Monday, April 23, 2012

How I Clean Our Home & My Favorite Cleaning Products

“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 d├ęcor 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:

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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.

 



 

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Method Daily Granite Cleaner---this stuff smells yummy and makes my kitchen countertops clean and shiny.  What more can a girl ask for?

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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.


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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.


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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!

 

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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!

xoxo,

Veronika.

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?

82 comments :

  1. I'm sitting here, surrounded by a dirty house... this post makes me want to hop up and clean right now! We actually use a lot of the same products and I totally agree with you about the amazing-ness of Swiffer products! They're my hero!

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  2. I'm the same as you, a cleaning freak like my H would say. I'm using only natural products though. I love Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbana or something like that. I have the scrubbing powder for counter tops, and the floor cleaning liquid, and as well the dish soap with that scent. I also you it for the bathroom,the all purpose spray for the bathroom counter tops, showers and tubs. I even use that brand for laundry, the lavender smell is so awesome.
    I do clean a little everyday just to keep up, with the help of my H. Then on my first day off I clean the entire apt in about 3 hours. I like to take my time to get into the details. While I'm cleaning I also do a few washes, and load the dishwasher. So all is done in the afternoon, and I can enjoy the rest of the day as well as the next entire day in a clean home.

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  3. Thanks V! Im OCD about my cleaning when I get in the mood.

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  4. Your cleaning habits are exactly what my husband does AND his mentality! Without fail he'll be cleaning as soon as he comes home on a Friday afternoon - or when he's upset/stressed. I'm glad he enjoys doing it so I won't have to! lol

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  5. Yikes, you're using a lot of harsh chemicals in your house. Ever thought about going the more natural route (vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, etc?), especially when you have kids? I switched over to more natural cleaning products about a year and a half ago, and everything just feels so much more clean and fresh (and safe).

    Just my $0.02. :-)

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    1. I do plan to eventually use some more natural products. Especially when I get pregnant.

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  6. How often do you do a thorough cleaning of your fridge? Like taking everything out and scrubbing it down. And what about your stove? These are two things that I just completely forget about when I'm cleaning.

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    1. not often (fridge) we do clean our stove often though....but the fridge...not so much, maybe twice a year

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  7. I too swear by the Method Daily Granite Cleaner. I LOVE the way it smells!

    I have tried almost every stainless steel cleaner and my poor appliances are so streaky! Thank you so much for the recommendation on the Perfect Stainless - I can't wait to try it!

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  8. I'm sure you've checked this but is your floor cleaner safe for Lulu? I remember hearing that Swiffer was related to pet cancer. But what isn't related to cancer!? :/ Thanks for the tips V!

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    1. The swiffer is just a dusting cloth---the product you are talking about is the swiffer mop with the spray solution and I do not use that. Even if it was a myth it freaks me out.

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  9. I'm also a clean freak! I hate when my house is out of order...it stresses me out! It's much harder now with Audrey, but I do the best I can to keep up with things!:)

    We used to have maids a couple of years ago when I was still working full time (and my husband was also, of course). They would come every other week. I hated paying for them, and really it was sort of a pain to have them come anyway, because we'd still have to do preliminary tidying up and lock up any valuables. It was nerve wracking and I'm also a control freak, so I'd just rather do it myself! LOL. Especially now. Since then we've gotten white marble countertops which are super sensitive...I'd never trust anyone to clean them!

    I'm a big fan of vinegar and water for cleaning! I use it in the kitchen sink (with baking soda), in the bathroom, for mirrors and windows....it's good for almost everything! I also just started using Seventh Generation products, mostly for my bathrooms.

    Ok this is a novel!....Great post! I'll have to try some of the Method products you mentioned...they sound great!:)

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    1. can you share the recipe of how you mix the cleaning solution you make? do you make it for a one time use or keep it in a spray bottle?

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    2. I mix and store it in an old Windex bottle. I pour the vinegar first, filling about half the bottle, then just fill the rest with water. I buy the huge jugs of white vinegar at Costco. It lasts a long time! My husband hates the smell, but I just tell him that when he starts cleaning, he can use something else. LOL:)

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  10. You should do a bathroom organization video/post! I love how you store your q tips/cotton swabs! :)

    As always, thanks for sharing.

    Alethia
    www.alinabarber.blogspot.com

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  11. Wow! I agree with the comment above you are using way too many products with harsh chemicals. You shouldn't wait until you get pregnant to switch to natural products. All those chemicals are already in your system and that cat be good for you or the baby. My recommendation is to switch as soon as possible. I am also a clean freak and I switch to natural cleaning products a couple of years ago. Best decision I ever made not only for my family's well being but also for my pocket.

