cleaning made easy

dxcspilkAugust 4, 2006

After buying a package of Windex wipes and using litterally one to clean my bathroom from mirrors to sink/counter to the toilet (then flushing the wipe!) I thought there has to be more ideas out there for easy cleaning!

I *hate* cleaning bathrooms and floors and even was going to hire a housekeeper at one time for these (decided against it for now).

I would love to hear your ideas for cleaning easy.

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Why clean it - It's just going to get dirty again.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:55PM
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I try not to do much in the one time use, throw it away department. Check out the thread on micro fiber cloths. All of those things you mentioned can be easily cleaned with just plain water and the cloths. Pitch it in the hamper and wash. Very easy.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 4:59AM
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A spray bottle of 50/50 alcohol/water works well to clean bathroom counters, fixtures, floor. I also use the mixture in the kitchen too. Great for glass cooktop as well as the granite counters.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 5:17PM
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The key to quick cleaning is - not to dirty things up... Un-cluttered rooms are quick and easy to clean.

As already mentioned by quiltglo, micro-fiber towels are great. I keep a stack of them handy next to the cleaning products in the rooms I need them. I can't justify the waste of single-use items for cleaning. Even paper towel use is kept to a minimum at our house.

Like krissie, I keep a spritz bottle of alcohol in the bathroom, when I'm finished in the bathroom in the a.m., I just spritz everything down, grab a micro-fiber towel and wipe everything off. It's just a simple habit I've gotten into. If hubby is the last one out, he'll do the duty of cleaning, as well. The towels are changed for clean ones, and anything wet is hung in the laundry room on a drying rack to dry BEFORE it's tossed in the clothes basket. Daily cleaning of the bathroom is probably one of the reasons we don't get colds/flu like other people.

Get rid of the clutter on flat surfaces. If you can't remember what color/type of surface material is in your bathroom, then it's time to reduce and learn how to store things away. Get some pretty baskets or plastic totes to store things away. If the ledge around your bathtub is surrounded with all kinds of bottles, it's impossible to clean quickly. That and the water left under the bottles will actually etch the tub surface and damage it.

When I take a tub bath, I wipe the tub surface down with a spritz of alcohol and the wash cloth I used. Dry the fixtures, so they are always spot-free. Hubby does the same. It only takes about 30 seconds. In the shower, put a small squeegee so that you can remove the water from the stall/walls to prevent hard water spotting.

I keep a spritz bottle of 1 qt. water and 1 t. bleach in the kitchen - a great, inexpensive, disinfectant. After we clean-up after a meal, we spritz down all flat surfaces and the refrigerator handle and wipe them down with a micro-fiber towel. If I use a cutting board for meat/chicken during meal preparation, I spritz it and the knife down, as well as the counter before washing to kill bacteria from the meat. Get a spill or drip in the refrigerator, it can quickly be spritzed with the bleach/water solution and wiped out.

I'd also say the septic system isn't the best place to toss those "wipes". They don't breakdown as readily as TP does. Ask your friendly plumber the next time your line is stopped up what he thinks of flushing one-use items down the toilet??? The trash is a better place for disposal.

And while I'm on trash. After supper each evening, my husband and I make the rounds with the kitchen trash can and dump all other trash containers in it, and take it all out once a day.

Good daily habits make the once-a-week cleaning a snap.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Great tips Grainlady. This is exactly what I was looking for. I will have to find some microfiber towels, this is a great idea! Will your alcohol/water solution keep the mirrors streak free?

I love your ideas, now if I can just convince DH....

