Small Projects + DIY

Secret weapons: what you should use to clean your apartment, according to the pros

By Virginia K. Smith  | April 15, 2015 - 10:15AM

If our guide earlier this week inspired you to tackle your apartment's messy corners in the upcoming weeks, but you have no idea what weapons you need in your dirt-fighting arsenal, never fear: We consulted with experts to find out what tools they rely on:

Rowenta 18-volt cordless, bagless energy star rated stick vacuum, $149.99. Great "for everyday floor cleaning," says Kadi Dulude of Wizard Homes NYC.

Krud Kutter original concentrated cleaner/degreaser, $8.63. "A good household degreaser is your best ally in cleaning the kitchen, and Krud Kutter is one of the best." — Gary Hu of Synergy Maids.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, $3.47. "I’m obsessed with the Magic Eraser," says Brooke Stone, CEO of personal assistant concierge service GYST. "I don’t know what is in it, but it literally gets every spot off everything from shoes and boots to purses to walls. I use it on my Louis Vuitton."

Swiffer Sweeper floor mop starter set, $11.99. "My favorite everyday cleaning tool is Swiffer," says Dulude. "Both the duster and the floor mop get an award from us."

The Amazing MagicFiber—premium microfiber cleaning cloths, $9.99. "Use microfiber clothes on electronics, windows, and wood furniture," advises Hu.

Good Grips heavy duty scrub brush, $5.99/Soft bristle cleaning scrub brush, $5.99. Hu recommends using a hard bristle scrub brush for tile floors and base boards, and switching to something with softer bristles "for the more delicate surfaces."

Old Fashioned Wooden Treasure Hope Chest, $147.99. Need to hide some clutter last-minute? Take a cue from Dulude, who tells us, she likes "having a nice antique chest in the living room to stash away things when in need for a quick cleanup. And then when we do the weekly clean, I go through the chest and put things where they really belong."

And if you'd rather get creative and avoid an extra trip to the store (or credit card charge from Amazon), Camilla Ibrahim, the brand and communications manager of cleaning service Homejoy, offered up a few DIY options:

  • "Fill a glass jar with vinegar and citrus peels to make your own scented vinegar for cleaning or as a fabric softener in the laundry," she suggests.
  • Use dryer sheets to clean dust and pet hair from moldings and baseboards, and rub faucets with wax paper to prevent spots and fingerprints.
  • For a natural floor cleaner, mix a 1/2 cup of vinegar with a gallon of warm water. "Hint: add a few drops of essential oils for a sweet aroma," says Ibrahim.
  • To get sticky substances off your surfaces, use a mixture of half coconut oil, half baking soda.
  • For those of you with backyard or rooftop access, Ibrahim asks, "Did you know sunlight has magic sanitizing powers?" Take "musty, bulky items" like mattress, rugs, and curtains into the sunshine to give them a new lease on life. "To tackle the stale smells," adds Ibrahim, "apply a few drops of aromatic essential oils, sprinkle with baking soda, and vacuum after one hour."​


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