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    1. could you be more specific? I am asking people to share thier favorite products too---what do you like?

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    2. i use tons of seventh generation and mrs meyers products. i really really like all the seventh generation products (i use the laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent and dish soap) and i really like the lemon verbena smell of mrs meyers, although i don't find it to be just an *amazing* product. i mainly just use it so i don't have to use bleach on my always grimy countertops!

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    3. Great post! Some natural products that I love are seventh generation and mrs meyers! :)

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    4. Just wanted to chime in here- I LOVE Mrs. Meyers products, they are wonderful and really get things clean, plus they smell great too!

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    5. I use Dr. Bronners liquid soap, diluted with water. And you can squirt a little in with your vinegar to cut the salad smell a little. I save hundreds of dollars a year doing this, and I feel like I'm not hurting my little dogs with all those chemicals. I use Bronner's for counters, floors, bath (I do have some Mrs. Meyer's glass cleaner for glass and Method toilet cleaner). You can even use it as toothpaste, according to the bottle!

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  12. Water, vinegar and baking soda

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  13. Thanks for sharing. I think I need to get the Swiffer Sweeper vac now. It's fun to find other types of posts on fashion blogs. The Swiffer and Swiffer dusters are my favorite. :)

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    1. I forgot to mention that I recently discovered 'Easy Off' for the oven from a friend. The fume free version is a nice option because I hate the way my house smells after using the self-cleaning option (even after opening the windows and using the fan to blow out the foul odor).

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  14. I'm loving this post. I don't use as many products, but I don't have as many different kinds of surfaces as you.
    I never considered myself as that clean, but after thinking about my habits, I've realized that I'm a bit of a clean freak! I do one or two "cleaning things" a day. We live in a small condo, so it's pretty easy. ONe day I clean the nooks and crannies of the kitchen, another day I dust everything.
    A couple of things I do everyday, is just wipe the kitchen counter every morning with disinfecting wipes, hand-washing our dishes (our dishwasher is SO loud and energy in-efficient), and a "five minute pick-up" of each room.
    Thanks for sharing your habits, routines, and awesome products!

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  15. What do you use for your carpet as spot treatment? Also, I have heard Myers is an excellent, natural rand! I also use "green works" antibacterial wipes on my bathroom counter and other counters daily (natural and can get at Target". Also, I use trader joes organic lavender scented detergent.

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  16. great post V! you and i would have been great roommates, our cleaning preferences are so similar! thanks for the product reviews too

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  17. I have two kids and I've started using plain vinegar in a spray bottle as an all-purpose solution to clean off counter tops, small spills on the floor, etc. I use 7th Generation for most of my cleaning...dishes, toilet, floor, counter tops, kids' play area, etc. Also, I think you'll like the scent of the products, too. Also, I use old newspapers and plain vinegar on mirrors. I use a rag and plain vinegar on faucets and windows. Believe me, you won't miss the Windex.

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  18. I wish I was a clean freak! Thanks for the tips...

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  19. "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?"
    I don't mean to be rude and I am sure you did not mean it this way but that last line really annoyed me. I have no problem with people using affiliate links but saying you deserve a few pennies for taking the time to post this... Really? People who write blogs don't "deserve" anything.

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    1. It came off a little awkward, but since when do bloggers deserve nothing? It's work!

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  20. www dot caldrea dot com I promise you won't be disappointed. I got the Citrus Mint Ylang Ylang countertop cleaner as a gift years ago (my kitchen smells incredible - luxurious & clean) and have been hooked on all of their products since. If you like the Blue Sage you will probably really like the Ginger Pomelo too. The line at Target is nice (and cheap) but nothing compares to the original! Happy Cleaning. Also check out www dot thymes dot com They have a gorgeous line of home fragrances and products. I love giving ( & getting )things like this as hostess gifts!

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  21. Thanks for these tips! I am a big fan of Method's products. I like the Swiffer Sweeper for our floors. I got a Black & Decker Steam Mop for Christmas that I really like. It does all the floor surfaces in our home (hardwood and ceramic) and gets them clean using just water so it's absolutely safe for our baby and dog! It's pretty lightweight to push around, too.

