Reader Recommendations: Simple Cleaners That Really Work

Reader Recommendations: Simple Cleaners That Really Work

Regina Yunghans
Mar 26, 2014
(Image credit: Veronica Roth)

It can be a real waste of resources to take a trial-and-error approach when you're looking for cleaning products that really get the job done. Word of mouth is often the best approach here, taking advice from those who have already done the searching for you! So, if you're interested in changing up your cleaning regimen and looking for some fantastic simple products and methods, jump below to see what Apartment Therapy readers are recommending:


  • howaboutcookie: Vinegar is great for our hardwood floors.
  • kristin: I brew orange pekoe tea (the cheap stuff sold in bulk boxes) and use it on my floors after I have cleaned them, diluted in some warm water and applied via a regular sponge mop. Makes them lustrous (for their age) and the dog scratches are much less noticeable.
  • mbinaustin: Johnson & Johnson Paste Wax in the yellow can. I've had hardwoods for years and my mother before me - this is the best.


  • 2T: microfiber cloths for dusting and glass (along with a natural vinegar cleaner)
  • Sassy in SF: Vinegar with crumpled newsprint - this is what I was taught years ago by my photography teacher for cleaning the glass before framing, and it's what I do on all my windows. The newsprint doesn't leave fuzzies like a cloth does.


  • frazzle: I make an all-purpose spray with diluted 7th Generation dish soap, and another one with diluted vinegar. If you make your own, it cuts down a lot on packaging and cost.
  • arielingolden: For counters, tubs and toilets we use a homemade spray of vinegar, water, tea tree and lavender oils or vodka, soap and water.
  • Anne in Chicago: I seem to use Bon Ami for just about everything.


  • Lizliterarius: Best way to clean a grimy bathtub: Dump a cup or so of baking soda into dry tub. Squirt some dishsoap over the top of the pile of baking soda. Using a wet (not dripping, but more than damp) rag or microfiber cloth, rub the mixture all over the tub, then the walls of the shower enclosure. Come back to the tub, rub again, and like magic that nasty grey grime comes right off. Using a spray bottle, spray vinegar over the walls of shower enclosure and tub. Rinse with HOT water. It even got rid of our 6 months of remodeling grime in about 10 minutes, with very little effort. Wipe on, wipe off.


  • jessica o'brien: Ecover products are my personal favorite for my regular laundry detergent.
  • Leigh__: Country Save is our regular detergent. Free of everything, so it is sensitive on skin (and for cloth diapers) but really gets stuff out (again, with the diapers).
  • crowe1856: Charlie's Soap. Created by NC textile workers in the 70's. Used to say it cleaned "everything from false teeth to diesel engines", but is really great for laundry. Biodegradable. Non-toxic. No residue. Works well.


  • Jose A: I have next to no space for drying dishes, so I use a long bar mat to dry my glassware:
  • evening blooms: Sal Suds by dr. Bronner is the best dish soap. You don't have to mix or measure anything. Just 2 squirts in your dish water and you'll have bubbles forever. You can also use Sals Suds to clean laundry (1/8-1/4 cup), floors, it replaces every household cleaner, makes everything smell clean.
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