The 9 Essential Cleaning Products to Keep Your Home Sparkling
Meta: Spills and messes happen every day in our homes, so it’s vital to have the right cleaning tools to keep your home feeling fresh and looking new.
We all have to clean, whether we like it or not. But do you have all the right supplies to make cleaning easier?
Without the necessary tools and products, cleaning can be far more tiresome and time-consuming than it needs to be. Imagine having to wipe the floor of your entire house with just a cleaning rag. Cinderella certainly didn’t like doing it!
Not only is cleaning with the wrong supplies harder, you can end up destroying your furniture and other household items with the wrong cleaning equipment. And you definitely don’t want to risk ruining that antique side table given to you by your grandmother.
But when you do a quick search online, you’ll find that there are hundreds, even thousands, of ‘necessary’ cleaning equipment and products on the market. Some of which are as expensive as your kid’s karate lessons! The latest iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550), for example, costs over $1,000.
With so many available options, how do you choose the cleaning equipment you’ll actually use?
While every household has its own cleaning needs and preferences, there are still a few essential cleaning tools and solutions that all homes should have. And fortunately, they don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg!
So, we created a reference list to help you get the right types of products to keep your home sparkling.
What cleaning products do you need?
Have you ever stared at the cleaning section of the hardware or grocery store and wondered: Do I really need all the products here?
The answer is: it depends. If you or your children have asthma, for example, then it’s best to buy a vacuum with HEPA filters. HEPA filters pickup on micro dust particles so that your home is as dust-free as possible.
But not everyone needs 100s of products cluttering up their cabinets. To help you have a more organised cleaning cupboard, we’ve listed the most essential products for every home here:
1. Durable latex or rubber gloves
Although not a cleaning appliance or solution, you should always keep a pair of rubber gloves in your cleaning kit. They keep you from contracting germs and bacteria as you wipe, scrub, and disinfect. It also protects you from the harmful chemicals in some cleaning solutions, and of course, it keeps you from coming into direct contact with the gross corners in your bathroom that you don’t want to touch.
E. Coli and Salmonella, for example, are some of the most common bacteria that you can pick up when cleaning your bathroom. When either of these enters your body, you can experience diarrhea, abdominal pains, and headaches. In extreme cases, E. Coli can also cause kidney damage.
Cleaning solutions, on the other hand, contain solvents, bleach, chlorine, and ammonia, among other chemicals. When these meet exposed skin, they can cause eczema, dermatitis (aka skin rashes), and chemical burns.
Avoid these problems by wearing rubber gloves when you’re in a cleaning frenzy.
Squeegees are one of the most overlooked home cleaning tools.
Beyond cleaning your car windows, squeegees are effective at wiping down water from your bathroom walls and floors to prevent mildew and mould build-up. You can also use them to keep your mirrors and windows spic-and-span with the aid of a surface cleaner.
One more hidden use of the squeegee? It removes hair and fur from your carpets! Just run a dry squeegee through your rug, and you’ll see all the hair and fur your vacuum missed sticking to the fabric.
3. Cleaning rags
Cleaning rags are a must-have for every cleaning kit. You need them to wipe surfaces, furniture, and fixtures, as well as clean accidental spills and messes. That’s why we recommend having more than one in your kit.
Ideally, you should have:
- 1-2 rags exclusively for the kitchen counters and your dining table.
- 1-2 rags for the bathroom as it is one of the dirtiest places at home.
- 1 rag per surface type (e.g., wood, glass, stone) to prevent different chemicals from mixing.
- 2+ rags for general cleaning, like wiping quick messes and spills.
Microfibre cloth is another must-have in your list of cleaning rags. These effectively wipe dust and dirt from surfaces, especially on your electronics like computers and tablets. Plus, they remove fingerprints and smudges from glass and steel without scratching surfaces. Talk about having an all-in-one cleaner!
4. Disinfectant wipes or paper towel
Disinfectant wipes and paper towels are gaining a bad rep today for being harmful to the environment.
