Saturday, January 13, 2018

My New Cleaning Routine

I'm back sharing my new cleaning routine today. I say "new" because with our new quartz counters and stainless steel appliances, I couldn't use bleach anymore and had to find new ways to clean. 

You can see my old cleaning routine post HERE

I always start in the kitchen and the first thing I do is wash the sink racks. I scrub the entire rack, as well as those little feet. I use my regular sink sponge with soap and water.

 Then I use the same sponge to scrub the sink with soap and water. 

how to clean a farmhouse sink

Then I rinse everything and replace the racks. I like these non scratch sponges:

The back of the box says they're gentle enough for non stick cookware, but they still do a good job scrubbing messes. 

Speaking of sponges, I use a new one every 2-3 weeks. I have a little system. Of course I do. :) My hubby thinks this is over the top, but I have a plastic cup under the sink that holds the old sponge. When I replace the sponge with a new one, the old one goes in the plastic cup. I use the old sponge to pre-clean really dirty pots and pans, etc. Then when it's almost clean, I use the new sponge in the sink to finish cleaning it. This way, my sink sponge never gets grimy or discolored. OCD much? Lol!

I'm always telling (threatening) my boys not to use the sink sponge for really dirty pans. I've trained them to always use the old sponge to pre clean. Dylan thinks it's hilarious to taunt me about this. He once texted me a pic of him holding the brand new sponge over a very dirty/greasy pan that he just cooked bacon in. Like he was going to use it! The horror! I literally gasped in line at Starbucks when I got the text. Ha ha! 

Next up, I wash the quartz counters. I use a white washcloth (I always clean with white washcloths) with soap and water. And just so y'all know, when I say "soap and water" I just mean regular old antibacterial liquid hand soap. I wet the cloth, apply a little soap and wash the counters. Then I rinse and dry them. 

My favorite white washcloths are THESE from Target. It's an 8 pack of 100% cotton cloths for $2.99.

Then I clean the SS appliances with a microfiber cloth. (More on these cloths below) I wet it a little and wipe with the grain to remove fingerprints. Then dry it with the microfiber cloth.

tips for cleaning stainless steel

If I have a particularly greasy smudge, I use Weiman SS wipes, but so far, I've only used these once. They did do a great job though.

great stainless steel cleaners

I keep a microfiber cloth hanging on a command hook inside my cabinet door under the kitchen sink. I only use this one for cleaning my SS appliances. It's easy to grab when needed and by hanging it on the hook, it allows it to dry between cleanings. I switch the microfiber cloth out every week. 

household cleaning tips

Next up is dusting. In my last cleaning post, I had switched from microfiber dusting cloths to Swiffer dusters. I've since realized the reason my microfiber wasn't doing well was because it was dollar store "microfiber" and was actually 100% polyester. I did some research and apparently "real" microfiber is made of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide. I guess it's true because it made a huge difference.

So I researched some more and found some on Amazon that were bonifide microfiber with the 80/20 combo. If you search "Eurow Microfiber commercial towels" on Amazon, they should come up. They're Clean Aide brand and are 16 by 16 inches. I paid $12.95 for a 12 pack.

Here are the ones I bought...

clean aide microfiber cloths

I still use my Swiffer for quick dusting jobs, but for my weekly deep clean, I use the microfiber cloths from Amazon. I wet them a little to dust with and they do a much better job than my old "microfiber" from the dollar store. :) 

Be sure to wash your microfiber cloths together and never with anything that has lint, like cotton. Also, never use bleach or fabric softener on them. I keep my clean microfiber cloths in a stack in my linen closet. I put the dirty ones in a separate container, then wash them all together. 

So as I said, I use microfiber cloths to dust the entire house. I use them on everything...tables, picture frames, tv screens, etc. 

