I have used a lot of different products. I have narrowed it down between usefullness and budget. A lot of these items you can pick up at your local Dollar Store or Discount Store. What most people need to remember is that chemicals are chemicals and used correctly cleaning will not differ between brand name.
Below is a list of products that I feel every household should have.
Square Container: This needs to be large enough to hold all of our supplies. We will need a minimum of two of these containers, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom, if you have more then one bathroom get another one of these containers. You can have a different type of container for each room so be creative on finding this product.
Static Cling Feather Dusters. These are great, the dust clings to duster making sure to leave your surface dust free. These are rather inexpensive now. I found a really small one at my dollar tree that is perfect for my desk, I bought one and its worked great. I would recommend at least two dusters, one for your desk if you are there often and one for the rest of the house.
Broom: A good broom and dust pan is needed for kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor purposes. I would purchase a good broom for inside, and a cheaper one for outside. Small hand brush brooms are useful as well, the dollar tree supplies these mini broom sets quite often.
Mop: A good mop is really important. I personally like the mops with the thick strips of 'fabric' to scrub and clean the floor. The yarn mops just fall apart and the sponge mops have no scrub action.
Mop Bucket: This bucket dosen't need to be very big, just large enough to hold the head of your mop and catch the extra water from ringing it out.
Vaccumm: Two vaccumm, one for small jobs and easy clean ups and one for major house hold vacumming makes this chore simple. I have a light weight easy vacumm that is wonders for small messes caused by the kids or pets. Then your regular vaccumm to do weekly household vacumming.
Trash Cans: The kitchen should have a decent size trash can that is not visuable upon entering the kitchen or dining room. Under a cupboard or into a closet is a good place to "hide" the can. For bathroom, you can be more decorate. Large baskets and even planter pots can be turned into trash cans. Every room that is frequently used should have a trash can near by.
Garbage Bags: You should have bags for the Trash Cans, some are scented for a more fresh scent and you should save plastic grocery bags. Use an empty garbage bag box to hold the used plastic bags. These are great for packing things in a hurry, cleaning small messes, or cleaning trash through out the house in a hurry.
Paper Towels: Good paper towels can make a difference sometimes. Get good towels but don't break the bank looking for indistructable paper.
Dish Towel: Have two clean towels at all times. One for dishes and one for hands. Buying a set of four is helpful so when one set is in the wash one set is already clean.
Rags: These are the easiest to get, cut up old t-shirts in useable squares. Use different fabrics to get a better scrub, jeans actually scrub very well! You of course can also buy some rags if you really want to, they can still be bought cheap at the Dollar Store
Baking Soda: A odor neutrilizer this cheap but effective product is a major must have. Sprinkle in garbage cans to fight smell, in refridgerators to keep food fresh and smell of left overs minimal. In shoes for a shoe deodarnt, the list contuies!
Soft Sponges: These are for those easy spills, counter wipes, and dish washing.
Abrasive Sponges: For those tougher jobs, crusted sauce on the oven, a crusted pan, spilt mess in the fridge.
SOS Pads: When cleaning on a regular basis the need for these tough pads become less and less, but always have some for those odd really tough jobs!
Bleach: Useful in the laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen so get one for each space.
Glass Cleaner. Windows and mirrors are almsot in every room. Have one for the kitchen, bathroom and any room with a lot of mirrors or glass.
All-Purpose Cleaner: This should be the only real "cleaner" you need for surfaces. Have one for the kitchen and every bathroom in the house.
Furniture Dusting Polish
Air Freshner: Whether its a spray, candle, insence or all three, get something to give the room a final aroma after every cleaning.
Comet: I have only found this extremly useful in the bathroom for hard bathtub residue. One for each bathroom should be sufficent.
Laundry Spot Remover
Liquid Dish Washing Soap
Fabric Softener Sheets
Pine Sol/Floor Cleaner
Rubber Gloves ( protect against harsh chemicals while cleaning)
Carpet Spot Cleaner
This list may seem fairly large, but alot of them are one time purposes for at least the course of a year or more.
* To give new life to a worn out sponge, soak it in vinegar, ring out the extra and zap it in the microwave for just a few seconds. Don't let it burn!
* Vinegar and Baking Soda are the two most popular home remedy cleaning solution
* Remember that somethings can serve more then their orginal purpose. For example brewed coffee grounds put in a bowl in the fridge acts the same as baking soda in freshning the smell of the fridge.
* Lemons. You can use a lemon cut in half added to a bowl of water to clean the stuck on food in your microwave. You will add the half of a lemon to a bowl of water and run your microwave for 15 minutes. You will be able to remove the stuck on goo with your fingers. Due to the goo being hot from the cleaning of the microwave, you should wear a rubber glove to remove the stuck on food.
* Put a dryer sheet in your vaccumm bag and freshen your air while you clean your rug.
* Stinky Garbage: Keep kitchen trash receptacles smelling a bit better by putting a cotton ball soaked in an essential oil -- such as orange or eucalyptus -- at the bottom of the container, then put in the garbage bag.
Do's & Don'ts of Carpet Stain Removal General Spot Cleaning Tips
Use a clean white, absorbent terry towel.
Blot or tamp the spot.
Pretest the carpet in an inconspicuous area.
Clean the stain from the edge to the center.
Apply cleaner to the towel.
Clean with modest amounts of cleaning solution.
Adhere to product safety and follow instructions.
Remove the stain as soon as it is noticed.
Remove the dirty excess before cleaning.
Use cleaning compounds at luke warm temperature.
Use a dirty or coloured rag.
Rub, brush or scrape the spot using force.
Pretest the carpet in the middle of the room.
Clean the stain from side to side.
Apply cleaners directly to the stain.
Saturate the spot with cleaners.
Ignore manufacturers instructions.
Ignore the stain or leave it until later.
Wet clean before removing the dry excess.
Apply heat to the stain.
Not all stains can be completely removed, but appearances can be improved.
As you can clearly see. There are many ways to clean your house on a budget. The above products can all be bought over a period of time. Some of the easiest products are ones you already have in your kitchen like vinegar and baking soda. Check back often for more useful cleaning recipes.
Happy Clutter Control
~Clutter Control Lady~