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  22. Great post! I use Lysol scrubbing bubbles in the bathrrom. I like it because it cleans well and doesn't smell too strong. I also use soap and water (Dawn actually)to clean my granite countertops. It gets them clean and shiny, and even removes hairspray build-up off them. :) I hate cleaning the shower and trying to remove soap scum. I recently hung a clear shower curtain in the shower, and it's helped prevent build-up on the glass. It's not he most attractive, but no one sees my shower and it keeps it clean!

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  23. I am going to try the stainless steel cleaner. I cannot for the life of me find something that works well! Thanks for this post :)

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  24. I would agree that it might be better to switch to homemade cleaning products. You can look on Pinterest for tons of ideas. My friend wrote a blog post on ways to clean naturally and the recipes:

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  25. @anon--- I'm sorry you feel annoyed by my FTC disclaimer. I was being sarcastic. I include links when I have the time to because it makes it easier for people to find things.

    Also---your comment about bloggers not deserving to make money is interesting because a lot of bloggers blog for a living---do they not deserve to be compensated for what they do? Bloggers spend a lot of time writing posts, finding links, taking and editing photos, etc. Is our time not worth anything? How is it any different from any other writer who is paid for what they write?

    I blog because I love it and I never monetized my blog until recently. I am not saying I "deserve" to be paid to write it (as I said, my comment was meant as a joke)---but my time, and other blogger's time is worth something, whether you believe that or not.

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  26. natalie- I had no idea Caldrea made cleaning products! I am totall going to order some :) thank you!

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  27. V, this post was so awesome! Your tips are really inspiring! I am a clean freak too and I actually just took yesterday off because we have been so busy on the weekends that I havent been able to clean. I literally cleaned all day and was exhausted but it was so worth it! Thanks again for your always-inspiring posts!

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  28. We have really hard water, so the soap scum/calcium etc builds up ridiculously fast in our shower. I recently started using a 1:1 mixture of plain white vinegar and the blue Dawn liquid dish soap. Just heat up the vinegar for a few seconds in the microwave in a spray bottle, add the Dawn, and give it a shake. It has a gel-like consistency, so when you spray it on the shower walls it doesn't just run down-it sticks. I leave it on for a couple of hours while I'm doing other things, then give it a quick swipe with a sponge and rinse. Soap scuzz GONE, glass/tile/grout clear and amazing. It's seriously the best thing I've ever used for cleaning the shower. I also bought a Jonathan Product Beauty Shower filter system. It's not only helped with the excess mineral build-up in the shower, but I can tell a HUGE difference in my hair and skin.

    I use Mrs. Meyers for our countertops (it's granite safe) and floors. The lavendar scent is my favorite. I've also started using white vinegar in place of fabric softener. Plain white vinegar is pretty much a miracle product. I buy the large bottle and keep it in spray bottles around the house for quick clean-ups. The smell is pretty strong while you're cleaning, but completely dissipates once it's dry.

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    1. Wow, this makes me want to run home and try it on my shower doors right now! Thanks for sharing :)

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  29. great post, just wanted to add my opinion on a product I love. You should try Mrs. Meyers All purpose cleaner...its a huge, concentrated bottle and you just mix with water and voila! I clean my countertops with it and my stainless steel appliances! Works like a charm. Also, I've had the same bottle for almost a year and it's nowhere near being done! Lasts forever. I made the switch to non toxic cleaners once I had my son, 2 years ago. You can also google "recipes" for all natural cleansers using things like Dr. Bronners soap, lavender oil, tea tree oil, etc. They smell so good and are safer for you and the environment!

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  30. Veronika,

    Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to post this and include the links.

    I can't believe some of the rude comments.

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  31. This post was totally right up my alley, thanks so much! Loved your cleaning product rec's, and I could not agree more with getting rid of clutter and things that you don't need. We will be moving in a month and I can't tell you how much i'm looking forward to getting rid of so many things! If we cannot picture it in our next house it's going into the donation bin. :)

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  32. Great Post! You just made me want to get up and clean my apartment. Thanks for the product reviews, it's always helpful and I think you do "deserve" the $ from affiliate links!

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  33. I try not to use any harsh chemicals around the house... vinegar and baking soda are amazing, and I also use some Bio-Vert and Nature Clean products (not sure if they are available outside of Canada). The toxins in some cleaning products just freaks me out, and I find the natural stuff works just as well.

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  34. I just had to comment about you cleaning while upset makes me laugh because my boss does that. We always know when he's in a bad mood because stuff goes flying ha.

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  35. What is Mrs. Meyers and where does everyone find it?

