What I Keep in My Cleaning Caddy

July 13, 2011 by Amy Clark

Does it surprise you that housecleaning isn’t my favorite thing to do? Cleaning and keeping a tidy home are necessary to keep our family organized… but not exactly a fun hobby!

I do know that when my home feels tidy, I seem to appreciate the space I’m in so much more. I may feel disgruntled that we don’t live in a bigger house, but if the home is tidy, I realize we have just the right amount of space we need. And, when our home is tidy, it’s much easier to kick my feet up or spend the day playing with the kids, rather than focusing on what hasn’t gotten done.

Cleaning will go much quicker if you have an arsenal of tools that you can grab at a moment’s notice – either on each level of your home, or in one central location. I rely on homemade cleaners and reusable cloths – even items from the recycle bin – for tackling the cleaning around our home. We’ll be talking more about green cleaning later this month and I can’t wait to share more tips on that.

Here’s my list of essential items, recipes and tips for your cleaning caddy:

All-Purpose Cleaner

Mix together two tablespoons of mild dishwashing soap (like Dawn or Palmolive) and two cups of water in a spray bottle and give it a shake. Use these anywhere that you would use a commercial all-purpose spray. This cleaner is particularly great for countertops, bathroom surfaces, and highchairs. It’s also great for wiping down plastic outdoor furniture.

Glass Cleaner

Mix together one part white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on your mirrors and windows.

Scouring Scrub

Mix one cup Borax, one cup baking soda (or you can use washing soda), and ¼ cup salt. This is a great scrubbing agent to add to toilets, tubs and sinks to make them gleaming white again. A tablespoon can also be used in the dishwasher to clean your dishes.


Sounds strange, but I always keep it on hand. WD-40 helps remove any sticky residue left from crafting with my children and I use it constantly to remove crayon marks in our house.

Microfiber Cloths

These are great with or without cleaners on them. Wet, they’re great for cleaning the bathroom sink and fixtures and to get that nasty soap scum off of tubs. Dry, they work wonderfully to dust surfaces. Place one of these on the bottom of a Swiffer mop or broom and use the handle as an extension to release cobwebs and dust from the corners of your ceilings.


Recycle your newspapers by using them to dry mirrors and windows. They offer a lint-free solution and a great alternative to other cloths, which can leave a dusty finish.

Old Toothbrush

These are great to get in the crevices of sinks and to do detail work around tight areas. Keep one of these in your bag of tricks to make that tedious work a little less tedious.

Tote or Basket

As you declutter, put items in the basket on their way to the appropriate rooms. Always keep a tote handy for items you plan to donate.

Trash Bags

Save bags from grocery shopping or keep a stack of trash bags handy for removing junk from rooms as you clean them.

Caddy or Bucket

Store your tools in one of these to make it easier to lug cleaners around as you accomplish your tasks.

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.