child playing with magnifying glass in house

Home Cleaning: Choosing the Right Methods and Products

Nov 3 2021

It’s no surprise that we’re a bit more concerned with cleanliness these days. Never before have we looked at our kitchen counters, floors, and bathroom tiles like they may harbor microscopic organisms that could change the course of history.

But despite our newfound awareness, germs have always been a part of life, and thankfully, most are harmless.

That being said, chances are you still don’t want them hanging out on your kitchen counters, floors, and bathroom tiles.

Cleaning is an ordinary part of homeownership, but it’s complicated by the variety of products and methods available to choose from. What’s the best way to remove bacteria? Which products contain what chemicals? Which are safe for animals and kids?


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of cleaning products that are particularly effective at killing germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a thorough guide to household cleaning, featuring tips for surfaces to focus on (don’t forget your remote controls and light switches) and how to safely handle rubber gloves.

If you’re looking for more in-depth information about cleaning products, the American Chemical Council has an informative database on chemicals in cleaning products and the Environmental Working Group offers an array of resources to help you choose the right cleaning products for your household.

To be sure that your antibacterial cleaning products are indeed killing bacteria, check the label for instructions. Many require that you clear off crumbs and other debris first to remove barriers between disinfectants and germs.

Labels will also recommend how long to leave a cleaning product on a surface for it to work, which typically ranges from 30 seconds to 4 minutes.

To allow a product to do its job:

  • Apply it to a surface and wipe it around so it’s coated evenly
  • Let it sit to dry for the recommended time before putting your household items back on it

Cautious about being wasteful? Antibacterial wipes can be reused as long as they’re still wet, and some cleaning agents can be mixed with water in a bucket to be applied with a reusable rag.

And finally, if you’re concerned about the environment, the EPA offers insight into choosing green cleaning products.

For more helpful how-tos, check out these posts:

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