Now, before I start on my list of what (I think) you need, I just want to reiterate....I am not some sort of a cleaning guru. Neither am I Anthea Turner Perfect Housewife, I'm not Supermom, Superwoman or anything else like that. If I spill red wine on my wisely bought pure wool white carpet in my living room, I look up the internet to remember whether I am supposed to throw a glass of white wine onto the stain or drink a glass of white wine and maybe another glass of the red while I'm at it!!
No, of course I don't have a white carpet ;-)
I'm just passing on the advice I have tried from real gurus which in my experience really work. You can take it or leave it, but I think you should take it :-). The beauty is in the simplicity.
Here's my list:
As you can see, the caddy is much smaller than the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink. This is because the majority of the stuff you store under there can be dumped into the nearest bin. If you watch professional cleaners and janitors at work, they do not have a thousand bottles of cleaning products, each of which cleans only one specific type of stain. They have maybe three different chemicals, and that is for industrial cleaning.
Most homes are not so dirty as to need harsh chemicals and dozens of speciality cleaning products. In fact, a lot of the time ll you need is water!
As well as that, have a look at the household cleaning aisle in your supermarket...now, in your mind visualise the price of the active cleaning ingredient...add on the expensive packaging, the million varieties of perfumes, the sweet-shop colours, the amazing dispensing methods, the mop-heads that only fit that one specific product, the single use items, the latest marketed gimmicks that are on flashy stands at eye level.... I'm telling you...Ker-ching!!
(2) Black Sacks
In my experience this is the most important thing in your kit.
(3) Tuff Stuff
Now you might be surprised to see a car care product here. It is a foam cleaner which you can get in motor factor shops. I have tried many, many cleaning products and I have never come as close to a miracle cleaner as this. A friend of my husband's, who is the Dad of a large family, gave us a half tin of it a number of years ago and told us to just try it. The good salesman believes in the product, and the good product sells itself. I'll go into more detail later but now you're just gathering up your equipment, but suffice to say, I have found this to be a very effective cleaner that has a very gentle smell and is not irritating to hands. In fact one time in uttter desperation trying to remove what seemed like permanent false tan stains from my palms
(you know the picture, it won't wash off and you're already running late for a wedding!! ) I grabbed the Tuff Stuff and guess what--it worked!!
I didn't say that!!!
I sat on the fence for all of about three seconds as to whether to include e-cloths to your caddy and as you can see I came down on the side of yes. My (very brief) hesitation was because these are quite expensive. I had heard about them for a long time before I actually bought one as I thought they couldn't be worth the price. However, a good product sells itself and this is a product that does exactly what it says it does. Cleans smear-free with nothing but water. Perfect for homes where asthma, eczema or other allergies are a problem.
There are countless other micro-fibre cloths on the market but none do what e-cloths do. In fact I have given them as incidental gifts to friends as I have found them so good. You just need to take care of them but that is easy.
Although they are expensive in specialist shops, I see them regularly in TKMaxx for a fraction of the price. Also try EBay you will surely find them cheaper there, or ask someone to get you a starter pack...or buy one for your children! They'll be overjoyed!!
Don't use a clapped-out old brush with splayed bristles...for goodness sake, buy a cheap new one in the pound shop! It's obvious what this is for, a great time saver.
(6) Glass Scraper.
We had some work done in the house a year or two ago and the builder gave me his one of these to help me remove little clumps of plaster and paint from the floor tiles. I haven't been without one since. I literally use it every day. A word of caution, these are stanley knife blades so maybe keep it in a safe place and put it in your caddy only when you are 'in action'.
(7) My Two Favourite Dusters.
Sheepskin duster because it creates static which attracts the dust.
Feather duster because you (or the children) can swish away to your heart's content and not break anything .
And it makes you feel a bit like this:
Well that's your core equipment, you probably should add a general all-purpose cleaner ans some furniture polish but they're not worth blogging about.
Next post...after gathering all that stuff, you must be worn out!!
I think you need a Date Night.
We can finish cleaning another time.