There are a lot of cleaning products on the market. Most grocery stores have at least two aisles devoted to keeping a clean home. Many are overpriced. Several are unnecessary. And quite a few cause me to cringe at the idea of having them near my children.
But the products that really bother me are the ones designed for a “band-aid” effect.
These are the products that give the illusion of a clean home without actually having to clean anything. Note that each of these products are designed to make cleaning convenient, but let us take a minute to look at how clean they really keep your home:
- Automatic toilet bowl cleaners. These products are not only filled with harsh chemicals, but the area of surface they cover is very minimal. Few reach under the toilet rim and I have not seen any that touch the actual toilet seat.
- Febreze Fabric and Air. Though this product may trap and eliminate odors, it does not actually clean the source of the odor. Once you properly clean that source, this freshening element no longer becomes necessary. If you are looking to fill your home with nice scents, consider using more frugal, natural and effective methods .
- Pledge Fabric Sweeper. These are very convenient for quick fur pick-ups, but they may cause you to vacuum your furniture far less frequently than you should. This product only barely touches the surface and does nothing for dust mites, dust, dirt or small particles that reside within the fabric.
- Powdered carpet fresheners. Not only can these cause a lot of harm to your vacuum filters, they can quickly ruin your carpets by creating build-up. Much like Febreze, carpet fresheners only mask odors temporarily and do not actually clean the fabric. Consider simple carpet cleaning methods instead.
- Arm & Hammer Refrigerator Deodorizers. We have all refrigerated a potent pasta dish or found a buried rotten potato, but if your refrigerator smells so strong that you need continual freshening, perhaps it is time to focus on a deep refrigerator clean and regular upkeep.
Some use these items for freshening in between regular cleaning but consider whether or not you rely on them as a crutch. It may not be a conscious thought, but as long as these products give you the feeling of clean, you may be more likely to let your cleaning routine slip.
If you use any of these products, I challenge you to take a break from them and see if it encourages you to clean more often. If so, perhaps you need to alter your regular cleaning schedule to ensure that your home is actually fresh and sanitary and does not just give the illusion of clean.
Do you use any of these products? Do you feel they help or hinder your cleaning process?