Green cleaning tools of the trade

If you're going to wage war on dirt, you need to be armed with the right green weapons

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A bad tradesman may blame their tools, but what about lazy cleaners?

If only vacuum cleaners could turn themselves on, feather dusters worked without human intervention and mops washed floors all by themselves.

But in the absence of the Housework Fairy inventing magical cleaning tools, it's worth knowing the implements that make cleaning a little bit easier.

As household mess spreads into uncharted territory, arm your cleaning cupboard with the right weapons to wage war on housekeeping. (The human effort may still be hard to rustle up.)

Floor tools

Floor cleaning is hard and tedious so whatever you can do to improve it is worth investing in.

The smartest thing any housekeeper can do is buy a great vacuum cleaner. Not just a pretty, well-priced vacuum cleaner but a top-of-the-line, super terrific, unreal, suck-'em-up cleaner that makes floor cleaning easy.

Cheapie vacuum cleaners can create more dust than they suck up while more expensive models will have a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter to trap those nasty particles you suck up from that dirty floor.

We love our Dyson vacuum cleaner, which has a HEPA filter. Other brands people rave about include Miele and Nilfisk.

Trust us: a good vacuum cleaner is worth the money. It saves having to sweep (which is physically more arduous), reduces the dust mites in carpets and rugs and reduces the need to mop hard surfaces such as polished timber or tiles.

Bathroom basics

Keep the arduous task of washing down showers and baths to a minimum with daily maintenance.

Wiping shower walls with a squeegee after each shower will prevent moisture-fuelled moulds taking hold, remove soap scum and dirt and keep the bathroom in great shape for a quick once-a-week scrub.

Wiping the shower down after each use with a towel (preferably one that is still scratchy from being air-dried in the sun) will practically eliminate the need for that weekly bathroom clean altogether.

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