I might trace the origins of my “clean obsession” back to the Saturday mornings I spent at my grandmother’s. We’d push all the furniture to the center of the room, roll back the rug and scrub top to bottom using household staples like vinegar. And even on freezing Pennsylvanian winter days, she would throw open the windows to let the place air out. I’d sit back and take a deep breath. Recent news of the potentially carcinogenic effects of household products has a lot of people, myself included, rethinking the chemicals we introduce into our homes. So I was thrilled to discover Mina’s Green Cleaning (minasgreencleaning.com), a Manhattan-based service that uses only nontoxic products. Over time, the eponymous Mina has shared some trade secrets with me. I now swear by The Rag Company’s microfiber cloths. Use them with the surprisingly versatile Bee’s Wax polish, which works on glass and furniture alike. Floors tend to require the harshest treatments, especially if you, like me, have a dog running around. Amazingly, one single product leaves a floor germ-free and spotless: very hot water. That’s all the Oreck steam cleaner uses to lift dirt and grime, all while sterilizing. Isn’t it nice to think that the most sophisticated, effective, safe cleaning products available are ones Grandma would recognize?
Bee’s Wax Polish: This natural product can be used for everything from a mahogany table to window glass. It contains no oil and leaves no smudges. $16 a can; beeswaxpolish.com.
The Rag Company Microfiber Cloth: Specially designed for specific surfaces, the blue cloths are for cleaning glass, the yellow for dusting. There are countless other varieties not shown here. From $4; theragcompany.com.
Oreck Steam Cleaner: This is safe to use on wood floors, and there’s a special attachment (not pictured) that can steam-clean carpets. Naturally, with no other products required. $100; oreck.com.
Contributing editor David Monn is a New York–based event and party planner. For more information, call 212-242-2009 or go to davidmonn.com.