Choosing and Using Cleaning Products

Cut cleaning product confusion and save money by sticking to four basic cleaning products.

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Together with a few specialty products, spray window cleaner, spray degreaser, tile and bathroom cleaner, and abrasive cleanser will handle everyday cleaning needs cheaply and well.

Window Cleaner

Don’t be misled by the name "window cleaner"; this spray-on product cleans windows and a whole lot more, evaporating quickly and leaving no residue behind. Applied to glass or mirrors, it loosens surface dirt so you can remove it with a squeegee or cleaning cloth. Use on glass, mirrors, kitchen counters, sink fixtures, appliance fronts, refrigerator shelves, sealed cabinet fronts and any other liquid-safe surfaces with light, nongreasy soil.

Pre Spray CounterEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Degreaser

The tough guys of the cleaning world, these spray cleaners dissolve greasy soil so it can be lifted away and removed. Also known as "all-purpose cleaners," they will cut food soil on kitchen counters, greasy fingermarks on walls, doors and switch plates, oily dust on baseboards and moldings, and hard-to-remove dirt on outdoor furniture. Polish surfaces with a dry cloth to remove the slight film they leave behind.

Tile and Bathroom Cleaner

The bathroom poses multiple cleaning challenges — sticky film from body oils, soap and shampoo; mold and mildew from moisture and condensation; yellow, chalky, hard-water residues on fixtures and fittings. Cut tough bathroom soil with a tile and bathroom cleaner: a potent, three-in-one product designed to fight soap film, mineral deposits, and mold and mildew.

A thick liquid, this cleaner requires standing time to sanitize surfaces, dissolve minerals, and cut greasy soil. Apply a thick coat using a squirt bottle. Allow it to stand for the time recommended on the product label, and then use a tile brush to scrub the product. Rinse thoroughly.

Allow Products Time to Work Before ScrubbingEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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