Spiffy in a Jiffy: Annie’s Favorite Cleaning Tools for Quick Results

In my normal life I am a devoted wife, a doting mother, TV “spokesmom,” and a well-meaning volunteer. As of late I have added event organizer, vocalist, and potential juror. The rotating whirlwind that is my life lately hasn’t left a lot of time for home upkeep. So what are my favorite tools for cleaning the house when time and energy aren’t on my side? How about when unexpected guests call to say they are five minutes away? Which cleaning items do I reach for first to make my home sparkle again?

Here is my Top 5 wouldn’t-want-to-clean-without-them-items.

• “The Dyson” – To call it just a vacuum is like calling a Dove Ice Cream Bar just a Popsicle. You have to refer to it by its proper name. Just like if you own a Mercedes, you don’t call it “the car,” you refer to it as “The Mercedes.” I’ve owned “The Dyson” for 9 years. It still works as well today as the day I bought it. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see the tornado of dirt and debris rotating in the bagless canister. The Dyson company needs to send me a big fat commission check, because I have personally sold over a dozen friends and family on “The Dyson.”

• Telescoping Feather Duster - I bought my Telescoping Feather Duster at The Container Store, although they are widely available. This is great for ceiling fans, chandeliers, plant shelves, and vaulted ceilings. With my arm extended over my head, this five-foot-three homemaker, (I know I look taller in my picture.) can reach up to 14 feet.

• Microfiber Mop – The biggest selling point about a microfiber mop is the removable pads. The pads are attached to the mop by Velcro. When I am done mopping I just toss the soiled pads in the washing machine. Try that with your old mop.

It’s easy for kids to use, too. My mop has an adjustable handle that I can make longer or shorter depending on who is using it. Because the bottom of the mop is long and narrow and swivels on its handle, it makes quick work of mopping large spaces and, also, makes it easy to mop small spaces, like around and behind toilets.

Microfiber Mops are widely available. I first heard about them on QVC. I bought a cheaper version on eBay. But now, I have seen them everywhere.

• Microfiber Dusting Gloves and Cleaning Cloths– An informal poll on my blog revealed that people love Swiffer-type disposable cleaning cloths. As far as efficiency goes, these cloths can help you get your home spiffy in a jiffy. But if you are all about “being green,” microfiber is the way to go. Be a friend to the environment by replacing the jobs you would use disposable cleaning cloths or paper towels with microfiber cloths.

Microfiber is easier on your furniture than rags and picks up more lint and hair than rags or paper towels. Microfiber is also great to shine chrome. It can be used with or without cleaner.

My favorite way to use the microfiber gloves is to clean my blinds. My fingers slide easily between the slats and the gloves protect my hands from the dusty mess. This is also a good job to hand-over to the children. When the job is finished, just toss them into the washer… the cloths not the kids.

• Sprayway Glass Cleaner- Someone told me once that if you have a few minutes to clean before company comes over, clean your glass and chrome first. Dirty glass and smudged faucets attract the eye more than a few specks on the carpet.

My favorite glass cleaner is Sprayway Glass Cleaner, because it comes out as a foam. Windex is considered the grandmammy of all glass cleaners, but I have found her to be fallible. Grammy Windex claims to be “streak free,” but Sprayway really is. A busy lady doesn’t have time to re-clean a mirror for streaks. Sprayway gets the job done right the first time. Sprayway is available at most grocery stores, Target, and Ace Hardware.

No matter what the whirlwind of motherhood blows in, I know I can get spiffy in a jiffy with these handy tools.

Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite cleaning tools and products?

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Annie Payne
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