Spring Cleaning

So we’re still suffering with allergies over here and I decided that a little spring cleaning is in order. There’s really only one problem: I don’t know much about cleaning. In my defense, I don’t think my mother knows much about cleaning either. She was raised by a bachelor (I shudder to imagine THAT bathroom), and as long as I can remember we’ve had a cleaning person who comes about once a week. I mean I didn’t do my own laundry or even load a dishwasher until I left home. Pathetic, right.

So I actually own a book on cleaning, but what I want are the secret tips that you get from actually cleaning. Like dusting. What are you guys dusting with? Paper towels? Swiffer cloths? What about toilets and bathtubs? What really gets the funk up?

For the most part I find that this isn’t a super-commenty blog, but I need some help. . .share your cleaning tips, please!

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Comments

  1. I just discovered Magic Eraser and it is the best invention ever. Check out my blog today for an example.

  2. mamaterapeuta says:

    It’s a strange topic but interesting.
    Lucky for me, I do have someone who helps me on a daily basis, but I do have something to share.

    If it’s for allergies, you may wanna consider using green products to clean. I know I’d do it if I were the one actually cleaning.

    Here is a link with advices an all:

    http://family.go.com/parenting/article-184094-family-5–our-top-green-cleaners-already-in-your-pantry-t/

  3. Eeek! I’m not much of a cleaner either, but I do my best.

    I use a lot of Clorox Anywhere spray and Clorox Bleach Cleaner spray. The Bleachy one will BLEACH, though so be careful about clothes, towels, shower curtains, etc. It’s AWESOME for nasty places.

  4. fertylemyrtle says:

    If you have the chance, watch a few episodes of "How Clean is Your House" on BBC America. One, it will make you feel better about your own home, and Two, they give really good tips on cleaning with simple things like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. Pretty interesting and Kim & Aggie are a hoot!

  5. Swiffer cloths are great for dusting and also work great on hardwood floors. I also could not live without the Magic Eraser. Another good thing is Zud if you have any rusty spots and I love, love, love The Works toilet and shower cleaners!

  6. Well, I’m not exactly a good cleaner so I don’t have any tips to share but I’m interested to read what others say!

  7. Small Town Girl says:

    I rarely clean, but that’s why what I use has to be good! LOL. I use The Works toilet cleaner which is awesome. Also Mr. Clean Magic Eraser which gets all that hairspray residue off my counters and floor in the bathroom. I like the little Swiffer dusters–they are awesome, too. Other than that I have no insight. I WILL continue to check back to see what other people say, too. Oh, and my April Real Simple magazine I just got the other day said something about home cleaning on the cover–I haven’t read it yet, but that might be a good source.

  8. I need to Spring Clean, too. I love Murphy’s Wood Oil Soap for my hardwood floors. I buy the concentrated version in the clear bottle and mix my own mop-and-shine version.

    Hot water in a spray bottle with a wee bit of dish soap works wonders on a lot of surfaces.

    If you have hard water that collects residues on your toilet bowls, there is a FANTASTIC product called a bathroom stone that I also really really love. No chemicals, just recycled glass or something like that.

    Oh, and another great natural product for scouring – Bon Ami. Made from seashells.

    Vinegar is a good cleaning product, too. It won’t smell once it dries.

  9. The Magic Eraser is great – crayons, marker, you name it. For the bathrooms, I like something like CLR – takes care of all “gunk” and quickly. I also keep Lysol wipes on hand for quick wipe downs in the bathroom. I dust with a rag or paper towels. I like Endust over anything else for dusting. It really does seem to ward off dust longer than cheaper brands.

  10. courtneyl says:

    the Magic Eraser is the best “tool” ever invented!!!! nothing i have found holds a candle to it!!! you can use it on anything… i prefer the Sprayaway foam stuff to windex, it doesn’t streak as bad… good luck cleaning!!!
    =^..^=

  11. Nadine Hightower says:

    You’re so cute.
    I’m not a good housekeeper either.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I just vacuum, mop with Fabuloso, dust with windex and as for the bathroom, Lysol w/ chlorine or Tilex will clean everything. Toilet I use Lysol with bleach in that toilety looking bottle. The kitchen gets good old fashioned dish soap and water most everywhere…counters, stove top, sinks..except when things get a bit greasy in which case i go back to the lysol with bleach. I do the kitchen everyday though, so it doesn’t really get a chance to build up.

