Are you moving into a new apartment or home? That means it’s time to stock up on supplies to keep your new space fresh and clean. (Spoiler alert: If you don’t already know, you’ll have to learn how to use them, too!)
When choosing cleaning products, it’s a good idea to look for biodegradable formulas that are free of phosphates and chlorine, making them safer for the environment and for you. Too much phosphate in waterways causes excessive plant growth that can choke out other organisms.
A good strategy is to look for the Safer Choice label, a designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicating the product is better for the environment.
You can also shop smart by looking for concentrated products that use less to get the job done. And, to protect your skin, make sure they are dermatologist tested for safety.
If you’re starting from scratch, here’s a list to get you started.
A good multi-purpose cleaner will take you far in the kitchen, pick up a spray bottle as well as multi-purpose wipes for convenience. Multi-purpose means just that: They are suitable for multiple surfaces without fear of damage.
Tougher messes may need some scouring cleaner or scouring pads. And disinfectant cleaner is key when cooking. Other items: dishwashing liquid, kitchen towels, mop, broom and dustpan.
For most bathroom surfaces you can use a basic bathroom cleaner that targets hard water spots, soap scum and other films that can develop. You’ll need a toilet brush and a separate toilet cleaner formulated for that lovely task. And you’ll want to keep glass cleaner in the bathroom cupboard to tackle the inevitable spots on the mirror. Choose an ammonia-free product to avoid the noxious fumes.
To get started, laundry detergent, prewash stain treatment and all fabric bleach should handle just about any laundry challenge you have. However, as you become more comfortable with the task, you might consider adding a detergent booster and fabric softener to the mix.
Most clothes will tell you how to wash them and from what material they are made. Some fabrics will shrink if not washed in cold water or if they get put in the dryer. Read the labels and follow the instructions to protect your favorite items from becoming high-priced doll clothes.
Also, make sure you separate lights from darks. If you’re not careful, a red sock could end up with your lights and your wardrobe will have a decidedly pink hue.
Dust spray and cleaning cloths. If you have hard floors, you’ll need a dust mop. Carpeting, upholstered furniture, blinds and drapes will benefit from a vacuum. A step stool can’t hurt either, especially for any cobwebs you might spot in the upper corners of the room.
Finally, make sure you have a nice cold drink handy for when your cleaning is done. Hard work deserves a reward!