With a Whoosh and a Zoom: Cleaning Tools
To some, cleaning house means making a casual tour with the vacuum and taking a few jabs at the toilet with a soapy brush. Not Sabrina Fierman. As vice president of New York’s Little Elves, a cleaning firm used by many designers and contractors, she takes the job to a level that would satisfy the most obsessive germaphobe.
“We come in with a crew and clean from top to bottom,” Ms. Fierman, 45, said. “From ceilings to lights to baseboards to hardware. We pull drawers out and clean behind them. We use Q-tips and chopsticks wrapped with cotton rags to get into vents and grilles.”
Not surprisingly, she has plenty of advice on the subject. To start, she said, you don’t need lots of specialized cleaners. Unless you’re disinfecting, she said, “you can almost clean the whole home with liquid Ivory soap or Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap.”
As for paper towels, they aren’t all created equal. “We only use Bounty,” she said, “because it doesn’t disintegrate, fall apart, shed or leave fibers behind. If you’re cleaning with a paper towel that falls apart, you’re just creating more work.”
Having the right tools for the job is crucial, she emphasized. “It’s like anything else: It’s easier to cut a steak with a good, sharp knife, and it’s easier to get a good cleaning job done with the right products.”
Shopping for a few essentials, she started at Basics Plus in Midtown East, where she admired the Miele vacuums. “You want to have a really good vacuum – that’s critical,” she said. ” Miele is like the Mercedes of vacuums: German, well-made and very attractive.”
But she was also impressed with a cheaper tool: the Sparkle scrub sponges from Casabella. “These are so cool,” she said, examining the way the metallic sheen reflected light. “Maybe they’ll get your kids to do the cleaning.”
At Bed Bath & Beyond, she picked out the OXO Good Grips dustpan and brush set. “Remember those old metal dustpans where you couldn’t get things over the lip? Well, I have this and it’s very good,” she said, showing off the dustpan’s flexible rubber lip. “When it gets dirty, you just run it under water.”
And online, she marveled at the WC Line from Kontextur, an unusually beautiful collection of objects considering the functions they serve: plunger, toilet brush, waste bin. “People usually cringe when they see those things,” she said.
The only drawback, she added, is “they’re so attractive that you might not want to use them for the job.”