The Rules of Speed Cleaning: Rule #8

Welcome back! If you are just joining us in our Speed Cleaning series, we're glad you're here and you're not too late!

Be sure to read over the previous rules before you move on to Rule #8.

Ready? Here we go!

Speed Cleaning Rule #8: Keep your tools in impeccable shape.

Dull razors scratch “ they don’t clean. Clogged spray bottles puff up and make funny noises “ they don’t spray. After you're equipped with the proper products, guard against the entire Speed Cleaning process being slowly sabotaged because of tools wearing out or supplies running low. We're offering you time to spend not cleaning. Get and keep the right supplies and tools. The strict rules you have learned about cleaning also apply to storing your cleaning supplies. Your tools are too important for you to have them scattered around the house where they could be lost, damaged, or not available when they are needed.

Speaking of tools, there are certain products that we use and won't compromise on: our feather duster, cleaning cloth and mop.

  • Feather Duster: The only feather duster that works is made with real feathers “ ostrich down to be exact. Down feathers are full, soft, and almost spiderweblike at the ends. The feather duster we use is 18 inches long (including the handle). They're expensive and they're worth it. When you cut your cleaning time in half, you ™ll appreciate how valuable they are.
  • Cleaning Cloths: Cleaning cloths are a vital part of your cleaning routine and the best are pure cotton “ white only. Used table napkins are perfect. You may be able to find them at a local linen service. Don't substitute! Retire those old t-shirts, underwear, socks or hosiery, sheets and most especially newspapers. Trying to use them to clean will make work and waste time. Keep a supply large enough that you will not run out once you ™ve started to clean. When they are too worn for general use, use them on the oven or other heavy-duty jobs and discard them. Notice that we call them cleaning cloths so as not to suggest they're in tatters. We use retired cotton napkins that show some signs of wear, but they stop far short of being rags. We wash them in hot water with a liquid detergent and chlorine bleach to sanitize then.
  • Mop: After years of searching and finally finding a great sponge mop, we ™ve abandoned it in favor of something unique and much, much faster. A Sh-Mop. A major new design in cleaning is rare, but the Sh-Mop folks have done it. The Sh-Mop uses a flat rubber surface (a full 8 by 15 inches) covered with a removable, reusable, and washable terry cloth cover. That's 120 square inches of scrubbing power on the floor versus about 25 square inches for a sponge mop, so the Sh-Mop is three to four times faster than even an excellent sponge mop. It also gets the floor cleaner, reaches into corners better, and cleans under the edges of appliances. It can also clean your walls and ceilings in nothing flat, but that's another story. And since the covers are tossed into the wash after use, it's like having a new, sparkling clean mop each time you clean. It comes with a supply of three terry cloth covers.

Question of the week: What’s one of your favorite items that you won’t compromise on (related/unrelated to cleaning)?

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