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    1. It's a great line of cleaning products. They have a great line for babies. I get mine at Target and Cost Plus World Market

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  36. Great post, Veronika! I went on a massive apartment cleaning this weekend while I was sick and as a person who is a bit OCD about cleanliness and organization, it was sooo satisfying! I use a lot of similar products as you though I think I need that shower cleaner... using it daily seems a lot easier to deal with than scrubbing whenever I remember I need to clean the shower.

    xo, alison*elle

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  37. Great post! I love my Roomba for all teh vaccuming jobs! First I let it do the work and then I go in and mop the floors :)

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  38. Great post! I love my Roomba for all teh vaccuming jobs! First I let it do the work and then I go in and mop the floors :)

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  39. Haha, I love the FTC disclaimer. You deserve, you deserve! Great post!

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  40. i ALWAYS clean when Im stressed/angry too! It always helps!

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  41. You should try the dawn+vinegar soap scum remover for your glass shower--look it up on pinterest, its crazy popular and works like magic!!

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  42. Hi Veronica! Thank you for a great post!
    When the house is not clean, it gives me anxiety too, especially on weekends - I want to come home to a clean environment,that's why I 'd rather stay up late or find time during the week to take care of everything.
    I wanted to share a recipe that I use for disinfecting the counter tops - it's safe and effective. You need 2 spray bottles. Mix 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water in one bottle and put hydrogen peroxide in 2nd bottle. The counter tops need to be dry and with no food particles or anything (precleaned basically). First spray vinegar mixture, then right away hydrogen peroxide and wipe everything clean with dry paper towel or regular towel.
    http://curlijuli.blogspot.com/

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  43. I love Mrs. Meyer's products-I don't like using harsh cleaners in my house. Mrs. Meyers and a Mr Clean magic eraser can clean just about anything.
    One thing to note about your hardwood floors-don't use Orange Glo on them. I work at a 5 star/5 diamond hotel in SC and am work with our hardwood flooring guys with our amazing black walnut floors. The company says you should only use vinegar and water and at most Bona cleaner on the floors. Orange glo will ruin your floors over time...Just a tip for you! :)

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  44. V, honestly, you deserve more than pennies! It's obvious it takes you a lot of time to put together your posts, everything is always so well thoughtout and detailed (the photos also took some of your time!) I feel like people will always nitpick and complain, I never was personally offended by bloggers making money with adds or with links! What's the big deal? If you're visiting the place and reading the entries, why are you upset? People throw money for shoes and concerts and books and subscriptions on the internet, every day!

    As for your post -- LOVELY. I actually love love love love cleaning. I wake up Saturday mornings and I get right at it while my coffee is pouring! It makes me so zen and I feel anxious too, if it's messy! I'm also the opposite of clustered, I like open spaces, free surfaces, and I hate keeping things I don't use! Amen to everything you said!

    -Christina

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  45. I love the Bona Hardwood cleaning spray too, so easy to use. I also like using OXY powder in the bathroom to clean as not strong smelling & more natural.

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  46. To keep your stainless smudge free use Pledge, it gets rid of old marks and prevents fingerprints for a while. We also have a glass shower and have stopped using bar soap as soap scum was building up so fast on the glass. We use only body wash and it has made such a big difference. Can go weeks and the glass looks clear.

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  47. To the people using vinegar as a cleaning agent: Do you ever get used to that smell? Of course it would be nice to make the switch to safer cleaning products, but the smell of vinegar sort of churns my stomach. Do you find the smell dissipates after awhile? Does making the 1:1 solution of Dawn soap + vinegar help with that?

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    1. the smell goes away after a while. I use 1:3 vinegar to water with 1 squirt of soap. You can add essential oils if you want, but the smell really does go away. You really don't need to use much vinegar for it to be effective. Start with maybe 1:4 and see if it's enough to get the cleaning you want!

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    2. Thanks so much Alicia! I will definitely give it a try!

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  48. Thanks for all the tips! If you want to cut back on the chemicals (and I say this as a person who uses regular cleaning chemicals), I find that using a steam mop every other cleaning sesson is a nice break. I have a Shark steam mop like this one: http://www.target.com/p/Shark-Steam-Mop-Gray-Purple/-/A-10666451 and it's nice to clean the floors with just water. I have hardwood all throughout my house so it's been great to use, especially since most of the dust/dirt comes up with the hot steam.

