We all need emergency cleaning buckets. I know we all have cleaning supplies in our homes. I have two bathrooms and under each bathroom sink, I have cleaning supplies, like window spray, Clorox wipes, paper towels and extra garbage bags to refill the small garbage cans in each bathroom. I have cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink and above the washing machine and dryer. Here’s the deal, I had an awesome reader by the name of Beth, mention to me that her church, The United Methodist Church makes 5-gallon buckets that are filled with cleaning supplies to help those in need wherever they live all over the country. I tried to find the link about what they put in each bucket, but I couldn’t find it. But I love the idea that we could each make 5-gallon buckets filled with essential items people would need to clean up after a disaster wherever it may happen. Plus, we would be ready in a pinch to go help a neighbor in need. Janet sent me this link for those buckets: UMCOR
I call this comment by Beth, a cartwheel moment, you know when you realize these emergency cleaning buckets would be so easy to put together and fairly reasonable in price. We could make it a neighborhood project to buy buckets with handles and fill them once a week with one item. I have a friend in the neighborhood who calls me and a few other sweet women in the neighborhood to help clean houses when people move out. We all bring our buckets with our own supplies and all get to work. Luckily, the houses are quite small where I live. I bring a step-stool that I feel safe climbing on to clean out the higher cabinets in kitchens, etc. It’s not a paid assignment, it’s a gift from neighbors to help those who are moving to another neighborhood.
I think this is why I loved Beth’s comment about the 5-gallon buckets filled with emergency cleaning supplies. Just picture the grocery stores after a disaster, those cleaning supply shelves will be empty, I promise. And for that matter, all the shelves will be empty at all stores, that’s why we store water and food storage, right? Right. Here are some items I use. I know some people are against using Clorox, but you will need a lot of Clorox after a disaster, trust me. I’ve cleaned a lot of flooded basements, who knows what’s in that water. I shoveled mud from houses, yep Clorox is on my list. And gloves, and N-95 masks.
Emergency Cleaning Buckets
- 5-gallon bucket with a good handle
- Dishwasher Soap – I prefer Dawn liquid
- Laundry detergent – so we can wash whatever needs to be cleaned if power is restored and it’s safe to use washing machines
- Hand soap and hand sanitizer
- Clorox wipes
- Cleaning gloves
- Non-latex gloves
- N-95 Masks
- Window cleaner
- Spic & Span Spray Cleaner
- Garbage bags – 33-gallon black bags
- Rags, lots of rags. I use these instead of paper towels: Burp Cloths by Birdseye Lithium Reusable
- Sponges or some sort of scrubbing pads
- Clothesline and clothespins
- Pair of work gloves
- Paper towels
- Bottles of water to drink
- Air freshener
- Deborah reminded me of this product, Odoban for removing odors: Odoban
- Julie reminded me to add baking soda. She uses it after camping with her laundry.
I remember washing clothes, towels, etc. for a friend after her home caught on fire. We washed those items like seven times and never got the smoke smell out. All the neighbors pitched in to try and clean them. After that experience, today I would trash them. We never got the smell out of them and we used more detergent, water, and power than the clothes were probably worth. I learned a big lesson helping that neighbor.
The critical thing is to have cleaning supplies on hand, not just for emergencies to go help others with our emergency cleaning buckets, but to make sure we have those items for our own homes in case a disaster hits our neighborhood and the stores become empty very quickly. I know we talk about first aid supplies, well, cleaning supplies are essential to rid our homes of bacteria that may creep into our homes after an unforeseen disaster or emergency. Please tell me the items you would add to my list. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected.