Monday, January 20, 2014

The Only Cleaning Supplies You Need

The cleaning aisle at the grocery store can be overwhelming. There are a million products, most of which do the same thing.

I was looking at my cleaning cabinet the other day and realized I have way to many products. Some were empty bottles, I had multiple brands of window cleaner, and multiple brands of several other products. After trial-and-error I figured out how to pair down my cleaning products and make some too.

Making your own cleaning products is more time consuming, but you eliminate the harsh chemical smell, plus DIYing is more cost-effective.

Here is what you need to make your own cleaning products:
Vinegar, dish soap (like Dawn, but any brand will work), water, baking soda, bleach, scented oil (if vinegar smell is disturbing), laundry fabric softener sheets, and a squeegee

And how to use these products to DIY your cleaning:
Countertops/General Purpose: 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, optional: add scented oil
General Purpose deep clean (sinks, showers, countertops): mix 1/3 dish soap (Dawn) + 1/3 white vinegar + 1/3 water
Shower cleaner: baking soda + water (enough water to make a paste), sponge on and sponge off
Stovetop cleaner: baking soda + vinegar, scrub (will bubble/frizz)
Drain un-clogger: baking soda + vinegar, plunge
Windows: water + soap, rinse with water, wipe with rag, squeegee off
Baseboards: laundry fabric softener sheets

Note: the bleach is for minimum use, I use it a couple times a year to re-whiten bathtubs.

I also still use store-bought toilet bowl cleaner, Murphy's wood cleaner, Spot-Shot (for pet stains), and occasionally will use Windex and store-bought drain un-clogger.

If you don't want to mix your own products you will need:
A countertop cleaner (Fantastik or Windex Vinegar All-purpose), Shower Cleaner (like Tilex), stovetop cleaner, drain un-clogger, Windex, fabric softener sheets, wood cleaner (like Murphy's).

No matter if you're making your own product or buying you'll need:
A duster (I like Swiffer)
Sponges with rough non-scratch side
Rubber gloves
A vacuum
Toilet Brush
Optional: a mop and/or broom with dustpan, bucket

Other cleaning-type products (in the same area of the grocery store): dishwasher detergent (I use the powder in a box, like Cascade), laundry detergent (I buy the cheapest liquid stuff, however I prefer Purex Free and Clear, its in a white bottle), laundry spray spot stain remover (like Shout), and bleach.

And remember here's a rough list of what you're cleaning (or a list of what-to-clean to give to your kids):

Bathroom: shower drain, countertops, shower, toilet, toilet bowl, baseboards, mirror, cabinets, light switch plate covers, walls

Kitchen: cabinets, hard floors, countertops, appliances, walls, window glass, window frame, sink and faucet, inside microwave, light switch plate covers

Bedrooms: ceiling fans, baseboards, window glass, window frame, light switch, wood furniture

Living Areas: baseboards, wood furniture, floor air vents, TV, window glass, window frames, light switch plate covers

Vacuum: all floors

Happy Cleaning!

image via: Good Housekeeping

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