10 Essential Tools for Spring Cleaning
Common Good founder Sacha Dunn has selected a great list of tools for this spring cleaning round-up. Shears from London’s Labour and Wait? Vintage-feeling laundry bins on wheels? We’re inspired to get down and dirty and clean house – and that’s saying something! It should be no surprise that the maker of Common Good’s simple, delicious-smelling and toxin-free cleaning products has a few stylish ideas about how to get dirty jobs done, but, nonetheless, we’re impressed.
Read through Sacha’s list of cleaning tips and treat yourself to a little shopping for a few house-keeping staples. We recommend upgrading your spring cleaning experience with a bottle of Common Good Dish Soap in lavender and big fresh stack of flour-sack towels.
Here are the ten tools Sacha needs to get the house in good order.
Dustpan and broom
Sweeping is not my favorite thing but I noticed that I liked it so much more when I got a nice broom. Plus, I keep it hanging in the kitchen so it’s easy to grab, and I wouldn’t want to look at a plastic broom all day. Same goes for a good metal and wood dustpan and broom. A well-made, natural brush or broom might cost more, but it will last.
I use these for everything: as dishtowels, for dusting, wiping up spills or cleaning mirrors. They’re inexpensive and last pretty well. I use the older ones for hard cleaning and the nice new white ones for dish towels. For awhile there, we didn’t have paper towels, just these cloths. (Now we have a puppy in the house – and the paper towels are back!)
I keep distilled white vinegar in a glass spray bottle (an old Common Good All Purpose bottle because I have it). You could use any old spray bottle and just put a label on it so you know it’s now vinegar. Use it with baking soda for extra cleaning and to help remove the grit (it’ll fix up like the volcano science experiment).
Vinegar and baking soda
There are so many things you can do with vinegar, water and baking soda! Mix a paste of baking soda and water and use as a gentle abrasive scrub cleanser on walls, bathroom surfaces, oven doors, rub onto pans and let sit overnight to remove burnt on food, etc. Once you’ve cleaned with the paste, spritz with a little vinegar for even an even better clean. I sprinkle baking soda onto our rugs a couple of times a year and then vacuum it all up. It’s great at absorbing smells, and now that we have a puppy, it’s especially useful. If the water isn’t going down the kitchen or bathroom sinks fast enough, I’ll sprinkle a little baking soda down the drain, pour in some white vinegar and then boiling water. I might have to do it a couple of times, but it has always worked at unclogging the drain. A sprinkle into the wash will work as a laundry booster, as well, and takes odors out of clothes. I love these two.
Spool of twine
I use it all the time – tying up paper recycling, hanging kids’ art, tying up wrapping paper to stop it unrolling – it’s so useful for organizing. Buy a whole spool of it.
A big pair of sharp dressmakers’ scissors and a pair of this type of scissor is essential.
I don’t have time to make my own cleaners, so of course, I use our all-purpose cleaner several times every day. For spring cleaning, I’ll use it to clean walls and door frames and things that don’t get attention every day or week.
We don’t have much storage, so you can see almost everything we own. Storage boxes or baskets (I love these wire-mesh storage baskets) keep stuff out of sight, organized and help me put everything away, in the right spot, faster. I don’t have to think about where everything is going.
Laundry bags and baskets
The best way to keep track of clean or dirty clothes is to have a laundry bag in each room and a basket for clean laundry. My favorite are Steele laundry bins. I’m always surprised by how often I have to switch the seasonal clothes out (I’m Australian and seasons are still a novelty to me). Before putting away the winter clothes and boots, I’ll wash them, then store them in all-purpose storage bags. These bags are pretty air tight, so no need for mothballs. If you do have concerns about moths, cedar balls are fantastic, or make up a dried herb mix with rosemary, mint and cloves, dried in the oven and then put into bouquet garni bags (or old tights) and pop them into the stored-clothes bags. Works perfectly.
We live in an apartment and don’t have a laundry sink so a bucket is essential for soaking clothes and mopping floors. Because so many of our things are out in the open, I have a nice galvanized bucket, so it’s just as pretty to look at as it is useful.
Read the original version by Suzanne Hall for Chalkboard Magazine here.