As with any job, having the right tools is crucial to doing it well. That includes spring cleaning, an annual event we rather enjoy Around the House. It’s also true that those tools needn’t be fancy, or expensive or hard to use—a guiding principle in how we approach housekeeping at any time of year. The best spring cleaning tools work with simple solutions made with straightforward ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Although I also do like some natural cleanser brands like Branch Basics, Attitude, and Kliin for certain tasks.
A mop for every spring cleaning task
A mop can help with so many cleaning jobs, as long as you pick the right one for the application. My favourites come from Libman, the 126-year-old family-owned maker of commercial and residential cleaning supplies. I’m a long time fan: one of the most interesting afternoons of my professional life was spent visiting their product design team at their headquarters in Arcola, Illinois.
For general spring cleaning, I like the Freedom Spray Mop, which is “free” from disposable cleaning pads, batteries, and branded cleansers with loads of chemicals. I just fill the tank with whatever I’m using for cleanser; spraying the solution on whatever surface I’m doing—wood, laminate, tile, marble, linoleum, or stone. The microfibre pad is machine-washable. Very handy by the front door in muddy season—especially if you have kids or pets. The handle is made of sturdy recycled steel.
Reusable mop heads save time and money
The large head on the Tornado Mop means more floor coverage in less time, so it’s good for large spaces, and rooms with lots of hard-to-reach corners. A ratchet wringer makes it easy to squeeze out dirty water and the tangle-resistant mop head reduces the growth of odor-causing bacteria. The mop head is machine-washable and reusable. If you do work it to death, you can buy a replacement.
There’s also a spin mop I quite like that works with a bucket with a built-in hand-operated wringer. Users can adjust the length of the handle, which is also made with recycled steel. The company says it removes over 99 per cent of staphylococcus aureus and E. coli on ceramic tile and wood floors when used with water. It’s especially useful with a Libman bucket that’s divided into two sections-one for dirty water, one for clean.
Less dust means a healthier home
The Microfibre Dust Mop picks up dust, debris, allergens, and pet hair. Using it regularly will help air quality in the home. In spring cleaning, that’s especially important for those who live with allergies or asthma.
The handle has a comb that makes it easy to brush debris right into the garbage. The head does a 360 degree swivel to get at hard-to-reach spots. The cleaning pad is machine-washable. I love this one for the backs of closets and under beds and furniture.
Likewise, never under-estimate the spring cleaning power of a good brush, sponge, or cloth.
All pics above: Libman
Another sustainable option: KLIIN reusable paper towels, which can clean everything from fruits and veg to dirty sinks. They are dish and machine washer-safe, and can be washed up to 300 times. Just don’t put them in the dryer. To kill bacteria, they can be microwaved damp for two minutes. Allow them to cool before handling—they’ll be very hot. They come in three sizes, and a convenient roll.
When the towels are finally used up, they can go into the composter, where—after about 28 days—they turn into fertilizer.
To make spring cleaning cheerier, the company collaborated on a limited edition collection with Canadian artists Mallorie Brack and Elizabeth Gartside. The line includes lovely Scandinavian, botanical, and retro elements. Find a couple of examples below. Pics by Audrey McMahon
HOT TIP FOR BREAD BAKERS: The KLIIN towel easily wipes dough from bowls, counters, and boards. Collected dough just slides off the towels under cold water. Worth having for that reason alone, imho. #IYKYK