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Favorite cleaning supplies

February 9, 2019
last modified: February 9, 2019

My daughter told me that she wanted someone to help her clean her apartment for her 22nd birthday! Apparently she blocked out many memories of growing up because I swear she was taught how to clean and was raised in a clean house.

She has a friend who cleans houses so I was going to send some $ for the person to come help her and also send some cleaning supplies. I know my favorite things, what are some cleaning supplies that you can't live with out?

I am like the family in " My Big Fat Greek Wedding", I use Windex on everything. Also love my dust pan and brush for cleaning corners and baseboards.

Comments (55)

  • whatsayyou18

    Norwex everything! Environmentally friendly, no odors, and it works. I actually had a cleaning lady who did a great job but I couldn't stand all the smells left behind from the furniture polish, granite cleaner, bathroom cleaners, etc. Fortunately, we parted ways and the cleaning woman I have now is also a Norwex consultant who believes in the products as much as I do...win-win!

  • ratherbesewing

    Scrubbin Bubbles to clean the bathtub or shower's soapy build up. I like to spray it after I shower and let it sit for 15 minutes.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    Me too with a long-handled telescoping swiffer...I can reach so much stuff with it! I use the lysol anti-bacterial wipes on my counters which leaves them with a lovely sheen and in the bathroom for quick clean ups, especially on handles. For cleaning glass, I love the microfiber cloths. A package of them would be a nice thing to have as they have a lot of uses around the house.

  • Martha Scott

    Scrubbing bubbles for the bath tub -- wouldn't use anything else. I use microfibers to dust with and a beeswax polish everytime I do a deep clean. I like Windex for windows and mirrors. Barkeepers friend or Bon Ami for scrubbing. There's a no rinse tile floor cleaner that I like in the bathroom and for my wood floors I use Bona.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    Barkeepers friend, big yes...they make my copper plate so shiny!

  • writersblock

    Just a PSA about shower cleaning: One of the most important and useful tips I learned from GW is that for regular use you don't ever need to scrub your grout and shower fixtures. If the last person to use the shower each day gives it a quick wipe down all over, all you have to do on big cleaning day is to disinfect it. A microfiber cloth works best, but since we're not supposed to use those anymore, I've found that an old towel works nearly as well. It only takes a minute or two and it's time very well spent.

    ETA Towel works for me but I don't have glass shower doors, so I don't know about that.

    BTW, does anyone know what we're supposed to do with all the microfiber? If you send it to the landfill I imagine the fibers will just head to the water supply via ground water.

  • Bunny

    For windows, nothing beats white vinegar/water and a squeegee.

    A big ditto to writersblock about cleaning the shower. I've had white subways in my tub/shower combo with medium gray grout for the past five years. Every time I take a shower I squeegee the walls, then do a quick wipe with a microfiber towel, esp. around the plane joins. Every shower. That's it. Otherwise, I've never cleaned the tile or grout and it still looks brand new.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

    Glass Plus for everything metal, bleach products in the bathroom but not next to metal, steam mop with water on floors, granite cleaner for granite, a few other incidentals but that covers 90%. I've been using glass plus for 25 years and love it.

  • Sheeisback

    I’m off to look up the evils of microfiber ...

  • olliesmom

    Me too, Shee, I had no idea.

    I use a lot of Norwex and my cleaning lady loves not being around all the chemicals. Plus, it's easier. I do like her to use a steam mop, with my bit of my favorite Glamorous Wash scent to steam my Saltillo floors.

    I do squeegee my all white shower, but will now use the microfiber towel to dry.

  • writersblock




    Pity, because it is very convenient stuff.

    ETA You really don't need to squeegee tile, too. But try it both ways and see which works better for you.

  • OutsidePlaying

    Another who didn’t realize microfiber was evil, but since I have a big stash my housekeepers use, along with big shop and lint proof cotton, we will still continue to use. It’s all I use to clean my stainless appliances, with either water, or a vinegar-water mix. I have one fine fiber cloth dedicated to the appliances.

    Ditto Glass Plus for multiple surface and mirror cleaning. Much better than Windex. For windows can’t beat vinegar and water. I use Granite Gold for granite counters. They als make a sealer, so about once a year, I clear all the counters and do a major clean up and apply the sealer. Doesn’t take long.

    My housekeepers recommended Scrubbing Bubbles so that’s what we keep in hand for bathroom cleaning. Also a fan of the magic eraser for the glass doors and in between wipe-downs. We also use a squeegee after showering and then a microfiber cloth to wipe the fixtures. I also keep disinfectant wipes on hand to use on the sink fixtures, etc in the bath and kitchen.

