Do you think of housekeeping as a job that requires good tools? You really should. Anything that is done so often as housework deserves quality tools. Muddling through with crappy equipment just makes cleaning more tedious than necessary. Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite housekeeping items.
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1. Big Wooly Dust Mop:
We have a long, tiled entryway. The tile is dark brown and while it is good at hiding dirt, dust bunnies along the edges DO show. But with this wool dust mop I can quickly swish back and forth in a zigzag pattern down the hall and out the front door. The natural oils in the wool hold onto dust and pet hair instead of making them airborne like a broom. It also leaves just the teeniest hint of a sheen to the tiles. I don’t know why I didn’t buy one of these years ago!
2. Fuller Brush Carpet Sweeper:
Sometimes it’s good to reconsider old fashioned housekeeping tools. Take, for instance, the electrostatic carpet sweeper. Sometimes all you need is a quick pickup in a few small areas. We don’t have kids at home anymore and not a lot of traffic through the house most days. We have mats at all entrances and some of us are really good about using them or taking off our shoes at the door. But even so, we *do* have little bits of “who knows what?” that appear out of nowhere on the carpet.
So, back to the carpet sweeper. I can run this back and forth over any visible bits and pieces on the carpeted areas of the house and in no time it looks clean again. I’m a big proponent of both preventing major clean ups and extending the time between thorough cleaning days.
3. Van’s Beeswax Furniture Polish:
This next item isn’t exactly a tool but it’s a favorite housekeeping item of mine. In my quest to find safe and natural cleaning products I discovered this wonderful furniture polish. It’s made from beeswax and natural essential oils. My favorite is the lavender scent. After polishing the furniture my house has a pleasant lavender aroma.
4. Feather duster:
I don’t polish the furniture every time I dust, though. In between polishings, I dust with a good quality feather duster. I bought the one I have from FlyLady over 15-20 years ago. Actually, I have two. One is about 24 inches long and the other is perhaps 16 inches. They have wooden handles and have held up beautifully. FlyLady no longer offers the ones with wooden handles and it appears the newer version is sold out. I don’t know if/when it will be back in stock. You can likely find something similar on Amazon but make sure it has real ostrich feathers. I have had some inexpensive feather dusters and I can truly say you get what you pay for. If I find something comparable to what I have I’ll update this post.
5. Toilet bowl brush:
And then there’s this toilet bowl brush, also from FlyLady. Instead of regular bristles, this one is made of sturdy rubber and has a little extension on the side which does a great job cleaning under the rim. Plus it’s purple. Never discredit the importance of appearance.
So now let’s talk about vacuum cleaners, shall we? Many, many years ago I bought a Rainbow vacuum. Unlike an upright that you just plug in and use, a Rainbow has to be filled with water and then dumped afterwards. It’s a bit of a pain but it does such a great job capturing dust. I’m highly allergic to dust so this is important. I didn’t fully realize the difference until our Rainbow began having issues. We have replaced some parts over the years and it currently sports bright green duct tape around one part and electrical tape holding the power cord into the base because the connection is loose. The belt in the power nozzle keeps coming off which means taking it apart, putting it back on and screwing it back together. It still runs but not as well as it used to. It’s about 27 years old so I can’t really complain.
A few years ago we bought a relatively inexpensive upright vacuum that was meant to be “temporary” until I decided what to do about our Rainbow vacuum. I was leaning toward having it reconditioned while David thought I should just buy another one. The issue came up again the other day as I was emptying our upright and commented on all the dust it emits. While I tend to dither over purchases, especially large ones, David is a man of action. He pulled out his phone, found a reconditioned Rainbow for around $800 and said I should buy it.
It’s a lot of money but on the other hand, it’s not like we are spending anything on restaurants, concerts, or travel during a pandemic. We are home. All. The. Time.
Maybe I need to take my own advice and invest in this important household tool.
Update: David took the initiative and ordered a reconditioned Rainbow for me. What a good guy!
I’d love to hear about your favorite housekeeping tools. Leave me a comment and tell me what items you wouldn’t want to keep house without.