As the owner of a cleaning business in Phoenix, Arizona, I’ve tried a lot of different cleaning supplies over the years. My cleaning style is less about hard core scrubbing, and more about making things as easy as I can on cleaning days. If you’ve read or listened to my episode How to Keep Your Bathroom Clean Without Cleaning, you can tell that I rarely let my home get to the point of dirty that requires more than a quick wipe down to clean it.
In order to make sure my house is always in (relatively) clean condition, there are a few cleaning supplies that I rely on. Again, these are not tools that are meant to do a deep scrubbing, rather they are every day tools that can easily help you keep your home clean on a regular basis.
We have two dogs, one of whom has an undercoat and the other has long, soft hair. As you can imagine, we have a dog hair problem in our house. No matter how much we brush them, there seems to be more hair ready to fall out and cover our floors. Certain times of the year, we are collecting hairballs from the floor on a daily basis.
To help alleviate some of the frustration with the dog hair, we keep a small fluffy mop handy at all times. This is a dry mop that we quickly dust over the floors. It fits between the legs of furniture, and collects a surprising amount of hair and dust with it as it goes. Once we’ve dusted the floor, we can quickly shake out the mop and sweep up the pile of dust and hair. It’s a super quick and easy way to keep our hard floors free of excess hair and other small pieces of stuff that sneak in on our shoes. Plus, the mop head is easily removed and can be washed and dried in a machine, so there’s no excuse for it to stay nasty dirty after a few swipes around the house.
Once the hard floors are dusted, they typically can use a little wet mop action. I’m not a big fan of getting out a bucket of hot water and a massive mop to clean the few rooms in our home that have tile. I’d rather use a spray mop with a microfiber pad to quickly spray down the floor and wipe it clean. As long as the pad is replaced and cleaned often, this process produces similar results to hand wiping the floors, but without the pain of being on your hands and knees.
I prefer to use a spray mop that comes with an empty bottle versus using a spray mop that comes with a cleaning solution already filled. This is because I prefer to use more green cleaning solutions in my home, and a vinegar and water mixture is my favorite for most hard floors. The cleaning solutions that come prefilled in the spray mop bottles can leave a sticky residue on floors. Not only is it annoying to feel the sticky, but that means that the cleaning solution is being transferred to any feet that walk across it. Not only do I prefer that the soles of my feet stay free of cleaning solution, but I really can’t stand the thought of my dogs licking their paws after they’ve picked up a bunch of sticky chemicals. That’s why I stick to vinegar and water when cleaning our floors.
The next item on my list is a Swiffer Duster. While most of the items on this list have a variety of brands that fit within the characteristics I like, Swiffer has the market cornered with their duster. I prefer to have one of their extendable handle versions so I can quickly dust from top to bottom as I walk around my home. The dusters themselves pick up a surprising amount of dust from any surface, and I’ve found that you can typically wash and dry them at least once to get extra use out of them.
If you are a crafty person, you can also make reusable dusters to fit the Swiffer handles. For my cleaning business, we have done this to help cut back on the amount of trash we produce. There are patterns available online, and with a few different pieces of flannel material and some basic sewing ability, you can put together a set of washable dusters to help you clean around your home. Or, if you have zero sewing ability like me, you can ask a friend (or a friend’s mom) to help create your stash.