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All Cleaning Products are Not Equal

I am frequently asked what my favourite cleaning equipment and products are.  And which products do I think are the best. 

My favourite of cleaning equipment are a line of microfiber cloths and mop heads.  The mop poles and dusters are light weight, easy to use, washable, eco-friendly and save money.  Because the majority of cleaning involves dusting and cleaning glass, microfiber cloths can use water for each of these jobs. 

As for my favourite chemicals, I use as few as possible.  Be aware that any product that claims to kill 99.9% of germs must be kept on the complete surface and remain wet for a minimum of 10 minutes!  This will require multiple light sprays over the duration of the 10 minutes.  There is no product that you can just spray once and walk away believing that it is germ free.

In today's society we have grown accustomed to having daily ads thrown at us promoting a litany of products to clean our homes, cover smells and improve our air quality.  These flagrant promotions are often challenged by studies and consumer concerns for the perfumes we put in the air of our homes.  These same concerns are among the cleaning professionals that use products every day to clean for residential and commercial clients.  As a cleaner I can tell you first hand of the dangers of many of these chemicals when they are used improperly in poorly ventilated areas.  After using a tile cleaner with bleach in an enclosed bathroom that had no air circulation I couldn't breath at all.  If it did this to me after only a few minutes of exposure, what does it do to others with under developed or compromised lung capacity?  As a result I avoid using bleach products if at all possible.

My personal experience led me to look into how we could reduce the number of products we use in our client homes.  We reduced the number down to 7 that we routinely use.  I researched products that could perform several jobs and began eliminating my supply shelves of redundant products.  This meant a lot of trials with a multitude of products.  I tried Green products.  Some worked great.  Others had poor performance.  Many products affected my breathing whether they were Green or not. 

What I ended up with was:

1. Windex; which many of my clients like only because the smell is associated with clean.  When I have cleaned their mirrors with microfiber and water, they couldn't tell the difference from the side I cleaned with microfiber and windex. 

2. Vim with bleach; which is used in sinks to remove coffee and tea stains.  It has low odor and only requires a drop the size of a dime to be used with a scotch brite pad.

3. Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner; there are several types available including gel, bleach, rust removal, power and fresh, power and free.  The Lysol brand was easiest to use.  It did not stick to the bowl or leave residue behind after scrubbing. 

4. Scrubbing Bubbles; the spray bottle is good on regular tub rings and soap scum.  But the aerosol spray is dynomite on heavy soiled tubs.  We call it the Bomb. 

5. Oxy Bleach for Unbleachables; we mix this in a spray bottle for bleaching bathroom tiles.  It is low in odor and very effective.  Made fresh daily.

6. Because Walmart no longer carries my favourite stainless steel cleaner, we have switched to using Swish; this product works like a charm with no hard rubbing and polishing.  It cuts down the time spent cleaning stainless steel appliances!

7. Vim Wood Floors Surfaces; this floor cleaner is safe on all surfaces and has a low odor.  It doesn't leave streaks when directions are followed. 

8. Lysol Power and Free spray or Spray 9; these are two different chemicals that are very similar and very different in price.  Lysol Power and Free runs about $3-$4 a bottle, we found has a lower odor and can remove old cooking residue that gets splattered on walls with ease.  While the Spray 9 runs about $10 a bottle and can remove automotive grease from walls like it's nobody's business.  Both claim to kill germs.  When there is a mechanic in the house, use Spray 9. 

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