How I Keep A Clean House & My Favorite Products
I would definitely describe myself as a total clean freak. I like everything to be completely spotless all the time, as crazy as that may sound. I’m always in a better mood when things are clean because I know that it’s one less thing I have to worry about and because who doesn’t always want everything to be clean?! What can be difficult, though, is when life tries to get in the way and we all use the excuse that we don’t have enough time to clean. I’m telling you that yes you do, we all have time. It’s just about priorities. So in today’s post, I wanted to share with you my favorite cleaning items that make the job easier as well as a few tips and tricks that I have learned along the way. You better roll up those sleeves ‘cause we’re goin right in!
I’m trying to keep it as organized as I can by categories, so first I want to mention my two must have “tools” that I can’t clean without. Gloves are very important when you’re cleaning. Not only will these help protect your mani, but they’ll also protect the skin on your hands since we’re dealing with many different chemicals. For an added bonus, slather on some lotion before you put the gloves on and when you take them off you’ll have baby smooth skin.
Next time you’re in Walmart, Target, or wherever, pick up a cheap pack of white rags. These may sometimes be with the bath towels or with the dish towels, any white rags will do. The white prevents you from having to worry about colors being bleached from the chemicals. And it’s easier to use rags for cleaning because when you’re done, you can throw them in the washing machine for next time.
For cleaning the bathtub and shower, I like to use the regular Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner. It’s a pretty common item for cleaning because it does a great job. I spray it in my shower or in the tub, let it sit for about five minutes, scrub it with a sponge, and rinse it away. This reduces the amount that you have to spend scrubbing it yourself and really cleans all the dirt off.
I used to squirm at the thought of cleaning toilets, but since it’s just me and my boyfriend the job doesn’t seem as disgusting. I mentioned in my recent empties post that I don’t like using bleach on the toilets and while it’s still not my preference because it’s so harsh, it does do a good job. As far as toilet cleaners, I don’t have a specific one that I really prefer over the others. I just try to look for one that has hydrogen peroxide instead. This Clorox one works perfectly fine and I would say that I recommend it.
One of the lifesavers for cleaning is these Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. I always grab the yellow one because it’s the one I’ve always had and honestly, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you the difference between the other options. These are so easy to use and greatly reduce the time it takes to clean. I use these on everything, desktops, door handles, toilet paper holders, light switches, anything. I use a rag to dry the surfaces after so there aren’t any wet marks left behind when it dries.
I mentioned this DIY natural stone cleaner back in my January Favorites and it’s still one of my favorite things to use. I mixed together ¾ cup water, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tbsp of dishwashing soap, and 10 drops of tea tree oil in a $1 bottle I found at Walmart. Sometimes I’ll double the amounts since this bottle can hold more. The rubbing alcohol makes granite super shiny while the dishwashing soap and tea tree oil really help to disinfect.
I was always using Windex to clean mirrors, windows, glass, etc. because I thought that’s just what you use. Until last summer when our lawn guy broke a glass door with a rock and the men who came to replace it used this Sprayway Glass Cleaner when they were done installing the new door. I was amazed at how well it worked and even more excited when I saw it in Walmart. I had just assumed it was something special that the professionals use and I wouldn’t be able to get a hold of. But no, it’s at Walmart and it’s $2. I’ve also seen it at Home Depot. It doesn’t leave any streaks and works really quickly to leave those surfaces crystal clear. Now, I won’t use anything but this!
Growing up a carpenter’s daughter, I learned the importance of keeping wood furniture oiled. Not only will this prolong the life of the furniture, but it will keep it looking polished and new. I don’t always use this Pledge Restore & Shine every time I clean, only when I notice the wood isn’t looking shiny and healthy anymore. But as far as wood oils go, this is the one that I have been the most happy with. Just make sure to let it sit for about 5-10 minutes and then wipe it down again with a clean, dry cloth to absorb the excess. Otherwise you’ll end up an oily mess every time you touch that furniture.
This next item is a little different. It’s the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel Stamps. I place a stamp on the inside of the toilet after I finish cleaning. Every time the toilet is flushed, it creates just a few bubbles to help keep the toilet clean longer in between deep cleanings. I’ve also been impressed with the Glade Rainshower scent these come in too, it smells very fresh and lasts for a while. They definitely don’t take the place of scrubbing it yourself, so don’t think this is a shortcut. It just makes scrubbing easier when it’s time.
