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Spring has almost sprung, which means it's time to open the windows and give your home a good scrub-down. From dusty corners to mildew-y bathroom tiles to grimy kitchen sinks, we tapped the top cleaning experts to spill the dirt on the best products to get the job done. Grab those cleaning gloves and prepare to give your digs an immaculate makeover.
If you’re looking for something that’ll leave your kitchen counters and stovetops spotless, consider Method’s All-Purpose Cleaner. Katie Berry, author of "30 Days to a Clean and Organized Home" and founder of HousewifeHowtos.com, says, “It cuts through grease wonderfully and doesn’t streak on appliances. Plus, it’s non-toxic.” Her favorite scent? Pink grapefruit.
For a DIY cleanser, Melissa Maker, founder of Clean My Space, combines a teaspoon of dish soap with two cups of water and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. “Dish soap helps remove dirt and grease, while essential oils add a pleasant scent, as well as offer some beneficial properties,” she says. She likes to use eucalyptus, tea tree, or lemon essential oils which may have antibacterial benefits.
Unlike using paper towels or even sponges, microfiber cleaning cloths cut cleaning time in half because they’re able to grab the smallest — microscopic to be exact — particles of dirt, dust and dander. Becky Rapinchuk, author of "Simply Clean" and creator of Clean Mama, recommends her own microfiber cloth. “I’m partial, but it’s my favorite because it’s lightweight and dries quickly. There’s no lint on surfaces, and it’s soft to the touch,” she says. Amazon also sells an affordable 24-pack.
Just like a boxing match, you’re about to go head-to-head with dirt and bacteria, so you want to make sure you’re properly gloved. These slip-resistant mitts will hook germs, while protecting your hands from harsh chemicals. Rapinchuk says, “I love these because they’re natural latex and they keep water out.” Whether you’re scrubbing the bathroom tub or greasy stovetops, these gloves also have a soft lining inside for extra comfort when dipping into hot water.
It’s important to clean your floors and counters, but your furniture likely needs some spiffing, too! Berry loves Old English Furniture Polish Spray. “It actually moisturizes and conditions wood. It also doesn’t contain silicones, which eventually causes furniture to look cloudy,” she says. Most commercial wood polishes contain silicone to give furniture that nice glistening shine, but after a while, it can make surfaces sticky. To best use the spray, Berry recommends dusting furniture top to bottom and then left to right so you don’t scatter dust. Here are her other tips for cleaning bedroom furniture.
Doing the dishes is the most disliked daily chore, but when you’ve got Mrs. Meyers by your side, your plates aren’t the only things getting a boost. Mrs. Meyers’s products are formulated with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, which provide an aromatherapeutic experience. Beth McGee, author of "Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master," says, “Dish detergents are best when they can cut grease and leave your dishes feeling clean. It’s not just for dishes, but can also be used full strength on greasy stoves and other cooking appliances to remove the hardest stains.”
Taking the time to choose the right sponge might seem like an unnecessary chore, but the best kinds are the ones you can easily disinfect and throw into the dishwasher. Rapinchuk likes Twist’s Naked Sponge because it’s plant-based and natural, meaning it doesn’t have the chemicals and colors you find in other store-bought sponges. And because it’s made with real loofah and cellulose, it can, by nature, soak up anything.
Don’t let soap scum and mildew stains get the best of your bathroom. You’ll want to have this all-purpose cleaner in your arsenal. Cassandra Aarssen, author of "Real Life Organizing: Get a Clean and Clutter-Free Home in Just 15 Minutes a Day" and founder of Clutterbug, says, “This is a must-have cleaner in my house for things like bathtubs, toilets and white plastic handles on appliances. They tackle hard to clean stains and grime without scrubbing.” What’s great is that you can also use this spray for your kitchen and outdoor surfaces, like lawn furniture.
No one can handle tough messes like Mr. Clean. Consider his Magic Eraser the ultimate cleaning wand. Thanks to its durable, built-in microscrubbers, it can literally lift dirt with water alone. “I don’t use one often, but for a tough mark or grime, Mr. Clean is the way to go,” Rapinchuk says. Those burned oven bits on your oven door? Goodbye. Stickers and crayon marks on the wall? Sayonara.
There are cleaners and then there are disinfectants. The main difference is that the disinfectants will kill harmful bacteria and disease-causing organisms that cleaners can’t. Think: E.coli, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus. Berry likes Clorox for disinfecting surfaces, especially ones that have been exposed to raw meat, blood, or other bodily fluids.
Whether you’re battling spilled wine or messes, ahem, “accidents” from your furry friends, Oxiclean’s Max Force Spray is Berry’s first choice. “I like Oxiclean because it’s great on grout, grimey outdoor furniture, and carpet stains without damaging colors,” she says. This smudge fighter works to remove blotches through an oxygenation process, while deep cleaning and freshening up fabrics.
If your stainless steel pots, glass, or porcelain could use some TLC, you’ve got a keeper in this product. McGee says Bar Keepers Friend is her favorite cleanser because it can remove scuffs, rust and food stains. “It will not scratch surfaces, as long as you apply it with a non-scratch sponge or microfiber cloth,” she says. A fairy dusting of this powdered multi-purpose cleaner goes a long way. “It can be used successfully to remove scuffs, rust, and food stains, whether dried on or burned on. It can also bring a scum-covered shower door to a shine. No other cleanser works as well for all of these tasks,” McGee adds.
MORE CLEANING TIPS
- BETTER's How to clean everything guide
- How often you should clean your home, according to science
- The best spring cleaning products, according to the pros
- Why the 20/10 method can change the way you clean
- How often to replace everything in your bathroom, bedroom and kitchen