Close up of woman wiping kitchen counters while cleaning a home.

Make your Spring Cleaning Routine Faster, Cheaper and Less Toxic.

There’s something about the sun-warmed days of spring that make you want to clean and tidy your living spaces to welcome the long, bright days that lie ahead.

However, spring cleaning can be daunting. The prospect of reaching into every nook and cranny of your home to remove layers of dust or worse, is not something to look forward to. But that strong urge to tackle a thorough home cleaning doesn’t have to mean you’ll be stuck indoors for days, washing walls and detailing the toaster.

So approach spring cleaning with efficiency in mind. This is a good opportunity for you to re-evaluate your approach. Think of cleaning in layers, with the first layer being a general cleaning of each room, working progressively from upper sections of each room to lower heights.

Also, consider swapping in new cleaning products to help you tackle the job. All of these products are recommended by and sold at Esh Hardware, located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Esh is known for carrying a carefully curated selection of products which have all been reviewed for their effectiveness and value. In other words, if Esh Hardware stocks it, it must be good.

All of these products are affordable, formulated to be more effective—and often more sustainable and less harmful to your health than standard household cleaners.

Helpful Tips

Think of the different types of surfaces in your living spaces. 

Do one or two dominate? Your house might have a lot of granite and other types of stone, for instance. Perhaps there are plenty of wood surfaces, or tough synthetic surfaces. Write down the top 3 materials and finishes found in your home. This will help you streamline the products and tools stocked in your cleaning cupboard.

Select a New Favorite All-Purpose Cleaner

When it comes to selecting an all-purpose cleaning product for your home—buy a formula that is versatile across surfaces. One you can use in varying strengths and for different purposes. There are many all-purpose cleaning products out there, so tailor your selection to your needs. Take time to read labels carefully.

Esh Hardware recommends and carries Simple Green. This classic all-purpose cleaner is environmentally friendly and works like a charm. “We sell a lot of Simple Green,” says Ray Esh of Esh Hardware. “It works for anything you can think of, from spot-spraying clothes to cleaning vinyl decks and railings. We buy it by the gallon for our home.”

Another Esh pick is Zep. “Zep is a good, efficient product for a reasonable price,” he says. Zep cleaning products can be found in the 1-gallon size at Esh Hardware, and formulas run the gamut, from all-purpose cleaner to specialty formulations.

Helpful Tips

Save a trip – and some plastic waste.

Once you settle on the best all-purpose cleaner for your home, consider buying in bulk or large sizes, and purchasing concentrated formulas that you distill as needed. This will save money and trips to the store. You will probably discover that you don’t need as many cleaning products as you thought.
Also, there’s efficiency in being super-familiar with a specific formula. You’ll know what materials and finishes it works best on, as well as how to best apply it and how long it should sit on a surface before washing or wiping it off.

The Pink Stuff Miracle Cream Cleaner is a mild abrasive cream cleaner that does wonders on hard surfaces all over the home


Esh Hardware carries The Pink Stuff cleaners due to their positive word of mouth and eco-friendly formulations. The Pink Stuff The Miracle Bathroom Foam Cleaner is praised for its effective cleaning of toilets, tubs and other hard surfaces, with no elbow grease needed! “It’s a very good cleaner,” Esh points out. “It foams up and does its own cleaning.” Let it spray, sit and then simply wipe or wash it away.


The Pink Stuff Miracle Cream Cleaner is a mild abrasive cream cleaner that does wonders on hard surfaces all over the home—and particularly in the kitchen. Use it on pots and pans, or in and around the stove to eradicate tough stains and grease. Shake bottle, apply with a damp cloth or sponge, and wipe and rinse with water. No scrubbing is needed. You’ll get a high shine if you buff the area after with a clean cloth. 

Zep’s Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser is also potent for dissolving heavy dirt and grim, particularly in the kitchen. It can be used on everything from appliances to stovetops and countertops, and is formulated for use on stainless steel surfaces, as well as those made of enamel or aluminum.


No chemicals, no problem! E-cloth is a line of water-activated cleaning cloth kits and mops that require nothing but water to make them work. “They are comparable to Norwex, but a lot cheaper,” explains Esh, who stocks a full line of the miracle cleaning products.

It’s hard to fathom spring-cleaning your windows with just water, but the E-cloth Window Cleaning Kit does it, with no residue or streaks. “She loves them,” Esh says of his spouse, who uses the Good Housekeeping award-winning E-cloth kits liberally at their home.

For windows, simply dampen the Window Cloth and wipe. Then follow with the dry Glass & Polishing Cloth for a perfect finish.


How’s your basement looking? To clean and disinfect spaces in your home that are subject to mold and mildew, such as basements and bathrooms, there’s no quicker or mess-free way than Wet & Forget. Their indoor formula is free of fumes and bleach, and comes in an all-in-one package that has a sprayer attached.

“You just spray it on and don’t do anything to it afterwards,” Esh says of the crowd-pleasing product. “You really just forget it after spraying. It’s very easy to use.” Wet & Forget can also be used to freshen tubs, showers and washing machines, too.


If you’re thinking of spray washing the exterior of your home or shed, or brightening your deck or patio, Wet & Forget Outdoor Xtreme Reach will make quick work of the task. Attach the container’s built-in hose end to your outdoor hose, and spray up to 30 feet. No scrubbing or rinsing is needed.

Alternatively, if you’re using a pressure washer to clean exterior surfaces, Esh recommends Zep’s All-In-1 Pressure Wash Cleaner. The formula is sold by the gallon, is effective at removing stains from dirt, mold, algae and mildew and is safe for many outdoor surfaces: from outdoor furniture and decks, to vehicles and siding.

Photo Credit: Philippe 2009

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