How you clean and what tools you use for each task can radically transform your home and save you time, according to ShopSmart, the shopping magazine published by Consumer Reports.
“Nobody likes to clean, so why not make your routine as efficient and effective as possible?”, said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart.
Here's a 'revised' look at paper towels and dusters:
They're great for quick cleanups and wiping off dirty surfaces, but paper towels are not supposed to be used on mirrors and windows or not dusting (they're not? Oh?). ShopSmart recommends using a squeegee or a microfiber cloth. That's because paper towels can leave behind lint (Oh?), little shreds and it can scratch certain surfaces (like stainless steel).
ShopSmart recommended Bounty as ideal for picking up spills and scrub surfaces .
This is best used for dusting large surfaces (like walls) and hard-to-get-at spaces (like recessed lighting and radiators). It's also good for furniture and delicate knick-knacks.
ShopSmart recommends a lambswool duster for its great dust-attracting ability.
A Better Way: Dust first with a clean duster, working from top to bottom, then vacuum. Make sure to vacuum the duster after each use (to help remove debris trapped in the fibers). ShopSmart also recommends hand-washing the duster once in a while and letting the cloth air-dry.
For more info, check out www.staples.com. They carry a great line of “green” cleaners. There's also good prices on top name-brand supplies. And Staples has its own store brand!
The site www.container.com has a wide variety of brand-name cleaning products; there's a huge selection of scrubs, brooms, microfiber cloths and mops, plus so much more.
And www.soap.com also boasts a variety of brand-name cleaning items-and speedy delivery!
Do one room at a time, to save time (you'll also do a more thorough job with less frustration).
Foyers tend to accumulate a lot of clutter; organize the this particular space so that you'll be less tempted to drop items as soon as you come in. Keep a recycling bin or a shredder handy for dealing with junk mail, a coat rack for hats, coats and umbrellas and a large basket handy so that items can be easily transported from one room to another.
Try to do a load of laundry at least weekly (more if your household tends to get large loads throughout the week).
If possible, save the vacuuming for last; you won't be cleaning dust that settled while dusting or wiping down items twice.
Sources: “Time-saving cleaning tricks” by MetroServices-The (Sunday) Vindicator, July 21, 2013 and
“Is it time to rethink your cleaning routine?”-From Consumer Reports-The (Sunday) Vindicator, April 15, 2012