Cleaning

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Dusting & De-furring the Furniture

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The cloth furniture in our homes sees a great amount of traffic and a great deal of wear and tear. And just like the floors, picture frames, kitchen, and bathrooms in our home, the sofas and armchairs we still in need upkeep to keep them in tip-top shape! Dust settles onto our furniture, and if we have pets fur collets onto the furniture as well. If we don’t take care of it, it can become quite an unsightly mess.

But how do we go about keeping the furniture clean, especially with so much dust and pet hair that makes the task all the more difficult? The first step is obviously assessing the sort of surface that you’re cleaning. Is your sofa cloth or leather? If it’s leather, it only needs a simple wipe down—with clean rags and an all-natural cleaner; but cleaning dust and fur out of cloth furniture is much more involved.

Choosing Your Method of Attack

There are a few tools out there that can help you “dust” your cloth sofas and armchairs. Small, whisk brooms and (surprisingly) shower squeegees are great tools for cleaning the furniture. The purpose of the whisk broom is to work up the dust, and it can pull fur out of the fabric weave. The squeegee is helpful for pulling fur off of the fabric, and it can cover a greater area than the smaller whisk broom. The only downside of a squeegee is that it doesn’t get up dust from the fabric. You can decide which to use for your cleaning method: one or the other, or both!

Whisking the Sofa

It’s very simple using the whisk broom on the sofa or armchair. To begin, pull the whisk broom across the fabric, from top to bottom. Once you get to the seat, whisk this, and then the foot. Then begin the next section again, working from one side to the other in small sections. Use enough strength to adequately pull out dust and fur. If there’s a lot of fur in the weave, pull up the hair that builds up as you go.

Using the Squeegee

If you decide to try using a squeegee to pull off the fur, work in sections (from top to bottom, from one side to the other) again. But pull the squeegee across the fabric slowly with a little more strength than the whisk broom. The fur should pull of easily. The squeegee, while great for pulling off hair and fur, it won’t be adequate for dusting.

After you’ve finished, quickly vacuum the floors around the sofas and chairs to pick up any loose dust or clumps of fur that have been pulled off. This nifty cleaning hack is the perfect way to shape up the cloth furniture in your home with confidence and ease!

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How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner – Favorites at all Price Points

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If you are new here, you might not know that Wednesday is Vacuuming Day for the Clean Mama Routine – it’s a day that we do a deep vacuuming of our homes. Every day CHECK FLOORS is a Daily Task – so we check and sweep or vacuum as necessary. See more about the Clean Mama Routine here. Over the years I have owned and tested A LOT of vacuum cleaners. The thing about vacuum cleaners is that if you ask anyone their opinion, a.) they have one and b.) either they LOVE their vacuum cleaner or they HATE it. So today, I’m going to save you the trouble and tell you some essential criteria for any vacuum cleaner and give you a handful of suggestions in all price ranges so you can make a more informed decision. Because it really stinks to get a brand new vacuum cleaner and have it work great for a month and then it completely loses its suction and ability to pick anything up. Ugh – been there, done that.

My recommendations are based on my own experience, testing and research, recommendations from readers, and ratings from retailers and Amazon.

My vacuum cleaner musts:

  • purchase the best that you can in your budget
  • look for attachments (bonus if they are stored ON the unit) – crevice nozzle, hose, upholstery brush, dusting
  • look for a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air) – to be rated as a HEPA filter, a filter must keep tiny particles .3 microns in size or larger at 99.97% – this means that it’s keeping most particles whereas a non-HEPA filter vacuum is blowing those particles back into the air which in turn goes right back in your home. If you have allergy sufferers or anyone with asthma, this is most-definitely a must!
  • cord long enough that you don’t have to unplug it from room to room
  • multi-level filtration – if you don’t need/want the HEPA filter, make sure you have more than one filtration system to catch and hold dirt and dust
  • After having numerous vacuum cleaners with a canister/dirt tank, I prefer a bagged system and truth be told, it’s the main reason I switched from Dyson to Miele. I was sick of the dirt/dust escaping when I would empty the bin.
  • look for a brushroll that can be turned off for vacuuming hard surface floors – this keeps your hard surface floors scratch free.
  • check the weight of the vacuum cleaner and test them out – make sure it’s easy for you to maneuver

I’ve pulled together a couple favorites in 4 categories – these are vacuums that I recommend based on the above criteria in a variety of price ranges. I hope it helps you in your search for the perfect vacuum! I’ve also added affiliate links under the image to purchase if you’re interested – the vacuums are in order of price (I added the current price as well for your reference), low to high and I’ve added a * to the ones that I have owned/tested or currently own and recommend.

