Spring is in the air, which means I’m busting open my windows, vacuuming out my dusty corners, and lamenting the return of the almost-ever-present Louisiana mosquitos. But seriously. The smell of the first lawn-mowings of the season drifting through my open windows is one of the very best things in the whole world and just makes me want to clean my house!
I’m sharing 5 of my favorite cleaning/household items. For the record, I do actually use a lot of vinegar for cleaning (I know at least 42 of you are itching to share 563 household uses for vinegar)–I pour it down smelly drains, use it to clean glass, add it to my laundry, use it to clean my dishwasher, and use it to clean fruits and veggies. Among other things. But. I’m not talking about vinegar today (well, clearly I am a little). Today, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite must-have cleaning and household products. Not including vinegar.
1. Bar Keepers Friend. You can snag this for a couple of bucks at Target or Walmart and it’s perfect for shining stainless steel, removing scratches from porcelain sinks and tubs, and cleaning enamel cookware (I use it all the time on my Le Creuset, both for scratches and for staining that comes from everyday use.)
2. Tide Pods. In the spirit of full disclosure, not only does my husband work for Procter and Gamble, and not only does he work in the laundry division, but he’s also in the Pods business. But. Even if he didn’t work for them, even if his relationship with P&G went up in flames in terrible, terrible ways, I would buy Pods. They keep me from over-detergenting my laundry, they work great, and they smell amazing (also, the purple Gain Flings smell like heaven). Plus, they’re super convenient for travel, college students, if you use a laundromat, etc. Yes, there are horrible stories of children eating them. Just like any other chemical, keep them out of reach of your kids and don’t let kids help you with them until they’re old enough to know not to eat them.
3. Thrift. This isn’t actually a cleaning product, per se, but this is a must-have at our house. You can order it from Amazon or find it at a local plumbing supply store (I’ve never seen it at a big box store like Lowe’s or Home Depot–you’ve gotta go where the plumbers go for this.) We used this all the time in our college apartment managing days and while $10-11 seems like a lot for a bottle of this stuff, it’s significantly cheaper than a plumber and works better at clearing drains than any other product I’ve ever tried. It only works on organic material, so if you have, say, a toothbrush in your toilet (waving to my darling two-year-old and remembering that time not too long ago we were replacing a toilet at 10:00 pm), it’s not going to do anything for you. But hair in the shower? Kitchen sink smelling musty and you think something is trapped in your garbage disposal? This will take care of it almost instantly. Just a warning, these are serious, hard-core chemicals, so you want to keep it locked up and out of the reach of children. Also, wearing a mask while using it isn’t a terrible idea.
4. Mrs. Meyer’s. I’ve posted about Mrs. Meyer’s before, but I love, love, love these products, especially the all-purpose cleaner and the dish soap. I also love the hand soaps (although I find them a bit drying during the winter months; I don’t notice it during the warmer months)–there are a few scents that only come in the hand soaps. The rhubarb and parsley and both to die for, especially for the males in your house that don’t like smelling like sunflowers, and the watermelon and apple both smell like their respective Jolly Rancher flavors (which for me is something dreams are made of.) For the all-purpose cleaners and dish soaps, I’m currently crushing on basil, radish, and lavender.
5. Blue Magic Carpet Stain & Spot Lifter. I have 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat. I need something that gets stuff out of stuff. I’ve tried ’em all and this is hands-down my favorite–I use it on carpets, rugs, car upholstery, furniture upholstery, everything. It doesn’t foam up (it’s not soapy at all) and the stains really do just kind of lift out. The best place to get it is Walmart (I know)–it’s just not really widely available, which is a huge bummer. But that means you can spend $3.88 at Walmart or $12.98 at Amazon.
So that’s it Happy cleaning, everybody!