Raise your hand if you converted your guest room into an office last year! Raise it again if you're converting it back now! :) We just hosted our first overnight guest in a looong time, and it was SO nice! It's so wonderful to see families and friends reuniting after so long! Now that people are traveling and hosting more, I partnered with Walmart to share all of my personal essentials for a clean home. From vacuum cleaners to air purifiers, I'm sharing all of my must-haves to keep your home clean from top to bottom, whether it's for hosting guests for just for every day!
Did you know the air inside your home can be significantly more polluted than the outside air? Knowing this, one of the very first things I purchased for our new home was a high-quality air purification system for every room. (These are especially important to have if you are doing any kind of construction or renovating in your home!) There are so many different types of air purifiers out there, so I'm sharing my tried & true favorites from Walmart's amazing selection (most of these are available with free next-day or 2-day delivery!).
This is my go-to air purifier for bedrooms. Its true HEPA system filters out dust, pet dander, smoke, mold, pollen and other contaminants, refreshing the air in your room up to 5 times per hour. It's a very compact and unobtrusive design and can seamlessly blend in to almost any room. I love how it has a fan with 3 speeds -- I crank mine up to high speed to double as a white noise machine at night! :) If you're sensitive to lights at night, there's a special function that allows you to turn off all of the lights with the push of a button. My kids actually really like the lights as a night light though (it's a very soft blue)!
For bathrooms, I love this Air Free purifier. It's very different from most other air purifiers because it literally incinerates air contaminants -- including mold, bacteria and viruses -- rather than trapping them in a filter. There are no filters to change, and it's totally silent. It also has a very small, compact design and is ideal for rooms up to 450 square feet. This little purifier is such a powerhouse and will eliminate odors in even the stinkiest of bathrooms! This is also a great addition to your foyer, mudroom, or laundry room.
For larger spaces, the Air Doctor is my absolute favorite. It's a little on the pricier side, but absolutely worth it for the peace of mind of breathing clean air inside your home! This model covers up to 900 square feet, so it's perfect for large, open concept spaces. It's Ultra HEPA system is 100X more effective than ordinary HEPA air purifiers, capturing 100% of airborne particles at .003 microns in size (smoke, mold, pollen, dust, bacteria, viruses) and it even filters out harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like formaldehyde. (It's shocking how much furniture, rugs and decor off-gas formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals into our homes! Yuck!!) The Air Doctor also has a whisper quiet fan, and has an auto-detect feature that senses the current air quality in your home and automatically adjusts itself accordingly. This one is definitely a must-have in my opinion!
I haven't tried these personally, but have heard great reviews about Coway and Shark purifiers, which are also available at Walmart! I also really like the sleek, discreet design of this one (it comes in a variety of finishes, including a pretty woodgrain option!).
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Vacuums, Dusters & Mops (oh my!)
Walmart has a huge selection of floor care products. The "triple threat" I depend on for the cleanest floors in my own home is the classic Swiffer, the Dyson Animal cordless vacuum, and the Shark Genius steam mop (all available with super fast, free shipping at Walmart!). I've tried so many different floor cleaning tools, and these 3 are my all-time favorites.
I love using the Swiffer on my hardwood floors (the amount of dog hair and dust these things pick up is insane!), followed by steam cleaning them with the Shark Genius. (Bonus tip: I like to add a capful of Thieves to the water in the steam mop -- it smells amazing and cleans the floors so well with no nasty chemicals!) Although the Swiffer dry cloths do work very well for picking up dust & pet hair, I usually use reusable cloths, which are just as effective and create much less waste. I also love how the Shark Genius cloth is removable and machine washable!
When it comes to vacuum cleaners, the Dyson Animal is pretty much the only one I'll ever use again. It is so lightweight and easy to maneuver, but super powerful! It also has a HEPA filtration system built in, and so many convenient attachments for different functions. If you have kids and/or pets, it's definitely worth the investment!
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About 8 yers ago, I ditched all the conventional (i.e. toxic) cleaning supplies I had always used, and never looked back! (If you're not sure what I'm taking about, check out the documentary called Stink on Netflix!). I realized the scents I had previously associated with "clean" were actually anything but -- they are actually loaded with fragrances, toxic compounds and endocrine disputers that are bad for your health and the environment. Now, I basically clean my entire house with just 3 things:
Thieves is a concentrated cleaner (one bottle of this stuff goes a LONG way) made with essential oils. It smells divine (like a warm cinnamon stick!) and cleans everything from floors & countertops to showers & toilets. You can add a small amount to a spray bottle full of water as an all-purpose cleaner, or use it as a concentrate. (If you follow @nestingwithgrace she shares so many great ideas for using it all over your home!).
Dr Bronner's Sal Suds is also a concentrated cleaner that has more of a fresh pine smell, which I also love! I mix up a capful of this with water and use it as an all purpose cleaner all over the house. You can also use this as a dish soap, or add some baking soda to make a paste for scrubbing tough surfaces. Sometimes I like adding a little bit of essential oils (lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree are my favorites) to kick it up a notch! One of these bottles usually lasts me an entire year!
Regular old white vinegar is actually one of the best cleaning supplies ever! It's especially great for cleaning glass, and even refreshing your laundry and making your towels fluffy again! You can make your own vinegar-based cleaners by mixing white vinegar with water and your favorite essential oils.
If you're not into mixing your own cleaning supplies using concentrates, Seventh Generation brand is a great option for healthier cleaning supplies. I use their liquid dish soap and add my own signature blend of essential oils. Their unscented all purpose cleaner is also nice, and again I like to add essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and tea tree to boost its cleaning power. I also love the brand Aunt Fannie's vinegar based cleaners, which are combined with essential oils for amazing cleaning power. I love their glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner, and floor cleaner (the lavender, eucalyptus and lemon scents are my favorites!).
For really tough jobs, I occasionally use Magic Erasers -- they remove scuff marks from walls so easily and are also great for scrubbing bathrooms & kitchens. I just saw that these are now available in sheets (rather than the sponge/rectangle shape), so I'll definitely have to try these too!
All of these cleaning supplies (and so much more!) are available at Walmart. I'm really impressed with their selection of natural cleaning products, as well as conventional products!
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For years now, I've been using Seventh Generation laundry products, and I really love them! I use the concentrated liquid (either lavender or unscented) and add a dropper full of tea tree oil for a natural disinfecting boost. Instead of bleach, I use oxygen whitening powder, and I swear our sheets and towels are whiter than they were when I used bleach. Seventh Generation's oxy booster packs are easy and convenient to throw in with a load of whites to keep them looking bright and new!
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I hope this has been a helpful guide to keeping your home clean & healthy! Happy hosting, friends! :)
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