BISSELL Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair ($199)  – Neato Botvac D80 Robot (Pets and Allergies)*($624) Miele Scout RX2 Home Vision* ($799)

Eureka Mighty Mite Bagged Canister *($75) Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum Cleaner* ($299)- Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog Canister ($700)- Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister* ($1049) (this is the one I have with the Powerhead Bundle HEPA filter)

BISSELL Natural Sweep Dual Brush Sweeper ($28) – BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum – Eureka Hyperclean Cordless Vacuum ($289)- Dyson V7 Cordless Handheld Vacuum ($283) Miele Triflex HX1 Battery Powered Bagless ($499)

Sanitaire S635A Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner ($139) – Shark Navigator Lift Away Professional ($199) Dyson Ball Multi Floor w/ HEPA Filter ($299) – Miele Dynamic U1 Powerline Upright Bagged Vacuum Cleaner* ($599)

What do you think? What’s your criteria for a vacuum cleaner? Have a favorite to share?

Want to see all my floor care favorites? Head to my Amazon shop!

I love my Miele vacuum cleaners and recommend them over any other vacuum cleaner but I know that they are pricey. For me, the fact that they have lasted for YEARS without any issues compared to every other vacuum cleaner I’ve owned lasting 1-2 years max, it’s worth it because it’s more cost effective in the long run. I love that there’s no dust or debris whipped up while I’m vacuuming and I love the ease of having the attachments on-board for on the go cleaning. My favorite Miele is the canister unit – I absolutely love its maneuverability and ease of use. It hits all of my criteria and then some. The HEPA filter and bagged system is one of the best out there – if you’re used to buying new vacuum cleaners every couple years, it makes sense to purchase a better one that will last for years to come.

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Clean Your Picture Frames Like a Pro

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With autumn and winter well on its way, some of us might be searching for projects or chores to keep us busy (and cosy) inside our homes. Why not do a little bit of seasonal cleaning? Seasonal cleaning is a great task for those times when chilly, brisk temperatures keep us in doors. And it’s something we can encourage the kids to help out with, too!

This week, we’ll talk about how you can spruce up all of the picture frames in your home. Just like everything else in our homes, picture frames are prone to catching dust. Once a year, picture frames need a good dusting. So, how to go about this simple task? There’s just enough work in tidying up picture frames to keep one occupied, but it’s not so monumental that it’s overwhelming. It makes it the perfect cleaning chore for a rainy, grey day.

Gathering the Supplies for the Job

If your picture frames have sat collecting dust for multiple years, without being cleaned, then they probably need a good wipe down. A light dusting can only get up the loose dust, and to get the dust up that has settled in, it needs to be actually hand wiped with some cleaning solution and a rag. The following tools and supplies will be needed to completely clean the picture frames:

  • cleaning solution
  • clean rags
  • a clean microfibre cloth

If possible, use a cleaning solution that is all natural and safe for everyone in the home, and it’s a good idea to use a cleaner that is safe for picture frames! Gather all of your frames together from around the house, and gently spritz the first frame with your cleaning solution. Then gently wipe the outer edge of the frame. Begin at the far left, lower edge. Wipe up, then wipe across, and then down again. Then gently work up any layer of dust on the glass of the frame.

After you’ve gotten up the dust, use the microfibre to polish the glass and make it shine. Be sure not to leave any streaks on the glass. Now your picture frames are ready to go back up on the walls!

Professional house cleaning tips like these can really help your home go from clean to glowing! A little bit of extra TLC is all that it takes to achieve that proficiently cleaned look.

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Cleaning the Forgotten Places: Under the Bed

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No doubt there are places around our homes that we forget to clean. The list of forgotten places around our home might be a mile long, but no matter what those objects and places are, we’re here to make your cleaning routine easier, more protective, and stress free!

