Products I Frequently Use

During my career I have used all sorts of commercial cleaning products, but I started to turn away from them when I realized the negative effects they had on my skin, eyes and respiratory system. I teach housekeepers to use natural products as much as possible and to protect themselves from chemical cleaning products when they do by covering their skin, eyes and mouth. One of the rules of basic professional housekeeping is to use weakest cleaning product solution (try water and a soft cloth first) and the least abrasive. One reason is speed, if you over use a product you will have to spend more time rinsing it away, which slows you down and if you don’t rinse cleaning products away the surface will probably be dull and sticky. Also using the wrong product or overusing it can damage the surface. Another rule is, more often lightly is far better than heavily occasionally, keep putting chores off and you’re more likely to get out the “big guns”, which tend to be toxic, abrasive and time consuming.

Scratches are unsightly and caused by abrasives, they ruin the look of things such as stainless steel, but they also make it harder to clean the next time. Think of it this way, it’s easy to climb up rocks as there’s something to hold onto, if the stone surface is highly polished like a kitchen counter you wouldn’t get very far without chipping holes in it. It’s the same for dirt, it’s harder for it hold onto an unscratched surface. Most commercial cleaners don’t list their ingredients, legally they don’t have to! You could argue they want to keep their formula a secret, but often they use harmful substances and even when ingredients are listed the names are changed to sound more appealing. The labels say “natural”, but that doesn’t mean it won’t harm you, so why take the chance when you can use food ingredients to clean with? Too many products (even so called “green” ones) contain known carcinogens and how many people stop to read the warning labels? They are usually printed in very small letters on the bottom of the label and frankly speaking some should have a large skull and crossbones in bigger print than the products name.

The Product List

  • White Vinegar

  • Ph. Balanced Cleaner

  • Dishwashing Liquid

  • Baking Soda

  • Oxalic Acid (Bar Keepers Friend)

1. White Vinegar

2. Ph. Balanced “multi-surface” Cleaner

3. Dishwashing Liquid (DWL)

4. Baking Soda

5. Oxalic Acid (Bar Keepers Friend)

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Chris Ely Butler
About Me

Chris Ely is a professional butler and estate manager with proficiencies of the highest standards. Throughout his incomparable thirty-year career... ( Photo: Aeric Meredith -Goujon )


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