Cleaning products to get you into the spirit

I’ve been one of those people who actually enjoys cleaning for some time. Let me clarify that: I enjoy the outcome of cleaning.

Sometimes I like the actual cleaning. Usually people grimace and look a bit uneasy when I confess this. Others smile and admit they have a pack of pristine Magic Eraser pads under their sinks, too, just waiting for a special day.

Oh, I love my kindred cleaning spirits.

Spring cleaning is one of those times of year when I dare to roll out the refrigerator and see what has lurked under there since Christmas. Or longer.

Spring cleaning is about deep cleaning, not just maintenance cleaning. It’s about evicting dust rhinos (yes, I have dust rhinos, much fiercer than dust bunnies) and giving everything a satisfying scrub.

In the spirit of spring cleaning, I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favorite tools/products that help me get the job done. Please email me with your favorites, and I’d love to mention them in a future column for all to enjoy.


Bon Ami, you’ve been my “good friend” for years now. Not just because you have an adorable little baby chick on your label, but because you are an amazing cleanser that helps fastidious cleaners get the job done.

I haven’t found a better sink or tub cleanser. And it’s been a good natural product since 1886, with limestone, feldspar and baking soda as the main ingredients.


I’m being a bit vague here, I know, but it is because I’m not sure that the product scents I like are universal. My favorites are Target’s line of Method cleaners and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products.

The bottom line is, choose a product you don’t mind smelling and it will help motivate you to actually clean.

If you feel like you’re going to asphyxiate from fumes or an odor reminds you of a nursing home, that’s not going to help you get the job done.


Surprisingly, the ingredient that makes your salad dressing and pickles taste so tangy is one of the most versatile natural cleaners available. It’s good for deodorizing, disinfecting, busting grease, cleaning windows and removing lime deposits. I love vinegar.


You can dry-dust with these and they pick up an amazing amount of filth. You also can use them with a cleanser.

My mom swore by old cloth diapers for cleaning, but I think microfiber is the way to go.


The aforementioned Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is still a mystery to me. How on earth can a little white sponge used with only water make all those dirty fingerprints on my door and walls disappear? It’s a mystery.

Magic Eraser, your magical powers vanish the ick from my house.


Ah, if only Mary Poppins was here with her spoonful of sugar to actually make the song do all the work.

It’s essential for me to have a soundtrack to move the cleaning along. I lose my mojo after about 30 minutes without some good tunes.

Find a good channel on or make your own playlist.

Erin McIntyre is a writer, gardener and Grand Valley native in the midst of starting her own gourmet pickle company. You can reach her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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