What product features and materials make cleaning easier?
August 21, 2016 3:59 PM   Subscribe

I am thinking about replacing and refreshing a lot of things in my home, and I would really like to start my research with an eye towards ease of keeping stuff clean. What kind of product features, materials, etc. do you find make them easier to clean (and keep clean) than other products in the same category?

I'd like to cast a wide net with this question, but here are some things I've noticed that are examples of what I'm looking for:

  • The (glossy) paint in my bathroom is much easier to wipe clean than the (matte) paint in my living room, which tends to stain more easily.

  • Products with removable parts (toaster oven racks, fridge drawers) are easier to clean than those without.

  • Sofas are easier to clean when they have removable, washable cushion covers.

  • Other: I have two cats so fur and hairballs are issues. No kids but I do have kid guests sometimes. Thank you!
    posted by lalex to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
    Anything that takes up space on a horizontal surface is another thing that has to be moved when you want to scrub that surface. So having as many things that can be wall-mounted as possible helps.
    posted by grouse at 4:03 PM on August 21, 2016

    Those windows that flip in (many examples, there's one) so you can wash both sides of them Magic.
    posted by jessamyn at 4:17 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

    Counters and other surfaces that are stone slab instead of tile means no grout to clean and, in the kitchen, no little grout margins where crumbs and gunk can get stuck.
    posted by the marble index at 4:23 PM on August 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

    I prefer leather furniture because I can wipe off dust or small stains much more easily than vacuuming or removing slip covers. Removing as much clutter as possible and having lots of baskets, trays and boxes in rooms to serve as places to put stray pens, papers and clutter that still occurs. I also like having white sheets, towels, bath mats because I can wash them all in hot water and even bleach. Hardwoods are generally easier to keep clean than carpeting.
    posted by areaperson at 4:49 PM on August 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

    I hang the toilet brush on the wall so it air dries rather than letting it sit in a pool of dirty water in a "decorative" container. This keeps it from getting gross and also stops the metal part from rusting.
    posted by FencingGal at 5:34 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

    Anything that takes up space on a horizontal surface is another thing that has to be moved when you want to scrub that surface.

    This, for sure, e.g., choose cabinets over open shelving, keep desk supplies in drawers or put everything (stapler, tape dispenser, pens, etc) in a decorative, lidded box that you can close when not using, and covered containers for all the stuff on your dresser.
    posted by she's not there at 5:55 PM on August 21, 2016

    On the same line as the kitchen counter, it's easier to keep those all-in-one showers (think hotel style) than ones with tile and grout.

    We have fake wood floors, and they're very easy to clean. My dog has had a few accidents and they haven't gotten damaged.

    This is a little bit tangential, but putting a waterproof mattress cover on your bed (I like the Luna brand) means that an accident or spill will not ruin your mattress. I also have allergy bedding covers on my pillows and down comforters, which means that when I change my duvet cover I don't have feathers flying everywhere.

    Built-in microwave means one less thing to clean around on the countertop.
    posted by radioamy at 6:04 PM on August 21, 2016

    * Roomba: design your house so that roomba can clean it (manage your cords, avoid rug fringe tassels, keep clutter off the floor, and make sure furniture is tall enough so that roomba can get under it). Roomba is not a substitute for vacuuming but a really effective sidekick.

    * put stuff in closed containers - dust collects where air circulates. Cabinets should have doors. Piles of stuff should be in boxes or drawers.

    * fabrics should be washable

    * Airflow: open windows make the air feel clean, but let in dust, pollen and (if you live near the sea) salt. Get a quality whole-house air filter and button up during some seasons of the year.

    * Dust: where does it come from? I've discovered that cheap flannel sheets are terrible dust creators - the fibers are just breaking down. Cheap carpets do this too.

    * flat paint sucks, as you noticed. You basically "clean" it by repainting. Gloss or semi-gloss paint is about 3x the price but can be wiped clean with a damp soapy sponge.
    posted by soylent00FF00 at 6:27 PM on August 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

    Light fixtures should be either enclosed or downward-facing; ones like this are a pain to clean. Furniture with a simple design is easier to dust than the stuff with lots of curlicues or nooks and crannies. And avoid glass-topped tables. Windowshades don't get dirty as easily as curtains and drapes. Invest in a good exhaust fan for your kitchen; airborne droplets of grease travel amazingly far.
    posted by DrGail at 7:12 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

    Make Your House Do the Housework.
    posted by storybored at 9:20 PM on August 21, 2016

    A good air cleaner will help a lot with your cat hair and dander. I bought a Rabbit Air air cleaner 10 years ago and it still is going strong, pulling remarkable amounts of dust out of the air everyday.
    posted by lstanley at 12:38 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

    I don't know if you're happy with your litter box situation, but I can't recommend the Omega Paw Roll and Clean litter box enough. No more scooping!
    posted by Weeping_angel at 1:20 PM on August 22, 2016

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