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Cleaning shortcuts that are worth the time and money, according to an expert

There are people in this world who enjoy cleaning, and prefer to do it the “old-fashioned” way, and bless them. For the rest of us, housecleaning is a chore to be gotten through with the minimum time and pain required. We've embraced — and for most of us, count as indispensable — conveniences like dishwashers, but the world of cleaning shortcuts doesn't stop there.

How do you know though, which products and tools are truly time savers, and which should remain on infomercials for purely entertainment purposes? I'm always on the hunt for things that will trim minutes from the time it takes to clean my rambling old Victorian, but not everything is worth the expense, or the cost to the environment.

For insight, I talked with Rachel Hoffman, author of "Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess". But let's deal with something first. Somehow, sometimes, shaming comes into play when it comes to cleaning shortcuts. And it has absolutely no place here, Hoffman said.

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Whether it's robot vacs or cleaning wipes, “there's a stigma about using these things and it's unnecessary,” she said. “It's a matter of saving time. We don't berate ourselves for saving time in other ways.”

Take washing machines, she said. “We're not down at the river with a washboard cleaning our clothes anymore. It's about incorporating some kind of technology or innovation that benefits you. It's silly that we have shame about this. It's not hurting anyone. It's not at the expense of someone else. It exists to make things easier and better for you.”

Cheating is in the eye of the beholder

Is it cheating to let a robot clean up the dog hair, or to use a Swiffer instead of hauling out a mop and bucket?

Some folks think so. When I took to social media to ask friends and acquaintances for their favorite cleaning shortcuts, among the flood of great tips I was reminded by some of the value of elbow grease. One responded with the definition of impetus: "The force or energy with which the body moves". In other words, just do the work. No secrets.

That's great, but life has a way of preventing “elbow grease” or “impetus.” Like many other families, my partner and I both work full time and have side hustles and projects. Also like many, I contend with chronic back pain, and a few other things that make cleaning more taxing. If I have to use a cleaning wipe instead of elbow grease and a cleaning rag to tend to messes, so be it.

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“If it's financially feasible and it's going to make your life easier or better in some way, remove the shame,” Hoffman said. “There's no sense in being embarrassed or thinking you have to do everything by yourself the hard way in order for it to count. What counts is if it's clean, not how it gets there.” Also, she said, what's wrong with cheating anyway?

So then, if you're ready to 'cheat,' here's Hoffman's take and mine on whether popular shortcuts are cheatworthy.

These cleaning products get a thumbs up

  • Leave-on shower spray. I use Method shower spray religiously but never knew if it was doing anything other than leaving a nice smell. “Yes, it smells good but it does do something,” Hoffman said. Cleaners like this “almost always have some form of cleaning agent, usually very diluted so you don't have to rinse,” she explained. “It helps keep soap scum from forming which helps deep cleans go faster because the dirt is not adhered.” While actual scrubbing is certainly more effective, she said, these products come in handy.
  • Robot vacs. As a dog parent, her robot vac is indispensable, Hoffman said, and they've become accessible for more consumers. “I've noticed the last five years they've come down [in price] considerably,” she said. I recently upgraded from an early robot vac model that randomly bumped around the house to a newer model, and forget the Kondo method — this is some life-changing magic. You can run it from your phone (or Alexa); schedule cleanings for when you're not around; set cleaning zones, like just the kitchen; and mark no-go zones. When it's done it sends a report showing what's been cleaned. It's removed the need to run a “real” vacuum in our house, a chore that took an hour-plus so if there were one shortcut I wouldn't give up it would be this.
  • Dusting wipes and Swiffer dusters. “I use and I love Swiffer dusters and they're super great,” Hoffman said. “I haven't found anything that's quite as effective. To get the same level of dusting you need to take out the can of Pledge and dusting cloths and it's a time thing.” I like Clorox dusting wipes but they both achieve the same result, which is to condense the effort. (Buy the multi-box so you can keep a pack in several parts of the house and grab one when you're on the phone or have a minute to spare, and you can make dusting something you sneak in over time rather than the one big chore it can be otherwise).
  • Dry Swiffers. Does it seem like Swiffer has overtaken the cleaning aisles to you too? They're everywhere. “In the Swiffer family of things I absolutely adore Swiffer dry floor cloths,” Hoffman said. I'm with her. I find that after a vacuum and mop I can still pick up dust and hair with a quick run of the dry Swiffers, so I buy them by the bale at Costco.

