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While spring cleaning is a time to refresh your home and click the reset button, it can sometimes be a stressful experience. Between searching for new cleaning products to get the job done faster and making a game plan for which rooms to tackle first, it can feel overwhelming.
To avoid the stressful pitfalls of spring cleaning, it is important to remember that sometimes the best solution is to get back to the basics. Some of the most helpful cleaning supplies, such as vinegar and baking soda, might already be in your cabinet.
To help you discover the best products to use this spring, Real Simple Senior Home Editor Leslie Corona stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to share six multitasking products, from basics to all-purpose cleaners.
Keep reading to shop supplies you'll be sure to add to your spring cleaning arsenal.
Expert-recommended cleaning products
Vinegar is one of the best cleaning products you can have in your home, said Corona. This multipurpose cleaner can clean coffee makers, reusable straws or even be used to polish faucets and showerheads. If you want to clean up your yard, vinegar can also be used to destroy weeds.
Baking soda will not only keep your kitchen smelling fresh, but it is great for scrubbing grime and stains off of pots and pans. This common household ingredient can also be used to deodorize wooden cutting boards and to polish silverware, she said.
Available in both a powder and liquid, this product is designed to erase silver marks and scratches on plates and can even remove grime from shower doors. This product is also known for removing rings in toilets as well.
You may know dryer sheets are great for reducing static and wrinkles, and can also remove deodorant stains from clothing. But did you also know dryer sheets can degrease oven racks and deodorize small spaces? All thanks to its refreshing scent.
If your kitchen tools are in need of a refresh, steel wool might come in handy. The wool can be used to sharpen scissors or smooth out rough plastic cutting boards. The rough steel is also great for cleaning the metal ends of garden hoses and spigots.
Say goodbye to stains with this helpful magic eraser. Though it is known for its wall cleaning capabilities, this eraser is great for removing gunk from flat irons, curling irons and even regular irons, Corona says. This product can also help erase scuff marks and dirt from white sneakers, remove hard water stains from glass shower doors and wipe grime off of kiddie pools.
More expert-recommended household cleaning products
To make your life just a little bit easier, TODAY also consulted three cleaning experts — Jan Dougherty, author of “The Lost Art of House Cleaning,” Beth McGee, who wrote "Get Your House Clean Now," and Melissa Maker, author of “Clean My Space" — who previously shared their favorite products and tools to get your house spotless in no time.
“Microfiber cloths cut my cleaning time probably around 20 to 30%, and they are reusable,” said Maker. “They are very absorbent; not only for dirt but for liquid."
A microfiber cloth can absorb up to eight times its weight, making it the perfect, eco-friendly cleaning solution. Tip: You might want to buy these in bulk since you'll be using them for everything!
Every home needs a versatile vacuum. A good one can suck the dirt off everything from rugs and floors to even the walls.
“It is just a necessary tool for really getting your house clean,” said McGee. “Sweeping, Swiffering, none of that is going to get your house as clean as it needs to be.”
Dougherty describes this powerful cleanser as "for your whole world and everything in it." She said bathroom and kitchen dirt are both primarily grease. So, she asked, “What better product to clean grease with than a degreaser?”
She suggested mixing the biodegradable, nontoxic cleanser with water in a five to one ratio for regular cleaning. Soak a terry cloth in it and put it on the end of a Swiffer mop to wipe down floors. To remove particularly nasty stains from carpets and furniture, spray full-strength Krud Kutter on a rag and apply it to the stain, step on it (don't rub) and repeat.
Diluted, vegetable-based Castile soap makes a useful all-purpose cleaner, according to Maker. “The great thing about Castile soap is you always get this nice squeaky clean feel,” she said. "It's nice for people who don’t like enchanted forest or lemon fresh or whatever the scent you find from cleaning companies.”
“Anytime you have the urge to scratch something with your fingernail, that's a good time to use a toothbrush,” Maker suggested. Toothbrushes come in handy for tiny nooks and crannies that other cleaning supplies won’t fit in.
You know those discolored little rings around your sink drain? Mix some Castile soap and baking soda together then scrub with a toothbrush. The best part is: You probably already have an extra one in your house.
Believe it or not, McGee uses a toilet brush to clean her kitchen floors. Seriously.
“It has a long enough handle to make it easier so you are not on the floor scrubbing and it has very stiff bristles,” McGee said. So convenient!
Buckets should not be allowed anywhere near home cleaning because dunking a rag repeatedly into contaminated water and product mixtures will only make your house dirtier, Dougherty said. Instead, she advised clients to invest in a few spray bottles and transfer all products into them as soon as they buy them.
Bestselling household cleaning products
Frequent TODAY guest Lou Manfredini highly recommends this dye-free, eco-friendly cleaner from Seventh Generation. It can clean any surface and material from chrome to ceramic, and it's available at an affordable price point!
A little bit goes a long way when it comes to this clever cleaning solution. The cream-based solution is gentle enough for delicate surfaces, but tough on grime, rust and build-up.
Another multi-purpose cleaning product we love is this polish from Shadazzle. Formulated with natural ingredients, it works wonders on surfaces all around your house. Even better, it's available in three calming scents — lemon, lavender and eucalyptus.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Dreading spring cleaning? Here are 12 hacks to make it easier
- 12 genius Amazon products that will make laundry day a breeze
- The best vacuums of 2022, according to Consumer Reports