What cleaning products can't you live without?

lizstanton08June 3, 2008

What cleaning products do you think live up to their claims? What has been your experience with cleaners such as carpet spot cleaners, laundry detergents, surface cleaners, ect.? Which ones do you always have on hand?

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ebear1271

I don't use regular cleaners so my favorites are: vinegar, water and tea tree oil for general cleaning, Greening the Cleaning glass and window cleaner, baking soda, lemon juice. For the laundry: vinegar, peroxide, ECOS laundry detergent, Arm and Hammer washing soda, and dryer balls. Much cheaper than standard cleaners and IMHO just as, if not more, effective. All of the benefits and none of the toxins!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 8:26PM
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katy_texas

won't go without:
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (off brands haven't worked for me as well) ...Kids & Pet's Carpet Cleaner... The Works toilet cleaner...
vinegar, ammonia, and good-quality microfiber cloths!!!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:33PM
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piasano

Rubbing alcohol. I use it straight for spot cleaning mirrors, refrigerator handles, glass-topped tables, bathroom faucets. Added to warm water with just a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent, it makes a streak-free window washer (use a squeegee).

Magic Erasers work wonderfully for cleaning porcelain sinks, tubs, and showers.

Carbona (?) carpet stain remover, if shaving cream hasn't done the job.

Barbara

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 9:18AM
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jannie

Swiffer wetjet for kitchen floor, single edge razor blades for scraping dried-on crud, Natures Miracle for pet accidents.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 10:42AM
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SheeshareeII

Rug Doc spot removal, magic erasers, vinegar, baking soda, and i've really started using the microfiber cloths as well! My aunt had some made to fit on my swiffer max and i LOVE it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:59PM
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erdnuss

For clogged drains: really bad ones where the water won't go down, I use a toilet plunger on it first so that the water will go down the drain. Once I have access to the first couple of inches in the drain with out sitting water, I pour baking soda and then vinegar down the drain. let it sit for 5 minutes, then run water for a couple of minutes to rinse it out.
Laundry: Baking soda, ivory bar soap, and borax I use to make my own detergent. It's about 5 cents a load :) And in the place where you normally put fabric softener in the washer, I place vinegar (it really gets bad smells out in both the clothes and the room you are washing in!
For around the house cleaning, I use "Spic and Span" it's cheap and for most daily cleaning, it gets the job done and the scent doesn't kill me like most cleaners do!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 5:29PM
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jannie

Sob,I had a box of Spic N Span but it got wet when the toilet backed up and flooded the bathroom and the whole thing turned into a rock. I should try to see if I can break it up. I did like the stuff, a lot.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 10:34AM
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cynic

Well Jannie, maybe you could use it like a pumice stick? :) Speaking of which, that's one thing I like to have around. I'm not too fussy about cleaners. Used to really like Cinch since it did work well on counters and stuff and was excellent on windows and mirrors. I just noticed it's still made but not very common around here so I use cheap glass cleaner and keep some other cleaners around for heavier stuff.

I do like the WetJet, the Swiffer Dusters, especially the one on the extension handle, the dustpan on a stick so I don't have to bend over, borax is needed occasionally, but now I'm using Tide Free and don't need the additives I used to need. Plain old-fashioned dustmop and a vacuum. Oh and the Dawn Power Dissolver is good stuff too. (Course I like all Dawn products.) Plain old dish soap gets used for pretreating towels and washcloths when needed. Foaming hand cleaner for hands, made from dish soap. Plastic putty knife and a sharp razor blade are useful too.

I don't use fabric softener, use dryer balls and vinegar occasionally and don't mind the little bit of static that is around occasionally and don't get stinky clothes from the FS.

Greased Lightning is good stuff too. And automatic dishwashing detergent is a good laundry detergent booster.

What else? Oh, Magic Erasers are surprising. Some things that I think they should do well on, they didn't but there's things that they're amazing on! And when I did the sink the first time, I wasn't impressed. Then when I came back 1/2 hr later and looked at the sink it was shining white! So apparently it sort of bleaches it or something. I don't know, don't care - it works! And the Mr. Clean Magic Reach is nice too so I don't have to bend over so much. I often just use paper towels on it instead of the pads.

