Anyone who owns or rents a home knows the importance of keeping it clean. Kids leave fingerprints on the windows, and pets track in dirt from the outdoors. Even well-mannered adults may knock over a glass of wine on occasion. Being armed with the right tools makes cleaning up these everyday messes a breeze. Here are the cleaning essentials every household needs to keep their home tidy and germ-free.
1. Cleaning Chemicals
Germs are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean these unwanted guests should move into your home. Cleaning chemicals and solutions will keep these microscopic critters at bay. Anyone looking for a powerful disinfectant that will kill germs, bacteria, and viruses on contact should pick one that’s both EPA approved and safe for use around kids or pets.
2. A Multi-Use Sponge
Need to tackle stuck-on grime? A classic sponge is the best solution. Look for one with an abrasive side to help loosen and remove stubborn dirt. Be sure to rinse the sponge with hot, soapy water after every use to prevent cross-contamination. Most household sponges last two to three weeks, but a durable silicone one will hold up for years.
3. A Few Good Towels
Towels are ideal for cleaning hard surfaces, such as granite countertops or windows. They also work great for soaking up small spills. Soft, non-abrasive cotton towels are extremely absorbent. Microfiber cloths won’t leave behind lint or streaks on glass surfaces. After use, toss soiled towels in the washing machine with some bleach to disinfect them.
4. A Scrub Brush
Tough stains require a bit more elbow grease to remove. All-purpose scrub brushes help erase unwanted marks on tiles, sinks, tubs, and toilet bowls. A good brush should last for three to four months. Soak it in vinegar after use to kill any germs on the bristles.
5. An Old Toothbrush
More detailed cleaning requires a smaller tool. An old, repurposed toothbrush is ideal for scrubbing grout, faucets, or other small spaces. Simply disinfect a retired toothbrush in vinegar, and use it to clean every nook and cranny around the house.
6. A Broom and Dustpan
Dust, dirt, pet hair, and other dry, solid debris are no match for a broom and dustpan. It only takes a few minutes each day to sweep stone tiles, hardwood, or vinyl flooring. Doing so will make the floors look cleaner and last longer.
7. A Mop and Bucket
Deeply embedded stains usually require soap and water to remove. A wet mop is an excellent choice for sanitizing many hard surfaces, like porcelain or linoleum tiles. Fill the bucket with warm water and a cleaning solution for the best results.
8. Spray Bottles
Every cleaning closet should include a few spray bottles. They are great for saturating and rinsing surfaces. Homeowners who want to make their own cleaning solutions can also use glass bottles for mixing and storing.
9. A Vacuum
Whether a house has wall-to-wall carpeting or a few area rugs, a powerful vacuum is a must. This appliance sucks dirt and dust out of the fibers. In addition to keeping floors looking their best, regular vacuuming will also help reduce unwanted allergens. Vacuums effectively remove pet hair, dander, pollen, and other debris.
Simplify the Cleaning Process
Cleaning the house doesn’t have to feel like a chore. With the right supplies, it can even be fun! Having these handy tools on hand will help you tidy up faster than ever before.