Let’s be real; cleaning with kids can be a roller coaster. As they grow older they’re good assistants, but it takes diligent training to teach them to be, well… help.
Teach Kids to Clean, Even When it Feels Like Work
We do household cleaning chores each day after lunch. I try to get each child involved. Usually the 3 year old gets by with an attempt at cleaning his room. With the younger children it can be sooo tempting to just clean it myself.
Can you relate? Resist that urge, mama!
Now that I have some older kids in the mix (6, 8, & 10), I can see the benefit of putting in the time to teach the littles proper cleaning. They love to do their task and see the results. I love that they’re learning what it means to work together as a family.
Our Favorite Thrifty Tools for Cleaning With Kids
Here are a few tools that we’ve found to be invaluable as we work together to clean the daily grime that accumulates when you have a house full of kiddos.
A Stick Vacuum. This is the best kids cleaning tool that we’ve purchased. At only $20 it allows even the youngest kids to help vacuum the house. I’ll even have the kids vacuum the kitchen floor rather than sweeping, because it’s so much easier for them (and me!!)
It gets enough use at our house that our 5 year old stick vacuum is held together by tape at the moment. The little kids love being able to help out with their own vacuum.
There are no brushes to hurt little fingers, and accidentally sucked up items are easily removed from the receptacle. If you buy only one thing for your kids to help you with spring cleaning, make it this handy little vacuum!
Microfiber window cleaning cloths. You mean that you still use those old-fashioned paper towels to clean your mirrors and windows? 🙂
Trust me when I say that these reusable cloths are fantastic. Plus, unlike the other frugal option of using newspaper (black hands, anyone?) they work really well. One set will last forever.
We also love using these for our dusting rags. They seem to grip the dust better than regular rags. Since we have one child with an extreme dust allergy, we do a lot of dusting around here.
O-Cedar microfiber mop – Wednesdays are mopping days at our house. We only have the kitchen floor and entryway that aren’t covered in carpet — mercifully. My flooring would look pretty disastrous most of the time if it weren’t covered by camouflaging carpeting.
At our house the older kids team up for mopping. One child sprays a simple green solution and the other mops. A certain boy usually manages to empty a whole lot of the spray onto the floor.
But whatever, the floor ends up cleaner than it started!
The Best (Kid Friendly) All-Purpose Spray
Hand’s down, the best all-purpose cleaning solution that I’ve found is Simple Green. This amazing cleaner brings back wonderful memories for me. There was always a gallon on the counter with the cleaning supplies growing up, and now there’s always a gallon in my cupboard too! This is by far the most cost-effective cleaner you’ll find.
It’s close to being even cheaper than homemade, and likely more effective (If your Pinterest DIY All-Purpose spray fails are anything like mine). The cost is $13 a gallon. But wait, that concentrated gallon is then diluted for your cleaning purpose. The dilution for most home-cleaning is 1:10 to 1:30. That means your gallon will last a really long time.
Why no homemade all purpose spray recipe? One simple reason; I’ve tried dozens and never found one that worked as well as Simple green. Simple green is cheap enough that it’s just not worth throwing together a homemade version that costs slightly less but doesn’t work nearly as well.
“Clean Enough” is Just Fine
We’ve changed up our cleaning routines over the years. Spring cleaning around here just means washing the curtains and organizing room by room.
We try to keep a basic cleaning routine all year long so that everyone knows what to expect. When there’s illness in the family or I get in a stage of life where I need to let the cleaning slip for a while (new baby, new book) I can cut back on our routine and the house stays basically clean.
At least, it’s clean enough for us! Please don’t come and swipe your finger across the far reaches of my furniture. You will find dust.
These kids cleaning tools & tips have been a huge help to our family of seven. I hope they’ll give your family a boost too!
**Want a FREE list of age-appropriate chores? Here are some of the tasks that work well at our house. Snag this freebie by clicking the thumbnail below.
What are your tips for cleaning with young children? Do you struggle, like me, with wanting to just get the job done yourself?