Stop Wasting Your Time and Money on Worthless Gadgets

July 16, 2012
Natasha Tyrrell

If you're spending large amounts of cash on cleaning tools, you may be throwing money away. If you examine the caddies of professional cleaning personnel, you'll likely notice a few basics that do the trick without costing a fortune. Here are a few items that can be replaced with much cheaper versions:

  • Wipes-As handy as those pre-loaded wood and counter wipes are, you can save money by buying a can of Pledge and a bottle of all-purpose cleaner and taking the extra couple of seconds to spray. For an additional savings, use washable cloths instead of paper towels.
  • Blind cleaner-While having a duster that promises to clean multiple blinds at once, the truth is most of the time those dusters don't fit the way they're supposed to. You can get the same effect by using a regular dust cloth or dust mop and rubbing it over several blinds at once.
  • Automatic shower cleaner-The theory behind this is that it hangs in your shower and automatically cleans your shower after each use. In short, it doesn't work. It's great in theory, but the only way to clean your shower, unfortunately, is to grab a sponge and some cleaner and start scrubbing.
  • Automatic toilet bowl cleaners-The idea of a device that, once installed in your toilet, automatically cleans every time you flush appealed to most of us. This is another idea that sounds great in theory but falls short in practice. In recent years, word has begun to spread that these automatic bowl cleaners can actually be bad for your septic system, so it's best to stay away from them.
  • Dishwasher tablets and gel packs-These products sell you on convenience, but how hard is it to spend a couple of extra seconds pouring powder or liquid into your dishwasher compartments? Tablets and gel packs are often markedly more expensive than powders and liquids and some say they don't work as well. Another negative to tablets and gel packs is that you can't regulate how much you use. Over time, you'll often note that your dishwasher requires less or more detergent to be effective and adjust your dosages accordingly. Tablets and gel packs take away your ability to control the amount you use.
  • Disposable dust cloths- Popularized by Swiffer, these items are designed for convenience. They are, indeed, convenient, but they cost far more than traditional dust cloths and mops and don't do the job any more effectively. Since you can only use each item once before tossing it, you're also not doing the environment any favors. Protect your wallet and the ozone layer and use washable cloths and old-fashioned reusable mops for your cleaning.

Nobody knows the most efficient way to get the job done like professionals. By following the advice of those who make a living cleaning homes, you can stretch your cleaning dollar while making your home spotless.


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