A Minimalist Guide to Green Cleaning: Tools & Equipment Edition
When it comes to cleaning tools, I've learned that investing in quality equipment makes a difference.
Back in college, I'd hit the dollar store for brushes and buckets. And these items would wear out pretty quickly, which meant I'd buy a replacement round of cheap plastic supplies.
When I decided to get greener, I decided to spend some more money on cleaning tools & equipment.
So far, I've been quite happy with how these items how stood the test of time.
At my kitchen sink...
I love the OXO Steel Soap Dispenser Palm Brush. I can choose to press the top for some liquid soap or I can use it in soapy water to scrub away at plates.
For glasses, coffee tumblers, water bottles, and anything with a narrow neck, I use the OXO Steel Bottle Brush. This tool also makes cleaning the coffee pot easier and even the coffee machine's water tank. I spray a little vinegar inside the coffee machine's tank and let it sit for a bit. Then scrub with the bottle brush.
Washable sponges have made my life so much easier. I found some neutral colored sponges from the Food Network at Kohl's about a year ago. I decided to try them out and I've been happy with how they've stood up.
I love these sponges because I can keep one out for general purpose cleaning. Then the other sponges I can use for specific tasks, like cleaning up an area where I don’t want to risk cross contamination. I just bust out one extra washable sponge, clean the hazardous area, and then toss the sponge in the wash pile.
I wish Kohl's still had these sponges so I could get more, but I haven't seen them in stock. Amazon has some options, but I'll need to do some research to find sponges that last...if I want to add to my small collection.
For pots and pans, I have two different scraping tools to make my life easier. I love the Scotch-Brite scrubbers. They last for what seems like forever! I'm not even certain how long I've had my current pair. At least two years. Just the kind of quality I've come to expect from 3M, the maker's of my favorite post-it notes!
Another scraper that I couldn't live without is my Lodge Durable Pan Scraper. I use my cast iron skillet several times a week. Every time I start the cleaning process, I grab one of these scrapers and scour out any excess food.
Under the sink…
I keep almost all of my other tools & equipment in one place under the kitchen sink with my cleaning solutions. This strategy keeps everything organized and prevents unnecessary spreading.
If I can't fit the cleaning product or tool in the cabinet under the kitchen sink, do I really need that tool?
For any cleaning task, I have my bin of cleaning cloths. Several years ago, I took an old set of t-shirt sheets, cut them into squares and rectangles, and now use them as cleaning cloths. So easy to wash! They are actually my go-to cleaning product for most tasks.
Sure, I have some microfiber cloths for cleaning electronics, but I don’t need a microfiber cloth to wipe the counter. Or wash the bathroom floor. Or clean out the sink. Or wipe down a mirror.
The t-shirt cloths work just fine. I have an entire bin full of them, so I never run out.
Final must-have tools…
I love my Dyson rechargeable cordless bagless vacuum. I had a larger Dyson that I gave away when I moved out to San Francisco. The studio apartment didn’t need a vacuum that size and we didn’t want to store something so large.
If I’m doing a quick vacuum to pick up most dust bunnies, then I can cover the whole studio in one charge. That’s 687 square feet.
If I’m being more particular about getting into every nook and corner, then I do have to split the task into two parts to allow the Dyson to recharge.
Since this model comes with a few great accessories, I'l usually cover the 687 square feet to pick up the majority of the dust. Let the vacuum recharge for an hour or two. Then I add various attachments to get into corners and bristle over ledges or baseboards without scratching.
And then in my desk drawer, I keep the OXO Electronics Cleaning Brush. I love this little guy. He keeps my keyboard crumb-free. Plus I've found his bristles work well at dusting off smaller items, like some of my action figures and geeky decorations around my desk.
Those are my tools & equipment I use to keep our studio sparkling. Did I miss anything? What cleaning tools have you found invaluable? Please share in the comments.
Read the other Green Cleaning posts: