Apr 25, 2014

Favorite Cleaning Products

Clients often ask me which products they should use to clean their new hardwood floors, kitchen appliances, granite countertops, and furnishings.  Below is a roundup of the cleaning supplies I recommend and use in my own home.   They can be found at most of the big stores (Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond), won't damage the finishes on your favorite things, and will help you keep your home beautiful.

Wieman Glass Cook Top Cleaning Kit - This product comes in a box with a small scraper-thingy that works to get off any gross globs sticking to your glass top stove.  It removes grease and food bits and leaves my stovetop shiny and looking like new!

Sprayway Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish - Everyone loves stainless steel appliances in a kitchen, but they show EVERY SINGLE fingerprint and smudge!  This is the only product I've found that really manages to wipe my fridge clean.  I use it with a microfiber cloth and rub in the direction of the grain to buff away fingerprints and grime. (Yes, there's actually a grain to your stainless stuff, just like wood - just look really closely.) 

Stone Solutions Platinum All in One Granite Polish - I use this polish from the showroom that installed our granite countertops.  Contact the folks who installed your countertops or a local kitchen and bath showroom; they'll likely have their own store-brand product for you to use.  In between polishings, I just use regular dish soap and water.

Microfiber Dusting Mitt - This washable chenille dust mitt with the green noodle things sticking off it is the best for super-speedy cleanups.  I use it along my baseboards, on the TV screen, along lamp and cable cords - anywhere I need to swipe away dust quickly.  Then it just pops in the washing machine. 

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - A decorator's magic wand - this amazing little sponge cleans walls and painted furniture without wiping away the paint.  Perfect for wiping away handprints in hallways (especially near where people lean against the wall to take their shoes on and off), smudges around door knobs, and all those other little dingy spots that seem to happen on walls with no explanation.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner - At first I was terrified to use anything on the gorgeous 100+ year old wood floors in our century home.  Plain old water was getting the dirt up, but not doing anything to shine them up.   Bona makes 'em gleam!  

Howard Restor-A-Shine Polishing Compound - I use this polishing compound when I need to really revive a dull piece of wood furniture or buff away water marks or other damage inflicted by my two year old (and husband).  This polish is specially formulated for wood furniture and will not lift a veneer or soften a hard finish.  Then, to keep the piece looking beautiful, I use Howard's Orange Oil whenever I dust.  Unlike some dusting sprays, orange oil won't dry out your wood, leave a waxy build up, or damage the finish.

Seventh Generation Disinfecting & Cleaning Wipes - Sometimes you just need a wipe!  For quick cleanups in bathrooms and kitchens, I use these lemongrass scented wipes that kill 99.99% of germs. Also great for weekly wipe downs of light switches, doorknobs, the remote control, and any other hotbeds for germs.

And one final incredible product - Goo Gone!

I use this amazing product to remove sticky stuff left behind from price tags.  Know how you find all those super-pretty vases and frames at Marshalls, but the price tags are all on the front of the frame and never come off cleanly?  Instead of scraping for hours, just dab a bit of Goo Gone on them and ten minutes later, they'll wipe right off.  Also great for taking labels off of old jars, which I like to turn into pencil cups, crayon storage, vases, etc.  It's also really handy if you have a child who likes to glam up your furniture with sparkly Minnie Mouse stickers.

If you've read this entire post and still haven't got your fill of cleaning related info, check out my Spring Cleaning Checklist in the latest issue of the River Journal.