Cleaning Your New Kitchen or Bathroom: The Basics

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Gina Bonura is a Kitchen and Bath Designer at Alure Home Improvements.

In all my years as a Kitchen and Bath designer, there is one question I hear over and over again:

“What do I clean that with?”

Truthfully, with the right products, and by starting out with low maintenance materials, even the most reluctant housework haters will find it not so hard to clean their kitchens and bathrooms. Over the years, through lots of personal trial and error, I have found what works and what doesn’t.


Let’s talk about bleach. It is natural to think that bleach will keep your grout sparkling clean. Well, that’s only temporary. I find it actually dries out the grout and allows dirt to go deeper and deeper. Acrylic products such as shower bases and toilet seats tend to have a bad reputation for getting dull and unable to keep dirt out over time. This is most likely because bleach or products containing bleach are being used. The bleach strips the first shiny coating off and leaves the acrylic product dull and porous underneath.

Granite is another item where bleach is not to be used. You will begin to strip the sealant off the stone and also set up for stains and dullness.  In the bathroom feel free to use bleach in the toilet – it is made of vitreous china which is relatively impermeable. You can also use bleach on cast iron (porcelain) sinks and tubs.

Multi-Surface Products

There are several all-purpose products on the market that are pretty good for wood, granite, glass etc. (such as all-surface Pledge and multi-purpose Windex) These actually do a nice job. Be sure not to use regular Windex on your granite and stone products because this has ammonia which will also strip off the sealant. Actual granite and stone cleaners are available that you can use daily to keep your countertops clean with a bit a shine. One that I like is Zep Marble, Granite and Quartz cleaner.

Non-Abrasive Cleansers

I’m a big fan of cream cleansers that do not have bleach such as Zud. This particular one has a fresh scent and works wonders on grout. I also use this gentle cleanser on my acrylic shower base for a clean that doesn’t hurt the shine.


Vinegar is a great natural degreaser that doesn’t hurt the environment. Use it to wash your tile floors or polish mirrors and shower doors. I soak the filter to my hood vent in vinegar and then wash with a little Dawn or other liquid dish soap. Liquid dish soap with a degreaser has many uses. Most any surface will not be affected by dish soap. Wood cabinets especially. Please don’t use any kind of furniture polish on your beautiful new cabinets. Many of the wood sold today has a catalyzed varnish finish that only needs a little liquid dish detergent wrung out in a damp cloth. The furniture polish leaves a residue that can actually attract dust and cause a build-up. Especially ones with oil.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

For every day cleaning, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is one of my favorites. I keep one in my shower to wipe down the inside of the shower doors, then rinse to a sparkling shine – no squeegees needed! The Magic Eraser is great for glass cook tops as well. There are so many uses for this product such as removing scuff marks from stair risers, fingerprints, electric outlet and switch covers, microwave and refrigerator interiors. It also has no odor whatsoever, which I love.

Steam Mops

A steam mop is a wonderful investment if you have tile or wood floors. Vacuum the area first and steam up dirt and grime quickly and easily.

With the proper care, you can enjoy your kitchen and bathroom for many years, without a lot of fuss!

I’d like know: What cleaning agents do you swear by?


If you have any more questions or are looking for advice on remodeling your home, feel free to contact a Alure Home Improvements representative and schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

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