“Is your house always so clean?”
“How do you keep up with it all?”
“Do you have a maid?”
I get these questions on a weekly basis so I decided it would be fun to write a post on my favorite cleaning products and methods.
I’m a little OCD/Type-A about cleaning (okay, more than a little) so I like to keep a pretty clean house---but it definitely doesn’t stay perfectly clean all week. Like everyone else, my counters get dirty, my floors and furniture get dusty and I leave clothes on the floor of my closet (more often than I care to admit.)
My goal is to have my house spotless by Sunday so I can wake up to a clean home on Monday. It feels so much better to come home from work on Monday to a clean home than one that is chaotic. In fact, I don’t even know how people cope when their house is really messy. It gives me anxiety.
Part of keeping a clean home is not having STUFF everywhere. I’m talking closets, storage closets and garages full of stuff you “might use one day".” I assure you, you will not. I purge several times a year by donating things we don’t use to the Salvation Army. We even donated our old couch. I hate having clutter around---even if it’s hidden, it bothers me to know that something I’ll never use again is taking up space in my home.
I will admit that I’m much more obsessed with keeping this home clean than our last one. It’s probably because the floors are so dark that they show every spec of dust. Or maybe it’s because I just love this house so much and want to keep it beautiful (I loved our last house too, but you know what I mean!)
I have considered hiring a maid, but I have promised myself I wouldn’t do that until we have kids. I don’t hate cleaning and I find it provides stress relief---plus, it’s a great workout and it saves me money to do it myself. So I’m not saying I would never get a maid, I just don’t need one now.
Here are my top “clean house” tips:
- Clean during off hours--- this past Saturday, my H and I were at a crawfish boil (I don’t eat them!) and we got home at about 10PM. I put on my sweatpants as soon as we walked through the door and got my clean on. I dusted my floors, cleaned countertops and cleaned my entire bathroom. I was up until past midnight but the next morning was bliss---it always feels amazing to wake up to clean home. I will sometimes even clean on a Friday night so I don’t have to over the weekend. It just depends on the mood I’m in.
- Get rid of clutter---if it didn’t register when I said it above, donate or sell stuff you don’t need anymore. If you haven’t used it in a year or two---will you really ever use it again? If it no longer goes with your décor scheme, will you really every bring it back? Either find a way to make it work (like repainting a dresser you love) or get rid of it. People worry they will feel regret---but I always feel a great sense of relief.
- Get the right tools---I’m going to share my favorites below---but having the right tools makes cleaning easy and enjoyable (well, for me it does, some people still hate it, but the right tools make it bearable)
- One room at a time--- If you hate to clean, try doing one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and like it will “never get done”
- Team work---if you have a partner or roommate, tag-team your cleaning efforts. I’ll often ask my husband to quickly dust something or Windex something as I’m cleaning the house. He also does chores that I can’t stand, like taking out the trash and unloading the dishwasher.
- Establish a routine---I have such a routine going that cleaning feels easy now. I keep the products I need to clean my bathroom under the sink so they are easily accessible. I have a whole routine for cleaning my hardwoods too. Once it becomes routine, it will get easier and you’ll be able to do it more quickly.
- Take it off---of your countertops, that is. I remove everything from my bathroom countertops before I clean them (and the mirror) because it is so much easier and less time-consuming than trying to work around it all. Plus, then you can also clean the things that go back onto the counter before you place them there.
- Clean when you’re angry or upset---I know this sounds crazy, but my most successful cleaning sessions happen when I’m super stressed or upset about something. You kind of have to channel all of that anger into something and it’s almost a relief to clean and organize things because it kind gives you an outlet to have “control” over something, even when life feels out of control.
- The light at the end of the tunnel---I can clean my house pretty well in 2-3 hours. It’s totally worth it and I never regret spending the time cleaning it. I’ve had weeks where I skipped cleaning and let the house become a disaster and it makes me pretty grumpy. So when I clean, I think about the mental clarity and calm that it brings me and that encourages me to stick to it.
