These are the cleaning products and tools I just can't live without:
• Bon Ami powder is amazing stuff, and it's eco-friendly. I actually think it works better than toxic Ajax or Comet.
• Murphy's Squirt and Mop is perfect for doing the floors quickly. Great for in-between cleaning weeks and harried pre-party cleaning.
• For cleaning glass, I love a homemade vinegar solution. About a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water with a squirt of dish soap makes enough to do tons of windows.
• Method dish soap is definitely the best "green" dish soap out there, in my humble opinion. Seems to me it works just as well as Dawn (which used to be my favorite). I like the subtle cucumber scent best.
• It drives me nuts that I've never found an eco-friendly dishwasher soap that seems to work as well as Cascade Complete. This product is expensive and obviously not "green," but it really does the job. If anyone's got a (tested!) recommendation for an alternative, will you share below?
• Those of us with sensitive skin need good quality rubber gloves. Flimsy cheapies just won't cut it, unfortunately. Casabella Water Stop gloves are slightly pricey (about $5 a pair), but they're the best and most comfortable I've found, and they last for months, even with lots of hot water use.
• I used to be a big Swiffer fan, but then I kind of became an addict, ripping through those boxes of wipes at an alarming rate. In search of a less wasteful solution, I found the Bona microfiber dust mop. The furry microfiber mop head velcros on and off and it's machine-washable.
• I've posted about this handheld vacuum in the past, but I just couldn't leave it out of a "favorite tools" roundup. The Shark Pet Perfect Hand Vac is, true to the name, an amazing tool for a pet owner. It really does a remarkable job of picking up the fur, even off of my mohair couch (which might as well be made of masking tape for all the pet hair it traps). But this is also a great small vacuum for crumbs and spills.
Okay, so there's my list. There are other products and tools I like, of course, but these are my top choices. How about yours?
(Image: Susie Nadler for Apartment Therapy)