    Bar Keepers Friend! Multiple uses...keeps stainless pans pristine, inside and out, especially baking sheets, and of course the stainless sink. I also use inside my travel coffee cup to keep it clean.

    Bona for hardwood in a dispensing mop. Steam mop gets used in the bathrooms on tile. I Have a Dyson cordless vacuum for quick cleanups in the kitchen and bath and other living areas between big cleaning days. And Swiffer dusters! Couldn’t live without those, especially with the extendable handles.

    Doesn’t hurt to keep a bottle of some type of degreaser on hand. Fantastik makes a pretty good one for kitchen stove spills.

  • Sueb20

    Wait. We are new to the shower/glass door scene. Every time someone showers, we’re supposed to squeegee and microfiber-cloth-dry the whole thing?? What the?

  • yeonassky

    We used to use method shower spray you spray it and then rinse it all off and apparently that kept the glass clean. You had to do it every time. I found glass to be way too difficult for my family to keep up with and I would be scrubbing every two weeks.

    Since it's just me and DH what I now do is drape shower curtains over the glass. Like that way better for clean up and just wash the shower curtain once in awhile. But I am lazy and unconventional so there.

  • d_gw

    I have a few microfiber cloths but use them very infrequently because the texture makes me squeamish. Even when wearing a glove. I feel the same way about the synthetic plush blankets and robes. I have no idea why.

  • writersblock

    Wait. We are new to the shower/glass door scene. Every time someone showers, we’re supposed to squeegee and microfiber-cloth-dry the whole thing?? What the?

    There's a reason some of us prefer shower curtains, even though the doors look so much nicer. Yes, if you went for clear glass you went for maintenance.

    ETA For the tile, just a microfiber wipe down will do it. I have white tile with white grout that's been there since 1979 and it stays nice and white with just a wipe. Yes, it adds a minute or so to your routine, but you really make it up in the long run. And it gets to be just like brushing your teeth--you don't always feel like it, but you do it and it's not a big deal.

  • writersblock

    Incidentally, for the magic eraser fans here: remember that those are powerful abrasives and treat them accordingly. My previous house had belonged to a ferociously good housekeeper before me, and she managed to take the glaze off the tile with continued use of those.

  • 3katz4me

    Sounds like eliminating the use of microfiber cloths for cleaning isn't going to solve the problem in the article above. You'll have to eliminate all your synthetic, fabric shedding clothing as well.

  • catticusmockingbird

    We have a rain pattern glass door in the 2nd bath shower. Of course it's smooth on the interior, but it still needs to be wiped after each use. I rarely use that bathroom.

  • writersblock

    Right, 3katz, but that doesn't mean we should just not do anything at all.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    I love this squeegee in my shower. Every day I spray one wall with a vinegar-water mix that I keep in the shower (a little essential oil for scent), and swipe with tub scrubber. Over the course of the week each wall gets cleaned. I also spray the floor and swipe that, too. Then I use the Cleret: I use it every time and it takes just seconds to squeegee 3 walls and the door.

    I just put together a kit of Easy Off, gloves, and sponges for my son. I heard from his new roommate's mom that their apartment is clean except the oven lol!

  • sheesh

    Yes, writersblock, you convinced me about microfiber clothes in a different post. I haven't used them since, but I don't know what to do with them, either. but then I'm lazy and haven't looked for what to do. My bad. They sure work well.

    I use vinegar and water on everything, almost. I have a few cotton washcloths to use instead of the microfiber, but there is no comparison to how well the microfiber works. I'm kinda lost without them since I avoid paper towels except for cleaning the toilet.

    I wear natural fabrics exclusively, but I admit that I don't much like to iron so my husband has a few cotton/polyester shirts. Everything else of his is all cotton. E

    I can't tell you how relieved I've been since we removed the shower doors in our main bath and replaced them with a curtain twenty years ago. S orry, Sue.

  • lukkiirish

    Sheesh, our alternative to paper towels are the 100% cotton barmaid towels from Costco (or Sam’s). They aren’t pricey and offer 25 or so to a pack. I prefer Costco’s over Sam’s because they’re softer and seem better made. They’re so inexpensive that if one gets ruined somehow, we just toss it.

    My favorite go to cleaners are Windex, water and vinegar, Ajax and Pledge furniture polish. I use the pledge to clean the granite and stainless steel appliances. It makes everything look brand new and it smells so good!