Now it's on to the bathrooms. I start in the guest bath. First I run the water in the tub because it's not used very often and I use Basic H to clean the mirror. Then I squirt Lysol toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet and let it sit while I clean the counters and sink. In the guest bath, the counters are quartz, so I do the same as the kitchen. First I scrub the sink and faucet with a sponge and liquid soap. Then I use a white wash cloth with soap and water to wash the counter. Then I rinse everything and dry it. 

Typing this out, it sounds so boring, but I can't tell you how many emails I get asking for my cleaning routine. :) 

Next up, I use Clorox wipes to clean the toilet tank, lid, seat and base...

 Finally, I scrub the toilet bowl with the brush and use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to mop the floors. Like I said in my last cleaning post...if I'm being honest, I usually just spray my vinegar/water solution on a paper towel and use that to hand mop the floors. My bathrooms aren't very big, so it's not a hard job. 

Here's another quick tip. I was paranoid about having quartz in a bathroom because I didn't want it to stay wet for long periods of time. I don't really think it would hurt it, but for peace of mind, I hang this little washcloth on the inside of the bathroom cabinet. I tell my boys to use it to wipe the counter down after they brush their teeth or wash their face. I don't know if they actually do this, but the counter looks great, so I'm not complaining. 

I just punched a hole in the tag so I could hang it easier. 

It's pretty much exactly the same in my bathroom. I start by running the water in the tub because it's not used very often either. We're more of a shower family than a bath family. Then I squirt Lysol TB cleaner under the rim of the toilet and let it sit. Next up, I clean the mirrors with Basic H. 

We don't have quartz in this bathroom, but I use the same method as the guest bath. I use a sponge and soap and water on the sinks, then the washcloth and soap and water for the counters. I scrub them, then rinse and dry. I always use a sponge on the sinks, because they tend to need a little more scrubbing than a washcloth can provide. 

Then it's just like the other bathroom where I use Clorox wipes to clean the toilet lid, seat, etc. Then I scrub the inside of the toilet with Lysol toilet bowl cleaner and mop the floors with vinegar/water and a paper towel. 

I always wait to clean the shower at night. I usually just clean the shower while I take a shower. I'm weird like that. :) First I clean the entire shower with a Magic Eraser...

I've used these...

And these...

And they both do a great job. I always wear gloves when using Magic Erasers. 

Then sometimes after I scrub and rinse with a Magic Eraser, I'll spray some of this in there...

natural shower cleaner

I'll let the Method Bathroom Cleaner sit for a few minutes, then rinse. 

Then it's on to cleaning the wood floors. I use my Bona dust mop, then if it needs it, I mop with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner...

favorite wood floor cleaner

Then I vacuum with my Dyson. That Dyson is one of my best purchases ever. It has suction like you wouldn't believe. It pulls the carpet fibers back up every time I use it, so they don't have a chance to get matted down. 

I actually dusted my vacuum before I took these pics. It was pretty dirty! 

I also wanted to share my newest cleaning toy...

It's the Cordless Dyson V7 Motorhead Stick Vac. Click HERE for a link to purchase at Target. 

I've been wanting a cordless stick vac for awhile. I kept thinking how helpful it would be to have one in the laundry room when I scoop the litter box. I scoop it at least twice a day. When Holly and Finn jump out of the litter box, they track bits of litter onto the rug and sometimes into the kitchen and dining room. I know they sell those rubber mats that are supposed to help with that, but they didn't work for us. 

Every time I scooped their box, I would then go around doing a sort of duck walk with a dust pan and brush, cleaning up the stray litter pieces. Not good for my back with all that bending over all the time. 

Anyway, I found this one and ordered it. By some miracle, it came the next day and I couldn't wait to try it out. I love it!!! It's not too loud, does a bang up job, and automatically goes from carpet to hard floors with no problem. No more back bending work for me! So much easier to vacuum up the litter while standing up with this little gem. The charge lasts a long time so you can even vacuum your whole house with it. It has a lot of suction too. And it converts to a hand vac with the push of a button...

