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October 27, 2015

Keeping It Clean – Essential Products for a Spotless Home

Now that you’re a homeowner (or about to be one), you’ll need to lay in some important items that you may not have considered when you either lived with roommates who handled the day-to-day workings of the household or with your family. There are so many things that you would just reach for, never thinking about where they came from or how they got there. In a new series of blog posts, we’re going to talk about some of the everyday things you use all the time, but won’t be provided when you purchase a new home. You’ll need to put aside some additional cash around closing time – not just to get through the closing process itself, but also to outfit your new place. Today we’re going to talk about the essential cleaning products that you’ll need to have on hand to keep your home spic and span:
  • All-purpose spray cleaner or pre-moistened cleaning wipes
  • Glass cleaner
  • Scouring cleanser (Many housekeepers have two – a more powerful one for tougher surfaces such as bathtubs, and a gentle one for cleaning stoves, stainless steel and other scratch-prone surfaces.)
  • Furniture polish
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • All-purpose bathroom cleaner or wipes
  • Shower cleaner/mildew remover
  • Goo-gone (for removing sticky residues)
  • Mr. Clean Erasers (for difficult to remove stains)
  • Oven cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dish Soap (If you have a dishwasher, make sure you always have both the automatic and hand-wash varieties on hand…)
  • Laundry Soap
  • Laundry Stain Remover
  • Fabric Softener
  • Bleach (Chlorine bleach for white laundry and general cleaning, non-chlorine bleach for colored laundry)
  • Air Fresheners
  • Fabric Fresheners (including carpet fresheners)
  • Disinfectant cleaner such as Pine-Sol
  • Floor/wood cleaner such as Murphy’s Oil Soap
And don’t forget about the tools you’ll need to tidy up:
  • Broom and Dustpan
  • Mop or floor cleaning machine – The old-fashioned mop and mop-squishing bucket your grandma and mom used for years might still be your choice, or you may prefer a handy device such as a Swiffer Wet Jet or Bissel Steam Floor Cleaner. It’s entirely up to you which one you go with, but unless your entire home is wall-to-wall carpet, something to tackle dirty floors is a must!
  • Vacuum Cleaner – If you have pets that shed, make sure to pick up one of the units designed to combat pet hair!
  • Feather duster or Swiffer dusting system
  • Toilet Brush and Plunger
  • Trash bags
  • Sponges/Cleaning Cloths/Scrubbers/Scrub Brush
  • Paper Towels
  • Microfiber Towels
  • Bucket
  • Rubber Gloves
You may also want an apron to protect your clothing, although many people choose to clean house in a dedicated outfit of an old t-shirt and ratty shorts or sweatpants. Make sure you wear shoes or slippers – some cleaning products are caustic and can cause irritation if they drip onto your feet. If you have glass shower doors, make sure to pick up a squeegee for quick and easy cleanups. And don’t forget a plastic caddy to carry the bottles, brushes and cans from place to place quickly and easily! While it may seem like an endless chore, if you have the right tools and products on hand, keeping your house neat and clean is actually much less time consuming than you might think. A handy tip for keeping your house in order – choose one room per day and make sure it gets a thorough cleaning each week, along with essential daily touch-ups. Assign a kid’s bedroom to Monday, the master suite to Tuesday, etc. Choose the days where you have the most flexibility for bigger jobs, such as the kitchen or the bathroom with the heaviest traffic. By staying on top of your schedule, no room should ever become an overwhelming task. And if you have limited time and some income to spare, or really despise housework, consider bringing in the big guns…a maid service. You may not miss a few dinners out every month if it means you’re not up to your elbows in soapy water! Just remember that you’ll still need to have the products we’ve listed on hand for emergency spills and last-minute touch-ups.
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