  • Feathers11

    For bathrooms I mainly use vinegar and water and Dr. Bronner's soaps. But I have to be careful with the soaps because they can leave a shadow or film. I used it once on the stove grates, and they developed a white shadow. Once in a while I need bleach for something usually related to boys. I wipe down the high traffic areas of my wood floors with just hot water with maybe a tiny bit of dishsoap to cut grease or dirt.

    Re: microfiber, this winter, I replaced my sons' flannel sheets that had a few holes in them. The old ones were cut up into varies sizes and now serve as my new rags. The flannel is excellent for dusting and basic cleaning.

    Two products I'll never live without again are Folex for pet messes, and it works well for other messes too. And I've been brought into the OxyClean camp because I wanted to stop using bleach in the laundry. I don't use it often but usually with towels and sheets.

  • sheesh

    Thanks, lukki. I'll look into them.

  • maddielee

    “Wait. We are new to the shower/glass door scene. Every time someone showers, we’re supposed to squeegee and microfiber-cloth-dry the whole thing?? What the? “

    One thing that really helps cut down on soap scum is to use liquid soap when showering/bathing. Since we changed over from bar soap there is a big difference in the need to scrub the doors and tile surround.

  • sheesh

    Sue, your beautiful tile is shiny, so you'll be wiping that after every shower, too, probably, so your new door won't be any more trouble than that, just another few seconds.

  • Louise McCarthy

    Does any body use Mrs.Myers? I also us that same brand for hand soap and bath gel. Love the scent(s).

  • ilikefriday

    Louise McCarthy I love their products. I buy bags full when I find them on sale. I use their dish detergent, hand soap, dish washer tablets, and all purpose cleaner.

  • tinam61

    Louise, I love their products and also Method (both have great fragrances). I'm currently still using the Christmas seasonal fragrance (MM) - peppermint in my kitchen. Dish soap and hand soap. Method brand I like the eucalyptus mint. I'm pretty careful with cleaners though and do not like to use bleach and I will never, ever use most oven cleaners because I don't like inhaling those ingredients. Bleach is so harmful. Vinegar disinfects. There is a Young Living product, Thieves cleaner, which I also like. I hate strong smells like bleach, ammonia, etc. and to whoever mentioned Pinesol, I apologize, but I canont bear that scent! It reminds me of vomit!

    I also LOVE a steammop and have a small handheld steam cleaner. I love that you can sanitize without chemicals. Vinegar and water for our wood floors, steam-mop for the other rooms.

  • Bunny

    I have a double-bladed shower squeegee. I think it moves water so much faster and easier than any kind of cloth. Zip zip zip. I follow up with the microfiber, esp on the chrome fixtures and in the corners and along the tub deck. I have semi-hard water and it will built up over time. I personally sealed all the grout with a little artist brush and it looks fantastic.

    Another thumbs up for a cloth shower curtain. Single, white, $16 at BBB, pop it in the washer, hang it up. That's one whole "wall" you don't have to futz with after every shower. Shake it out. Done.

  • pennydesign

    Don't know if anyone mentioned Sprayway glass cleaner (although I cannot abide the smell) for stainless and glass...

    Sprayway is the only cleaner I've found that doesn't streak on both mirrors and stainless.

    I like lemon oil for kitchen cabinets, any brand.

    I wouldn't hire a friend to clean for me or my family...it puts everyone in a bad position. Of course, jmo but mentioning in case you hadn't considered it.

  • Faron79

    We go thru SO much Sprayway at our store! I've babbled here b4 about it. I've used it since the early 70's cleaning combine windows!! They have a new trigger-head version now. One month, I think we sold 150 cans!!


  • salonva

    Yes to Sprayway!! That stuff is awesome. (and I even like the smell - go figure). It's super cheap and so so so good for glass and mirrors.

  • arcy_gw

    Just looked up sprayway. It is an aerosol. Since high school debate on the depletion of the ozone layer I do not use aerosol. Maybe this explains the frigid temps that surround NDSU. LOL

  • jellytoast

    " ... to whoever mentioned Pinesol, I apologize, but I canont bear that scent! It reminds me of vomit!"

    I'm not offended. :-) I find most scents obnoxious, but love the scent of Pinesol. I mistakenly used their new "original" formula to clean my floors and was nauseated for the week plus it took for the horrid smell to finally dissipate. The old formula actually contains pine oil, the new formula does not. I run fast from anything that is labeled as having a "long-lasting" scent. Yuck.

