photo credit: rich115 via photopin cc

photo credit: rich115 via photopin cc

In Spring Cleaning Part 1 – Getting Organized, I shared a couple of tips to help you get going on your spring cleaning, including cleaning your cleaning closet.

If you’re like most people, you don’t use half of cleaning products and tools you’ve collected over the years. Some of them are probably so old, they’re either unusable or no longer effective. Other products may be long past their expiration dates. Chlorine bleach, for example, only has a shelf life of six months.

I like to keep things simple, and I’m a bit of a minimalist, so you know what cleaning products I use most often? Water, vinegar, dish detergent, and my secret weapon — microfiber cloths.

Microfiber magic

Microfiber is a nonabrasive synthetic material that grabs dust, dirt, and grime like a magnet. I recommend getting a few finer weave microfiber cloths for cleaning glass and stainless steel and a few larger weave cloths for bigger jobs like wiping bathroom counters and sinks. When you’re done, toss them in the washing machine, but don’t use fabric softener or machine dry – it lessens the efficiency of the microfiber.

Armed with a microfiber cloth, I can clean everything from mirrors and picture frames to window blinds to bathroom countertops and sinks, and more.

To clean mirrors and all indoor glass surfaces, I spritz the glass surface lightly with water and then wipe dry with a fine-weave microfiber cloth. What I get is a streak-free, lint-free clean – fast.

To dust, I lightly spritz a microfiber cloth with water and get to it. This, by the way, is also the best way to clean your cell phone, computer screen, and television screen. (Microfiber was originally designed for “clean room” applications in the manufacture of electronic equipment.)

For tougher cleaning jobs, I kick it up a notch with vinegar. I mix one part distilled white vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle and I’ve got a multi-purpose cleaner that does a great job on my kitchen and bathroom counters and sinks as well as backsplashes and grimy light fixtures.

DO NOT use vinegar on granite or marble tops though. Instead, dip a microfiber cloth in sudsy water (that’s where the dish detergent comes in handy!) and wipe clean.

To clean your microwave, fill a small bowl with water and microwave on high for 5 minutes. The steam will soften hardened gunk and make it easier to wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. For extra cleaning power, spritz with my multi-purpose cleaner and then wipe.

Got dried-on spills in the fridge? Wet a microfiber cloth and place it over the spill. Close the door. Come back after 20 minutes or so and just wipe it up.

Bottom line: Microfiber cloths make every cleaning job faster and easier and my expert advice is: Don’t clean home without them!

Watch for Spring Cleaning Part 3 – My Favorite Cleaning Tips & Tools.