3 Cleaning Products You Definitely Don’t Need

published Jun 27, 2024
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

What if you’ve been misdirecting your decluttering energy and overlooking entire swaths of items because you didn’t realize they were clutter culprits?

When we think of simplifying and decluttering, we’re usually thinking of clearing out clothes we never wear, books that don’t mean much to us, or extraneous kitchen tools that clog cabinets and drawers. But the things you use to clean can quickly overtake several places around the house and make it hard to find and access exactly (and only) what you need.

One way to reduce the number of spray bottles and other cleaning potions is to cut down on the number of specialty cleaning products you have. Simplifying your arsenal by making a concerted effort to stick to multi-purpose products as much as possible means paring down the supplies you need to have on-hand and also reduces costs and boosts efficiency.

Here are three cleaning products you don’t need, and what to use instead:

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

Shower Glass Cleaners

Cleaning shower glass is a different beast than cleaning regular window or mirror glass. That’s because shower glass is plagued with soap scum and hard water marks, making it difficult to clean. But that doesn’t mean you have to have a dedicated product to tackle the job.

Instead, use a vinegar solution, followed by dish soap to cut through smudges, soap scum, and hard water spots. Mix a solution of half white vinegar, half water and spray it all over the shower door. Next, spray a dish soap solution over the same area. Let everything sit for a few minutes and then wipe down with a wet rag or rinse off and buff dry. Your glass will sparkle.

Stainless Steel Cleaners

I do love a good stainless steel cleaner, but it’s not necessary to achieve gleaming stainless steel. If you’re trying to cut down on cleaning supply costs and storage space, skip using a dedicated stainless steel cleaner that doesn’t clean anything else.

Instead, use your regular all-purpose cleaner, or even a vinegar and water solution, to clean your stainless steel surfaces thoroughly. Then, buff dry with a microfiber cloth. To get that sheen you love to see, use a faint mist of oil (I like coconut oil spray) or apply a small amount of oil to a paper towel and rub into your stainless steel in circular motions.

Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

Floor Cleaners

I’m not positive, but I think floor cleaners ruined our old hardwoods. After using a certain floor cleaner for years, my floors eventually developed a film that nothing could clean off. Every footprint showed and it was awful. I’ve sworn off floor cleaners since then and I don’t miss them in the slightest.

For hard floors not made of wood or natural stone, a vinegar solution is perfect. Otherwise, a solution made of one gallon of warm water to one teaspoon of Tide is excellent at breaking up dirt and grime. And, for wood floors that you don’t want to get wet, consider a dampened microfiber mop. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 3 Cleaning Products You Don’t Need (and What to Use Instead)