• T-shirts and cotton towels: cut to usable sizes for a constant supply of absorbent cleaning cloths.
• Single cotton or wool socks: pull on your hand and use as a duster.
• Toothbrushes: use to clean around taps and hard-to-access areas.
• Shaving brushes and paintbrushes: use for dusting delicate items.
• Spray bottles: keep on hand for homemade cleaning solutions.
Buy new Cleaning Tools
• Long-handled soft broom: more expensive brooms with good-quality bristles will pick up the dirt better and last longer.
• Dustpan and brush: buy several and store near high-activity areas ready for quick clean-ups.
• Long-handled sponge mop and bucket: choose good-quality mops with sturdy replaceable heads.
• For the kitchen: washing-up brush, vegetable scrubbing brush and fine steel wool scourer.
• For the bathroom: toilet brush and bucket.
• Start with an all-purpose cloth or mitt. There are a variety of grades for different applications, from cleaning glass to washing cars.
• Buy wisely – the most expensive microfibre cloth is not necessarily the best, but the very cheapest do tend to be inferior.
• Don’t use fabric softeners when laundering microfibre cloths. They smooth the fibres, rendering them useless. Also avoid tumble-drying.
• Clean your windows with a microfibre cloth just after it’s come out of the washing machine. It will be at just the right dampness after the spin cycle.
• Damp microfibre cloths will remove bacteria. Wipe the surface dry after use as an extra precaution.
A weekly vacuum will pick up dust before it turns to grime and keep dust mites and carpet beetles at bay. Consider these points when buying your next cleaner.
• Higher wattage vacuum cleaners don’t necessarily have a more powerful suction. Do your homework before buying, ask for a demonstration and make sure the machine you choose suits the surfaces you want to clean.
• Do you want a bag or non-bag system? Disposable paper bags make less mess than canisters or fabric bags, but are less cost-effective.
• Ask about the filter system, especially if anyone in your family is asthmatic or suffers from allergies. The best filters, known as HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters, capture tiny particles of dust and allergens that would otherwise be blown back into the air through the vacuum’s exhaust system.
• Consider models with a gauge that alerts you to when the bag or canister needs replacing. Full bags waste energy – both yours and the motor’s.
• Look for models with a variable power button, which allows you to use less suction on delicate items.
• A powerhead attachment will use more energy, but will increase carpet cleaning efficiency.
• If you clean mostly carpet, look for a cleaner that offers pile adjustment. This saves wear and tear on your carpet and the vacuum motor.
House Cleaning Tool Kit