This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in April 2013.
Cue the spring cleaning. I’ve been twiddling my thumbs waiting for the day it’s warm enough to open all of our home’s windows and ventilate, but in the meantime, I’ve been getting down on cleaning inside with some of my favorite tools.
Maybe you’re like me, a little bit of a gadget-seeker, someone often seeking the easy cleaning route, and often compelled to go organic (even though I’m not the poster child for that way of living, I just do what I can and can afford). If you are too, you’ll probably enjoy seeing this article on DIY Network that speaks to 10 different ways to use vinegar in your household, and you’ll enjoy some of my tricks involving products that suit all of the aforementioned housekeeping qualities for those with limited time to shine:
For more detail on three products that I really, really love, keep on reading and prepare to get your inner clean-freak on.
Our floor steamer is one of the best things that happened to me. That’s a dramatic statement, right? It’s what I tell everyone when the topic of steamers comes up (you know, when catching up with other bloggers, over dinner, at the occasional bar, I’m such an interesting person to talk to). The floors in our home are mostly hardwood, which I do get down on my hands and knees and scrub clean with semi-regularity, but for in-between cleanings, the HAAN steam steamer does a great job at cutting into the grime and sterilizing the hardwood floors as well as the bathroom and kitchen vinyl tiles with ease. Can you say 99.9% germ free? I can’t enough. It leaves me feeling great. There are obviously many brands of steam cleaners out there these days (at varying price points to boot) so do your research, and pick the one that works for you.
The Original Spaghetti Scrub by Goodbye Detergent! was a Christmas gift, so I’ve had in excess of three months to become best friends with it. It’s main claims to fame are true: one unit lasts for months, and it has no smell which to me confirms that it does in fact lack mold and bacteria from regular dish washing. Additionally, even three months in it still looks new, and it always rinses completely clean unlike a sponge or a green scrubbie–a small miracle if you’re in the business of measuring household cleaning miracles. It gets cooler: they’re organically made using corn cobs and peach pits (like, what?) and really earn their keep with cutting into the grime on our dishes and pans (I still dab on a bit of dish soap, but it doesn’t take much to lather up the scrubby). You should order some. I bought mine on Amazon.
It’s a good thing that baking soda is inexpensive, because we use it in many ways besides baking, and I don’t just mean in the let’s-freshen-up-the-refrigerator sense. I mean, it allegedly loses its potency in the box after just 30-days, so you may as well use it while it’s at it’s best, right? I’m not going to be the first one to point out how good it is as a cleaning and freshening agent–some people go as far as to use it to make toothpaste and sprinkle it on as deodorant–but there are many practical ways to use it in your everyday cleaning routine. I often use it with a little soap on a sponge to clean our shower walls and vinyl shower curtain, sprinkle it into our gym shoes (powder feet!), and sprinkle it on/vacuum it off our furniture.
What are your favorite tricks?