- by NE Pro-Maids
Our Top 10 Favorite Cleaning Products for Your Home
One of my favorite things about being an owner of a cleaning service is getting to try out new cleaning products. Any product used by New England Pro-Maids has been thoroughly tested in my own home before being sent out with our staff to be used in your's. Over the last year or so, I have discovered a number of cleaning products that have become my go-to products for my own home and that I find myself constantly recommending to others. Other products on this list are ones that I've used for years and have proved themselves so useful that they've earned a permanent spot on my list of household cleaning products. I hope you find this list of cleaning products useful and that it encourages you to try out a new product or two.
Last June, I discovered a company called Grove Collaborative. They sell mostly cleaning products but they also sell other household goods such as candles, kitchen towels, aprons and personal products such as lotions, lip balms and vitamins. They also have a house line of products that I have found are absolutely wonderful. Let's start with those....
Grove Collaborative - Complete Cleaning Concentrate Kit $47.99
This set comes with 3 cleaning concentrates, 3 glass spray bottles with no-slip silicone sleeves and a set of micro-fiber cleaning cloths. The cleaning concentrates are Tub/Tile cleaner, All-Purpose cleaner and a Glass cleaner. All three are made with rosemary and orange essential oils. The scent is wonderful. These are by far my absolute favorite cleaning products. The tile/tub cleaner is very effective on soap scum and does a great job cleaning my acrylic tub with a tile surround. I use the all-purpose cleaner to clean bathroom and kitchen counters, bathroom fixtures and for touch up on walls and floors. Great stuff and it leaves a very nice scent behind. The glass cleaner works extremely well on mirrors and for touch up on interior glass. Since this cleaner is a bit pricey, I tend not to use the glass cleaner to clean exterior windows. Once you buy the kit, you can buy a set of refills for $7.95. Each refill comes with 1 of each concentrate. Add water to the glass bottle, leaving about a half inch at the top, and squeeze in the concentrate and top off with more water. I LOVE the glass spray bottles. They look so much better than plastic if you store your cleaners out in the open like I do and they feel nice in your hand. The glass is thick and, from my own experience, not easily broken.
Grove Collaborative - Walnut Scrubber Sponge
From the Grove Collaborative website "Crushed walnuts power our scour providing a non-toxic, hypo-allergenic and non-abrasive way to tackle tough messes on dishes, cookware or countertops. 100% all natural vegetable cellulose makes this sponge super absorbent. Sustainably made in North America." I love, love,love these sponges. They easily last twice as long as a synthetic sponge and they never seem to pick up that nasty smell that synthetic sponges take on after a while. I use these for everything from doing dishes to scrubbing out the tub after my 6 year old daughter takes a bath.
Honest Company - Bathroom Cleaner
From the Honest Company website: "A powerful plant-based cleaner that’s tough on bathroom messes and gentle on your home. Our innovative bio-based formula effectively controls odors as it cuts through limescale, soap scum and other bathroom grime." Another really great bathroom cleaner that doesn't have an overly strong scent. I've found the Honest Company bathroom cleaner to be effective against soap scum and it leaves the tub squeaky clean.
Caldrea - All-Purpose Cleaner
Brought to you by the same folks who make Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products, Caldrea All-purpose cleaner is a magical concoction that not only smells heavenly but also cleans like a dream. In scents like Pear Blossom Agave, Ginger Pomelo, Sea Salt Neroli and Tangelo Palm Frond, you'll be left wondering who dreams up these marvelous scents while washing your kitchen floor or touching up your woodwork. A tad bit pricey for an all-purpose cleaner but the bottle is good size and worth every penny in my opinion. Take a few tablespoons mixed with water in small spray bottle (Grove makes really nice glass spray bottles just for this purpose) and you've got a fantastic scented cleaner for your kitchen counters, cabinet doors and stove top.
