how to start cleaning
First a Bucket
It's handy for carrying your cleaning products and also to use as a mop bucket. I prefer a sturdy one, but you can start out with one from the dollar store. Better yet look at this one by Rubbermaid, $15.72. It comes with a strainer so you don't have to put your hands into the water. There used to be a red one at Walmart from O'Cedar.
Then You Need a wet Mop
Use any that you prefer. This is my favorite, the Tuff Mop from O'Cedar. It has microfiber strips. Refills are available and you can throw the mop head into the washer.
Easy to wring out in the bucket above.
An Apron saves Time
Saves you time, you don't have to run back and forth so much. Keep your cloth and sponge there. If you have a good squirt bottle that doesn't lose it's top very easily, you can hang the bottle on the apron loop. Check the spray top often for tightness.
This was my favorite apron by Fiskars, made for gardeners. I would put 2 aprons on 1 belt, but they are not being made at this time. You can still locate these in a few places on the internet,....
Or just buy an apron at the hardware store, or get a Fiskars pocket for buckets and modify it to your needs.
Also check out Jeff Campbell's place for aprons.
your floor tool - the Vacuum
You could use the one at their home or office, but I find that the homeowner's vacuum usually lacks power or is unreliable. I like to bring in my own vacuum into a business and keep it there, just make sure that they understand that your vacuum is not to be used for anything like construction clean up.
If you are cleaning your own home, keep one vacuum upstairs and another one downstairs. This will save you the trouble up carrying one upstairs. I like to use a heavy duty extension cord so I can plug the vacuum in once on each floor and keep working. You can use a hand held vac for the stairs for weekly cleaning, and use a full size one on them occasionally.
Orecks have changed their look. They are light weight so this is a big consideration if you are planning to carry your vacuum to different homes or businesses.
I like the vacuums with an easy hose attachment. The Sebo is pricey and a bit top heavy, but the hose attachment is very handy. I bought mine several years ago, the one I saw online recently is over $700.00. You don't necessarily need an expensive vacuum to start with, but you do get what you pay for.
See our vacuum page
The Cleaning Cloth
Microfiber Cloths are the essential tool. They remove 99% of germs, and when you use water or diluted cleaners, and wipe your cloth out well, they leave little or no streaks.
When they are dry they make a great dust cloth and grab loads of dust.
BJ's has a good deal in the car section, 25 in a pack for $10.00 last time I checked. You can also find them at Walmart in a 5 pack.
Ostrich feature dusters are great for fast dusting and removing small spider webs quickly. The black feathers are the best I think.
I found this in Ingles grocery store. It is a Libman product.
Use smooth strokes, not jerky, and occasionally hit it against your lower leg to knock the dust off so it falls to the floor for sweeping or vacuuming.
I got my duster from Texas Feathers with a long handle. If you have a short handle you can carry the duster around in your back pocket. If the feathers get dirty, just wash in mild soap and rinse well. Slap it gently against the wall of your shower occasionally as it dries, hang it up with the feathers down.
A very handy cleaner. Keep a bottle under every sink for quick cleanups. You can even use it on floors.
If there are no smokers in the house, you can just use water on glass and mirrors.
The Mega Shower Scrubbing Bubbles Foamer saves a lot of time by dissolving the scum without much scrubbing the first time you try it, then the next time you clean just wipe and rinse. It has a wide spray for good coverage.
Look for the blue can.
A Scotch Brite Sponge is another essential tool for cleaning sinks and showers. The green side is aggressive, so don't use it on your teflon pots.
plug in once and go
I usually clean one floor at a time. It is a waste of time to plug in the vacuum and then unplug it to go to another room. I like to use an extension cord connected to the vacuum so I can vacuum the whole upstairs or downstairs without the interruption of unplugging and moving to each room.
House Designers should have an electric plug in a central position on each floor.