Skip these products

  • Glass cleaning wipes. “I feel like the old fashioned way [with window cleaner and paper] is both more effective and equally as convenient,” Hoffman said. We both find the wipes streak, and since you spend more trying to get results, “I don't feel I get a time savings,” she said. She's had luck with some microfiber cleaning cloths; the key, she said is using smooth material, not nubby, so look for the word "smooth" in reviews.
  • Stainless steel wipes. Same as the glass wipes, they tend to streak and defeat the purpose of trying to save time.
  • Wet Swiffers. Whether it's the wet cloths or the Swiffer Jet, “they're not effective, and floor ends up sticky,” Hoffman said. I've found the same. Instead, if I'm looking for an alternative to the bucket and mop, I love the O-Cedar Microfiber Spray Mop. “It's barely even considered a convenience product,” Hoffman said, since the pad is washable and you can make your own solution.

What about disposable toilet cleaners?

I'm an admitted toilet-germ-phobe, and dislike the thought of swirling the same brush around a toilet over and over, so use the Clorox ToiletWand. This isn't really saving any time, Hoffman pointed out. “Squirting a cleaner into the bowl and grabbing a brush doesn't really take any longer,” she said. “You're basically doing the same amount of work. I feel like the old fashioned brush you get more scrubbing power with.” She also cautioned that people often assume all products like these are flushable when in fact they're not. (And even those that say they're flushable you want to be sure are compatible with your plumbing.)

Some people just absolutely cannot touch anything having to do with the toilet, Hoffman said. “We're sometimes a little bit precious about certain types of germs [even though] there's basically fecal matter on everything in your bathroom if you flush with the toilet lid up.” If you're in that toilet-cleaning-avoidance camp, like me, “If you find a solution that helps you get it done, by all means, use it,” she said.

(Also, she blew my mind with this tip that may just send me back to the old school brush. It's already in a sanitizing solution in the toilet with the cleaner, Hoffman said, so when you're done, rinse it in clean toilet water then let it dry between uses: stick it between the lid and seat cover with the brush over the bowl till it dries. Boom, no more fecal matter soup for the brush to swim in, and you're still not touching anything!)

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These convenience items come at price — in more ways than one

About that nagging feeling that we're being wasteful with these conveniences? Well, we are. “You can't really ignore the fact that there is an environmental impact ... they do end up getting thrown away,” Hoffman said. “I'm of two minds. If it helps you to do the task then it's valuable. If it's a matter of 'I'll use a Clorox wipe to wipe down my bathroom counter or not do it at all,' it's worthwhile to have.” You can also be conscious about reducing waste elsewhere to help offset the waste, she said, and look for biodegradable products. I use Green Works Cleaning Wipes for quick touch-ups between more thorough bathroom cleanings as my own compromise.

At the end of the day, Hoffman said, it's all about making ourselves more likely to just do the things, so we need to find the trick that works for us. That may be buying the products that smell the best, or that remove some steps. “If it's something you can do just really quickly and not put it off,” she said, “there's your value in those convenience items.”

MORE CLEANING TIPS

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Sours: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/cleaning-shortcuts-are-worth-time-money-according-expert-ncna986276

Swiffer Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning Supplies

Keep your entire home clean with our wide selection of superior cleaning supplies. Sam’s Club® provides you with every possible cleaning solution you need. Whether it be for the living room carpet, dining room table, kitchen counter, bathroom toilet or bedroom windows, we have it all plus more. Take safety precautions now and start cleaning every inch and corner around your home for a healthier and safer environment you and your family can live in.

How to Keep Your Home Clean

The first and easy step to a cleaner home is to keep everything organized, as well as discard unnecessary items to reduce clutter. But the most important part of a clean home is what's too hard or impossible to see; for example, germs, bacteria, dust and dirt. Things may appear clean from afar, but upon closer inspection, may be filled with illness-causing microbes. Luckily, Sam’s Club has an answer to nearly every bacteria-filled spot in your home. Whether you’re using all-purpose cleaners or more targeted cleaning products, such as carpet cleaners and glass cleaners, dirt and germs won't stand a chance. Load up your storage room with an artillery of our superior cleaning supplies to keep your home spotless.