And a little tip when you use baking soda and vinegar on a sink. Add some salt to it. Gives it some grit to help clean things up. I used to just use salt and hot water to open drains but started using the vinegar/baking soda. Then started adding a little salt in there and it makes a difference. Course, now that I don't dump grease down the sink, it's not as big an issue anymore and I don't have the problems I used to!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 1:25AM
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kittiemom

I use several Method cleaners & love them: Pink Grapefruit All Surface Spray & Wipes, Mint Glass Cleaner, Pink Grapefruit liquid soap, Mint flushable bathroom wipes & Lemon Ginger floor cleaner. My Swiffer (regular, not WetJet) & Mr Clean Magic Erasers. Goo Gone & Simple Green. I also depend on my microfiber cloths. I also have the special ones for glass because they don't leave lint like the other microfiber cloths.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:14AM
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jannie

I love Cinch cleaner for my tiled bathroom floor. It is hard to find, but one store near me sells it all the time. Last week they had it on sale for $1.99 a bottle, and I bought four.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:17AM
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nannybird_gw

For a few months now, I've been using the Clorox Greenworks cleaners. I have been really satisfied with the job they do. The main reason I like them is they are made with coconut, corn and citrus. They don't give me a severe headache and affect my breathing the way most cleaners do.
Nancy

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:10AM
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grainlady_ks

Water... I clean an awful lot with steam these days. Safe and effective. -Grainlady

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 7:03PM
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celticgarden

I know there are cheaper and just as effective ways...but I really love Mrs. Meyers. The scents make cleaning more bearable for me. As a mom with a FT job outside the home and mucho hobbies (like gardening) cleaning makes me cranky and resentful. A nice smell helps.

Linda

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:43AM
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albert_135

Ok, I've waited five weeks, I guess it is ok to share this. I couldn't clean much of anything without a chemical called oxidane. VBG etc.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 1:21PM
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bronwynsmom

Albert, are you pulling our legs? Isn't oxidane a chemist's name for water??? LOL

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 11:04AM
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canobeans

My newest discovery is FW1 Racing Formula Cleaning Wax. It's made for waterless car cleaning (and does a bang-up job there), but can be used on just about any non-porous surface. I use it to take the soap scum off my shower tiles and glass doors. It's AMAZING and it helps keep fingerprints and new gunk from sticking. The only thing you have to watch out for is to not get it on the floor of the shower, you don't want to slip.

They were doing a demo at a gas station and I bought three cans for $30. The website price is $20 a can, so it's pricey. But if you ever see someone offering it at the gas station, try it!

Because it's so pricey, for regular window and mirror cleaning I use Invisible Glass with a microfiber cloth. Totally streak-free sparkling clean with very little effort!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:01PM
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folly_grows

Hands down -- no question -- *Charlie's Soap*
-The Laundry Powder is frangrance-less and I have been able to stop using dryer sheets. Best of all I only have to use 1 tbs in my front loader.
-With the All-Purpose Spray I have been able to great rid of most of my other cleaning products. Just dilute it for different needs. Full strength to pretreat laundry or remove tar from cars; 3 water: 1 CS for general spray cleaning; 10:1 for glass and other light cleaning. I even make a 20:1 daily shower cleaner that's really good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Charlie's Soap

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 12:25PM
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cork2win

I'm really interested in this thread because we're moving to a house with septic and well water and I really need and want to be careful about using chemicals around the house.

For those of you that use natural stuff (baking soda, vinegar, etc) would you mind explaining to a total newbie exactly how you use these items? Like, mixed with what, in what proportions, used for what exactly?

And what the heck are dryer balls?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 1:00PM
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gypsysunrise

#1 - Scrubbing Bubbles! Love this stuff. I use it in the bathroom, and anywhere that needs a tought cleaner....even the kitchen, at times.

#2 - Windex Multisurface Antibacterial.. It works great.. Windows, kitchen counter, smoothtop range (to shine it, after cleaning with Softscrub)..

#3 - Softscrub - For cleaning smoothtop range.. Cheaper than the products packaged for the range, and JUST as good! ..And, gentle.

#4 - Dawn Dishliquid... Obviously, for the dishes.. But also great for spraying around the garden to kill aphids and such.. Bathing pets to rid them of fleas.. Pour down the drains, to keep them flowing smoothly.

=)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 4:19PM
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jannie

My husband ocasionally has bowel accidents, I found Charlies Soap gets the smell out with one wash, and all you use is ONE teaspoon. this stuff is great for laundry!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 6:46PM
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the1behindu

I truly cannot live without bleach, scrubbing bubbles bath cleaner and magic eraser ( I dont know what's in those but they work wonders on the hardest stains). I also use alot of Comet in my toilet bowls to scrub hard stains and keep them white

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 9:21PM
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suero

I accidentally spilled some baking soda on my no-wax kitchen floor. You know the kind of floor, with little indentations that trap dirt and never get clean. Until I wiped up the spill with a damp paper towel and found that not only was the floor clean, but it looked as good as new. And this was 10 years after it had been installed. So now I clean the floor with baking soda and water. It's not only cheap, it's the best product I've found.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 9:23PM
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cheerful1_gw

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 12:44PM
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