Then I remembered all the amazing products I've come to rely on -- ones I knew nothing about when I got married. So with the perspective of sharing some great finds, I assembled a few must-haves:
- Magic Eraser This product truly lives up to its name. It works like magic -- and it erases dirt from all kinds of surfaces. I was hooked after using it on white kitchen chairs I was preparing to paint. With a little water and virtually no elbow grease, those chairs came out so well, I put away the paint brush. Similarly, a go-round on my outdoor furniture saved it from the landfill.
- Bar Keepers Friend You have to go to your friendly neighborhood hardware store for this one, but it's well worth the trip. Start in the kitchen with the powdered cleanser and you'll throw out all the other half-used and forgotten products under the sink. This stuff shines up everything from stainless steel, chrome, and copper to china, ceramic tile, and composition sinks.
- IKEA dish brushes OK, so you have to scrub a little with these brushes, but they're just so cute, cheap, and colorful you almost don't mind. And the rubber suction cup on the end allows them to stick upright and air dry.