It’s nice to have things spick and span, at least when nanna is coming over to visit. My sister proclaimed one of my first places “shabby but clean,” and I had never been so flattered. My roommates commented that it looked like one of our parents’ houses.
Basically, you have to follow the cleaning spirits and let them guide you to “clear the air.” Read on, cleaningista, for tips to clean, clean, clean anything the best way, from a millennial who thinks outside the box!
1. Don’t clean with a sponge. Moms of millennials are always wiping down the kitchen table with a sponge. Personally I feel like afterwards the surface looks like a wall with sponge stencils.
2. Use paper towels to clean surfaces. A paper towel leaves the surface very visually smooth when you “polish” with one. Take one of those half paper towels, fold it in half, run it under a little water, and add a little dish soap. Press it into the surface and gently rub it clean. I know I’m not the only millennial who gets a little messy when eating and likes to save and savor that morsel that fell onto the kitchen table. If you use dish soap instead of a fancy cleaner, you can eat off of the table like it is a plate, with no harsh chemicals. It also leaves counters surprisingly squeaky clean and shiny like a dinner plate!
3. Use a sponge to clean first for stubborn stains. Some surface stains, like encrusted tomato sauce, need the coarse (rough) side of a sponge first before the paper towel.
4. When you’re cleaning with paper towels, don’t forget the sides of tables. Walk around the entire table with a paper towel.
5. Use paper towels to clean floors instead of a mop or swiffer. I call this cleaning the floors “Cinderella style.” Paper towels provide the most friction to leave your floors the cleanest.
6. Have a vacuum for cleaning rugs. Actually, just don’t have any rugs. Did you know that historically, rugs were hung on walls? Now you don’t need to own a vacuum unless you have carpets.
7. Clean your shower with an anti-fungus, anti-mold cleaner. Dish soap won’t help you with the shower, because your bare feet can breed the stuff that makes Athlete’s foot. If you’re really lazy, wipe down the sides of the shower less often than you wipe down the bottom of the shower with this cleaner. Use a sponge.
8. CLR is for rust. This cleaner is great for getting out those reddish brown stains in the shower. If you’re designing a new shower, I recommend tiles without that white grout in between that attracts rust and is so hard to clean. Seamless tile is also great for kitchen backsplashes, and more. Use a sponge.
9. Use a sponge for the kitchen sink. Clean out the kitchen sink with the coarse side of a sponge first, to dislodge all of the kitchen sink crumbs. Yes, you can go back over it with the smooth side of the sponge but this can make the sponge almost permanently dirty, so just the coarse side will probably do.
10. Hold the sponge under the faucet to clean. For most dirty sponge problems, holding it under the faucet for 10-60 seconds will breathe new life into it. You can even add some soap before its shower.
11. Instead of dusting, wipe things down with one of those paper towels. Tchotchkes, lamps, and more get so much cleaner with a little dish soap than a feather duster. Save it for your Halloween costume as a French maid. You’ve really earned it now!