And while there are more eco-friendly alternatives, like reusable paper towels, scientists aren’t recommending them for the dirtiest places in your household. They particularly don’t recommend it for decontaminating your home from viruses like COVID-19.
This is because there’s a high possibility for cross-contamination when using reusable paper towels and cleaning rags. In other words, whatever dirt you pickup when using a rag can easily transfer to other parts of your home, especially when you don’t put it in the wash right after use.
So, it’s still important to keep disinfectant wipes and paper towels, but use them only for the dirtiest parts of your homes. For example, when cleaning the exterior of your toilet bowl.
5. Vacuum cleaner, broom and dustpan
While vacuums are the most effective tools for getting rid of dust, they’re also a big hassle for cleaning minor messes. Imagine having to bring out the vacuum every time you spill food crumbs on the floor. On the other hand, vacuums are better if you want to reduce dust allergies caused by sweeping particles into the air you breathe.
If you have children or pets, you already know that your floor will be dirty every few minutes. So keep that broom in handy for these small emergencies. Not to mention that if your floor is carpeted, sweeping it is definitely not enough to keep it clean.
It’s common to spill juice, water, and sauces. Although you can use rags and paper towels to clean these, mops are easier and quicker to use—especially for big spills.
Another important reason for them is because you’ll be tracking in a lot of mud and water during the winter months and rainy seasons. Keep your floors tidy and reduce accidents from slipping by having a mop handy.
Finally, the last reason you need to have a mop at home is that sweeping and vacuuming aren’t enough for a spotless floor. You also need to disinfect and polish it every so often with solutions and cleaners, especially if you have a lot of foot traffic going through your home.
7. All-purpose cleaner
The mother of all cleaning solutions, the all-purpose cleaner can be used on almost every surface. And it can do almost anything:
- Act as a detergent
- Neutralises odor
That’s why no home must exist without it. You can quickly and easily use it to clean small and big messes. And you don’t have to bother keeping numerous specific-type cleaners that take up a lot of space and budget from your household.
That said, it’s important to note that not all multi-purpose cleaners are made the same. Some don’t work well with wooden surfaces, while others may not have ingredients to disinfect viruses and germs. So it’s important to read the label before using.
8. Antibacterial spray
Use antibacterial spray to disinfect all the surfaces of your home, especially the high contact areas. You can also use it on surfaces that can get damaged from the chemicals in an all-purpose cleaner.
We should warn you, however, that antibacterial sprays and solutions don’t kill viruses like COVID-19. Antibacterial, as the name suggests, only destroys germs and bacteria. If you’re looking for a solution or spray that also kills viruses, we recommend buying specialty disinfectants, or to use stronger cleaning solutions, like bleach.
9. Scrub brush, steel wool, and toothbrush
If you’re the type of person who’s compelled to spring clean every so often—even with regular house cleaning services—you’ll need a scrub brush, steel wool, and a toothbrush.
Scrub brushes are efficient for removing stubborn dirt crusts and stains on wide areas. Examples of these areas are bathroom tiles, kitchen counters, and outside patios. On the other hand, you should use steel wool for spots and areas that scrub brushes can’t reach, such as the corner of your bathroom.
Lastly, you can use toothbrushes for finer and more delicate areas, such as in the nooks and crannies of your kitchen sink. But before you start using any toothbrush for cleaning, label it first to avoid confusing it for your own toothbrush!
Use the right tools to clean your house
As you go about the necessary and sometimes dreaded task of housekeeping, having the right tools makes the work as easy, quick, and painless as possible. The right equipment cuts down on time and energy spent cleaning—allowing you to do other things, like spending more time with your family.
But use the wrong tools, and you’ll spend double or triple the time needed to clean your house. So, be sure to read labels and do some research on the right kinds of materials you need for your space.
And if cleaning just isn’t your thing, that’s okay. We’re here to help. Clutter Monkey is the leading house cleaning service in Auckland that has all the right tools to keep your house spotless and germ-free.
Schedule a clean with us now, and you’ll come home to a fresh new home everyday.