Before I get to my regular post, I wanted to take a moment to thank my family, friends, and loyal readers who have followed along on my journey with the happychicmom blog. A little over three months ago, I published my first post, not knowing if anyone would want to read what I had to say. I intended to create a blog that would allow me to write about things that were important to me: motherhood, career, food, home, style, and everything in between. I was pleasantly surprised at how this little creative project of mine has took on a life of its own as more and more readers visited the site. Recently, I had the honor of having one of my articles published on the ABC News website. The piece was about the realities and challenges of being a new mom – a topic near and dear to my heart. After writing that post, I heard from so many moms telling me they were glad to hear that they weren’t the only ones struggling with the challenges of motherhood. I am so touched by all of the support and kind words I have received along the way. Thank you!
With that being said, let’s get back to the scheduled post. I must admit I felt some pressure to follow my deep and meaningful post about motherhood with something more exciting and insightful than “best cleaning products,” but hey… one of the fundamental truths of motherhood is that it can be a very messy job, right?
Who doesn’t like a clean, organized, and tidy home? My husband and I were pretty neat and organized people before we had kids, but after kids, our standards went down…way down. With two active little boys and a furry tabby cat, things around our house can get pretty messy. We had good intentions, but our rules about not eating in the car, not eating on the sofa, and sitting down at the dinner table to eat snacks all went out the window as soon as the boys started talking. The good news is that there are some great cleaning products out there that can help to make the clean-up process easier and more manageable. Here is a list of my 6 favorite cleaning products for the house, kids, and pets.
1. General cleaner: vinegar and water
We fill a spray bottle with 20% white vinegar and 80% water and use it as a general cleaning spray. Vinegar is completely safe for people and pets and is great for cleaning floors (not recommended for hardwood floors, though), countertops, toys, and the plastic parts of high chairs and car seats. Although it may not have the most pleasing scent, the smell dissipates within a few minutes. Best of all, it doesn’t leave streaks or residue after wiping.
2. Pots, pans, porcelain and stainless steel sinks: Bar Keeper’s Friend
This is my favorite product to keep my pots and pans looking brand new. I love it so much, I dedicated a whole post to it here.
3. Pet stain and odor remover: Arm & Hammer plus Oxi Clean pet stain remover spray
Our cat has a bad habit of eating too fast and then barfing everything up. This spray is the best thing we have found to clean up pet messes, stains, and odors from carpets and upholstered furniture. We’ve been using it for years for pet messes, but after having kids we’ve found it works great for all of their spills and messes too! Simply remove most of the “mess” and use paper towels to absorb any residual liquids. Spray the stain remover, let sit for a few minutes, and watch the stain magically disappear before wiping off the residue with paper towels. This is another product that is non-toxic and safe for kids and pets.
4. Keeping your whites white and laundry stain remover: OxiClean
My friend introduced me to OxiClean and it is by far the best thing I’ve found to keep my white clothes bright white. If I have a stain on a shirt, I’ll pre-treat it with a pre-wash spray and add a scoop of OxiClean in the laundry. It is much gentler on your clothes than bleach (it doesn’t leave everything smelling like bleach either), and it is safe for colors too. This is a great benefit for busy moms who don’t always (or ever) have time to run separate loads for whites and colors.
5. Leather Cleaner: Cadillac leather conditioner
I bought a bottle of this leather cleaner at Nordstrom’s and have been very pleased with it. I use it with microfiber towels to clean, condition, and restore my leather shoes and handbags. It has the consistency of a lotion, it doesn’t smell, and it doesn’t leave a shiny or waxy residue, which is a good thing in my book.
6. Floor duster and cleaner: Swiffer Swiper
I use the sweeper and dry duster cloths to pick up dust, hair, cat fur, and food crumbs from the kitchen and bathroom floors. After the kids go to bed, I can do a quick clean up without having to turn on the vacuum cleaner and make lots of noise. I don’t buy the wet wipes because they’re expensive and I’m weary about having chemical residue on the floors. Instead, I use my trusty vinegar and water spray with microfiber clothes to clean the floors.
Do you have any cleaning products that you love? I’m always looking for new suggestions.
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This post, Best Cleaning Products, first appeared on Happy Chic Mom.