Last week Christy shared her favorite cleaning tools and I found her post really interesting, maybe I am strange like that but I like seeing all the tricks that people use to manage their day to day household tasks.
I decided to follow suit and share my favorites since actually there isn’t that much overlap between what we each use. I did pick up a bunch of good tips and some new things to add to my monthly Grove.co order from her post, my cleaning process is ever-evolving.
I have three kids at home (2 teenage boys and an 11 year old girl), and certainly between slime, hamsters and nail polish my daughter wrecks way more havoc than the boys. My ongoing laundry overload is purely caused by my boys, but I’ll get to that at the end.
In an effort to be more organized, last Fall I organized the closet in our mudroom into a dedicated “cleaning closet” which has been really useful. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a plug so I have to keep my Dyson vacuum charging in our mudroom, but everything else related to home upkeep fits in there. I keep all our cleaners on the rack on the door, freeing up the inside to hold brooms, mops, as well as a canister of dog food and bins of light bulbs, bags and such.
Like Christy, I order pretty regularly from Grove. I have the VIP membership so I don’t ever pay shipping and it is nice to have what I need to clean magically appear at the door. I really like using the Mrs. Meyer’s seasonal scents (Mint is my favorite, I am happy to see it is coming back this Spring) just because it makes cleaning that much more enjoyable.
The back of the door rack is part of the ELFA collection at the Container Store, they can have so many uses (gift wrap, pantry, cleaning, crafts) and they just clip to your door so no tools and they are portable. It adds a ton of space.
General + Kitchen Cleaning Products
One of my go-to products especially at this time of year has been the Method Anti-Bac Sprays (I get them from Grove). I reach for this several times a day and make the effort to use them to wipe down my kids’ bathroom as often as I can, that way if of them gets sick odds are less that it will be shared. I use this spray all over my counters and especially in my sink. If someone is sick then I also use it all over spraying down door handles, light switches and banisters in a quest to eradicate as many germs as I can.
For the last few years I have used the seasonal hand soap and dish soap from Mrs. Meyer’s, as well as the bubble up sink set on the Grove tray.
I have recently moved on to refillable glass bottles to make life simpler and to cut down on waste. You can order the refills from Grove, they have starter sets or you can purchase a glass bottle with a pump and then just refill it as needed.
In addition to cleaning products, one of my very favorite tools is the HomeRight Steam Machine (newer model here), we have sung its praises countless times and I even wrote a post about cleaning with it during cold and flu season HERE. My favorite use for it is cleaning my oven, since it works without fumes and chemicals. My boys often make frozen pizzas which leads to burned on cheese, which in turn fills up the house with smoke. I hate using the auto clean setting on the oven, since the fumes are terrible not to mention unhealthy. The steam machine just uses distilled water turned into high temp steam which cleans the oven easily and in just minutes.
I use the Method Steel for Real spray with a microfiber rag to clean our stainless steel appliances (though I may try the tricks Christy shared in her post, she had some good ones!) but I had to share the Hope’s Perfect Sink in this post because you need to know! I saw this on KelleyNan.com and it literally makes your sink shine! I alternate it with the Method Surface Scrub for just a quick clean but for that perfect shiny polished look from the Hope’s gives that instant gratification, sparkling clean.
A few other things I keep on hand and use all the time. I keep some diluted white vinegar in a spray bottle to use for cleaning our refrigerator. I try to wipe the shelves down regularly or at least before I make a major grocery trip. For an occasional granite polish I use the 7th Generation spray. Club Soda works wonders on pet carpet stains, I use it as a temporary measure to keep the stain from setting, until I can get out my carpet steam cleaner.
This winter I replaced our bulkier carpet cleaner with this lightweight Hoover model and it has been great. As you know, last summer we adopted a Cavalier rescue puppy, Auggie. He’s a doll, but housebreaking has been a challenge for a puppy that lived the first months of his life in a cage. He’s prone to stomach upset (apparently this is a small dog thing? Who knew?) which requires frequent carpet cleaning. I find using some club soda until I can get out the steam cleaner has worked well in keeping our carpets clean. This one is really lightweight, works great and is easy to move around the house, it is a great deal for the price and honestly a must-have if you have pets.
I have shared this Bona Hardwood Cleaner before but it is another tool I don’t know how I lived without. Mopping the floor is just such a not fun chore! This makes it simple. I give our floors a quick once over with my Dyson cordless vac (which maybe the best cleaning tool EVER) then mop them quickly with this refillable mop. The pad goes right in the washer once I am done. It’s such an easy system and it just takes a few minutes to have clean floors.
Laundry Tricks and Tips
I could write a whole post on laundry, like cleaning and meal planning it is just the stage of life I am in. I do subscribe to the load of laundry a day (which is more like two loads right now thanks to spring sports) but I also do skip a day whenever I can. I order the All Free + Clear detergent in bulk (I store the pods in the enamel “laundry” tin) and then add in some Method Fabric Softener when I do sheets and towels (I order that from Grove).
I have also shared before that each one of my kids has a basket with their name on it, so laundry goes in there for them to put away. You can see our recent laundry room makeover here. I also use these dryer balls when I dry sheets and towels, they are a great alternative to dryer sheets. I also really love the Laundress products, I use this Delicate Wash for many of my items that I’d otherwise dry-clean (like blouses and sweaters), this product has saved a ton of money. I just run them through the delicate cycle with a small amount of the wash and hang to dry, then steam using my steamer.
I have tried all the different cleaning methods and honestly I don’t have one system. Ideally I’d tackle things in the zone system (you can find videos on You Tube about this, How Jen Does It is a great cleaning vlogger), but I admit it doesn’t always work out that way. My kids do have areas they are responsible for and I have my house deep cleaned monthly which also really helps when I am really busy. I try to clean the kitchen (at least counters and floors) daily and the bathrooms weekly, but life is short so spending it trying to have an immaculate house isn’t my priority either!
If you have a great cleaning system that has worked for you I’d love to hear in the comments!XO,
Liz Randal says
The auto clean function is not healthy for the oven,either! My last oven never worked again after I used that function one day, and I had to replace it. The man who installed the new oven told me that he’s seen it happen many times, and that he never uses the self-cleaning function on his own oven. News to me!
I recently sent in my fav list when Christy did her post, but I may soon have a new favorite that takes the place of most all of them. It’s Force of Nature. I am still researching it, but have ordered my starter kit and can’t wait to try it. It is a home vers io n similar in concept to the fogger/mister our schools have been using to battle flu and covid 19 germs. I’d love your and Christy’s opinion! Thanks.
Sounds interesting, we’ll keep a look out for this. I haven’t heard of it! Amy