness) at least three times, I'm big on germ-killing. Obviously, antibacterial doesn't mean that it'll also kill viruses, and there is of course such a thing as good bacteria. But I figure, realistically, I'll come into enough contact with good bacteria some way or another that I can stick with my antibacterial soap & Windex for now! This makes a good cleaner for mirrors, many knick-knacks, Fenton pieces, some kinds of lamps, picture glass, the indoor part of windows (and outdoors, in a pinch, though it might not be heavy-duty enough to cut through heavy outdoor dirt), some bathroom surfaces (not all materials can have typical cleaners used on them- I'm not familiar enough with granite or marble to say, honestly)

Bon Ami, Comet Disinfectant with Bleach or SoftScrub- A scouring cleanser is sometimes the only product that will get stains out of older laminate countertops, the bottom of bathroom tubs & other hard surfaces. It's not something that I use constantly, but when I need to get stains out of surface, or soap scum, a scrubbing cleaner & a little elbow grease is usually required.

Caldrea Lint-Free Cleaning Cloths- White cleaning cloths which are large, lint-free & plentiful make an environmentally-friendly household even happier. While I'm not much of an environmentalist by nature, I'm not one who likes to spend a ton of money on paper towels over & over again. A set of these is in each bathroom & in my kitchen for daily cleaning.

Earth Friendly Products Stain & Odor Remover- This stuff should be titled "Miracle in a Spray Bottle". I have beige, non-Stainmaster, cheap apartment carpeting. I'm owned by a cat- a beautiful feline who eats cat food that leaves a lovely red stain behind on my crappy carpet, should her delicate little Maine Coon tummy get upset. This product gets that nasty red residue left over in the carpet out, and with no fumes, no residue, no nothing. It's a clear spray. It's gentle. It works fast. I don't understand it, and I don't care to. No other product would ever touch that dye or stain before- you all probably know what I mean about red stains on a light-colored fabric. They laugh at you & dare you to get them out. They're the dread of humanity. This works on those devilish stains, and works well. It also handles getting out stains on clothes, if you treat them before putting it in the wash. Leave the bottle on the "Stream" setting, not "Spray", to get the most bang for the buck while using.

Endust, Pledge or Old English Furniture Polish Spray- I prefer good old Lemon Pledge. Pledge obviously polishes wood well, but it's also an inexpensive cleaner for leather & stainless steel. I used to have my leather jacket dry-cleaned every year- $40 a session. And of course it required dropping the jacket off, picking it back, being without it in between to wear. Being a woman, here & there I'd get a little bit of makeup on the collar or something, and over an autumn & winter of wear it'd add up, so I felt the cost was justified. But I used Pledge on it once, and it got my jacket's leather exterior incredibly clean, and left it soft. I had to air it out for a bit to let the Pledge smell fade, but that wasn't a big deal. And for pennies, I got what was once an expensive pain in the neck of a chore completely done!

FlyLady Rags in a Bag- Not rags by any stretch of the imagination, these purple cloths have the great advantage of having powdered cleanser residue show up on them easily, if you're wiping up after that (a light-colored cloth won't show whether you've really gotten the surface free of that white residue). These are smaller than the Caldrea cloths, but work well for many, many uses. Some people use them as face cloths or body cloths alone, too. They're soft, absorbent & not scratchy. They work extremely well for all kinds of computer screens, TV screens (including plasma & LCD), cleaning eyeglasses, car windshields- both inside & out- and for drying wet metal, like chrome. They make terrific dry dusting cloths, too, because their dark color shows you the dust they're getting up, and holds it fast because of the cloth's microfiber properties. Bonus: they come with a zippered mesh bag great not only for washing the cloths, but also great for washing bras & other delicates.

Lysol Disinfectant Spray- Absolutely imperative to have on hand should anyone get sick, as it'll prevent others from catching the illness from surfaces, this is great for a daily touch-up of doorknobs, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, litter box scoops, and more.

Lysol Wipes (some people prefer Clorox or another brand)- Sometimes it's not going to work to spray w/ a separate cleanser & wipe with a cloth. Computer keyboards, cell phones, remote control, computer mouses, hard drives, printers, fans & much more fall into this category. It's also a good boost to just be able to pull a wipe out of the container, swipe these over a surface & go. They're imperative (once again) when someone who's been sick is using the electronics & kitchen surfaces. Less spray in the air means less that can irritate allergies & lung issues, too. I'm not usually into stuff that you use once & then throw out, but this product is an exception!

Pine Sol or another disinfectation multi-purpose cleaner not in spray form- Follow the directions on the bottle to clean & disinfect countertops, bathroom surfaces, vinyl flooring & toilet bowls. Poured straight on surfaces, it should kill just about any germ out there! I like Pine Sol because the smell doesn't linger too long (and I like the smell it does have), it cleans beautifully, and doesn't need rinsing when it's used in a properly-diluted manner first.

Sh-Mop or FlyLady Mop- If you ever attempt to take my Sh-Mop from me, I'm afraid I'm going to consider that robbery & trespassing- and you know what happens to people that trespass on property in the American South! :D Just kidding...sort of. I hate spongemops & buckets for cleaning floors. Thankfully, those days are long over for me. With a Sh-Mop, I can clean all three of my hard floors (and my kitchen/hallway/breakfast room is big) in less than five minutes- for real. And to please my cheap, I-don't-like-disposable-stuff side, Sh-Wipes that come with the mop can just be thrown in the washer for several years to come. I recommend owning one to two Sh-Wipes for every room you have to clean. Bliss can come from clean floors.


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