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day- Tub and Tile Cleaner
Speaking of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, this tub and tile cleaner is one of the best plant-based product I've used for cleaning tubs, showers and the surrounding tile or acrylic tub/shower surrounds. Keep in mind, these plant-based products are most effective if you're keeping up with the housework. They are great for maintenance cleans but not so much if you've got a ton of dirt/grease/soap scum build-up. If you've inadvertently let your tub/shower go, or you've moved into a home where cleaning upkeep wasn't so great, and now you've got a bad build-up of soap scum, you're going to need to use a tougher product. I also should add that the scent of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products is STRONG. I mean REALLY STRONG. If you are scent sensitive, or don't like strong scented products, you might want to skip this line of products. Not only is the scent strong, but it lingers for hours afterwards.
Comet - Bathroom Cleaner
Do you have a tub or shower with really bad soap scum build-up? This is the product you need. I have found Comet Bathroom Cleaner to be the best, hands down, for cutting through really bad soap scum. The key to removing bad soap scum is to soften it up first. Run the shower on hot for a few minutes and the hot water will help to soften the soap scum up. Then spray with Comet Bathroom Cleaner and let it sit for 2-5 minutes. Once it's had a chance to break the soap scum down, use a scrubbie sponge or a Dobie sponge to remove the soap scum. You don't have to wear gloves, but this product is very drying to the skin (it contains citric acid), so you might want to. Turn on your ceiling fan and crack open the bathroom window if you can. This product can come off a bit strong and I've found that it makes some people cough. If you're really sensitive, wear a mask AND gloves. Now, once you've got your tub/shower back in tip-top shape, make sure you keep it that way by cleaning it at least once a week with one of the gentler bathroom products I've mentioned earlier. Got kids taking daily baths? It's a lot easier to quickly spray and clean after every bath then it is to let it go all week and have to spend 10 minutes or more scrubbing the ring out of the tub. Keep a bottle of cleaner in the bathroom and a scrubbie sponge. Spray, wipe, rinse and walk away. Trust me on this one. I speak from experience.
Bar Keepers Friend - Cleanser and Polish
My go-to product for cleaning stainless steel, porcelain or enameled sinks. Also works great on enameled stove tops and drip pans. Use to clean the inside of toilet bowls. Their website states that Bar Keepers Friend has been around since the 1880's which is a testimony to how useful this cleaning product is. I know my g. grandmother Aldridge used this stuff to do everything from washing dishes to cleaning the bathroom. It was one of the only cleaning products she used for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Works really well to get out fine scratch marks out of porcelain and enameled surfaces.
Pumie - Scouring Stick
Sometimes you run into cleaning issues that no other cleaning product seems to be able to fix. One of those is hard water stains on the inside of toilets. We often see them in homes that use well water with a high mineral content. Often the stains are brown or green vertical stripes. A Pumie scouring stick gently removes these stains without leaving so much as a scratch. These pumice sticks are also useful because they can help remove rust off metal surfaces, baked-on food on grills and cast iron cookware along with carbon build-up inside ovens.
Honest Company - Dish Soap
A plant-based dish washing soap from the Honest Company. I've found this dish soap to be highly effective even on greasy pots and pans and it comes in several scents. The grapefruit scent is my favorite but it also comes in unscented Free & Clean, Coastal Surf and Lavender Fields. Unlike harsher dish soaps, I do not find this soap to be drying to my hands. You can purchase Honest Company products through their website or from Target.
Mr. Clean - Magic Erasers
As an owner of a cleaning company, I've bought TONS of magic erasers. I've found the brand name Mr. Clean magic erasers to be the best on the market. You can buy generic magic erasers on Amazon inexpensively but I've found that they break apart easily. Mr. Clean magic erasers are more sturdy and can usually be re-used multiple times. Great for removing marks and smudges from painted surfaces ( as long as the paint isn't flat paint). They also work great to remove marks from tile and acrylic surfaces like tubs and tub surrounds. Fantastic for removing those black smudge marks that always seem to appear on stair risers and crayon marks off walls. I've had surfaces in my own home that I thought for sure would have to be repainted, but after cleaning them with a magic eraser they looked as good as new.