Cleaning Tips to Keep in Mind

When looking for cleaning supplies, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, ensure the product you’re using is what it’s meant for. You don’t want to accidentally use a glass cleaner on a wooden table or you may get disappointing results. Or worse, damage the surface. Second, remember to wear protective gear such as gloves and a mask when cleaning. This prevents you from coming in contact with strong chemicals as well as from inhaling toxic fumes. As long as you keep these things in mind, our high-quality and fast-acting cleaning supplies will take care of the rest.

What's the Difference Between All-Purpose Cleaners and Multi-Purpose Cleaners?

These two cleaning supplies may sound like they’re the exact same thing, but there’s a subtle difference between the two. They’re the same in that they can be used for several different things, but an all-purpose cleaner can clean surfaces that a multi-purpose cleaner cannot. And a multi-purpose cleaner can clean surfaces that an all-purpose cleaner cannot. It's all a matter of which brand you choose. You can find out what each product is best used for in their detailed descriptions.

Are Cleaners and Disinfectants the Same?

Cleaners and disinfectants aren't the same. They serve different purposes and are both essential if you want to ensure a surface is as clean as possible. The difference is cleaners are designed to lift the dirt and grime off surfaces, while disinfectants are designed to kill the germs and bacteria. Although cleaners can get rid of germs when used, it won't get rid of them all. This is where disinfectants come in to help finish the job. With a cleaner and disinfectant in hand, you have the perfect one-two combo for sparkling clean tables, countertops, windows and more.

Sours: https://www.samsclub.com/b/cleaning-supplies/1564?rootDimension=pcs_availability%3AOnlinepipsymbBrand%3ASwiffer
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Swiffer WetJet Floor Spray Mop Review

We purchased the Swiffer WetJet Floor Spray Mop so our reviewer could put test it on her sealed hardwood floors. Keep reading for our full product review.

There’s no denying the appeal of the Swiffer WetJet. This compact, lightweight mop replacement promises to help you clean hard floors faster and with less effort—no dragging around a bucket of soap or wringing out gross mop heads. With the simple press of a button, you can spray solution onto your floors, scrub them down, and be done with it. Seems too good to be true, right?

To see if the Swiffer WetJet Floor Spray Mop is really the game-changer it appears to be, I put it to the test over the course of several days, using it on a variety of hard floors to determine its strengths and weaknesses—here’s what I found. 

Setup: Minimal

When you first see the box for the Swiffer WetJet, you might question whether there’s actually a mop in there—it really is compact! Rest assured the product and its accessories are all inside, but you do have to assemble the flat mop itself. 

To get my WetJet ready for duty, I needed to connect the various parts of the handle, which clicked into place easily. Next, I had to remove the battery compartment and insert the four AA batteries that come with the mop. From there, it’s just a matter of loading the included cleaning solution (simply pop into place) and sticking on one of the cleaning pads (it comes with two regular mopping pads, and three “Extra Power” pads).

Cleaning Performance: Some elbow grease needed

The floors in my apartment hadn’t been mopped, well, ever, so it’s safe to say they were a good place to test the Swiffer WetJet. The main living area has sealed hardwood throughout, and there were more than a few splotches and stains, many of which were from salty slush that got tracked in during the winter, marring the pretty finish. 

I was impressed at how well the Swiffer WetJet managed to trap dirt and scrub off those old stains, even just using the standard cleaning pad.

I was impressed at how well the Swiffer WetJet managed to trap dirt and scrub off those old stains, even just using the standard cleaning pad. Some of the tougher marks required a bit of pressure on the handle, but within a few strokes, the splotches were history. Plus, after giving the main area a once-over with the mop, I was shocked at how dirty the cleaning pad was—it turns out I need to mop more often. 

I also used it with one of the “Extra Power” pads to clean the laminate floors in my bathroom. I didn’t expect the different pad to make a big difference, but it did a good job scrubbing off stains without too much effort—always a plus!

Want to make your tile or laminate floors really shine? Check out our top picks for the best tile floor cleaners.

