One of the most important things when it comes to cleaning your home is making sure that you have all the cleaning materials required to not only get the job done, but to clean at a professional level. To make sure that you’re ready to tackle even the toughest cleaning challenges, you’ll need to invest in some specific equipment and supplies to keep on-hand.
With that in mind, we’ve put together our list of the top cleaning supplies that every home should have.
No matter what kind of home you have, whether it is big, small, old, or new, there are certain items of cleaning equipment you just can’t go without. When purchasing these items, it’s important to keep in mind that investing in good quality equipment will mean less effort on your part and better cleaning results.
No matter what type of floors are in your home, you’re going to need a vacuum. Not only do you need a vacuum to clean the loose dirt and dust which accumulates on both carpets and hardwood floors, but you’ll also need your vacuum to clean up broken items and dry spills.
There are so many different types of vacuums available that it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. A bagless option is easy to empty, but you’ll still need to clean the filter and you may need to empty it more frequently than a bag-model. Bag models, on the other hand, require the ongoing purchase of additional vacuum bags, but they create less mess when emptying them and do not require you to clean the filter.
A corded vacuum will usually be more powerful than a cordless option and won’t run out of power; however, you’ll be limited to areas with outlets. Cordless vacuums allow you to head anywhere in the house without worrying about switching outlets, but you have to remember to charge them and they may not last as long as you need.
An upright vacuum means you don’t have to pull along the canister behind you, but it’ll be heavier and less maneuverable. A canister vacuum will allow you to maneuver the long hose and head, allowing you to get to nooks and crannies you otherwise couldn’t, without the weight of the canister. A stick vacuum is sort of the best of both worlds, but they’re usually cordless and are still heavier than the canister options, without as much space to hold dirt and debris.
No matter which type of vacuum you think will be best for your purposes, you should test it in a store before purchasing. That way you’ll get a feel for the weight, maneuverability, power, and even attachment options before committing to something.
You’ll need a mop for the hard floors in your home, whether they are made of hardwood, tile, linoleum, or other material. The type of mop you’ll need is dependent upon which type of floors you’ll be using it on.
Hardwood floors and some vinyl floors should never be cleaned with a steam mop because it can warp the floor. Instead, flat mops are a great option because they use very limited amounts of water. You can also use a traditional or a microfiber mop and be careful not to wet your floors too much.
For other hard floors like tile and linoleum, a steam mop may be more up your alley. This uses heat and water to release dirt, and they’re also very easy to maneuver. Otherwise, traditional or flat mops work well on these types of floors, too.
You’ll need something to wipe down your surfaces with, and for that we recommend microfiber. The material is soft enough that it won’t damage the different types of surfaces throughout your home, and absorbent enough that you won’t have to go back over and over again.
All-Purpose Scrub Brush
Sometimes wiping your surfaces with a microfiber cloth just isn’t going to cut it, and for those time you’ll need a good all-purpose scrub brush. A good brush will be soft enough not to damage the surfaces of your home, but stiff enough to scrub away stubborn dirt and grime. These brushes are particularly useful for kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs, and showers, where grime tends to congregate.
When it comes to cleaning your toilet, you just can’t get good results without a toilet brush. You can opt for a normal toilet brush which sits in a holder; these are usually very affordable but may need replacing every few years. You’ll also need to sanitize these brushes between cleanings, so your toilet germs don’t sit on them for days or weeks. Another option is a brush with a disposable head; these are more expensive but include the toilet cleaning solution and allow for super easy cleanup.
Extendable Feather Duster
Ok, so this one isn’t necessarily mandatory, but it’ll certainly make your life easier. Using an extendable feather duster allows you to reach places you’d otherwise need a step ladder for, making your task quicker and easier. All those items on the top shelves of your bookcases? Done. The tops of your curtains? Easy. Ceiling fans? Simple. Plus, you can use it for the easy-to-reach areas, too.
You’ll also always need a few specific cleaning products on hand so that you’re ready to tackle any cleaning challenge life throws your way. Here are the products we think every home needs.
Vinegar makes a great cleaning agent because it is a natural disinfectant. It is very acidic, meaning it can dissolve dirt and grease while also killing bacteria, plus it doesn’t contain the harsh chemicals that so many commercial cleaning products have. It’s suitable for many different surfaces, but you should avoid using it on granite or wood, as the acid can eat away at those surfaces.