One such place that you might have forgotten to clean is under the bed. Whether your bedrooms have carpet or wood floors, cleaning under the bed is definitely important. All sorts of dust, fuzz, cobwebs, and other similar things gather under there. Few of us remember to dust or vacuum underneath this trap for all sort of dust and dirt, which is why it’s important to remember cleaning here!

Even before you begin gathering the tools for cleaning beneath the beds in your home, what type of flooring is in the bedrooms? The difference in cleaning wood floors or carpet under a bed makes a big difference. If you have carpet in the bedrooms, it’s better to clean beneath the beds once a year. Enlist the help of a friend or family member, move the bed to the side and quickly vacuum up the dust, cobwebs, pet hair, and other things that have drifted to that spot. This is really the only way to effectively clean carpet; and since it takes so much effort to move the bed, it’s best to do it no more than twice a year.

But if the flooring is wood, you’re in luck! This is definitely something that can be cleaned on a weekly basis! Surprisingly, the best tool for this is just a long duster (such as a lambswool duster) with a very long handle or an extension pole.

Before you begin dusting the bed underneath, clear out whatever has been stored beneath the bed. It’s important to have an open area to clean without working around objects that might hide or trap dust bunnies. Once you’ve moved anything sitting under the beds, take your duster (extended as long as needed to reach the other side) begin dusting. Start by placing the duster at the edge furthest away from you). Keeping the duster flat against the floor, pull the duster from one side of the floor to the other. Knock the dust and other particles out from underneath the bed. Then, dust the section immediately below the bit of floor that was just dusted. Continue drawing the duster across the floor firmly, pulling out the dust until you’ve finished the entire space. Quickly sweep up everything that was pulled out from under the bed, and then replace everything previously stored under the bed. Cleaning underneath the bed is as simple as that!

Unfortunately, forgetting to dust underneath the beds is just one example of things we neglect around the home. There are many others! Fortunately, there are easy remedies for cleaning them. Being mindful of these areas is simply the first step.

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How to Fit a Cleaning Routine into a Full Life

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The alternate title for this post could be ‘how to fit a cleaning routine into a busy life’, but even when I feel busy, I try to re-frame my thinking into a full life. It’s full of good things and things we get to do, not things we have to do. Sure, there are things that we ‘have to do’, like going to work and cleaning the house but it’s still a privilege that we GET to do those things. We’re here, we’re capable and these are things we GET to do. In the end, we do have some choices for what we fill our days up with – if things feel too busy or like there’s too much, we can edit that calendar or schedule or say ‘no’ next time we’re asked to do something that feels like it’s too much.

I’m going to take a guess and say that you are here because you’re trying to find the answer to one or all of these things:

  • How can I have a clean house AND a life?
  • My kids are too little to have a clean house.
  • I work 40 hours a week, I don’t have a spare minute to keep the house clean.

Guess what? Figuring out how to clean your house on a regular schedule will not only give you more time, it will give you peace of mind as well.

I’ve taken the guesswork out of coming up with a cleaning routine – the Clean Mama Routine is designed to help you keep your home clean and tidy with minimal effort and maximum results. And the best part? It works in any situation and with any size home.

If you’re new here, here are the basics – there are 4 parts to the Clean Mama Routine:

Learn the Daily Tasks, repeat the Daily Tasks – these 5 tasks will be the backbone of your clean home:

Once you have those Daily Tasks humming in the background, then it’s time to add the Weekly Tasks – each one correlates to a day of the week, making it easy to remember and plug into your daily life.

This week, I’m sharing how I do the routine in our home on Instagram – follow along here @cleanmama – I hope it shows you how simple it really is!

If you haven’t seen the newly designed START HERE PAGE, head on over and check it out for a thorough overview of the Clean Mama Routine, including more on the Rotating Tasks and the Monthly Focus,  and a free printable to help you get started!

I’ve designed so many tools to help you successfully implement the Clean Mama Routine – my two favorites and what I use? The Homekeeping Planner and the subscription to Homekeeping Society.

Did you see? Pre-orders are OPEN for the Homekeeping Planner – if this looks like a tool that would help you with your routine. Go to this post for more!

Make sure you’re following along on Instagram – here @cleanmama!

