House Cleaning Supply Must-haves Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of our short series on must-have home cleaning supplies. We are trying to keep these short; because while you can go buy every tool for every little possible use, you only really need a few key supplies on hand. The rest you can buy when needed, or avoid entirely (how often are you going to use that pineapple slicer?). We have already had a bit of a discussion in our previous Calgary house cleaning supply must-haves post, so we will get right to the good stuff!
Steel wool has been around since at least 1896, where it was listed in the Journal of Iron and Steel Institute as a new consumer product. 140 years later steel wool is still an indispensable piece of modern home cleaning. Especially when it comes to house cleaning in Calgary, our hard water leaves extra residue we must deal with. The hard water in Calgary actually brings us to the main focus of this tip. Steel wool is often thought with reference to cleaning cookware, but it can actually be used for other surfaces as well. In this example, steel wool was used to clean a porcelain sink.
As you can seen above, the steel wool does an excellent job of getting rid of the residue. At first glance of the before photo, the sink doesn’t even look dirty; it looks like the only residue is the soap splatter near the top. However, after 15 seconds of cleaning (seriously that quick), you can see how much hard water residue there actually was. The above only used water.
Important: Do not use excessive force on the porcelain, as the steel wool is abrasive (exactly why it works so well). Gentle circles are all you need to remove the residue. Use plenty of water as well.
All Purpose Cleaner
The name pretty much gives away why this is good to have. One cleaner for all purposes. No need to dig underneath your kitchen sink through multiple cleaners. Just grab the cleaner and spritz away. However, you’ll notice the imperative word above is All, but there are also multi purpose cleaners. So, what is the difference? It comes down to how many different surfaces each formulation can clean. All purpose cleaners should be able to clean just about everything, including floors. Meanwhile, multipurpose cleaners might have surfaces they’re not suited for. Read through the directions carefully before buying either type of cleaner.
Indeed, not just a delicious base for salad dressings. Vinegar also works exceptionally well as a cleaner. Not even as a general cleaner, vinegar is great for more difficult household cleans. Vinegar is used to remove pen marks from walls, remove sticky messes, and even restore carpet. Additionally, it can be used to remove the odour of smoke, as well as restore wood paneling. The usefulness of vinegar is pretty endless. The best part is that a big jug is pretty inexpensive. The second best part is that you’re probably buying vinegar anyways.
Much like vinegar, not just a delicious base for mixed drinks. Vodka is also highly useful for cleaning, which is why it’s on our list of must haves. Not only does it make the party better, it gets the house ready for the party. Incredible.
- Vodka’s greatest use is probably that as a disinfectant. A lot of disinfectant wipes and sprays can be pretty harsh, especially on sensitive skin. Simpy dab a paper towel or spritz from a bottle and rub away. Works just like disinfectant wipes.
- Another super useful characteristic is that it works as a deodorant. Simply spray and let sit. “But I don’t want my house to smell like my day job is drinking vodka” you say; that’s fine. Vodka has the incredibly convenient property of being odourless when it evaporates. So not only will your home smell totally fresh, you don’t run the risk of your friends and family thinking you need an intervention.
- Closely related to the last point, vodka can also remove the stale, mildew smell from fabrics. Simply take a couple of shots (8 to be exact) and add them to your washing machine. We find that kitchen and hand towels tend to be the worst for this; so this is especially useful for making them smell great again.
We could write about how useful vodka is all day, but use tips to get you started. So when you find that cheap bottle of vodka you forgot about, don’t try to forgot your choices by throwing it away. Instead, put it to good use and make sure your hangover wasn’t a complete waste.
You are likely familiar with this one as the Swiffer Sweeper, but there are many different kinds. A longer, broom-like version of the the handheld microfiber duster. What is the difference between a sweeper and a broom you ask? It comes down to the size of the cleaning area. We recommended a broom last week, but a sweeper is ideal for larger areas of non-carpeted surface. The concept is the same, and the actual tool is incredibly thin. Very useful for dust gathering and and just as easy to store. One of the big complaints with microfiber sweepers is the waste they produce. The cloths are designed to be disposed of. An easy solution is using reusable microfiber cloths. Use these instead of the disposable ones, and just toss them in with your wash when done.
So there you have it, the conclusion of part 2 of our house cleaning supply must haves. We tried to focus on items that are inexpensive, small, easy to store, or otherwise useful. Two of the five you most likely have in your home anyways, which makes them even more useful. We hope that our recommendations help you downsize your supply list, and let you focus on truly the most useful ones. And no, you don’t need that pineapple slicer. A well sharpened knife works just fine.
Our friends at the best maid service in Cleveland also have great tips, so make sure you check out their blog for more!