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Cleaning is a regular part of every person's week. Using the best cleaning products makes your life simpler, and helps you get the cleaning job done faster and more effectively.
There are so many choices when it comes to finding the best home cleaning products. We'll help guide you through choosing the best cleaning products for your home.
There is a large debate on whether it is better to clean with chemicals or to use natural cleaning products. Many complain about the negative side effects that can come from using chemicals to clean. Still, others boast that natural cleaners don’t do a good enough job.
Lets start by looking at the pros and cons for both chemical cleaners and natural cleaners.
For the argument of chemicals being too harsh, there is an easy solution. You can avoid any harsh chemical problems by wearing protection. This is stated on the cleaning product bottles.
Chemical products are typically much stronger (due to the chemicals that they have). The are often more effective, allowing you to clean quicker and with less product. The chemicals, however, can have an effect on your skin, your lungs, and even your children or pets.
With natural cleaning products, chemicals are withheld and you’re using a mixture that only contains ingredients that are naturally contained in nature. A natural cleaning product is not as harsh, meaning that it could you longer to clean (or be more difficult). However, natural cleaning products don’t have any of the potential side effects that chemical products could have.
Choosing between the two options should come down to several choices:
If you answered yes to any of these, you might want to consider using natural cleaning products.
Not all chemical cleaning products are bad (in fact, most aren’t)! Read the labels in order to better understand specically what ingredients are included, and do your own research if any are a red flag.
Keep in mind that many people use chemical cleaning products without any problem. In the end, the call will be yours. We’ll go through how to safely use cleaning products below, no matter whether you are using chemical or natural.
If you don’t want harsh chemical cleaners and don’t like the high price of green cleaners, then you can make homemade cleaning products that work just as well as those on the shelf. Some of the best home made cleaning products may even be hiding in your pantry right now.
When it comes to making your own cleaning products, know what you can and can’t mix. Vinegar is a great base product to start with. You can mix it fifty-fifty with water to cut down on the acidity for safe cleaning.
You can then build on it by adding Dawn dish soap or essential oils to brighten the smell. If you want to mix vinegar and baking soda to fizz clean, then you need to wait until you are in the act of cleaning to mix so they can react.
There are some household cleaners that you should never mix due to the potential harmful fumes and reactions they can cause. Bleach pops in at number one on numerous lists.
The only thing you should ever mix bleach with is water. It can give off toxic fumes when it combines with other chemicals and cleaners, especially with ammonia.
Related: How to Clean with Vinegar Only
Other pantry items that you can mix are Dawn dish detergent, add a few drops to vinegar or ammonia cleaning spray to pack a bigger cleaning punch. You can also add rubbing alcohol to vinegar to make a strong glass cleaning spray.
When it comes to making your own home cleaning products, starting simple is best. Use single item products and add water to start. You can always build on it if you need a stronger cleaner.
There are many different surfaces in your kitchen to clean. You will need to make sure that you choose a cleaner that is safe for various countertops and also one that has a disinfecting property. Since you deal with lots of food-borne bacteria in the kitchen, you will want something that kills them on contact.
For day to day cleaning Lysol Disinfecting Wipes are a must have on you list of household cleaning products. They are a great grab and go option for wiping down your counters after cooking.
There are so many different types of kitchen counters that it is difficult to recommend the best house cleaning products for your kitchen. While using dawn and vinegar can be great on laminate or formica countertops, it is a huge no-no on stone based tops like granite and marble. You need to know what the best cleaning solution for your type of countertop is, so that you can find your best cleaning products for the kitchen.
Take time to wipe down your appliances to keep them looking shiny. There are many different cleaners that you can use to remove smudges. Windex is a great option to use since it ranks high among the best cleaning products for home, unless you have stainless steel appliances!
If you have stainless steel appliances, you will want to purchase a specialized cleaning product like Therapy Premium. We like this specific product because they use a blend of plant-based ingredients, and you can even use it outside on your grill.
If you don’t have stainless steel appliances, you can just spray your refrigerator and stove down with Windex and wipe it off. This will add an extra sheen to your freshly cleaned kitchen.
While you are focused on cleaning your higher up surfaces, don’t forget to take time to make sure the floors are clean. Especially in the kitchen, the floors should be the last thing that you clean.
This is a good idea because, as you are cleaning your countertops, oven and other appliances, crumbs and other debris can and will be tossed into the floor. Sometimes brushing crumbs onto the floor is a quicker cleaning strategy if you know that you are going to followup with a quick vacuum with your stick vacuum.
Also, you don’t want to walk on your newly swept and mopped floors while you are trying to clean the rest of the kitchen.
The best way to clean kitchen floors is to sweep or vacuum first. This will get up all the crumbs, dirt and hair. Once you’ve swept, you can use a vacuum attachment to suck up anything that is hiding in the corners or between the cabinets and your appliances.