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Cleaning With Detail

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We’ve shared many times about the importance of cleaning. It’s something we’re enthusiastic about. A clean home helps us keep peace of mind, and continually cleaning makes it easier to keep up with the chores. It’s good for our health, and it’s even helpful in reducing our allergies. Cleaning is important.

Sometimes, however, cleaning well takes more than just a simple, quick wipe down of surfaces. It’s important to also clean things around the home with detail.

Initially, yes, cleaning with detail takes more time; but the end result is a home that looks the cleanest it can possibly be! And this makes the subsequent cleanings easier; maintaining the level of detail you want for your home will be easy. It won’t take nearly as much time to clean afterwards, even if you are looking for those little details. The initial build-up of spots, grime, dust, and dirt in a home is what takes the longest to clean. Afterwards, it’s a breeze cleaning with detail.

What You can Do to Prepare for Detailing Your Home

So, what are the practical ways to prepare for detailing your home? You’ll need your normal cleaning supplies (whatever logically applies to the room(s) you’re going to clean), and perhaps a few extra tools: an old toothbrush and a small scraper. Be sure to keep a few clean rags around as well!

The most important thing you’ll need for your detailed cleaning to-do list is time. It might not be something that you get through quickly. But, the more effort we put into a project initially, the more results we see. Whenever you decide to clean, be sure that you have enough time to not feel rushed!

Helpful Rules for Detailed Cleanings

It’s impossible to cover every scenario for every possible room in any given situation. However! There are plenty of guidelines that you can adjust for your home.

Always remember to clean from top to bottom. Haphazardly cleaning, pulling off dust and dirt onto something you’ve just cleaned won’t leave your rooms looking very pristine. Spot clean as you wipe things down. Scrub around the base of faucets and handles. Use your old toothbrush to scrub in the tight crevices to get up the dirt there. Another tip is to wipe up spots and drips immediately. This prevents them from building up and becoming a larger mess to clean up. Wipe up finger prints on doors, cabinets, doors, and light switch plates. After you’ve finished a room, sweep, mop, or vacuum your way out! This will pick up anything that might have fallen onto the floor.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s absolutely enough for readers to get an idea of the places and areas they should be cleaning around the homes. Simple things like these will greatly improve how our homes look, making them feel impeccably clean.

The post Cleaning With Detail appeared first on Maid to Shine | Your Best & Local House Cleaning Colorado Springs.

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Five Habits to Keeping a Tidy Home

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There are days where we recognise there is only so much cleaning we can actually do. We can clean our house from top to bottom, thoroughly, but we still feel as if it’s not enough—but what more can we do?

A home can be perfectly clean, and yet be highly unorganised. The two are not inherently the same. A kitchen can be immaculately clean but cluttered and unorganised. Organisation is rather like the very last, final touch. It’s the icing on the cake.

The Benefits of Organisation

Before we delve into the specs of what we can do to keep a more organised home, it might be helpful to point out the actual benefits of keeping our spaces organised.

Less Anxiety:

Having an organised space can cause less anxiety. A disorganised, cluttered space might not seem like a culprit to cause anxiety, but decluttering and keeping your home organised can give your mind a sense of peace!

Smoother Work Flow:

Organisation can also do wonders for your work flow around the house! When things are organised, everything has its place: you’re mentally relaxed. You can complete a project with gusto!

The Habits of a Tidy Home

So, the ultimate question everyone is asking now: what are the magical habits that improve your home and help keep it tidy?

Making the Bed Every Morning:

While it might be the most important chore, it certainly helps direct the mindset you have for your home! The second you’re up for the day, make the bed. It’s a very little thing, but it can help you with the right mindset for accomplishing tasks.

Don’t Procrastinate Your Chores:

When there are chores and errands to do, or things to tidy up—don’t procrastinate. Put things away, clean up the house, and do what needs done in a timely fashion. This prevents chores from building up and becoming overwhelming later on.

Wash the Dishes—Sooner, Rather than Later:

When the dishes need doing, do them! Don’t wait to clean them and put them away until they’ve piled high in the sink. Tackle the task—or enlist one of your kids’ help—and get them done! It only takes a few minutes to do a few, and it leaves you knowing that your kitchen has been taken care of!

