How to Build a Mobile Spring Cleaning Kit, According to Martha
Before you followed Martha on Instagram, you looked forward to learning from her on the air—and you still can. The Best of the Martha Show takes you right back into our founder's studio to rediscover her most timeless homekeeping tips and Good Things, galore.
Leave it to Martha to assemble a handy spring cleaning kit that you can easily tote around to tackle an assortment of housekeeping tasks—during the dawn of the warm-weather season and beyond. In the above clip from an on-air episode of the Martha Stewart Show from years ago, our founder shared her go-to cleaning essentials to help make freshening up any area of your home simple. Store them in one accessible place, she says, and you'll be well on your way to a sparkling house.
Martha keeps a kit on each floor of her home to streamline her cleaning process, but she says stashing just one in your utility closet should more than suffice. Whether your windows are in need of a wipe down or your bathroom sink calls for a good scrub, Martha says this kit is a "Good Thing that makes spring cleaning anywhere simple and easy." In order to start building yours, Martha says you will first need a large plastic bucket with a handle—such as this seven-gallon option from Hudson Exchange Store ($19.99, amazon.com)—that you can carry around with ease. It corrals your supplies, but it's functional for household jobs, too: You can fill the bucket with soapy water (or another cleaning solution) to clean various surfaces.
Rags and Towels
Next, Martha recommends filling the bottom of your bucket with lots of cloth rags or microfiber towels so you have plenty on hand to safely wipe down wood and glass without leaving scratches behind. If you don't want to buy brand-new cleaning cloths, cut up on an old towel or t-shirt to make your own, or repurpose any stained hand towels or washcloths.
Glass Cleaner and Squeegee
A self-proclaimed "fanatical window washer," Martha says you should also have a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Windex ($2.97, amazon.com) in your kit to ensure your windows stay clean and smudge-free. If you have large or difficult-to-reach windows, she recommends storing a squeegee, like Fayina's extendable style ($19.99, amazon.com), in your bucket, so you can wash your windows without overexerting yourself. Do so and you'll be left with windows that meet Martha's standards: "I can't stand even one little dog nose on the window," she jokes.
Multi-Purpose Cleaners and Powders
For general cleaning tasks, Martha says to keep a quality multi-purpose spray, like Fantastik All-Purpose Cleaner ($2.42, walmart.com) in your cleaning kit. For tougher challenges in your kitchen and bath, including grease, dirt, and soap scum, turn to a reliable scouring powder, such as Ajax ($0.98, walmart.com) or Comet ($0.99, target.com); keep those in your bucket for good measure.
To wipe down delicate surfaces, our founder says you will also need to keep a few all-purpose sponges in your kit. However, she warns that sponges have a short shelf life and strongly advises to throw them away routinely. "Every now and then I will throw my sponges in a bucket of bleach water [to sterilize them], but after a period of time, they simply must be disposed of," she explains.
To remove stubborn stains and build-up from multiple surfaces, like your stove burners, broilers, and grills, Martha recommends keeping a scouring pad or sponge—we like these from Scotch-Brite ($5.98, homedepot.com)—in your arsenal. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for use on each surface type, since scouring products are more abrasive than regular iterations.
For hard-to-clean nooks and crannies, like the crevices on your bathroom counter or behind your kitchen sink, Martha uses a toothbrush. For larger, but equally tricky places, including the area around the base of a toilet, go for a wooden utility scrub brush with natural bristles, like this one from Weiler ($14.73, amazon.com).
And last but certainly not least, Martha says no kit would be complete without a good pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands while you polish your home. "That's it—and you are ready for your spring cleaning," she says.
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- How to Build a Mobile Spring Cleaning Kit, According to Martha