This holiday cleaning tips post is brought to you by Swiffer® as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.
I’ve got to tell you, my biggest holiday cleaning tip is to hire a maid service, guys. I hate cleaning. I hate it almost as much as laundry. Some other tips you might pick up from me if you saw my usual cleaning routine:
- If you have a dog, there’s no need to sweep crumbs off the floor. Ever.
- If you have my dog, there’s really no need to sweep much of anything off the floor, because she even eats things that aren’t food.
- Inexplicably, you will still have to sweep up dog hair tumbleweeds. She won’t eat those.
- You can replace dusting with surreptitiously wiping surfaces with the hem of your shirt when people come over and your dust blindness temporarily lifts in the face of houseguests.
- Vacuuming totally counts as your cardio workout and, yes, you deserve a bowl of ice cream for doing it. Or maybe just for thinking about doing it.
BUT. (Heh. Butt.) It’s Christmas, and ’tis the season for houseguests and pretending like you actually care if things are clean for them. Turns out, I actually do care, and my slovenly cleaning habits turn into typical type A obsessive cleaning when I know someone besides me is going to see my house.
Some of my actual Sonja-is-cleaning-for-real-this-time tips:
- Use vinegar. I use just plain vinegar to clean the whole bathroom. I put it in an old 409 bottle and spray it on all the surfaces, then wipe with a dry cloth. Gets up the dust and nasties, shines up the chrome, kills the germs, and won’t kill me. (Don’t do the wax paper thing on your faucets. Tried it. Doesn’t work.) I mean, sure, your bathroom smells like a seafood restaurant until the vinegar dries, but no one’s going to call you on that, I’m pretty sure.
- Use vinegar. No, for real. I also use vinegar as fabric softener. I just pour some in the fabric softener compartment in my front-load washer. (You can also use aluminum foil as a dryer sheet, no lie.) More uses for vinegar? Sure. I use a couple tablespoons of vinegar in a bucket of warm water to soak stinky gym clothes as a pre-wash. Helps get the dead-thing smell out of my husband’s gym shorts and the boobsweat funk of doom out of my sports bras.
- For those tough carpet stains, try Windex and an iron. But take note that ammonia may not be the best idea. Read through to the bottom of this post for the scoop on that…
- If your carpets are smelling a little funky, try a homemade carpet powder. Super easy.
- One of my favorite blogs evar, UfYH, recommends a steam mop for your floors. Until recently, I did not have a steam mop, but then I got one and weeee! I’m totally on board. More on that:
The steam mop I got is the Swiffer BISSELL® SteamBoost™, and it was super easy to start using. You just fill up the reservoir (and, by the way, the cap to that stays attached so you won’t lose it, which I totally would), and go.
The pads attach to this just like they do to a Swiffer sweeper so they’re super easy to use.
And there’s something about that steam. I wasn’t sure I was getting the floor all that clean, but, well, when I turned the mop over to look at the cleaning pad, I got sort of grossed out. I don’t even want to post this because you will judge my nasty floors, but this is what the pad looked like after cleaning only the floor of my tiny kitchen:
So, so gross.
Other points in its favor? If you use the Swiffer pads meant for the SteamBoost, they have a nice, subtle scent. I was a little worried it would be overpowering, but it’s not. It’s nice. It works on lots of different kinds of floors, including finished wood, which is what most of the floors in my house are. And the steam guys. If you are into killing the gross germs, steam’s the way to go.
And speaking of, I think I’m going to go steam mop my whole house now, because that was sort of fun, and something is probably wrong with me for thinking cleaning the floors was fun, and I should probably just ride this train until I come to my senses. Yay, neurotically clean floors!
This sponsored post was brought to you by Swiffer®. For a limited time, get a $15 prepaid card when you purchase a SteamBoost Steam Mop Starter Kit between 11/24/13 and 12/31/13. Swiffer BISSELL® SteamBoost™ combines a dirt-dissolving cleaning solution with the power of steam for a deep clean that gets messes mops can leave behind. Also be sure to like Swiffer on Facebook and follow @swiffer on Twitter.
I totally second the vinegar thing. My go-to cleaner is vinegar, hot water, a drop of dish soap and a splash of rubbing alcohol. Works on everything! And let me tell you: you want to get the stank of cat (or toddler) pee out of something, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. That shit WORKS. My naughty kitty peed on a futon I use for guests. Nasssssteeeee. A couple treatments of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, it’s GONE. Just in time for my sister to visit for Christmas! It’s my gift to her.
I have a floor robot (The Bravo – made by the Roomba people but it’s more like a Swiffer, better for hardwoods). It is the BEST thing ever. Slap on a pad, start er up, and the floor is magically clean. The other day I had my dishwasher going, my washing machine, and my Bravo and I felt like, “Yes, this is the future they were dreaming of. Robots and machines doing all the work.”
I really need a robot for my house.
Uh… for the floors… yeah…
I started working part-time for a local house cleaning company and they have a really fancy steam cleaner…those things are amazing! I want one badly but can’t afford it. I think the Swiffer SteamBoost is a great alternative…even better with the rebate!
i second putting some vinegar in with the water in the steam mop – and thanks for the link to the rebate. the steam mop i had a while ago died after about 4 uses, so i’ve been without for a while. i just bought one and it will be here tomorrow (soap.com is fugging amazing). you know you’re getting old when you get excited about getting a steam mop and more excited about actually using it. *le sigh*
I have a steam mop and love it. Nothing like sterilizing your floors!
white vinegar or apple cider?
White vinegar is cheaper, and apple cider vinegar might yellow white fabric, so definitely white vinegar.
Yeah, just plain old white vinegar.
Thanks, this’ll make my bathroom to smell like a big ol jar of pickles. Good thing I like pickles.
If you hate the vinegar smell, even for just the time it takes to dry, you can add a drop or two of essential oil like lavender to the bottle when you clean. It doesn’t totally cover it, but makes it more tolerable! Loves me some vinegar for cleaning here! And me be for wanting a steam mop!!!
I’ll jump on the Vinegar bandwagon too. I use straight vinegar in my carpet shampooer and it works miracles. For tough stains I sprinkle on baking soda and the stains disappear.
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Yup, I agree on the vinegar. Essential oils will help with the smell too. I like peppermint.
If you don’t want to keep using refill pads, you can use large old socks, sheets, towels, or knit yourself a cover if you’re weird like me. (Use a honeycomb of basket weave stitch for scrubbiness)
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