Stop Tossing Towels & Clothes on the Floor:

It’s a huge temptation to just throw the towels or clothes on the floor, especially when we’re in a rush. But it takes just a few extra moments to fold the towels onto the towel racks, and put the dirty clothes in the hamper.

Don’t Allow Clutter to Accumulate:

And we’ve saved the best for last! Put things away immediately, throw away the trash, and keep your spaces organised as you go. In the long run, it actually takes more time to organised a cluttered space than it does to put something away when we’re finished with it. The better that we are with putting things away after their use, the less time we’ll spend decluttering.

There are more habits that help keep our homes tidy, but these habits can apply to all areas of our life and housekeeping! The simplest thing to keep in mind is being diligent in staying organised.

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New in the Shop : Color Coded Cleaning System

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I am so excited to share a brand-new product and system to the Clean Mama Shop – a COLOR CODED CLEANING SYSTEM!

I came up with this system after hearing that you might be nervous to try using a glass spray bottle to clean with – we only use these glass spray bottles, they are so sturdy and we’ve never broken one and I can pretty much guarantee once you use one, you’ll never use plastic again. BUT I am all for looking for a better, more efficient way to do something, so I made some prototypes and found the perfect size for a silicone band and then decided to offer different colors.  When looking at the different colors I was thinking about how fun it would be to have my cleaners color coded and this is how the system came into place.

Imagine: You only have 15 minutes to get all of the bathrooms cleaned for the day so you go to grab your bathroom caddy. At a glance you know, based on the color of the band what cleaning supply to pick up next! 

Now, you’re not fumbling around in the caddy looking your next supply. Instead, you grab the right color and spray away. 

Here’s how I’m organized the colors: 

  • White is for Glass 
  • Gray  is for Stainless
  • Aqua is for All-Purpose
  • Yellow is Disinfecting 
  • Teal is for Tub & Shower 
  • Lime is for Stone 

I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to check my daily and weekly tasks off my list when I know it won’t take me very long! So, the new color coding system is exactly what I needed to make cleaning even faster. I know you’re going to love it too! 

Let’s make cleaning cute AND color-coded! There are six colors to choose from – each comes in a pack of 2 OR you can grab all six at a discount OR grab the Starter Kit with all six bands and six glass spray bottles.

All orders with the color coding bands include a darling reference card to keep your cleaners straight, or come up with your own system.

all-purpose (aqua)
disinfecting (yellow)

glass (clear)
stainless (gray)

tub shower (teal)
stone (lime)

The pure silicone bands are perfectly sized for Clean Mama’s Glass Spray Bottles and Glass Mason Jars and provide a slip-proof grip and protection against breakage. I hope that they are a fun and useful addition to your cleaning caddy – check them out in the shop here!

How about a Labor Day Weekend Sale? Use the coupon code LABORDAY for 10% off your entire order in the Clean Mama Shop – hurry, sale ends September 7, 2020 at 11:59pm CST.

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A DIY Cleaning Closet

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If you do a little DIY cleaning you might find that keeping items on hand in bulk is helpful for mixing up cleaning recipes when you need them, but it can be hard to know what you need and just how much you should store. When I designed the Cleaning Closet in our mudroom, it created it as a place for storage but as an easy to mix up supplies sort of are too. You can see the full mudroom tour here. I’ve worked and re-worked this space and thought you might like to see where it’s at today.

I know that having a ‘cleaning closet’ is a perk of my job as a cleaning expert – you can use the ideas in this post to create a cleaning caddy, a cleaning cupboard, a dedicated area under your kitchen sink….don’t let space stop you from making what you have work for you!

If you’re new here, I talk quite a bit about DIY Cleaning – I share recipes here on the blog and I’ve written multiple books that include my recipes as well. This is something I am passionate about for safety and efficacy, as well as knowing exactly what you’re cleaning with. And of course, a DIY cleaner that actually works better than a conventional cleaner, is safe, and cheap?  That’s what I’m after!

Everything you see here is linked!  I sell most of these products in the Clean Mama Shop, my Favorites Page or I have them listed in my Amazon shop as well.