    Sprayway seems to work well, but in a day or two, the windows are always covered in streaks! :-(

  • Annette Holbrook(z6b-7a)

    I’m an avid car detailer and have a cupboard full of high end products. I treat my glass shower doors like my car glass. I put a sealant on the glass a couple of times a year. Adams Glass sealant

  • lukkiirish

    Regarding the glass cleaning for the shower, it’s a good preventative and not as bad as it seems. IMO, microfiber is not a must for anything. I hate that stuff and refuse to to use it anywhere in my house. We use a cotton towel (or squeegy) after every shower and it works perfectly fine. Our door is about 7 years old and still looks brand new.

    We also wipe down the chrome after every shower and while my DH doesn’t, I will often go as far as to wipe down the slate stone. And as mentioned above, we normally do not use bar soap, if I do, I will spray the shower down with the hottest water I can get.

    The effort does pay off. Last year, we had the recommended routine maintenance (cleaning & sealing) done on it for the first time. The guy quoted his normal price based on what is typical. Half of that was for mineral removal but when he saw how clean the stone was, we were only charged a fraction of what was quoted originally.

    On the flip side, I have someone who just asked me the other day how she can get all the mineral stains off of her glass door because they never thought to wipe it down.

  • cyn427

    Sheesh, H&M and American Eagle both have recycle bins for used polyester/microfiber, I believe. I was looking for a place to recycle our old stuff and those stores came up in my search.

  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    Another Mrs. Meyer's fan here. I love their all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, and their scouring powder. I am a sucker for their scents (Geranium and Verbena are my faves.)

  • cyn427

    Arcy, aerosols no longer contain CFCs and no longer deplete the ozone layer (not since the late 70s by the industry itself due to consumer demand and then backed up by the Clean Air Act and EPA regs).

  • artemis_ma

    Dang, when I moved here a year ago, I bought a lifetime supply of microfiber... Dang!

    CYN427 says:

    H&M and American Eagle both have recycle bins for used polyester/microfiber, I believe. I was looking for a place to recycle our old stuff and those stores came up in my search.

    No idea what H&M is, and no American Eagle near me. Will have to look further.

  • artemis_ma

    For wood floors, I use Murphy Oil Soap. Lovely stuff!

    I am also a fan of Simple Green for most cleaning jobs (doesn't quite do it for hard core bathroom stuff, though).

    If she has a glass cook top, I highly recommend Weiman's Cook Top, the daily cleaner one. The hard core one needs a cleaner to remove the cleaner....

    Barkeeper's Friend is always good to keep around.

    I also use vinegar but I dilute it if I am going to use it near grout or concrete, and clean it up immediately. There are certain countertop surfaces you need to be careful around, but I have quartz, Corian, and I used to have laminate in the old home - no problem with any of those.

  • writersblock

    Cyn427, thanks for the info about H&M and American Eagle. Artemis_ma, H&M is a clothing chain.

    As for bar soap vs liquid, there's really not much difference if you keep up with the wipe downs. If you don't, over time bar soap will leave hard scum that is very difficult to remove, but letting most liquid soaps sit will eventually actually discolor the finish (kind of grayish) in a way that doesn't come off, so it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    Forgot to mention earlier that for my laminate countertops I like mtn's (i think it's hers) countertop spray formula.

  • Bluebell66

    Are e-cloths microfiber? If so I will be bummed. I use them with just water for my mirror and window cleaning

  • pennydesign

    Jellytoast, it did take a while for whatever coating was on my mirrors to come off. Also if you wash your rags in anything other than a couple drops of Dawn and water, your rags will have residue on them that contributes to the streaking. So, no laundry detergent or softener or softener sheets.


    I know that when I moved into this house, I used paper towel and water exclusively and it took AGES for the streaking to go away until I discovered Sprayway.

  • catticusmockingbird

    Arcy, aerosols no longer contain CFCs and no longer deplete the ozone layer (not since the late 70s by the industry itself due to consumer demand and then backed up by the Clean Air Act and EPA regs).

    Arcy, please tell us you're not sharing false information with your students.

  • Lucille

    For wood floors, I use Murphy Oil Soap. I use Murphy's but not for floors, I have read negative reviews about floor use.

    I bought one of those circular electric scrubbers on Amazon a while back. I spray Scrubbing Bubbles on tub and tile, wait, use the scrubber, and rinse.

    I know people have strong opinions about scents but I love Fabuloso cleaner.

  • Louise McCarthy

    And for pet stains (any variety) I use the enzyme one first and then my Woolite Oxy Insta Stain Remover. Seriously, you can see the stain just vanish. I stock up on those.

    Geranium is one of m favorite scents too with MM. My grandmother and my mom used to grow them. They both detested the smell of bleach and ammonia. Hence I never use either one. (However Dettol always reminds me of "clean" and "hospital" and is somehow comforting. Just don't tell my mom :-))

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