Now that I’ve shared my very obvious cleaning “secrets,” I’ll share some of my favorite tools and products:
Left- Bona Microfiber Mop; Right- Swiffer Sweeper Vac
I am in love with the Bona Hardwood floor cleaning system. The microfiber pad is removable, reusable and machine washable. I use it with Bona Hardwood Floor cleaning and it works like a charm. I first use either a vacum cleaner OR my Swiffer Sweeper Vac to remove dust and then I use the Bona mop to clean the floors.
If you don’t have a Swiffer Sweeper Vac, you should run to Target and buy one, like now. It was recommended to me once by someone with kids, so I knew it was going to be good. Basically, it has a Swiffer pad that you attach to it (you toss it when you’re done) and that collects every morsel of dust on your floor. It also has a vacuum function so you can pick up larger bits of dust and other stuff that accumulates on your floors. It’s as light as a newborn baby and it is PERFECT for cleaning stairs because it’s so easy to maneuver. Thank you God for the Swiffer Sweepet Vac.
Method Daily Granite Cleaner---this stuff smells yummy and makes my kitchen countertops clean and shiny. What more can a girl ask for?
Here’s the aforementioned Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It doesn’t have a strong smell and gets the job done. Plus, it’s supposed to be super gentle and okay to use frequently. Another floor cleaner I love that I only use once in awhile (but I love it) is Orange Glo’s cleaner. It is ultraviolet colored and kind of smells a little strong…but it really makes floors shine. I’ll use it once every 4 weeks or so and use the Bona weekly.
My mother-in-law gave me this awesome stainless steel cleaning spray. It’s like a miracle for stainless. If a stainless fridge was like a face, this product would be its facelift. It seriously removes every single smudge with no residue and no streaks. It’s called “Perfect Stainless” because the company is clearly just being honest. It really is perfect.
Ahhh trust o'l’ Windex. Every house needs a bottle of Windex. For mirrors, windows and other surfaces you want to clean (like my perpetually dirty $30 IKEA coffee table), it just works like a charm.
If I could write a love poem for it, I would. The Swiffer duster is like a little cleaning caterpillar. It picks up dust anywhere and actually holds it in place. I use these to dust all of my furniture, ceiling fans, everything. I don’t even understand what people did before these were invented.
We have lots of Travertine in our home. Pretty, but it’s a sensitive stone. That’s why I love 409’s Natural Stone Cleaner. It’s gentle and effective. I use it on my bathroom countertops and floors. It doesn’t have a strong smell either which is great!
Okay, this isn’t a cleaning product, but I’m obsessed with CALDREA linen spray. It smells so good I wish they made a soap, body wash and perfume in this scent. I just want to douse myself in it and smell like that forever. SO good. I spray it on sheets, towels, my duvet. Even my clothes sometimes.
We have a glass shower so it gets pretty icky in there. Soap and body wash reside abounds. That’s why I love Tilex Fresh Shower spray. The last person who showers (usually me) sprays it on the glass and tile and it basically cleans your shower without you even touching the glass. It’s like cleaning for lazy people.
No bathroom is complete without some Lysol. I use the 4 in 1 Bathroom Cleaner to clean my sinks. It has a strong smell, but it’s quite nice and makes sinks look fresh and shiny.
Method All-Purpose cleaner smells great (just like their granite cleaner) and works for all kinds of surfaces. I usually use it on my mirrors and faucets.
What are your best cleaning tips and favorite cleaning products? Do you have a maid? If so, how often does your maid clean your home? Leave me a comment and let me know!
FTC: I purchased all of these products with my own money and am raving about them because I’m a clean-a-holic. Are you? I am using affiliate links in this post. I get a teeny tiny percentage by using affiliate links…but this post took me about 2 hours to write and find all the links (so you wouldn’t have to)…so I deserve a few pennies, no?