People sometimes ask me if it’s hard to keep my white house clean. I always say that it isn’t. I’m generally a tidy person, I try to control clutter (hard to do in my office, I admit), and keep my objets d’art (a.k.a. knick knacks) organized. I do my cleaning chores once a week (but I always procrastinate when it comes to vacuuming), and I always feel a sense of satisfaction once I’ve got a clean home. I don’t actually mind cleaning, especially when my cleaning products work well. We have hard water here in Waterloo and even with the water softener, the water can quickly leave harsh streaks and spots on everything. I’ve had to try out a bunch of different products since I moved here, but here’s a list of my most reliable weekly cleaning supplies:
1. White vinegar, water, baking soda: I keep these in stock at all times. They’re inexpensive and highly effective. I spray my shower door with a vinegar and water combo a few times a week. It only takes a few seconds and it really helps to keep the shower door clean. I use a vinegar and water mix to mop my kitchen and bathroom floors, and I also use this combo to clean my kettle. I use a mixture of white vinegar, water, and baking soda to clean grout lines in my shower.
these grout lines were not always white
2. Bar Keeper’s Friend: I use this product to clean my kitchen sink. It’s strong, and it works. After I scrub the sink with this product, I wash it thoroughly with water. Sometimes I use it on my kitchen and bathroom faucets because it shines them up in no time at all.
clean sink, happy owner
3. Comet or Ajax all purpose cleaners: I use these cleaners for my bathroom sinks, shower, toilets, stove top, etc. I rinse very well after a bit of scrubbing. They work (quickly, too).
4. Universal Stone: I have mentioned this silver cleaning product before, but it still amazes me. It’s incredible. It works wonders on tarnished silver and requires minimal (or no) elbow grease. If you collect silver, I highly recommend this eco-friendly product.
a recent addition to my silver collection - before & after cleaning
5. Sponges: For many cleaning jobs, I use sponges that look like this but that are from Italy (if I can find them). I have tried imitations and they just aren’t as good. My last one from Sweden was okay, but not incredible. I’m not that fussy, but I do like how these sponges work. My mom has used them forever, so I know that I use them because that’s all I ever really saw her use.
I also use the blue J-Cloths for just about everything. They’re handy to have around, especially during home repair jobs.
I picked up some white microfibre-type cloths a few months ago and they are incredibly effective. You basically water them and then wipe the heck out of everything. I’ve used them on my stainless steel fridge, faucets, windows, and mirrors. They don’t leave streaks and don’t require any additional cleaning products. They’re also machine washable. Unfortunately, I don’t know the brand of my cloths, but I buy them from here. They’re little miracle workers!
6. CLR: Before I moved to Waterloo, I think I used CLR once or twice in my life. Now, I use it all the time. I mix it in with water and I use it for just about everything – dishwasher (running a cycle without dishes), shower, toilets, faucets, etc.
I do try to limit my use of products like Ajax, Comet, CLR, and Bar Keepers Friend, and I use vinegar/water/baking soda when I can. I have tried better-for-the-environment cleaning products, but they just don’t have the same results. I’d love to know if you have any other recommendations for cleaning products (especially if you have dealt with hard water issues). Cleaning – it’s such a hot topic for a Monday morning, isn’t it?