Even with so many cleaning products available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when deciding what to have. Keep your house sparkling and make cleaning a breeze by having the essential items ready.
Put them in a caddy, bucket, or tool belt–whatever works for you!
Here is a list of must-have cleaning items to ensure any mess can be taken care of quickly and efficiently.
Table of Contents
Products to Put in Your Cleaning Kit
You should have an all-purpose cleaner in your cleaning kit because it is safe and gentle for most surfaces. It isn’t abrasive where it would scratch or alter a surface, but it is still strong enough to lift dirt and germs in most cases.
However, not every all-purpose cleaner contains the same ingredients.
It’s best to read the labels and properly understand for which surfaces each all-purpose cleaner is most suitable. For example, some cleaners may not be appropriate and can damage porous surfaces.
You can also DIY an all-purpose cleaner with simple ingredients like vinegar and water or dish soap and water. But there are two things to consider. Don’t use vinegar on granite or marble surfaces, as it can strip the sealant.
The dish soap-based spray can tackle that, but a soap-based all-purpose cleaner isn’t great for glass surfaces and mirrors as they can leave streaks and residue.
Although all-purpose cleaners can attack dirt and germs, they might not be strong enough to clean grease, stains, mold, mildew, or areas prone to bacteria. You will need to find different products that can specifically tackle those issues.
As parents of 3 little kids, Force of Nature is our go-to all purpose cleaner. It's nontoxic but is EPA approved for use against Covid-19.
We love vinegar, but we use Force of Nature every day.
An all-purpose cleaner is not a disinfectant. A disinfectant helps clean germs and bacteria entirely off of a surface, whereas an all-purpose cleaner’s job is to remove dirt and some of the germs. That’s why a disinfectant is an essential item in your cleaning kit.
Yes, some surfaces will need to be cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner to lift the dirt and then a disinfectant to kill the germs and bacteria on contact and prevent them from spreading.
Disinfectant wipes are convenient and take a quick wipe to get surfaces sanitized. However, just like all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants are not all the same and can be made of different ingredients.
Again, some may not be safe for granite and marble surfaces because of the possibility of stripping the sealant. Some brands are also biodegradable, and some are not. So if green products are important to you, read your labels carefully.
You can use the all-purpose cleaner to clean glass, but only if it is vinegar or an ammonia-based cleaner. Any soap-based cleaner will leave streaks and residue on the glass.
Duster with Extendable Handle
A handheld duster is a must-have to easily slide over shelves, between objects, and over baseboards. Then extend the handle and tackle those hard-to-reach places like ceiling fans, light fixtures, and the tops of windows and bookshelves.
The material clings to dust, and the best part is there are machine washable and disposable options.
Microfiber cloths have become household items people can’t live without. They are small but mighty cleaners! Microfiber cloths are absorbent, attract dust easily, and can make greasy appliances sparkle. They are also reusable and machine washable.
One thing to remember is that microfiber cloths don’t belong in the dryer. Drying microfiber cloths on high heat can melt the fibers, so they won’t be able to pick up dust like a magnet like they usually do.
They will also end up picking up lint from other materials while drying. It’s best to rinse them in water and hang dry them or machine wash them in cold water and hang drying them.
People have found toilet bowl cleaner so valuable that it’s a must-have in all cleaning kits. Other than cleaning your toilet bowl, toilet cleaner effectively cleans grout and removes soap buildup on shower walls.
Some people have a toilet brush in every washroom, and some wear thick rubber gloves and clean toilets with a sponge. However you decide to clean your toilet, once the task is complete, it’s best to rinse the sponge or the brush with clean water,
Then let the sponge dry a bit and spray them with hydrogen peroxide.
You can leave the toilet brush to air dry by placing it between the toilet and the seat so the brush hangs over the bowl.
Whether it’s scrubbing sponges or a scrubbing brush, you need something with an abrasive material to cut through dirt and soap scum, such as bathroom floors, showers, and the inside of greasy appliances.
Scrubbing sponges will require less effort and be more effective than softer cleaning clothes.
A Detail Brush
A small brush can come in handy for tight spaces and hard-to-reach corners than a bigger scrub brush. A small brush is perfect for such areas as grout, around faucets, shower doors, and more.
You can use something as simple as a toothbrush with firm bristles to get the job done.
It’s best not to clean or use chemicals without wearing gloves. Always protect your skin from chemicals commonly used in cleaners, such as detergents, vinegar, ammonia, and bleach.
Skin is very sensitive, and using cleaners without gloves could cause extreme dryness and even chemical burns, so it’s best to have that barrier.
Gloves also protect against germs. Some surfaces have germs and bacteria, such as bathroom sinks, toilets, and kitchen sinks. Cleaning those areas with gloves also reduces the risk of infecting ourselves with the germs we are cleaning.
You can buy a box of disposable gloves or a pair of rubber gloves from your local dollar store.
Pet owners will understand this necessity the most. A lint roller is helpful in bedrooms and living room areas where lint is more likely to collect, such as on pillows and sofas. Lint rollers are great for picking up pet hair as well.
Other Cleaning Items That Don’t Belong in the Cleaning Kit
You need other cleaning items for the housework, but we don’t recommend you drag them around the house. If you only need them for one area, keep them out of your cleaning kit and store them in the room where they belong.
An overly abrasive Oven Cleaner
Grease that splatters inside an oven is difficult to remove only using an all-purpose cleaner. How to Clean Oven with Vinegar and Baking Soda (and salt!)
Stainless Steel Cleaner
You can keep the stainless steel appliance cleaner in the kitchen since it’s probably the only room you will need this type of cleaner.
A cleaning kit with all the products you need is an efficient way to clean the house. It helps save time when you have everything you need for each room together. Of course, you will still need a vacuum cleaner and a mop.
Otherwise, a cleaning kit containing an all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant wipes, glass cleaner, toilet cleaner, microfiber clothes, scrubbing sponges or brush, a duster, gloves, and a lint roller is everything you need to get your house sparkling.
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Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.