Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I admit it - I am NOT a gadget person. My collection of kitchen tools is pretty meager - whisks, a slotted spoon, a couple of spatulas, some really good knives, rolling pin and pastry cutter, and a bottle opener. Not much else. Nope - I don't have an electric can opener, an electric mixer, a hot-dog cooker, or a banana slicer. Less is more!

When it comes to cleaning supplies, I like products that multi-task, like laundry detergent to clean out the bathtub. Ammonia, diluted with water, works great for cleaning mirrors and faucets, as well as cleaning up small messes on the linoleum. After a quick count, I find that I use only seven different cleaning products - total. That's for laundry, floors, dishes, windows, bathroom tile...everything. Yep, less is more!

So, when someone wants to tell me about an amazing new product or tool that will revolutionize the way my family lives....well, let's just say I nod and smile and think, "Yeah, right!" I'm a little skeptical.

I have a friend who cleans houses for a living. She does this professionally, five days a week. If anybody knows what works best - and what is easiest and most efficient to use - it's Diane. I asked her recently to name her #1 favorite "tool" or cleaning secret. Her answer: "Swiffer dusters, hands down."

"What's a Swiffer duster?" I asked.

On Diane's enthusiastic recommendation, I decided to take the plunge and try a new tool. I'm hooked.

A Swiffer duster is a fuzzy, hand-held dusting wand. You can find them in the cleaning aisle at Wal-Mart, Target, Wal-greens, etc. The fluffy dusting head is light and soft, allowing you to dust around and behind pictures, doo-dads, and lamps without knocking anything over. The wand is small enough to push into tight nooks and crannies, but large enough to quickly brush over a broad surface. Best of all, when you're finished dusting, you can slide off the fuzzy head and throw it in the trash - the dirt goes out of the house for good. It's an easy task to slide a fresh duster into place on the plastic wand for your next round of cleaning.

Before discovering this amazing device, I dusted everything with a cotton rag. Dusting was a tedious, time consuming chore, and, truthfully, it frequently got skipped over during weekly chores. Now, with the Swiffer, dusting takes only a matter of minutes - and that includes window sills, bookshelves, picture frames, ceiling fan blades, and light fixtures.

I don't think I've ever given a product endorsement on the blog before, but I wanted to share something that has definitely made weekly cleaning much easier at our house. How about you? What's your favorite cleaning secret or household tool?

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