I come from a long line of women who kept spotless houses. My grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, great-aunts, lady cousins and my mom all had or have very clean homes. Homes where you could eat off the bathroom floor, homes with no dust webs, homes without that weird line of invincible dirt that forms around faucet fixtures and between the wall and the floor.
I apparently got nothing from any of these women, because even if I spent all day, every day (which, OMG) cleaning my house, it would never look as good as any of the other homes in my family. Since I’m not a bucket-collecting, housekeeping machine like the other women in my family, I take shortcuts. Today, I’m going to share three of my favorites that actually work like they say on the package.
1. Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel. This stuff is the shit. I have really terrible hard water, so about twice a year I have to scrub limescale out of my toilets with an industrial pumice stone. This stuff actually prevents the scale from building up at all as well as keeping the bowl clean of other unpleasantries with minimal human intervention. The gel is applied with a plunger under the rim to a freshly-cleaned toilet, and if you place it correctly, it’s invisible. It does make a lot of waste, you can’t refill the applicator, and it only comes with five gel bloops per package. In my local store, one applicator costs around $4 US, and each gel bloop lasts for around a month.
2. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I originally bought one to fight the limescale on my glass shower door but found using damp dryer sheets was easier and cheaper. The Magic Eraser is perfect for cleaning scuff marks and gummy residue, however. For scuffs, I get the Eraser slightly damp first, then they usually wipe away with one swipe. For gummy stuff (like when you peel the sticker off of a new appliance), I wet it with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol. I used to use Goo Gone, but I think it’s the chemical equivalent of lighter fluid, and it scares me a little.
3. Pledge with Future Shine. This stuff is a bit more work-intensive, but it pays off in having to clean the floor less often. It’s only for linoleum, but if you’re stuck with a lot of linoleum in your home, this will make it look really awesome. Before you use it the first time, you have to strip your floors. The bottle recommends using a mix of ammonia and water, but I used vinegar and water instead. I went all out and scrubbed the whole floor with a brush, then rinsed it several times by mopping with plain water, then I applied the shiny stuff. It’s like my floor is covered in glass, it’s so freaking shiny. Pledge Future Shine uses an acrylic liquid that dries hard and shiny within 20-30 minutes. It smells a little like that grape-scented Aussie shampoo I used as a teenager. Once it’s dry, it’s like a teflon coating for your floor. Nothing sticks, nothing stains, and you can keep it clean and shiny with a damp rag for up to six weeks.