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Cleaning supplies are usually pretty low on the list of great gifts to give your loved ones, and for good reason: Tide may be a very excellent laundry detergent (it's true!), but plunking a bottle of the stuff under the tree is bound to make you look like the Grinch. And that shade of green is not your color.
There is, however, one guaranteed way to get the buying and giving of cleaning supplies right this holiday season! You can trust that my annual guide to giving the gift of clean will steer you toward the very best presents for the clean, and not-so-clean, person in your life.
For the shopaholic
A thing about shopping that most of us don't think about is how much garbage it creates. Shopping bags, hang tags, tissue paper, receipts — a trip to the mall generates a ton of waste, which is why this waste paper basket is so completely hilarious.
Bunny Williams Shopping Bag Waste Bin | Ballard Designs, $129.00
For the Renaissance Faire-obsessed chef in your life
A reader turned me onto this chain mail scrubber designed for use on cast iron cookware, which has a notorious reputation for being particular about the way in which it gets cleaned after use. Bonus points for the medieval vibe it gives off.
Chainmail Cast Iron Scrubber | Chef Central, $19.95
For the person who loves the smell of fresh laundry
Everyone has a favorite scent, and everyone has a scent that says "clean" to them. Sometimes they're the same, sometimes they're different. That makes buying scented items for others a tricky endeavor! But this candle by Cire Trudon, the official candle-maker of Louis VIX, is a pretty safe bet for your friend who's always going on and on about how much she loves the smell of clean laundry.
Cire Trudon Manon Candle | Candle Delirium, $95.00
For the person who is forever taking to bed, dramatically
"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap," goes a popular saying. Taking to bed is definitely one way to deal with a crummy day, and won't that experience be so much better if your sheets smell lovely? As a bonus, linen spray will help to make the duvet cover and pillowcases look smooth and wrinkle-free, so no one will know that you spent the entire weekend hiding from the world under your covers.
Linen Spray, White Lotus | Alex Simone, €30.00
For all those stockings you need to fill
Stocking stuffers are one place where you can get away with being a little more practical with your cleaning-related gifts. After all, everyone will spill something at one point during the holidays season, and won't it be great for them to think of you as they exclaim, "Oh! I have just the thing to remove that gravy splatter from your tie, Uncle Terry."
Grandma's Secret Spot Remover | Grandma's Secret, $2.99
For the dog lover in your life
Dogs are pretty much the best, don't you think?! Except, of course, when it comes to their tendency to shed their fur all over your clean floors. And your sofa. And also all over your bedlinens. Dang it, dawg! Fortunately, there are products that can help clean pet hair up, and others designed to help keep it at bay.
No Bones About It Sponge | Casabella, $4.99 and Dyson Groom | Dyson, $69.99
For the technophile on a budget
Robot vacuums are so cool. They're also so expensive. I hear this cry all the time in my line of work, "I want a robot vacuum soooooo bad, but I can't possibly justify spending that much money on one." Well! Enter this robotic duster from O-Cedar, which will scratch your robot vac itch for less than 20 bucks. Can't beat that!
O-Duster Robotic Floor Cleaner | O-Cedar, $19.99
For your glamorous friend with allergies
A runny nose is not cute, which is why this essential oil diffuser, which also acts as an air purifier and humidifier is the perfect gift for your vain friend whose allergies are forever causing her to sniffle and wheeze.
For the hostess who goes all out when it comes to decking the halls
A friendly etiquette reminder! If you'll be dining at someone else's home this holiday season, it's good manners to show up with a gift for your host or hostess. A bottle of wine or champagne is a marvelous choice, of course, but for your festive friend who has never met a thematic item she didn't love, these kitchen accessories are a great idea.
Tree-Shaped Pop Up Sponges | Williams-Sonoma, $17.95 and Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Essentials Kit, Winter Forest | Williams-Sonoma, $19.95
For your newly engaged friend
She's about to register for literally everything in the world, so don't bother with that decoupage tray that she had her eye on two months back — let one of her aunties buy it as a shower gift. Instead, get her something to keep her ring shining like the top of the Chrysler Building.
Diamond Dazzle Stick | Connoisseurs, $9.99 and Bling Wipes | $13.95
For that one friend who always makes Joan Crawford jokes
"NO WIRE HANGERS!" is an enduring shorthand used to describe a certain type of person. The type of person who is, perhaps, a bit compulsive about her closet. Or who cannot abide the sight of an unmade bed. Or who organizes her collection of laundry detergent alphabetically by scent.
Not that I would know anyone like that.
Luxurious Hangers | Joanne Rossman, $30.00