  13. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I use separate bathrooms, but his is usually nastier. He has one of those mechanized cleaning things that you hang in the shower. It works really well if you use it consistently and hate to clean the shower yourself. (Which we do! Also, we couldn’t seem to keep the shower clean no matter how often we cleaned it.) I will say that the cleaning solution is a little pricey — especially if you’re pushing the button every day after you shower. It’s worth it to us, though.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I make my own stuff with vinegar, lemons, bleach, baking soda, etc. It’s way cheaper than the stuff you buy in the market and works better too. Plus, no chemicals.

    http://housekeeping.about.com/cs/environment/a/alternateclean.htm

  15. desperate housewife says:

    I LOVE this topic. Cleaning is kind of an obsession of mine. For dusting, lately I’ve been buying the new Endust kind that’s in an eco friendly can and is supposed to reduce allergins. It doesn’t have any wax to cause buildup, and it doesn’t have fragrance either. So better for allergy sufferers. (But personally I still heart the smell of good old Lemon Pledge.)
    For in between, quick dustings, I have a vast array of microfiber cloths. These are FANTASTIC. I will never dust with paper towels again. The microfiber picks up and traps the dust, so you’re actually cleaning it up, rather than smearing it around or brushing it into the air again. Then once a week or so I will follow up the microfiber cloths with some Pledge or whatever on a (clean) dust rag. They even make microfiber mits, so it couldn’t be easier. You can use them dry or with cleaning spray on them, and they’re very washable. I also use a dry microfiber cloth for dusting picture frames, lamps and knick knacks that need cleaning but shouldn’t have any product used on them.
    For sinks, I have abandoned all those harsh chemicals and I use plain old baking soda to scrub. Works better than anything I’ve ever used. I just use a dishwater solution to clean the kitchen counters, unless there’s been a Meat Incident, and then I keep some Lysol wipes on hand.
    I also use Lysol wipes all over the bathroom, because I’m sorry, no matter how green my cleaning gets, I will not live with fece particles on the toilet. But I have switched to many of the green bathroom cleaners and mopping solutions, mainly the Green Works line and also the new green bathroom cleaner from Scrubbing Bubbles. I find they work just as well if not better. And the bathroom smells much fresher than when there was ammonia everywhere!
    Sorry for the book. This is a topic close to my heart!

  16. desperate housewife says:

    Er, also, that should be “dishSOAP solution,” not “dishwater solution.” Wiping things up with dirty dishwater would NOT be my suggestion.

  17. You might get some ideas from flylady.net – I don’t read it much as she is far too busy for me but she does have some good ideas.

  18. Good one, Bird! This old lady learned alot!

  19. Magic Eraser is a miracle thing. Although it is so powerful, it’s a little scary–what the heck is it made of?!

    I have been on a big eco-cleanser kick, we use stuff by Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation for cleaning, except for toilet bowl, where only Clorox will do.

    I just don’t want the kids inhaling chemicals, stuff is a little more expensive but worth it, to me.

  20. Heck I’m checking out the comments too. Although I hate cleaning, I love my house to be organized. I can’t stand it being messy! I’d love to have someone come clean for me! But I’d probably clean up before they got there because I wouldn’t want them to see how messy we really are! One thing I hate about spring…”spring cleaning” what were they thinking? You’re suppose to be outside playing – not cleaning!!

  21. White Hot Magik says:

    I dig the Magic Eraser a lot especially now that they have generic versions at most major stores. I use a lot of dishsoap and vinegar with a few drops of rosemary essential oil in spray bottles for everyday clean up and For the bathroom, which I hate cleaning, I do use the Mr. Clean Bathroom thingy mop and one of those toilet brushes that you can drop the tip in the trash when you are done. I feel guilty about it but I despise touching toilet brushes and if that gets me cleaning it is worth it!
    Now I want some of those microfiber cloths, dust is really bad here.
    Oh for the allergies I am all about swiffer too they trap a lot, I have even washed them out and reused them.

  22. I am not a meticulous housecleaner, but we cannot live without the Clorox clean wipes and the swiffer, and formula 409 for the stove! And yes we own a carpet shampooer. Oh heavens nothing I hate worse than a filthy carpet!

  23. I pick up, but hubby does the cleaning (or did, now that I am a new SAHM, I guess I should probably start doing it). That said, I really like online shopping (another thing that has to change now that I am staying home) and not too long ago bought a “Get Clean Starter Kit” from Shaklee (www.shaklee.com). You have to be a member to buy it, but this is where I get Fletcher’s multivitamins, so I had already joined.

    They are eco friendly and although it is a big up-front cost, you dilute everything b/f you use it, so it ends up saving you money in the long run (or at least that is their pitch). It was also one of Oprah’s favorite things last year (not that Oprah does any of her own cleaning either).

  24. my mom was a cleaning fool; which makes life really difficult for me as I want and expect an immacculate house even with my 3 nasty dogs. I’m constantly cleaning something. I use plain old kitchen rags for dusting, I use lots and lots of clorox wipes for everything, brooms and mops don’t work good enough for me so I usually get down on my knees and sweep and scrub with my hands, ditto goes for toilet wands–screw em–and I haven’t yet found any cleaner that I don’t have to scrub my shower with contrary to what it says on the container. Scrubbing Bubbles my ass.