  1. GLASS JARS – great for organizing and containing. I keep wood clothespins, scrub brushes, and bars of castile soap IN THEM.
  2. ALL-PURPOSE CONCENTRATES CASTILE SOAP – I love using CASTILE SOAP and ALL-PURPOSE CONCENTRATES when I clean.
  3. PRE-MIXED CLEANERS – This is where I keep DIY SOLUTIONS that are already mixed up and ready. I also keep a couple of my favorites here too.
  4. DIY INGREDIENTS – Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, baking soda, washing soda, Oxygen Whitener, epsom salt, rubbing alcohol. I keep the larger powders in large Ball jars – I wrote the names with chalk marker on the lids. See how I did this HERE.
  5. EMPTY SPRAY BOTTLES SPRAYERS – GLASS SPRAY BOTTLES that fit comfortably in your hand make cleaning more enjoyable (really!). You can see all the spray bottles, jars, and labels in my shop here – I like to make DIY’ing your cleaners simple and fun!
  6. FUNNELS – I attached my Stainless Steel Funnels to the side of the cupboard with a removable hanger. You can find the funnels in my shop HERE.
  7. TURNTABLES/LAZY SUSANS – I love having a designated spot for DIY ingredients and liquid concentrates and soaps. I love how the Lazy Susans make those supplies easy to access.
  8. MICROFIBER CLEANING CLOTHS – I love cleaning with microfiber – having the cloths at-the-ready make using them easy. You can see the MICROFIBER IN MY SHOP HERE.
  9. BAR MOP TOWELS – I love using BAR MOP TOWELS for cleaning in the kitchen and any other cleaning. I keep a stash in my cleaning closet and in the kitchen.
  10. FLOUR SACK TOWELS – These vintage style FLOUR SACK TOWELS are great for glass and windows, drying dishes, and if you want to clean with cotton. Bonus: they dry super quickly!
  11. FLOOR PADS FLOOR DUSTERS – This basket holds MICROFIBER PADS for floor cleaners and FLOOR DUSTERS.
  12. FLOOR CARPET CLEANING SOLUTIONS – I use DIY floor cleaners or concentrates (like castile soap or Sal Suds) most of the time on my floors but I keep a couple floor and carpet cleaners on hand. You can see my favorite floor cleaning tools and products on my CLEANING FAVORITES PAGE HERE.
  13. FLOOR CLEANING TOOLS – I love having my floor cleaning tools handy – you can see my favorites HERE.
  14. BASKETS STORAGE – Finding the right baskets for the products makes all the difference!  You can find most of the baskets I use here.

What’s your favorite DIY recipe?  Need some ideas?  Go here to see all of my DIY recipes!  If you’re new here, start with this post – it has 8 DIY Cleaners That Will Change Your Home.

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Cleaning Aprons: What are the Pros?

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Having an organised cleaning routine can benefit us in many ways. Cleaning aprons help us stay organised, and staying organised while we clean is a great way to improve the speed by which we clean.

It might seem like an odd choice, using a cleaning apron just to clean our own homes—maybe once a week. But it’s a very simple tool, keeping our essential cleaning tools close at hand. This makes it so much easier for us to clean when we don’t have to go far for a duster, rag, or our cleaners.

Looking for the Right Apron

There are hundreds of different apron designs out there. It’s important that your cleaning apron suits you and your individual needs. Before you settle on one design—unless you just happen to stumble on the perfect one right away—it’s a smart idea to thoroughly research your options!

There are a few features that a great cleaning apron should have. These features will benefit your cleaning routine and insure your cleaning becomes as effortless as possible. What are those features? Well, two very important features that every good cleaning apron should have are multiple pockets (of various sizes) and a loop on either hip.

The loops on the hips are perfect for holding your bottles of cleaner while you move about the house (just make sure the tops are screwed on tightly enough!). Keeping your cleaners looped on your hand’s dominant side. If you’re right handed, keep it on your right hip, and if you’re left handed, keep it on your left hip.

Pockets (of all sizes) are important, too. Tuck your most used tools into the pockets, and organise them so that you can grab them and replace them easily. This might look a little different for every individual; just tinker with the arrangement of your pockets until you’re completely satisfied with the results.

Take your apron for a test drive, and see how having all of your most vital tools on your person helps your cleaning routine! Hopefully, it will benefit you: saving you time and making it easier to be organised. Make any adjustments to the apron after using it.

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