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  49. Hi Veronika,

    I saw you were asking about green products for cleaning. I follow this blog and she had quite a lot of good tips on green cleaning and green living. The below post is on green cleaning recipes, however she a lot more posts regarding them too.
    http://www.maillardvillemanor.com/search/label/Green

    I made the switch almost :) entirely to green cleaning and products about a year ago. I would be really interested to hear if you have heard or read of this book and blog as well. It has been a best seller. http://nomoredirtylooks.com/.

    Thanks again...really enjoy your site and am quite jealous of the warm clothes...still chilly in New England!

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  50. GREAT POST!! I think I have said this before but one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much is because you share such useful stuff with us! I am about to move into an apt in a couple of months with my younger sister and I am so excited to have a place to call my own and keep clean and organized :) xoxo
    Pam

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  51. Thanks for this post, your place always looks so beautiful - plus now I'm inspired to go clean a bit! I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but I wanted to let you know that orange glo can build up and leave a residue on your floors that will eventually look awful and be very difficult to remove. (It looks like an old coat of very shimmery clear nail polish that is chipping, and takes a lot of scrubbing to undo...) I too have dark hardwoods, and I know they show every bit of dust, but I think what you are doing with the swiffer and bona should be good enough. --Jess

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  52. What a fun (aaand unexpected) post. I agree, I love anything Caldrea (I'm currently obsessed with ginger-pomelo) and I'm also a night cleaner! I used to work evenings in my early 20's and would get home around 10pm, so nighttime had to be my cleaning time back then--now it just freaks my husband out, hee hee. <3

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  53. Fun post. I am also a night cleaner, been like that for about 10 years. You should watch Clean Freaks from HGTV. It'll motivate you to do so more cleaning and organizing. Happy cleaning!!!

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  54. I use a lot of vinegar when cleaning too, I actually associate the smell with "clean" now so it doesn't actually smell that bad to me! I also swear by bicarb. I make a lot of pastry and bread at home and find that if I sprinkle some bicarb onto the bench and spritz with a little water and vinegar (which I keep diluted in a bottle) I basically just have to wipe over the bench to get it clean. I follow with a glass cleaner and a micro fibre cloth to polish. I also find the bicarb/vinegar combo works well to clean the oven as well.

    In the bathroom I pretty much use straight bleach, a bad habit I picked up from my Mum. It's very effective, but everyone knows when I've been cleaning the bathroom. I used to use a product by "Cinderella" and it was great and had a wonderful coconut smell. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be sold in supermarkets anymore.

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  55. Awesome post, thanks V! Does anyone know how to remove the brown ring that sometimes accumulates under the toilet bowl rim? I cannot for the life of me get it clean-we inherited our toilet and it's about 10 years old. I really want to get it clean and have tried everything, even those Magic Erasers, but nothing's working!

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  56. Absolutely loved this post, Veronika!! I am very similar to you in that I absolutely cannot function with clutter -- even if my house isn't super clean 100% of the time, it's always tidy if that makes sense. I would rather organise everything and have it all put away and look neat than have it clean yet covered in clutter, ha ha!

    I also tend to be a little OCD about cleaning the house...I actually have a cleaning schedule but mostly because I do get overwhelmed sometimes and I tend to dedicate one day a week to each room (thankfully our house is not that big!) so that I feel like I have smaller tasks to tackle and by the end of the week I know that the entire house has been cleaned.

    Thank you so much for sharing all your tips & also the products you use! Very helpful & informative <3 xoxo

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  57. thanks for these tips! always love finding new cleaning products

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  58. That hardwood cleaner is really effective. It can make hardwood clean and beautiful. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration about this hardwood cleaner. Thanks.

    Irene (Anchorage Carpet Cleaner)

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  59. Very effective cleaning products..it will help me to clean and maintain my kitchen appliances daily. Thanks for sharing.

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  60. All the habitual tasks should be thouroughly arranged not to bother you much. Here're some tips concerning this:
    Cleaning as you dream.
    By the way, I followed you up with GFC, it'd be great if you follow me back.

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  61. We are in the process of selling our current one and buying a new one, and I came back to your blog for tips on decluttering, storage, and cleaning. I am really trying to pare down when we make this move, and you're attitude is such an inspiration! Just wanted to let ya know - thanks for your awesome blog!

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  62. I also hate cleaning and I practice the same way as you. It really works to tidy up the house ( I mean doing things which some of them take 30 seconds). This significantly reduces the need for a full tidying up which may take you hours and it also helps your house remain clean for longer which means reduced home cleaning as well.

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