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 4:54PM
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I haven't gotten the clutter problem under control yet, but I can testify to the wonders of the microfiber cloths. In fact, I just ordered a set from QVC today. They do everything from counters to computer screens to flooring, and all with just a little bit of water. They are wonderful.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 5:17PM
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Yes, mirrors will be streak-free after using alcohol/water mixture to clean. I spray the mirror and then dry with microfiber cloth or clean cloth.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 6:59PM
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Mr. Clean sponges for heavy duty stuff. I love them.
Amonia & hot water is the best for grease. Our ceiling fan
was so dirty & greasy, the amonia took it right off!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 8:32PM
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I clean my mirrors with a soft dry towel, no liquid...also inside the windshield on the car. It cleans without smudges.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 10:01PM
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Wow! I am so taken with the idea of using microfiber cloths with alcohol instead of nasty cleaners. My questions for all of you who are already doing it are:

(1) Can I use el cheapo microfiber cloths from the auto department or do I need to order something special?

(2) What goes into the spritz bottle exactly? Just alcohol? Or, if water and alchol, then how much of each?

(3) Can I just toss the cloths in the washer? Do I need to rinse them first?

And then for those of you using bleach water, do you rinse after you use it? Or just wipe it off?

Wow. That's a bunch of questions!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 3:32PM
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And since you can get alcohol in 50%, 70%, and 90%, which one are you mixing with (more) water.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:01PM
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xantippe, to answer your questions...

1.) They actually make different textured miracle/microfiber clothes for different activities...dry dusting, windows, bath, etc...The fabic weave is tighter on some. Some of the cheap ones work just as well, IMHO, and some, don't. But I would try the cheap ones out and use as back up if you don't like. I tend to like the smaller weave and a healthy sized (not too small) cloth.

2.) I really don't think alcohol is needed when cleaning with them. I either use dry, or with a little water or a small amount of my regular cleaner. Each project is a little different--tv's need no cleaner and less water than the kitchen counter.

3.) I rinse them in the sink, just to get the major gunk out, but nothing special then I just wash them in the washer.

--Depends on the concentration of the bleach water and where it is used. I always rinse kitchen tables, but may not bother with the bathtub.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 1:41AM
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I follow a modified FlyLady routine to keep things tidy. I have a huge shower, so M-F I clean one wall each day and scrub the floor on the fifth day while I'm in the shower. I then give my toilets a quick scrub with a toilet brush that soaks in a bleach/water solution and wipe the counters down with a Clorox CleanUp wipe. I finish by scooping the cat boxes and running the Swivel Sweeper (yes, that thing from the infomerical really works) over the tile.

About once a month I give my bathroom a detailed cleaning by doing 15 minutes a day for a week.

FlyLady isn't for everyone, but I love the program because I am super organized now.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 6:12PM
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One thing about the bleach/water solution kept for quick clean ups... Sun light breaks down bleach so make sure you're not keeping your solution in a clear bottle or else you are wiping your counters with salt water by the end of the week!

I use a microfiber cloth with Mrs. Meyers cleaner, which is essentially alcohol and water, it just smells better.

I like to rinse all my dish and cleaning cloths with a batch of boiling water from the tea kettle before I let them go into the laundry.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 3:09PM
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I love cleaning with microfiber cloths. I bought mine off of eBay. I got 24 12x12 cloths for $23.40 shipped. I don't know if it was the best deal or not, but I do know they are the best cloths to clean with. I'm trying my best to go green and not be so wasteful. I used to use viva paper towels because they will last longer than any other brand of paper towels I've used. I was cleaning one day and noticed that I used a whole roll of viva and I started thinking about how wasteful I was being. I got on the internet and started reading about microfiber. That was about a year ago and I haven't used a paper towel to clean with since! I haven't totaled up how much I have saved in money, but it really doesn't matter to me because I know I've done a little bit by not having all my paper towels end up in a landfill somewhere or maybe even saved a tree or two, lol!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 6:37AM
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Vinegar works great on hard water stains, including rust. We have very hard water and I find that a little bit of vinegar easily gets rid of the hard water build-up. Also, to keep stainless fixtures looking great, a quick wipe down each time with your towel will prevent those water spots that mar the appearance of stainless.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 9:26PM
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