The pandemic kept almost everybody at home a lot more than usual over the past several months. At the same time, concerns over getting sick sparked an increased interest in cleaning products. We were scrubbing and disinfecting all the surfaces that most folks spent so much more time using.
Even so, few really wanted to invest more time and energy cleaning. Along with the pandemic, families also had to cope with remote work, online school, sick friends or family members, and plenty of other urgent responsibilities and dramatic changes.On the plus side, consumers can now enjoy a boom in innovative cleaning supplies that work better and faster than traditional options. Learn about some new cleaning solutions that have transformed the way that people maintain hygienic homes.
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Six New Cleaning Products to Keep Homes Cleaner With Fewer Hassles
Put away cumbersome and messy mops, rags, buckets, and sponges in favor of these modern alternatives.
Classic Cleaning Products: Disinfecting Wipes for Hard Surfaces
According to the University of Maryland, it’s particularly important to wipe down frequently touched surfaces. That’s true even if they don’t look dirty. Even if the surface looks clean, it can still house invisible germs, allergens, and dirt. People can unknowingly pick up the contamination on their hands, accidentally transfer it to their mouth and nose, and get sick or pass on diseases to others.
Some surfaces that need frequent cleaning include countertops, light switches, faucets, door handles, and remote controls. Of course, consumers have purchased wet wipes for years, so there’s nothing particularly high-tech or revolutionary about them.
Many disinfecting spray cleaners work too, but the wipes provide a convenient solution for spot cleaning and may encourage more frequent use. Since wipes are disposable, they won’t breed germs or require washing like cloth rags do.
Mostly, remember that studies have shown that only some brands can kill coronavirus germs and other pathogens. Some approved brands for cleaning and germ-killing include Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes. Stash containers of these handy, effective wipes in bathrooms, the kitchen, and maybe even on the coffee table as a reminder to use them frequently.
Innovative Cleaning Products: Get a Robot to Clean the Toilet Bowl
While nobody really likes cleaning the toilet bowl, attending to this task frequently kills germs, removes odors, and prevents stains. Also, germs and bacteria can pass out of the body through waste. In turn, flushing can send contaminants back out of the toilet and into the air. It only makes sense to keep toilets as germ-free and fresh as possible. Instead of using a low-tech option, like a toilet brush, why not get a robot toilet cleaner to handle this dreaded task? As an example, the Giddel Toilet Cleaner Robot removes the need to manually scrub at all. It’s easy to install and move from one bathroom to another, works with commercial toilet bleach or other all-purpose cleaners, and looks like a cute spaceman in his exploration vehicle. Naturally, some people will have a hard time justifying the $300 price of a robot toilet cleaner. For only about $25, consider the Simple Human Toilet Brush. Besides the handy caddy for storage and carrying, it has a crescent shape and stiff brushes to make it easy to navigate all around the circular bowl, even without a robot guide.
Don’t Forget the Robot Floor Cleaner
Sure, companies have produced robot vacuums for years. Just recently, the Narwal T10 moved the bar. This handy machine can vacuum, sweep, and even mop the floor. Even better, the company promotes this product as the only one that cleans itself as it works. That way, the floor doesn’t get “cleaned” with dirty water.More than a few people thought this startup company had a good idea. Over 1,900 contributors raised more than a million dollars to a Kickstarter campaign, which offered a pre-order of the product for a $549 contribution. According to the company website, customers can reserve a T10 for just a dollar, but the final retail price just about doubled. People who lack the budget for an advanced all-in-one floor cleaner can still find affordable tools to get the job done. For instance:
- For hard floors, consider a product like the Shark VacMop. As the name implies, this cordless stick vacuum sweeps and mops. It retails for about $99 and keeps homes clean without having to drag out brooms, mops, dustbins, and buckets.For an affordable robot vacuum, look at the iRobot Roomba 675 and Ecovacs Deebot N795. Some robot vacuums retail for over $1,000, but these start at only $249. Also, users can control either of these brands with mobile phone apps.
