Best Household Cleaning Supplies & Products
Use these products and make household cleaning chores less of a chore.
Polish with a Microfiber Cloth
Microfiber cloths are perfect for this because they pick up dust, wipe off smudges and don’t shed any fibers. You’ll find microfiber cloths wherever cleaning supplies are sold and they’ll help you know how to clean your bathroom better. You can also buy them in bulk at wholesale clubs and use them throughout your house for all kinds of other cleaning chores. They’re one of the best home cleaning products you can get. If you have laminate countertops, follow these steps for a perfectly clean surface.
Stop Countertop Stains with a Protective Coating
If you have an older plastic laminate countertop, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t repel stains like it used to. That’s because years of wear have left the surface lightly scratched and porous. The best way to prevent stains is to wipe up spills immediately. But a protective coating of countertop polish can also help. Plus it will restore the shine to dull countertops. All you have to do is spray it on and wipe it off every few weeks. Most home centers and discount stores carry countertop polish such as Countertop Magic or Hope’s Counter Top Polish. If you don’t find it in a store, search for ‘countertop polish’ online to find a supplier.
Renew Wood with Mineral Spirits
Buff Off Shower Door Scum
If you have glass shower doors in your bathroom and don’t keep on top of the cleaning, you can end up with soap scum so tough that it’s nearly impossible to remove. That’s when you bring out the heavy equipment.
Pick up some polishing compound at a home center or auto parts store and use an auto buffer to polish off the offending scum. If you don’t own a buffer, you can buy one (they’re inexpensive) or borrow one from a gearhead friend. If possible, remove the doors and take them out to the garage to avoid messing up the bathroom.
Protect Your Shower Doors from Mineral Buildup
Two brands are Aquapel and Rain-X. Follow the instructions on the package to apply the treatment to your shower door glass. You can buy Aquapel or find a local dealer online. You’ll find Rain-X at any auto parts store.
Let a showerhead amaze you with the comfort it can provide and check out 10 showerheads for a better shower experience.
Remove Stubborn Rust Stains with Acid Magic
To clean rust from toilets and other porcelain surfaces, add one part Acid Magic to three parts water. Apply the mixture to the rust stains with a sprayer, brush or foam pad and watch the stain dissolve. Rinse with clear water. You can also use it full strength for stubborn stains. Avoid getting the acid on metal parts because they can discolor. Acid Magic is available online and at Ace and True Value stores. Do you have toilet leaks? Learn how to repair them here.
If you have rust on chrome fixtures, check out three surprising solutions for how to clean rust from chrome bathroom fittings.
Minimize Scum with Synthetic Soap
In terms of chemistry, some soaps aren’t really soap. And these ‘synthetic’ soaps make cleaning your shower or bathtub easier because they don’t contain the ingredients that create tough soap scum. So how do you know if soap is synthetic or the real thing? Any liquid or gel soap is synthetic. Most bar soaps are true soap, but a few, such as Zest and Ivory, are synthetics. Synthetic soaps don’t leave tough scum on your sink or tub the way standard soap does.
Remove Tough Grime with Less Scrubbing
Magic Eraser sponges are available at grocery stores, hardware stores and wherever cleaning supplies are sold. Unlike regular sponges, they wear out pretty fast, so stock up. While you’re out, look for these other very useful household cleaning supplies.
Make Your Own Greener Cleaning Solution
In a 5-quart bucket, mix: 1 cup of distilled vinegar, 3 tablespoons of borax, 1 gallon of hot water and 1/2 cup of soap (Maggie uses Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds). Maggie likes to add 10 or 15 drops of tea tree, lavender or lemon oil for a nice fragrance. Mix the ingredients and then pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle. Save the rest in a gallon jug. This is enough all-purpose cleaner to last for years!
Use this mixture to clean tile, countertops and painted woodwork. It’s a good all-purpose cleaner, but it’s not the best for cleaning glass. Maggie uses club soda to clean glass.
A Scrub and a Wax
Clean Grout with a Bleach Pen
For really mildewed grout, you may need a second application, and it can help to gently scrub the bleach into the grout with a toothbrush before allowing it to work for 10 minutes. Make sure to run the fan in the bathroom and to avoid skin contact. This method is best for light or white grout. If you have colored grout, test a small area first. It might fade.
Instead of trying to find a bleach pen at the store, the cleaning solution to grout might already be in the bathroom.
Beat The Dust out of Cushions With a Tennis Racket
Scour Off Grime with an Electric Toothbrush
Mini Power Washer
A garden sprayer can be a mini power washer for cleaning windowsills and other hard-to-reach spots. Before you fill the tank with water, be sure to rinse it repeatedly to flush out any chemical residue.
Mix Your Own Window Cleaner
You know, most professional window washers don’t buy window cleaner. They mix a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a few gallons of water. That’s it. You can just pour it in a spray bottle for in-house work. For outside windows, get yourself a sponge/squeegee combination window cleaner and dip it right in the bucket.
See how pros get windows squeaky clean fast.
Clean Range Hood Grease Filters With a Degreaser
Do you have a glass stove top? Learn how to clean a glass stove top the best way.
Pressure Washer Wonder
Any pressure washer can clean a hard surface like concrete, but it takes forever, and if you move the nozzle too fast or too slow, you wind up with streaks and striping. However, that is not the case with this whirlybird-style surface cleaner from Briggs & Stratton (No. 6178). Snap it onto the end of your pressure washer and put it to work cleaning dirty concrete.
As soon as you pull the trigger, the cleaner lifts off the surface and floats like a hovercraft. Just push it along at a steady pace and let it do its job. The spinning jets blast a clean, uniform 14-in.-wide swath, and the brush skirt prevents damage to the grass edging, flower beds and walls. You can clean an entire walk and patio in less than half the time it takes with a regular pressure washer nozzle. And you’ll get much better results.
Use the surface cleaner on horizontal and vertical surfaces like concrete, brick, stone and pavers. However, if you wish to use it on asphalt, wooden decks, fences or siding, you’ll have to test it first. It’s very aggressive and can damage softer surfaces like these.