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As a person who has cleaned and owned a professional cleaning company for years, I’ve perfected, no, mastered, the art of the cleaning bucket.
I’m going to share with you what goes into my cleaning bucket and why so that you too can clean fast and efficiently, just like the pros.
Creating Your Cleaning Bucket
You’re on a mission to clean your home. You want to do it as fast as possible. You don’t want to be looking all over the place for your supplies; instead, you want them handy and at your fingertips. You don’t want to be moving from the upstairs to the downstairs every time you need something.
Want my cleaning bucket checklist? You can find it in the Free Resource Library.
The best way to ensure you have everything you need is by creating a cleaning bucket.
You need something to hold your supplies, rags, paper towels, sponges, gloves and anything else you’ll want to use. You want to have everything right at hand so you don’t have to go looking for anything.
Creating a cleaning bucket accomplishes this and saves you a ton of time because you’re not running around looking for supplies.
There are many different items you can use to create your bucket by my favorite is the milk crate.
It’s Square, It’s Heavy Duty, and the Handles Won’t Break
I realize you might be thinking, “What difference does it make if it’s round or square?” Well, it a makes a huge difference.
I have never found a round container to be large enough to hold the supplies that we typically use to clean our home. On average, we use at least 5 different products. Besides supplies, there are other tools you will likely carry in your cleaning bucket. A round container won’t provide the space you’ll need. And, forget those totes. They suck, plain and simple. Stuff falls out of those totes all the time because the sides are not high enough.
The milk crates they sell are typically more durable than a bucket. They last longer, they’re washable, and they don’t have a separate handle that will certainly break after a short time.
With the milk crate, the sides are high enough and there’s enough space to ensure all your supplies fit. Hands down the milk crate is the way to go.
Now that you’ve picked the right bucket to hold all your supplies,
what cleaning supplies should you include?
Cleaning supplies are as varied as the people who use them. I’ve tried them all. From the professional grade products to generic and all natural, green products.
I do have a list of particular favorites that I use, but ultimately you’ll need to decide which products are right for you and your family.
Here are my favorites:
1. Window Cleaner
By far, hands down the best overall window cleaner out there. I don’t particularly like the smell of Windex, but if you can ignore the smell, it really is the best.
b) Glass Plus
Second best, but it smells better than Windex. Glass Plus does a great job and is a more than acceptable alternative to Windex.
c) Seventh Generation
The best in the “green” category. Works ok but you need to put more elbow grease into cleaning the glass and eliminating streaks.
2. All Purpose Cleaner
a) Method Pink Grapefruit All-Purpose Cleaner
Smells great, cuts through grease and doesn’t leave a sticky residue.
b) Seventh Generation Free and Clear All Purpose Cleaner
This all-purpose cleaner contains no fumes or dyes, is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin or breathing problems.
c) Lysol All Purpose Cleaner
Lysol is a great degreaser, removes grime, and deodorizes most of the surfaces in your home. It’s also a great disinfectant, killing germs that may be lurking in your home.
d) Pine Sol
I love the smell of Pine Sol. I use it straight out of the bottle and also mix it in a spray bottle for general cleaning.
3. Bathroom Cleaner
Up until a few years ago I was a Scrubbing Bubbles lover. Not anymore. KaBoom may cost a bit more than it’s counterparts but it’s worth the price. It cuts through the toughest soap scum with little effort on your part and if you pair it with my most favorite cleaning tool, the Mr Clean Sponge, you’ll be able to clean your tub or shower in under 5 minutes.
b) I’d love to include an all natural cleaner, but I’ve never found one that really works on tough mold, mildew or soap scum. If you clean your bathroom regularly like I do, then Method Bathroom Cleaner is my favorite.
4. Furniture Polish/Dusting
a) Method, Good for Wood, Almond
I love, love, love this product. First, is smells amazing and second, like all of Methods products, it uses ingredients that won’t cause harm to humans. No runner-up here as this really is the best product around.
Any of the Swiffer dusting products are great whether it be the 360 version or the regular dusters. They just work, but it can be pricey to keep replacing the dusting cloths. Despite the cost I still find them to be the best around.
5. Best All-Purpose Floor Cleaner
a) Simply Floored from Better Life
This all-purpose handles it all. I don’t use any other. It handles wood, ceramic, marble, tile, even bamboo and leaves your floors shiny and smelling awesome. The best part? No rinsing required.
b) Swiffer Wet
If you want to use a disposable solution, then Swiffer Wet products do the trick. I personally use the Swiffer wet pads but have also used the Swiffer Wet Jet with good results. What I like about the disposable is you can see the dirt being lifted right off your floor and can change the pads frequently ensuring a thorough cleaning. When I want to do a deep floor cleaning I use the Swiffer for the above reasons.
6. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
I have to start out by saying I hate toilet brushes and I refuse to use them. I don’t use them at my home and I don’t use them in my company. They are disgusting, unsanitary devices that are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
So what do I use?
I like that you get the holder, wand and a place to store the unused toilet bowl disks in one place. When you’re done, pop it in the trash. You don’t have to touch or keep anything nasty. Spray the wand with disinfectant after use and it stays completely sanitary.
After you’ve cleaned the bowl, throw in a 2000 Flushes to keep the bowl clean all the time. It lasts up to 2 months.
7. Miscellaneous Cleaning Supplies
a) Soft Scrub with or without bleach
I use this primarily in porcelain kitchen sinks. The one containing bleach is the best at getting tough stains out of sinks.
b) Rejuvenate Products
If you’ve never used Rejuvenate Products you’ve got to try them! My favorite is their Rejuvenate Floor Shine Refinisher. Hardwood floors can get dull and lose their shine. Rejuvenate will restore that beautiful shine in just one application.
Besides the floor product, they have Rejuvenate for granite, cabinets, stainless steel, furniture and more.
c) Lysol Spray
I always carry a can, because you never know when you’ll need to disinfect something like doorknobs.
That’s what you’ll find in my cleaning bucket and what we use in homes in our cleaning area.
Not one professional grade cleaner made my cleaning bucket because they really aren’t any better than what you can find in your store.
I know I didn’t list a slew of natural cleaners and really it’s because they don’t work as well as their non-natural counterparts.
With that being said, ultimately you need to decide what to use, how much elbow grease you’re willing to exert and at what cost with regard to both time and money.