This is great for vacuuming our vehicles and it's also very helpful in removing cat hair from my white comforter. If you have pets, you'll definitely benefit from this little gadget. 

You can even use it like this for reaching high places...

This is how easy it is to use. You just push those red buttons to release the part, then when you're done, push it back in and it snaps right back into place. Literally takes seconds. 

Here's how we installed the docking station in the laundry room. If you're thinking about getting one, be sure to think about where you want to keep it, because the docking station has to plug into an outlet to charge the vac. I thought about keeping it in my closet, but quickly realized there's not an outlet in there.

That's their litter box in the bottom left corner. You can see how small this room is. That's the washer and dryer poking out on the far right of this pic. 

You'll notice I bought a cord cover. :) I just ran the cord behind the bulletin board and straight down to the outlet. This is the paintable cord hider we bought at Lowe's for $5. It's five feet long and you just cut it to whatever length you need. It's peel and stick, so it adheres to the wall easily. They also sell a packet of angle pieces like an inside corner, outside corner, etc. 

Paintable Cord Hider

Now y'all know I couldn't leave that cord cover white. I painted it the same color as the wall to blend in a little more...

peel and stick cord hider

I promise my laundry room isn't fluorescent yellow. There's no natural light in here and my editing skills obviously aren't up to par. It's lighter in real life.

That's an LED night light at the bottom of the outlet. It's in there so the cats can see if they need their box at night. And I don't know if you can tell (or if you even care~ha ha) but that's the litter scoop hanging by a command hook under the stick vac. A place for everything and everything in its place. ;)

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you're probably aware of my aversion to cords. I'm always trying to hide them. But in this case, it was more of a "I don't want the cats to chew on the cord" thing. :) With the cord being so close to their litter box, I didn't want them to be tempted to play with it. Covering it up solved this problem and disguised the cord at the same time. A win-win! 

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments or send me a quick email and I'll be happy to answer.

Happy Cleaning!



  1. We have the exact same Dysons and i also use the Bona!

  2. Such great tips, Lisa!!

    I've been considering the handheld Dyson and have a friend who just swears by it! I'm obsessed with clean floors and sweep/Swiffer/vacuum/mop all the time. You have to when you have wood floors and pets.

    Thanks for the cloth information. I have a couple of those but microfiber cloths but mostly use old cut up tshirts for cleaning. I know the microfibers are supposed to significantly reduce the amount of cleaning products you use. Do you ever watch Do It On a Dime with Kathryn on YouTube? She swears by them like you do.

    As always, love your great ideas!

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Great tips. I love my Dyson too. Works like a charm and I have had it for years. It never loses it suction. I do not use the stainless steal wipes but I do use their spray cleaner and it works great. Another trick is using Pledge on your stainless steal. The appliance guy told me that Pledge is a great way to clean stainless and not scratch it. Happy Sunday.

  4. You are the cleaning queen! I do a lot of the same things that you do...and I get crazy about my washing dishing techniques, too. I love how your family teases you about it, because my family does the exact same thing. I guess it keeps it interesting, right? ;)

  5. I am thinking I need to invest in more white wash cloths. We go through way too many paper towels cleaning the bathrooms! We have corian countertops with an integrated sink in our kitchen and I swear by the Mrs. Meyers baking soda cream cleanser for our white sink! Really does the job without scratching it. I put our sponges in the dishwasher to sanitize them. Not sure that would work with the scrubbie mesh kind however. I really want a stick vacuum, but after our experience with two dyson full size vacuums I am still on the fence to which brand I will purchase. And while I love the SS wipes, I do find I have to buff with a microfiber cloth after as they are quite "wet".

  6. I adore our Dyson vacuums. We have so much tile in our home, and the handheld does a great job...if I move fast (HA, that's a joke), I can clean all the bare floors on one charge! I use to be a once-a-week cleaner, but now I have to break up my cleaning routine over several days....getting older sucks!
    Hope you have a great weekend, Lisa!


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