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If you want to keep your home clean, you not only need the right tools for the job, but the right cleaning products as well. With shelves and shelves of products to choose from, it can be confusing to know what is the right product for the job. That’s why I’ve created a list of some essential cleaning products you need in your home and why.
What are cleaning products?
Cleaning products are substances used to remove dirt, dust, stains, and other unwanted substances from surfaces. They can be made from a variety of ingredients, including water, detergents, solvents, and abrasives. Cleaning products are available in a variety of forms, including liquids, powders, sprays, and wipes.
When choosing cleaning products, it is important to consider the type of surface that needs to be cleaned, the severity of the dirt or stain, and the user’s personal preferences. It is also important to read the product label carefully and follow the instructions for use.
How to use cleaning products
Many cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to you and the environment. So it is important to use them properly. Here are some safety tips:
- Always read the product label carefully and follow the instructions for use
- Wear gloves and goggles when using cleaning products that are harmful to the skin or eyes
- Keep cleaning products out of the reach of children and pets
- NEVER mix cleaning products, as this can create hazardous fumes
- Dispose of cleaning products properly
Here are some of the most common types of cleaning products:
1. General-purpose cleaners
Cleaning products that can be used in many areas of your home for a variety of cleaning tasks. These include:
- All-Purpose Cleaners – All-purpose cleaners are the Swiss Army knives of the cleaning world. They can be used on a variety of surfaces, including countertops, glass, and floors. Some popular all-purpose cleaners include Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces Cleaner and Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner. It is important to note that while the label may say “All-Purpose”, there may still be surfaces it can damage like some types of metal and wood. Read label carefully before use.
- Glass Cleaner – Specifically designed for glass surfaces, they leave windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces streak-free. NOTE: Most glass cleaners contain Ammonia. When mixed with bleach this will create a toxic gas that can be very harmful if inhaled. Examples include Windex.
- Wood Polish/Cleaner – Used for cleaning and maintaining any wooden furniture and surfaces. Products like Pledge are formulated for wood furniture.
2. Kitchen specific cleaners
Cleaning products that are specifically designed to tackle the unique cleaning challenges found in the kitchen. These include:
- Dish Soap – This is a mild detergent that’s specifically made for hand washing dishes, pots, and pans. It’s designed to cut through and remove food residues, grease, and grime from your kitchenware without being too harsh on your hands. Dawn has some versatile products that are great for dishes and can serve as an all-purpose cleaner as well.
- Dishwasher Detergent – If you have a dishwasher, you’ll need a dishwasher detergent. These detergents are specifically formulated to clean dishes in the high heat and high water pressure environment of a dishwasher. They’re often available in different forms including tablets, powders, and gels. Examples include Cascade Pods and Gel.
- Oven Cleaner – Oven cleaners are designed to clean the interior of your oven, where food spills can get baked on over time and become very difficult to remove. These cleaners are typically very strong and are capable of dissolving this tough, cooked-on grime. NOTE: Oven cleaners are very toxic. Check out some alternatives here.
3. Bathroom specific cleaners
Cleaning products that are specially designed to tackle common cleaning challenges in the bathroom like soap scum, hard water stains, and mildew.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Toilet bowl cleaners are formulated to clean, disinfect, and often deodorize the toilet bowl. They’re typically strong enough to break down stains, mineral deposits, and other residues that can build up in the toilet. Some have a clinging formula that adheres to the sides of the bowl for a deep clean. Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner Gel is designed for toilet bowls.
- Bathroom Cleaner: This refers to cleaners made for the shower, bathtub, and sink areas. These cleaners are designed to cut through soap scum, hard water stains, and mildew that are common in these wet areas of the bathroom. They’re typically safe for various surfaces found in bathrooms, including tile, porcelain, glass, and certain types of metal.
4. Floor cleaners
Cleaning products specifically designed to clean different types of floor surfaces
- Carpet Cleaner – Carpet cleaners are solutions used in conjunction with a carpet cleaning machine, or sometimes for spot cleaning. They’re designed to deep clean carpets and rugs, removing dirt, stains, and odors. They often include ingredients to tackle specific challenges like pet messes or high-traffic area dirt. Hoover makes many different cleaning solutions for your carpet.
- Hardwood Floor Cleaner – These cleaners are specifically made for cleaning hardwood floors. They’re usually formulated to clean the floor without leaving a residue or damaging the wood’s finish. Some may also help restore the shine of your hardwood floor. Bono is a cleaner specialized for hardwood floors.
- Tile Floor Cleaner – Tile cleaners are designed to clean and shine tile surfaces, and are safe for the grout as well. Some tile cleaners also have ingredients to remove soap scum and hard water stains, which are common in bathrooms or kitchens with tile floors. Black Diamond makes products and tools for tile and grout.
5. Disinfectants and sanitizers
While these products are designed to kill germs, they should be used responsibly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is especially true for products like bleach, which can be harmful or damaging if used improperly. Also, note that frequent use of disinfectants should be accompanied by regular cleaning. Disinfecting products are not typically designed to remove dirt and grime, which is where regular cleaning comes in.
- Surface Disinfectants – These are designed to kill microorganisms on hard surfaces. They’re used in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the home where germs are likely to be present. Lysol Disinfectant Spray is an example.
- Air Sanitizers – These are products designed to kill airborne bacteria and viruses, helping to improve the overall air quality in your home. Examples include disinfecting sprays like Febreze.
- Bleach – A common household disinfectant, bleach is often used in laundry to kill bacteria, brighten clothes, and remove stains. It can also be diluted with water and used to disinfect a variety of surfaces in your home. Clorox has been making bleach for many years.
6. Natural and eco-friendly cleaning products
Cleaning solutions made primarily from ingredients that are derived from natural sources as opposed to synthetic chemicals. Most of the cleaners on this list can be made from natural ingredients. I’ve created some recipes here.
And there you have it – your comprehensive guide to the essential cleaning products for a spotless home! Remember that the best cleaning products for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, so explore and experiment until you find the perfect cleaning routine. Happy Cleaning!
About The Cleaning Lady
I’m a professional house cleaner with 20 years of experience cleaning houses under my belt, and I’ve learned alot about cleaning, organizing and how people react to these tasks. I’ve worked with hoarders, people will mental disorders and the young and old. What I’ve learned is everyone has different levels of “clean” and most people hate to clean. I give you cleaning and organization tips that are easy to use and don’t take all your time. And I am a fan of gadgets that will help you clean. My motto is “Work smarter, not harder!”