I think this one almost speaks for itself with as many times as I have mentioned it in various favorites and empties posts. I love anything with this Glade Hawaiian Breeze scent. I’ve been using it for such a long time and I still can’t get enough of it. It’s so fresh, fruity, and clean I love it! I sprinkle this Carpet and Room Refresher on carpets, rugs, recliners, and the sofa maybe twice a month when I’m vacuuming and it makes such a big difference. The scent stays in the vacuum for the next time you use it and lasts a few days in the carpets and furniture.
Again with the Glade Hawaiian Breeze, I wasn’t joking. I’m seriously obsessed! I have three of the Solid Air Refreshers ($1 each) and put one in each linen closet to keep towels and sheets fresh. You could also put these in clothes closets for an extra boost to your clothes. I don’t recommend using these in a large room, though, because they aren’t really strong enough for that. Which is why they’re perfect for small areas like closets and bathrooms.
Would you like to take a guess at which scent is in these Glade Air Wick Oil Warmers? If you randomly guessed Hawaiian Breeze, ding ding ding! Hawaiian Breeze has a forever home in these oil warmers. I recently made the mistake of cheating on it and getting a limited edition summer scent. It was okay, but nothing compares to my favorite! And I pinky promise you I am not a Glade commercial, I just really love things that smell good and this just happens to be my favorite so I go a little crazy. I place each of these in areas of the house that we spend the most time in. I unplug them at night and if I’ll be gone for a few hours. I know they’re safe to use, I just like to be home and awake when hot oil is plugged into an outlet.
Speaking of things smelling good, I also like to keep the Febreze Spring & Renewal Fabric Refresher on hand. Every now and then when I feel like I want a pick-me-up, I’ll quickly spray whatever fabric is around me with this. It doesn’t last very long, but it is refreshing and that’s what I’m going for. So this isn’t an essential product, it’s just nice to have around for a quick spritz of freshness.
Moving onto cleaning the floors, this is something I’ve become completely obsessed with ever since I moved out of my parents house and became responsible for a clean home. Floors aren’t something that we constantly walk around looking at, but we do always see it out of the corner of our eyes whether we notice it or not. And because the floors cover the entire house, if those look dirty then it feels like everything else is dirty. I usually vacuum and mop every other day for maintenance and because my German Shepherd sheds like a maniac. This Shark Navigator Deluxe vacuum makes the job so much easier. I’ve had a few other vacuums that were too difficult and heavy to use, but this one is lightweight, works on carpet or tile, doesn’t require bags, and has all the attachments that I need.
Mopping has always been my favorite out of the two, but ever since I got my Hoover Twintank Steam Mop it’s been even more fun. Yes, I just said mopping is fun! I wrote a complete separate post explaining all the details to this mop and why it’s my favorite. But for a short recap, it’s lightweight, easy to store, doesn’t require any extra solution (it’s optional), it comes with reusable pads, works on multiple surfaces, and dries super fast. After introducing myself to the steam mop life, I can’t even imagine using anything else.
Aside from getting cleaning tools and products that work the best, it’s also easier to have a few tips and tricks to help you along the way. A few of my favorites are:
1.) Deep cleaning every other week - I know this sounds almost impossible to most people, but upkeep and frequent cleaning is crucial to keeping a constantly clean home. The longer you let messes, dirt, and dust sit, the harder you’re making your job when you actual do decide to clean. Frequent cleaning means quicker cleaning rather than infrequent cleaning that takes twice, maybe three times as long.
2.) Daily cleaning - Let’s face it, there’s a number of things that just need to be done every single day. Things such as dishes, cleaning the counters after cooking meals, picking up toys, etc. But then there’s also realizing that taking the extra 10 seconds to put mail where it belongs rather than throwing it down wherever is not going to ruin your life. Remember: 10 minutes a day keeps the clutter monster away!
3.) You’re not too busy - We’re gettin real here! I’ve noticed that it’s almost like a competition as to who has the more important, more busy life that they don’t have enough time to clean. I’m telling you that you do, you have plenty of time to clean. As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s all about priorities. Do you want to sit down and watch an hour show on tv, letting the mess just pile up and lie to yourself that you’ll do it after the show’s over? Or do you want to save that show (that’s not going anywhere) and use it as a reward after an hour of cleaning to keep you and your family free from germs?
I understand that life gets hectic. However, cleaning is important and it has to be done, so I’ve equipped myself with the best resources available to me and I do the responsible thing. But if you have absolutely zero time to do anything at all, I’d recommend checking out the Handy’s home cleaning website to see if they offer services in your area. They will help keep your home clean while you continue on with your important life. If you have a question on any of the items that I mentioned, please don’t hesitate to ask it in the comments. I’d love to hear your biggest cleaning concerns or what your favorite tips and tricks are for making cleaning easier. Hope you have a beautiful weekend! :)