Related: The Best Vacuum for Hard Floors
Once you have gotten up all that you can by sweeping and vacuuming then you can mop your floor. Depending on the type of floor you have in the kitchen will dictate what type of home cleaning products that you choose.
Our favorite heavy-duty floor cleaning product is Pinesol. Made by Clorox, it tackles grease very effectively, which is common in kitchens. Even if you don’t see it, grease will end up building up throughout your kitchen. Mix a little Pinesol in with hot water, and mop your floors thoroughly.
The living room is one of the most high trafficked rooms in your home. It takes on a lot of dirt and debris from people walking through, kicking off shoes, playing and sometimes eating in the room. Let’s take a look at some of the best cleaning products to help keep your living room clean.
If you have carpet in your living room then you may worry constantly about stains ruining your beautiful carpet. While this can be troublesome, there are plenty of products to spruce up your carpet and remove stains.
Before you begin cleaning your carpets, make sure that you run a simple stick vacuum over them to pick up any dirt that is on the top layer. If you are just shampooing your carpets then there are great gentle cleaning carpet shampoos that can refresh your carpet and keep it looking great.
If you are dealing with a stubborn stain then skip the commercial cleaners and grab some vinegar from your pantry. Mix it half and half with water and add a little dawn to the mixture. This spray is great at removing most tough stains and is safe around kids and pets.
For an added boost, sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on your carpets. This deodorizer will remove any offending odors that are in your carpet fibers. Let the baking soda sit for about thirty minutes and then vacuum it up with a HEPA filtered vacuum.
For engineered or hardwood floors, the last thing you want to do is dump a bucket of water on the floor and mop. The dryer you can clean the better, since wood can be very easily and quickly damaged by getting wet.
The best way to take care of your wood floors is to sweep daily to keep dust and dirt from being tracked around and scratching your wood floor surface. You can also use a dust mop to quickly pick up dirt and dust. Dirt will cling to the dust mop until it is shaken off.
If you need to mop your wood floors, then opt for gentle wood floor cleaners such as the popular brand Bona. This cleaner is one of the best house cleaning products that you can own for your wood floors.
You can also make your own homemade natural cleaning products for wood floor mopping. Just make sure that no matter what type of cleaner that you use, you wring out your mop so that it is damp and not soaking wet.
Mop and rinse your floors if needed with very little standing water on them. Turn on a ceiling fan or open the windows to help your floor dry. You can also use a towel to wipe up any overly wet spots or pooling water.
You should only mop your wood floors about once every one or two months. While your wood floors are made to last a lifetime, water damage can chip away at it’s lifespan. Mop sparingly and try to sweep or dust mop your floors daily to keep them looking bright and shiny.
Check out our detailed guide on how to clean your living room as well.
When cleaning your bathroom, you will want to start from the back and make your way out. Whether your shower, bathtub or toilet are the furthest way, start with the one that is furthest from the door. Working towards the door will help keep the dirt and dust out of your cleaned areas.
Also, make sure that you are wearing the proper protection such as gloves and a face mask. Since you will be using multiple cleaners in a small space, it is also important to turn on the bathroom fan to help suck out some of the strong fumes or fragrances. If you don’t have a fan, open the window.
For the shower, unless you have a bad mold or mildew problem, then a gentle cleaner like Lysol Hydrogen Peroxide Spray is a great cleaner. This spray cleans with the power of hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. It will dissolve grime and soap scum while leaving a fresh scent in it’s place.
Unless you haven’t cleaned your shower in awhile, then a simple “spray, leave and rinse” product is all you will need. If you prefer home made cleaning products then this vinegar and Dawn solution is also a great choice for powerful shower cleaning.
If your shower hasn’t been cleaned in awhile, you might need to tackle it with something more powerful. Scrubbing Bubbles kills bacteria while cutting through shower scum and is powerful enough to handle most built-up challenges.
For your toilet, many people use bleach to disinfect. While bleach is very powerful and effective, be careful if you are on a septic system. Bleach kills the bacteria that work in a septic tank to help break down the bacteria, so opt for a bleach free cleaner such as Seventh Generation Natural Cleaner if you are on septic.
This cleaner has a plant based formula and contains no chlorine, no synthetic fragrances and no ammonia. This cleaner is one of several great environmentally safe cleaning products for the home that has powerful cleaning properties while being gentle and safe for septic tanks.
You can use the same multi purpose cleaner for your sink that you used on your shower. The mirror needs a better streak free cleaner like Windex. Or, if you are out, then rubbing alcohol mixed with water works just as well. If you have glass shower doors, then spray the mixture on the doors to keep them clean and clear looking.
Whether you want to make your own, use the ease of chemicals or opt to purchase green cleaners, finding the best household cleaning products is finding what works best for your home, family and budget.
Lauren Moldvay is a freelance writer from Virginia and the mother of one (not always) sweet little girl. She specializes in trying to help others find easier ways to clean, manage the home and save money with DIY projects.