I am a single mother. Shocking, I know, after I wrote about the harness-and-leash set I bought so I could walk my cat like every other normal adult woman. Alas, it’s true. I handle the cat, a kid, and an entire house on my own. Okay, it’s a small ’30s-era cottage in Laurel Canyon, but on the upside, it has huge loft ceilings, lots of skylights, and ceiling fans for days. On the downside, the canyon is full of spiders, and always seems to have dust Blowin’ in the Wind (and into my house). Which isn’t so bad, because due to my OCD, cleaning is actually something I (sadly) enjoy. I carry around a Black+Decker dust buster the way most people carry their phones, have no less than 100 Magic Erasers under my kitchen sink, and a Hoover vacuum that is specifically designed for pet hair. I can’t leave the house messy — not that I leave the house a lot.
Despite my passion, though, I found myself noticing more and more dust on my ceiling fans, and cobwebs high up in the corners — which meant there were probably spiders, something I read that humans on average swallow eight times a year while sleeping (I do not want to get into how many hours I researched this). Clearly, I had an issue; well, a new one anyway. When no amount of me throwing wet rags at the cobwebs would get rid of them, I tried using my son’s hockey stick with a sock tied to it. When that didn’t work, I went to where single moms resolve most of life’s problems, the bar. Then I went to Amazon, where I was introduced to the “High Reach Cleaning Kit.” I say introduced because the kit popped up marked as Amazon’s Choice, a designation that’s always appealing, yet not enough to stop me from spending the next two hours looking at similar products before circling back to Amazon’s Choice. (It’s like when I get ready to leave the house: I’ll try on a dress, then tear apart my room, cry in my closet, and leave wearing the first dress I tried on.)
The kit seemed just the thing I needed to clean my dusty nooks and crannies, and also help get me down to swallowing a healthier amount of spiders each year. So I paid the very reasonable $28 and change and then tracked its location every hour, because OCD. The kit is basically just an adjustable ten-foot pole with three attachments — a duster, a mop head, and a squeegee — but still everything I hoped for. A few Amazon reviewers say that they’ve had an issue with the pole not working, but I have used this at least 20 times in the last two months and never had a problem. The duster is my favorite attachment; it took down the webs as if it had a suction ability and did not knock anything gross onto my head. I just run the squeegee under the faucet because it has a plastic edge on the back so I can very efficiently flip it and wipe any streaks off my skylights. And the mop is just your standard mop; I use it on my floors because the pole lets me get under the sofa and beds with ease. The pole is also very light; using it, I feel like a brunette Tabitha from Bewitched because I can clean those hard-to-reach places at an almost magical speed — even in a cocktail dress. If that is not enough to make you click “buy,” then I don’t know what is.
If you want something more heavy-duty
High Reach also sells the ten-foot pole in a kit with nine attachments, which, according to Amazon, include three different duster heads (fan duster, cobweb duster, and a longer, bendable microfiber duster), a two-in-one squeegee and scrubber, a mop head, and three bulb changers (one for broken bulbs, one that is a suction cup, and one clamp bulb changer).
More Strategist-approved cleaning stuff
If you handwash any number of dishes, Mommy Hands will change your life, according to author Rachel Khong, who says the made-in-Korea gloves are thick, incredibly smooth, pleasantly ribbed on the back-of-hand area, and stippled in the finger area, giving you maximum grippiness.
Writer Liza Corsillo used this solution to clean up her dog Uli’s accidents for years. But while attending a recent dinner party, she noticed her host whip out a bottle to spot treat a sauce stain on a linen napkin, and learned that it is just as effective on cleaning everything from furniture to sweat stains.
When writer and former senior editor Margaret Rhodes recently pitted the newest Shark vacuum against the newest Dyson, she concluded that “if you’re willing to contend with a cord and put a few extra muscles and even brain cells into swiveling it around,” the Shark — which costs less than half of the Dyson — will give you “what you came for, which is a dust-free, dander-free, sparkling space.”
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