Having the right supplies and equipment makes all the difference when it comes to housecleaning, in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency. Use this list to stock up, and then create cleaning kits to place around your home for easy access.
Must-Have Cleaning Solutions
Some cleaners suit multiple surfaces in your home, while others work for just one. Purchase the following:
All-purpose cleaner — This type of cleaner works on most countertops, sinks and stovetops. If you have granite or marble countertops, purchase a product made specifically for those materials to avoid doing damage over time. The same rule applies to a glass stovetop, which requires a special glass polish.
Glass cleaner — Opt for a streak-free formula to clean your mirrors, windows and other glass with less effort.
Tile and grout cleaner — An acid-based, scrub-free solution works best on bathtub and shower tile, as well as toilets. You will want something mild for your tile floors, though, as acid can eat away at the tile itself and grout. Most tile manufacturers recommend regular removal of loose dust and dirt through damp mopping, with use of a neutral-pH cleaner only when necessary, such as to clean up spills, etc.
Wood cleaner — When cleaning wood furniture, opt for a polish made for the type of finish on your wood. Floors with a polyurethane seal need only a solution of warm water and a mild dishwashing soap to come clean after sweeping or dry mopping. In general, though, you will want to use as little water as possible when cleaning wood.
If you prefer to use eco-friendly products, all of the above are available as such. You also can make your own green cleaners at home.
Must-Have Cleaning Tools
Cleaning tools also vary by surface, with some being too abrasive for certain uses. Purchase the following:
Microfiber cloth — Microfibers are mostly made of polyester, and, unlike cotton, they leave no lint behind. They are usually knitted and very soft, making them generally safe for use on relatively soft surfaces such as paint or wood. Make sure the cloths haven’t latched onto a small piece of grit that could cause a scratch.
Extendible duster — No matter your height, you will be able to reach the tops of the ceiling fans in your home with one of these handy cleaning tools.
Scrubby sponges — The sponge side works well for most cleanups, while the scrubby side helps you tackle tougher jobs. These work in both the kitchen and bathroom.
Toilet brush — Having a brush that cleans your toilet, and only your toilet, helps curb the spread of germs to other surfaces.
Vacuum — Vacuums work on both hard and soft surfaces, such as carpet, floors and upholstery. Make sure the beater bar is set for the correct surface and use attachments for upholstery and hard to reach, tight spaces such as between your refrigerator and wall.
Bucket — Using a bucket, as opposed to filling a sink with cleaning, makes it much easier to tackle floors.
Microfiber mop — This tool works for many types of hard surface flooring.
Grout brush — These narrow brushes help you free grout lines of debris, resulting in longer-lasting grout.
Rubber gloves—Protect your hands while cleaning, especially when using acid-based cleaners or if you suffer from skin sensitivity.
Other specialty cleaning products and tools you might need:
- Hard-water cleaner
- Glass stovetop scraper
With both the cleaning solutions and tools, always check the manufacturer’s instructions on the label to ensure the product will not cause damage.
Tips for Cleaning Less Often
All of the above will collectively help you keep your home clean. How often you must do it, though, depends on you. By creating and placing cleaning kits throughout your home, you encourage maintenance between deep cleans. Consider purchasing multiple cleaning caddies and storing in each one the products and tools for a particular room, such as the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. That way, you clean in small increments, as opposed to spending an entire day on the job. Discover more helpful cleaning tips from Molly Maid, a Neighborly company.