How many times have you rushed to your cleaning product cabinet to grab something to clean up a stain only to have to sort through a bunch of almost empty bottles and random products you bought, tried and found they didn’t work?
Go ahead, raise your hand, we’re all friends here.
Today is the day to declutter cleaning products once and for all.
Short on time? Pin it for later.
Sort the Current Cleaning Products
Start with the cabinet that holds most of your products. For me, that would have been (I’ll tell you my secret below) under my kitchen sink.
Pull it all out, I mean everything, especially the old, dried up sponges (we all have them) way in the back.
Now it’s time to make piles. One pile (the ‘keep’ pile) is everything you use on a regular basis and you know the product works.
The other pile is the ‘get rid of’ pile, this is everything that is empty or you bought it for a specific task, it didn’t work and you never used it again.
We’re ready to move on to what cleaning products are actually necessary.
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Essential Cleaning Products
Just about all the cleaning products I use are from Norwex which I highly recommend. This is my secret weapon, products that are highly effective, chemical free and take up little space.
See my list of must have products for an easy to clean home.
We are bombarded with ads on tv, the internet, radio, print material, etc about all the cleaning products we must have but in reality, most of them are totally unnecessary.
All you really need is a:
- multipurpose cleaner for counters, cabinets, surfaces
- microfiber cleaning cloth to use with the multipurpose cleaner
- plush microfiber cloth or mitt for dusting
- broom and dust pan – an angled broom helps get into corners where crumbs hang out
- mop with reusable pads
- scrub brush to clean floors, grout, shower floors and even rug stains
- distilled white vinegar (but don’t use it on granite – over time it will dull and weaken the sealant)
- baking soda
Remember, you can make your own cleaning products with baking soda and distilled white vinegar.
Baking soda is good for cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom.
Distilled white vinegar (mixed with water in a 1:2 ratio in a spray bottle) can be used as a multipurpose cleaner.
The Keep Pile
What goes in the keep pile? These are products you use all the time. For convenience, you may want to keep a caddy with several of the products upstairs and one downstairs.
The Get Rid of Pile
This pile will take a bit more work. There are three ways to deal with your ‘get rid of’ pile.
If the bottle or container still has product in it (I’m thinking about 1/3 or more), think about donating it to a women’s shelter, homeless shelter, senior center, animal shelter, etc.
If the bottle or container is empty or almost empty, dispose of what’s inside and recycle the bottle. Spray triggers go in the trash.
As far as safety goes, the rule of thumb for disposal of the product is dispose of it in the same place you would use it.
So if it’s typically used in a place where it can be washed down the drain, it’s safe to go down the drain. If it’s a powder, don’t dump it all at once or you may clog your drain.
Waste Disposal Facility
For other things, like furniture polish or oven cleaner, check with your local waste disposal facility.
Now that the hard work is done, let’s make a plan for how to swap those products that contain harmful chemicals for safer, healthier eco friendly cleaning products.
The first step is to grab my Chemical Cleanout Workbook so you can easily identify the products that are harmful to your health.
I do not recommend getting rid of everything you have all at once. Long lasting sustainable change happens when we take baby steps.
Once you’ve used the workbook to identify which products you will continue to buy (we’ll call these ‘yes’ products) and which you won’t (we’ll call these ‘no’ products), refer back to the information above on how to get rid of your ‘no’ products.
How to Store Cleaning Products
I’m sure you already have spaces to store your vacuum, broom and mop but what about the rest?
Keep the products where you use them. The convenience will save you time when you need them and ensure they get put back in the right place.
If you are using products containing harmful chemicals, you’ll want to make sure you don’t mix them and you store them according to the directions on the label.
When you keep your products simple, they are not only easy to store but also easy to have duplicates of.
For example, I dust upstairs and dust downstairs so I have two dusting mitts, one on each level. I also use microfiber cloths for cleaning, I have sets upstairs and downstairs.
I use cleaning cloths in my kitchen and throughout my main level as well as upstairs, so I hang them on the back of the bathroom door upstairs and keep them in a kitchen drawer on the main level.
You can keep a caddy with all your cleaning products in it, I would suggest one upstairs and one downstairs if your home has multiple levels.
You could also use hooks or an over the door shoe organizer on closet doors to keep things tidy and organized.
Depending on the last time you cleaned out your cleaning product cabinet, this could take a little or a lot of time but once you’re done, it’s so easy to maintain going forward.
Just keep in mind, keep it simple. Less is more.
Life is messy, everyone has to clean, be a good friend and share this post with your friends.