Friday, September 11, 2009


We have a question!!

What would be your must have essentials for your cleaning bucket? If I wanted to amass a bucket of cleaning supplies what would I be sure to have and what would I pass on? Rags vs Paper towels? I am thinking I have too many things and would prefer a few multi-cleaners, ya know. And, of course, what works best on which surface. Trying to decide if I should put them all in a bucket so I can tote it around the mansion.

- JamieB

And it's an excellent question to start off this new segment of the blog!

Knowing your mansion (i.e. new condo), I will speak specifically to what I would do in your situation. I had a big ‘ol blog post written (three pages of a Word document) but it was more about what I do in my house and in my situation. You may have gotten some ideas from it, but it was a long read.

So, in your brand-spankin’-new condo, I would put the following items in my cleaning bucket:

All purpose cleaner
A sponge
A toothbrush

It’s a small bucket.

I like the Method all purpose cleaners. They’re non toxic and smell yummy.

And I use these sponges call Turn-Abouts, but you can’t find them just anywhere. It’s odd. But they have nylon mesh on one side (good for scrubbing, but they don’t scratch) and cloth on the other side (good for wiping).

I like toothbrushes because you can get into nooks and crannies with them, and they’re great for baseboards.

I would keep a basket of rags in your closet, next to your cleaning bucket, so when you grab the bucket to go clean, you could grab a couple of rags as well. I like the terrycloth rags from Home Depot. I’ve been using the same ones since I had Mighty Tidy, my cleaning business, back in 2005. They’re very durable.

I would keep the bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom, under the sink. I’d have a little basket with:

Toilet bowl cleaner (I have to have bleach in my toilet bowel cleaner)
Bon Ami (powdered scrubber, non-toxic, non-smelly and usually under $2)
Two sponges (the one for the toilet in a Ziploc baggy, so it doesn’t cross contaminate)
A couple of toothbrushes
Glass cleaner wipes.
A cup (to rinse out the tub) if you don’t have a handheld shower head.

Since your bathroom and your kitchen are close together, you could either grab the bathroom basket so you could use the powdered cleaner and non-toilet sponge in the kitchen, or (because I am somewhat neurotic) I’d just get another basket with powdered cleaner, a sponge, a toothbrush and an all purpose cleaner and put that under the sink.

I get on cleaning fits rather quickly and if I have to go and seek out what I need to do what I want to do, I get annoyed. I’d rather just keep everything right where I want it.

I rarely use paper towels to clean, even though we can now throw them in the composter. But there is one exception – when you’re cleaning a stove top. Using a sponge just smears whatever it is that you’re cleaning up. Fresh paper towels (or rags, if you have enough of them and don’t mind washing them) make sure that you’re not just pushing the same grease around.

Some people like the all purpose wipes. The only time I use them is in my cubicle at work. And that’s only because it’s just easier since I don’t have a water source close by. A rag wet with water can do wonders. If you’re looking to disinfect, then a cleaner would be good, but just in general, water is fine.

I wouldn’t have a spray glass cleaner. The ammonia that sprays into the air is icky. I like the Windex wipes. They still reek of ammonia, but at least I’m not spraying it. For some reason, this makes me feel better. And I just use the wipes on mirrors. I clean windows with a wet rag and squeegee.

I would have furniture polish on hand, maybe tucked away in the closet, behind the rags, but polish doesn’t need to be used at every cleaning. Swiffers are fantastic at picking up the dust and keeping a hold of it. I've found that feather dusters don’t really hold the dust, so I’ve never been a fan. Although, I’ve read that *down* feather dusters actually attract the dust, as do the static dusters, so maybe I was just using the wrong kind. I still love my Swiffer, though.

Okay, I think I've babbled enough. Thanks for your question, Jamie. I hope I answered it well.

Until next Friday, that's what Raechelle would do.


Anonymous said...

My God, that was a long answer to a simple question!! Are they all going to be like that?


Raechelle said...

Well, mother, it depends. If it's a quick question, maybe I'll have a quick answer. Why don't you write in a question and see?

So there.

Lucy Leadskin said...

Fun read! A couple of suggestions to add to your list:

- If on a budget: old (clean, of course!) t-shirts make great cleaning rags. They're soft from lots of washing, easy to cut up, and last quite a while. :)

- If ammonia makes you gag, try Windex with vinegar. Works just as well, and not as stinky.

You've inspired me to clean more, Rae-Rae! Woo-hoo!


Anonymous said...

Touché - I'll try and come up with one.


Anonymous said...

A tiny bit of rubbing alcohol is a great glass/mirror cleaner... and I use vinegar and water for almost everything else. Oh and I have cloths that you can use on mirrors etc and they do not need any cleaners! (I do use a toilet bowl cleaner but it is one that is kind to our world... hey, I am a Unitarian!) OH and to get soap scum off shower walls use .... shampoo! No really! Totally gets rid of build-up. Then clean as usual.
(this is Carrie from Canada - my son took over our blogger acct LOL)