Design and Comfort: Straightforward and easy to use

The Swiffer WetJet was definitely designed with ease-of-use in mind. Everything from attaching the cleaning pads to spraying the solution is straightforward. It takes no effort to maneuver the mop around obstacles, and if at any point you want more solution, just press and hold the button on the handle to activate the spray. The mop head has a hook-and-loop fastener-like finish that grabs onto the cleaning pads, so it’s simple to attach and remove them. 

I particularly liked the curved handle of the WetJet, as it makes it more comfortable to hold and steer around the floor—no awkwardly turning your arms to get into corners. It’s a small detail, but one that’s often overlooked with other mops.

I particularly liked the curved handle of the WetJet, as it makes it more comfortable to hold and steer around the floor.

My only complaint is the materials that make up the WetJet feel somewhat flimsy in places. In particular, when I was loading the batteries, I noticed that the compartment is made of thin plastic—one wrong move and you could easily break it. 

Included Accessories: Supplies won’t last long

Because this is a “starter kit,” it comes with a variety of supplies, including the aforementioned 500ml bottle of cleaning solution and pads (two regular and three “Extra Power”). At first, I didn’t realize that the cleaning solution was just a “trial” version—full-size jars are 1.25 liters, more than double the size of the container I got. That said, I put a significant dent in the cleaning solution that was included, so you’ll probably find yourself needing more within a few uses. 

What’s nice is that there is actually a variety of cleaning solutions to choose from, including a special option for hardwood floors and several fresh scents. It’s usually around $10 for two refills, which should last you significantly longer than the trial jar. 

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best floor cleaners.

Ease of Cleaning: As easy as it gets

The great thing about the Swiffer WetJet is that it’s incredibly quick and easy to put away once you finish cleaning. Simply pull off the dirty pad—unfortunately, you do have to touch it, but I didn’t find it to be that bad—and throw it away. The cleaning solution can be stored right on the mop, so all that’s left to do is put the WetJet back into storage. Easy, right?

My only complaint is the materials that make up the WetJet feel somewhat flimsy in places.

Price: Just right 

Considering the inexpensive material of the WetJet and limited supplies in this kit, a price of around $20 seems pretty fair. If it were any more expensive, I would expect more cleaning pads and solution, but I’d definitely be willing to spend the $20 for this starter kit, and I don’t think you’ll regret the purchase. 

Competition: Swiffer wins in terms of convenience

Swiffer Sweeper Wet: I’ve had a Swiffer Sweeper for as long as I can remember, and while its dry pads are unbeatable for picking up dust and hair, the wet pads leave something to be desired. They frequently run out of cleaning solution long before you finish mopping, and sometimes they even dry out in the pack. 

When comparing these two Swiffer products side-by-side, the WetJet is miles ahead of the Sweeper in terms of mopping performance. With the WetJet, you can apply as much or as little solution as you need, and it’s quicker and easier to attach and remove the cleaning pads. 

O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop & Bucket System: The O-Cedar Microfiber Spin Mop is another popular product I tested that more closely resembles a traditional mop and bucket. While the design is unique and effective, the product itself isn’t top-quality and will likely break with frequent use. Plus, it takes longer to clean up after using, making the Swiffer WetJet the winner once again when it comes to convenience. 

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best flat mops.

O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop & Bucket System Review

Final Verdict

Great for most people!

The Swiffer WetJet Floor Spray Mop doesn’t have too many negatives to speak of—it’s affordable, easy to use, convenient, and effective on most floors. Yes, you’ll have to stock up on Swiffer-brand cleaning pads and formula, but overall, this product is a great cleaning solution for anyone who’s sick of old-fashioned mops and buckets.

Specs

  • Product Name WetJet Starter Kit
  • Product Brand Swiffer
  • UPC 37000928102
  • Price $22.97
  • Product Dimensions 49 x 10.5 x 4.5 in.
  • Batteries Needed 4 AA (included)
  • What’s Included Spray mop, 5 pads (2 regular, 3 “Extra Power”), 1 trial bottle of floor cleaner, 4 batteries
Sours: https://www.thespruce.com/swiffer-wetjet-floor-spray-mop-review-4770461
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