Baking soda is extremely absorbent, so it makes a great natural cleaning product. Because it absorbs both grease and odors, it is perfect for removing stains or deodorizing parts of your home. Plus, it can be combined with white vinegar to form a foaming cleaner which disinfects, deodorizes, and absorbs.
Your home will also need an all-purpose cleaner to remove the dirt and grime from your surfaces. These cleaners are great because you don’t have to worry about which room you’re working in or what surface you’re wiping. You can use the same spray on your kitchen countertops, your bathrooms countertops, your dining table, and even your hard floors.
Even though you should have an all-purpose cleaner in the house, you’ll also want a disinfecting spray. Believe it or not, these sprays have two different purposes. A cleaning spray will remove dirt, dust, grease, and grime from surfaces, but it will not kill the germs and bacteria that are left behind.
For that, you’ll need a disinfectant. These are formulated to kill harmful bacteria and viruses which can remain on your surfaces even after you have cleaned them. A disinfectant is especially important in areas which harbor germs, such as sinks, or after you or a family member has been ill.
Nothing will get your windows and mirrors quite as clean as using glass cleaner. Other cleaners either lack the cleaning power required to remove the dust and dirt, or they’ll leave a residue on your glass which can build up over time. Glass cleaners are formulated to remove dust and dirt and avoid streaking, leaving your glass spotless.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Unless you opt for a disposable head toilet brush (see above), you’ll need a toilet bowl cleaner to get rid of the germs in your toilet. We recommend buying a product with bleach, which will help kill the germs instantly and therefor require less scrubbing on your part. You can also opt for gel cleaners, which cling to the bowl and make it easier to see where you’ve already applied your cleaner, but these sometimes require a little more scrubbing.
To help keep your toilet clean between scrubs, you may also want to look into drop-in tablets which are placed into the tank and help clean with every flush, or a gel toilet disk which adheres to the bowl and remains for up to a week. These are not a substitute for scrubbing, but they can keep your toilet cleaner and make your job easier when it’s time to deep clean.
Another cleaning product that is often overlooked is limescale cleaners, but we think you should always have one in your cleaning arsenal.
You might notice a buildup of white stuff in your plumbing fixtures and appliances which use water. This is called limescale, and it’s made up of calcium carbonate which is deposited from the water running through your pipes. Some areas with hard water may notice more limescale than others, but all homes can expect to see some amount develop over time.
To clean limescale, you can either purchase commercial limescale cleaners, or you can use lemon and vinegar. The acids in these items will break down the limescale and leave your fixtures clean and shiny.
Although some people view bleach as scary, this is one product we believe everyone should have. Bleach doesn’t have to be scary if you know how to use it properly, and it is super effective at disinfecting and whitening.
Bleach should always be diluted with water before use, but never combined with other cleaners as it can cause the release of harmful chlorine gas. The bottles will have instructions for how to dilute your bleach for cleaning use, so make sure to read and follow those. Once diluted, it is a safe and powerful disinfectant, but it is not a cleaner (see disinfectants above), so you will need to clean the dirt from your surfaces before you apply your bleach. You should also be careful to use bleach on only non-porous surfaces; otherwise, the bleach may cause damage.
Bleach is also one of the best methods for sanitizing and whitening certain fabrics. If your laundry items are bleach-safe, then adding the right amount of bleach to your load will help disinfect and keep your whites from looking dingy.
Most people don’t think about cleaning their ovens often, but over time grease, grime and food debris can build up and create a higher fire risk or produce unpleasant fumes and smoke. That’s why it’s important to keep some type of oven cleaner on hand.
Commercial oven cleaners are very effective and are usually sprayed into the oven, then allowed to sit for up to two hours before being wiped away. You’ll need to use gloves when handling these products as they are extremely acidic.
If you’re worried about the harsh chemicals in commercial oven cleaners, you can use a more natural cleaning solution of baking soda and vinegar. When combined, the foaming reaction will help eat away at the grime and grease, disinfecting and making it easier to remove. You may need to add a little extra elbow grease if you opt for this natural solution, as it generally doesn’t have the same cleaning power as the commercial options.
Keeping all of these products on hand will ensure that you are equipped to tackle even the toughest cleaning challenges. With the right materials, you can achieve professional cleaning results with minimal effort.