The One-Minute Cleaner Plain & Simple Review
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If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said, “There just aren’t enough hours in a day to keep the house clean,” well, then I’d have enough cash to afford a maid. And I know I’m not alone. Today, most of us feel pretty frantic pretty much all of the time. There’s work to be done and family obligations and the occasional time with friends. In the time that’s left over, you can choose to get some sleep, catch up on the occasional TV show, or scour the house. I don’t know about you, but that last option is never very high on my list. I want my house to be clean—but I don’t have a lot of time to do the work. So The One Minute Cleaner Plain & Simple: 500 Tips for Cleaning Smarter, Not Harder seemed like a miracle book.

Throughout the book, Smallin offers tips for cleaning every inch of the house, inside and out. There are recipes for making your own non-toxic cleaners and detailed guidelines for cleaning everything from your grout to your gutters.

So after reading it, do I feel ready to tackle the chores? Did it empower me to be able to take on the cleaning, one minute at a time? Not at all. In fact, if anything, it made me feel even more overwhelmed and paranoid about not having time to clean the house. In her introduction, Smallin claims that her book will keep readers from spending all of their free time cleaning—but the rest of the book seems to tell readers that they need to do just that. In fact, you might just need to quit your job to keep up with all of the tasks in this book. Smallin suggests cleaning a room each day—or cleaning in blocks of time every morning and every evening—in addition to all those daily and weekly chores that absolutely must be done. In order to successfully complete them all, it seems like you’d spend much of your life wearing latex gloves while scrubbing every surface in your home with a toothbrush and a mixture of vinegar and hot water.

Overall, The One-Minute Cleaner is a horrifying read. For instance, Smallin says not to keep your toothbrush near your toilet—because “[w]ith every flush, particles of water (and E. coli germs) can spray and land up to 20 feet away.” Now, I don’t know how big Smallin’s bathroom is, but mine is not 20 feet. In order to store my toothbrush that far away, I’d have to somehow store it in the far corner of my bedroom. I’d store it in the kitchen, but I also now know that “[t]here are more germs in your kitchen sink than there are on your toilet seat.” So where the heck can I safely store my toothbrush?

And even when Smallin does signify “one-minute solutions,” they’re not exactly accurate. For instance, one of the “one-minute solutions” requires wetting your wood cutting boards and putting them in the microwave for five minutes. And even my mother, a pretty obsessive cleaner, found many of the guidelines in this book to be excessive. So unless you want someone to scare you into keeping a spotless home (either that or make you feel even guiltier for not having hours set aside every day for cleaning), I recommend reducing your clutter by buying one less book on cleaning.

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