Top 10 Essential Home Cleaning Supplies
I hate cleaning. In fact, I avoid it like the plague. But as a stay at home mom, I can't avoid it forever. However, there are several products that I can't live without that make cleaning my home much easier, faster and somewhat enjoyable.
There are tools as well as cleaning products on this list to make the list as comprehensive as possible.
Number 1 – The Vacuum Cleaner
I enjoy vacuuming for some odd reason. I’ve even been known to steal the vacuum from my husband! It’s a matter of personal preference which type of vacuum you choose. I prefer one with the following characteristics:
- Lots of attachments – they make getting into nooks and crannies and reaching the ceiling much easier.
- A long cord – I hate having to unplug the vacuum to go room to room, and I suspect most people dislike doing so!
- Ability to fit under tables – I love this feature because it makes it so easy to clean under end tables, coffee tables, and dining room tables.
- Bagless – my current vacuum is bagless and also opens at the bottom, so all you have to do is hold it over the garbage, flip the button and let it all fall out!
- 12 Amps – I have 6 cats and a dog, so we need the extra power. Those who don’t have pets may not need 12 amps.
An additional plus on my vacuum is the hose. It's see-through so if there is anything stuck in there, I can actually see where it is, which makes it much easier to remove.
Number 2 – The Swiffer
I love the Swiffer. The dry cloths are not only great for quick cleans in the kitchen and bathroom, but they make excellent dust cloths as well. They actually trap the dust; it doesn’t just go flying everywhere. It’s also safe to use on my HDTV and laptop because there is no lint.
The wet Swiffers are just as amazing. They smell wonderful and make cleaning the kitchen floor so easy. They are also much more sanitary than mops because you change the cloth every time.
I also have a Swiffer vacuum. It’s essentially a traditional Swiffer that uses the dry cloths, but it has a vacuum on it as well. It doesn’t have a lot of power, but it’s perfect for the kitchen and bathroom. I use it daily to pick up the excess crumbs of cat food that end up on the kitchen floor.
Number 3 – The Dish Wand
The one chore I hate the most is cleaning dishes. My dish wand makes cleaning the dishes a bit easier, and much faster. I just fill it with soap, wet the sponge, and clean away.
The sponges are easy to change out when it’s time to replace them, and they come in packages of two (sometimes three) so I always have a backup sponge.
Number 4 – S.O.S or Brillo Pads
I’m partial to Brillo pads, but S.O.S pads are just as good, and they come in lavender scent (I love lavender, it’s so uplifting).
Brillo pads are actually quite versatile; you can use them on just about any surface except nonstick pans. They work wonders on stainless steel sinks. They can also be used for:
- Cleaning sticky labels or glue off jars
- Cleaning stains out of coffee carafes and porcelain mugs, as well as tea kettles (glass or otherwise)
- Easily clean dirt and grime off your windshield and wipers
Number 5 – Baking Soda
There are so many uses for baking soda. Not only can you use it to clean and cook, it can also deodorize. You can actually use it as deodorant! Here are some lesser known uses for baking soda:
- Deodorize litter boxes (I actually use it to freshen up my litter boxes in between changes)
- Eliminate skunk odor
- Clean white boards
- Use it as flower food
- Remove crayon/marker from walls
- Whiten teeth
- Relieve itching
- Clean brushes/combs
- Remove hard water stains
- Freshen carpets
- Remove armpit stains
- Freshen stuffed animals
- Put out small kitchen fires
Number 6 – Broom and Dustpan
When my vacuum cleaner broke, I used a broom and dust pan to clean the carpet (we have Berber). It was really difficult and took forever, but it worked in a pinch. You never know when you’ll need to clean up a mess that a vacuum can’t handle (like spilled poop from a litter box, or the litter itself which wreaks havoc on a vacuum cleaner).
Number 7 – Zep Degreaser
My husband swears by this cleaner. I call it the orange stuff, but its real name is Zep Degreaser. It works on anything and can remove paint from walls. My husband tells a story about Zep Degreaser every time he talks about it. He was remodeling a bar, and had to clean windows that were coated with smoke from over 20 years of business. He said it cut right through the dirt like a knife through butter.
The stuff is amazing, and will degrease anything, but I’ve found I have to use an all-purpose cleaner afterwards because I don’t like the scent of it. It's really strong.
A word of caution: wear gloves if you have sensitive skin. It’s pretty caustic.
How Many Do You Have?
How many of these essential cleaning supplies do you have?
Number 8 – Window/Glass Cleaner
Obviously, this works well on windows, but it can also be used on reflective surfaces such as the bathroom mirror. The door on my microwave is reflective, and glass cleaner easily cleans all the fingerprints my daughter leaves on the door.
Number 9 – All-Purpose Cleaner
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it is an essential. While the degreaser works well on just about anything, I don’t clean the kitchen counters with it every day. Plus if you use an all-purpose cleaner and a brillo pad you can clean anything in the house.
Number 10 – Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent can be used for more than just laundry. I’ve used it to freshen litter boxes, pre-treat stains, clean up oil spots on the garage floor, and spot clean upholstery. You can also make an all-purpose cleaner out of it.
Other Cleaning Supplies You May Want on Hand
There are a couple of things not on this list because they’re not all that essential, but I find them indispensable.
- Gloves - Any gloves will work: rubber, latex, etc. Personally, I prefer vinyl medical gloves. They’re more durable than latex, but they don’t smell as bad. They allow full movement of my hands and fingers, and they’re powder-free. Even people with latex allergies can wear them.
- Toilet brush
- Dish cloths or paper towels – I use dish cloths because they are more environmentally friendly and cheaper than paper towels. But, I have to admit, I much prefer using paper towels.
- Bathroom cleaner – although you can use all-purpose cleaner for every room in the house, bathroom cleaners such as Tilex, or Scrubbing Bubbles make the job much easier and helps prevent soap scum.
- Home Management Notebook - not really considered a cleaning supply, but my HMN has all of my chores check lists, a list of all the cleaning supplies I use, inventory of those supplies and so much more.
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