The ritual of spring cleaning dates back to — well, whenever people started caring about being clean, and for many of us, it’s the one time of year when we actually move the furniture when vacuuming. So if you’re planning on spending the weekend scrubbing, dusting, and de-griming, there are some gadgets that will help you. Be warned though: There’s not a bot for everything just yet.
Suck it up
We say outsource the cleaning where you can. The Neato Botvac Connected ($600) has great cleaning performance on hardwood and most carpets (it struggles a bit with shag) and is very thorough. The app isn’t a necessity at this point, though you can drive the bot around when it’s cleaning.
Cleaning the bathroom floor is a gross job, but someone has to do it. The Braava Jet ($200) from iRobot uses a spray jet to loosen stains and has three types of cleaning pads: wet, damp, and dry. Depending on what type of pad you insert, it will make between one and three passes around your kitchen or bathroom. It’s pretty small, so it should be able to get up close and personal with your toilet.
Clear the air
When it comes to springtime, there’s something in the air, and it’s definitely not only love. In this allergy season, using an air purifier to filter out some of the pollen and other itch-inducing floaties is a must for some sufferers. If you’re in the market for something smart, the Airmega ($749+) lets you control it from an Android or iPhone app and see the status of your air quality.
Do the shampoo
Vacuuming might get the dust and debris out of your carpet, but it’s not really cleaning it. For that, you need a carpet shampooer. The Bissell DeepClean Professional ($200) might be made for pet messes, but it can also be used to suction up that matted-in mess that’s making your carpet a totally different color than when you first bought it.
Go to the mat(tress)
We won’t freak you out with statistics about dust mites and skin cells, but suffice it to say, your mattress needs a good cleaning. There are professionals who will do it for you, but you really only need a vacuum and baking soda. Dyson makes a portable vac specifically designed for mattresses, aka the Dyson V6 Mattress ($244), but please note that your ordinary one with the crevice tool should work.
Putting on the spritz
Lots of people are freaked about what’s in their cleaning products, so the Force of Nature ($90) promises to clean more effectively than bleach using only salt, water, and vinegar. The device’s electrical current breaks up the molecules in the solution, and they then reform into sodium hydroxide, which cleans up the grime, and hypochlorous acid, which deodorizes and disinfects. You’ll need to use the company’s capsules, though, because you can’t just use any old mix of the three ingredients.
Free and clear
You just cleaned your closet, and you don’t want your out-of-style or ill-fitting items to end up shoved in the back or in the landfill. There are sites that will take them off your hands, like Dress for Success, which will give someone in need your suit to wear to job interviews. If you want to make some cash off your clothes, though, Thredup will send you a bag. You stick your items in and send them back, and they’ll pay you for them (as long as they’re in good condition) and give them a new home. You get a cleaner closet and some cash.
You can’t just use any old cleaner on your electronics, but Cyber Clean ($13) will help lift the gunk out from between your keyboard keys, and the Toddy microfiber cloth ($10) will clean all your screens. If you have a bunch of old phones lying around, you can try selling them on Gone. If you’re not interested in getting cash but want to keep your conscience and the landfills clean, you could try Excess Access, which matches your stuff with local charities in need, who then come and pick them up. No muss, no fuss.
Since the Kitchenbot 3,000 doesn’t yet exist, there are some chores you’ll have to tackle the old-fashioned way. Cleaning the oven and microwave can be a bear, but we have a few quick and chemical-free ways to do so. And don’t neglect the dishwasher! Just because it cleans everything else, that doesn’t mean it’s pristine itself. Clear out the drain, run a cycle with vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack, then follow it up with a rinse cycle and baking soda on the door.
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