The Two Very Best Cleaning Products I Discovered This Year

published Dec 14, 2021
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Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

One of my favorite parts of writing about cleaning and organizing is all the new information I learn — and can then put into practice in my own cleaning routines at home. From trying out new techniques and routines to experimenting with new products, my cleaning strategies don’t even have a chance to get stale.

While I have a few favorite cleaning supplies that have stood the test of time (Bar Keepers Friend and Magic Erasers, to name a couple standbys), I also get to discover some really great new products along the way. This year, I’ve encountered two in particular that have both earned respected places in my cleaning stash: Zep Grout Cleaner and Brightener and the Safely line.

First up, Zep. I saw some TikTok videos about how it seemed to melt away grout grime with hardly any effort, and I just had to try it for myself. I was not disappointed. Zep Grout Cleaner is a strong acidic cleaner and must be kept away from children and pets. In addition, it’s important to wear eye protection, gloves, and long sleeves and pants (per package instructions) when using it.

Once you’ve taken care of safety, you’re ready to get to work with the best grout cleaner I’ve ever tried. You pour it onto grout lines, let it sit for up to three minutes, and then scrub with a brush. Then, rinse the product off and enjoy your bright, clean grout. (You may end up calling in your household to admire the end result, like I did.)

Next up is Safely, which not only works well (a must when it comes to any cleaning product), but it truly makes cleaning and its aftermath a pleasure. When I found out that the products supposedly smelled amazing and — this is the clincher — that the scent lasted a long time, I had to give them a whirl.

I bought the Essential Home Kit, which comes with laundry detergent, glass cleaner, and an all-purpose cleaner. And, yes, they smell SO good, and not in an artificial fragrance kind of way. Not only does the scent take the act of cleaning to another, lovely level, but the fact that the scent sticks around for a while will make you want to clean. Even hours later, it’s delightful to walk into a room that you cleaned with Safely.

With these products introduced into my cleaning arsenal in 2021, our 2022 home is going to be cleaner and more fragrant than ever before.