Automate the Laundry With a Smart Washer and Dryer Set
Sadly, even the new smart washers and dryers won’t pick up piles of clothes or put them away after they’re dry. Still, these high-tech laundry machines can help make laundry day easier and even more fun. For instance, they might send messages to alert users when laundry cycles have finished. That way, nobody needs to set a timer or keep visiting the laundry room. Some models even offer remote activation. For instance, users can activate the wash cycle right before heading home and then arrive just in time to move freshly washed clothes to the dryer or take the laundry out of the dryer before it wrinkles. Even better, the Samsung WF45R6300AV washer and dryer let users decide when they want to cycle to end. This probably proves easier than trying to calculate when it should start. That’s particularly true because these high-tech machines can sense the load and automatically adjust themselves to provide the optimal cycle.
These kinds of features also help conserve fuel and preserve clothes. Smart washers and dryers offer convenience and also the chance to save money on power and clothing bills.
Stop Bending Over or Reaching Up to Scrub With an Electric Scrubber
People don’t just dread cleaning the toilet. In a typical bathroom, bathtubs, showers, sinks, and tile also present a challenge. That’s even more true because not everybody has the flexibility to squat over a stained bathtub or twist to reach the stretch of the floor behind the toilet. Bob Vila, the home-improvement guru, would suggest buying an electric power scrubber from Hommit. The handle extends up to 21 inches to make it just as useful for cleaning the tub as it is for the sink. Plus, the battery can power the scrubber for up to an hour and a half between charges. For cleaning power as effective as getting down on hands and knees with a sponge, but without the stiff joints and abraded hands, invest in a power scrubber. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and much more effective than scrubbing by hand.
Invest in an Air Purifier to Preserve Indoor Air Quality
People can’t see the dust, germs, and other contaminants that can aggravate allergies and make people ill. They also can’t remove them by simply relying upon the latest electronic or even robotic scrubbing gadgets. The EPA reported that levels of pollutants indoors measured two to five times higher than outdoors.Even more, most folks have spent a lot more time indoors lately, and that’s particularly true of people who suffer from an illness, chronic medical condition, or even severe allergies. To combat these invisible sources of contamination, consider buying an indoor air purifier.The EPA says that good purifiers can serve as a germ and contaminant remover; however, they will only ensure protection when combined with other good cleaning practices. The EPA also suggests ensuring good ventilation from fresh air when possible. To help compare models, Good Housekeeping offered a few suggestions:
- Good overall air cleaner: The BlueAir Pure 211 earned high marks for removing particles with its three-part filtration system. It retails for about $299. It’s quiet and can service a fairly large room.
- Good budget-friendly air cleaner: The more affordable BlueAir 411 retails for $119. While the Pure 211 can clean rooms up to 540 square feet, this one’s meant for smaller rooms. Otherwise, it’s very comparable in features to the model above.
- Best smart air purifier: For people who want their air purifier to also help with climate control and to interface with a smart home system, Dyson offers a good choice with the Pure Air, a combination of a smart air purifier and a tower fan. It has a sleep timer, and the lack of accessible blades makes it safe around kids and pets. Also, Dyson offers an app that provides air quality reports in real-time. This model generally starts at about $549, so it’s considerably pricier than most options.
Cleaning Best Practices
Even regular detergent or soap weaken germs, so it’s probably fine to reserve the stronger disinfectants for high-risk situations or a deep-cleaning schedule. Some stronger cleaning products can also reduce air quality, so it’s better to use milder products more frequently. Cleaners should wear gloves, discard them when they’re dirty, and frequently wash their hands.
The CDC says that people should clean frequently touched surfaces in their homes at least once each day to reduce the risk of contamination. Of course, it’s particularly important to attend to spaces that a sick or high-risk person inhabits more often. Along with all the other changes that the coronavirus introduced, most people have started cleaning more often. At least, these innovative cleaning products can make these kinds of chores easier and more effective.