House cleaning—yuck. No one wants to clean, but everyone wants a clean house. It’s hard work keeping a house clean and neat. While there are many things that you can do to keep your house neat, we are going to focus on the cleaning supplies rather than organizational goods. Cleaning supplies come in many forms, and each person will have preferences, but this list with the help of our partners at BetterCleans is a basic jumping-off point. We will not promote specific brands so that you can find what works for you that might help you to make a start on some spring cleaning.
The ickiest rooms seem to be the kitchen and the bathrooms, especially if you have teens. The room people most want to get under control, subsequently is usually the kitchen. The bathroom grime is just the way it is, and keeping up with it will help. The first supplies you will need are any specialty cleaners required for specific appliances or gadgets. For instance, glass-top stoves need cleaner formulated for keeping that surface free of cracks and dirt. Some cleaners are too harsh for these surfaces. Also, if you have specialty countertops, you might need to make sure that you have an appropriate cleaner. Stainless steel appliances smudge easily, and wipes or sprays designed for this purpose tend to work best. Sometimes, you can find an all-purpose cleaner for the rest of the surfaces. Dish soap and dishwasher tabs, and rinse agents are also recommended. Floors don’t require specialty formulas in general, but hardwoods or unique surfaces might be exceptions.
The bathroom is going to require many of the same cleaners as the kitchen where surfaces are concerned. Generally, countertops and floors are made of the same materials. Be sure that you have a quality tub and tile cleaner, especially if your bathroom is older. Good news! If you have an old tile floor, you might be able to use a toilet or shower cleaner. These surfaces get dingy quickly and are made from the same types of tile that shower walls and surfaces are. Bleach or antibacterial cleaners are optimal for the kitchen and bath.
Household common areas such as living rooms, dens, hallways, and foyers don’t often require specialty cleaners for most surfaces. Quality floor cleaners designed for the surfaces in those rooms are always a good idea. If you have upholstered furniture, invest in a quality cleaner for the fabric on your furniture. Always test a swatch in an obscured place to make sure the colors don’t fade or bleed. Pets, children, and adults have accidents that stain furniture. Spilled food and drinks are the most common stains, so you want to make sure they can be easily cleaned. Likewise, if you have leather furniture, you will want to make sure that you have an acceptable cleaner.
Bedrooms and Offices
Finally, you will probably not need separate cleaners for these locations, but a quality vacuum can keep rugs and carpets clean. Likewise, you will want to ensure that you only use electronic-safe cleaners on those surfaces.
Basic List of Supplies
Furniture Polish—this can be any brand formulated for the type of furniture you have. Stainless steel and wood have different needs, so the polishes should generally not be interchanged.
Glass Cleaner—Good quality glass cleaner is essential for windows, mirrors, glass doors, and other glass tabletops or surfaces.
Brooms or Dry Sweepers—Picking up large pieces of paper or waste from the floor is pretty simple with your hands, but not everything is easily removed this way. Likewise, you don’t want to use a wet sweeper for some dirt and grime until you have removed the excess first. A good broom and dustpan or dry sweeper is your best bet.
Mops or Wet Sweepers—for tile, laminate, wood, or other hard surface floors, mopping or using wet sweepers can keep the surfaces clean. Be sure that chemical cleaners are formulated for the type of floor you are using. The wrong formula on a hardwood floor can strip the floor’s stain or wax.
Quality Vacuum—whether you want a robot vacuum or a traditional push model is up to you. Vacuuming will keep allergens and waste out of your carpets and rugs.
Cleaning Cloths—soft, sturdy cleaning cloths are a lifesaver. You want to use reusable cloths whenever possible. Microfiber is relatively inexpensive and safe for most surfaces.
Countertop Cleaners—Most countertops can use all-purpose cleaners, but some may need some specialty cleaning products. Check labels before spraying or wiping your surface with any chemical.
Dusting Cloths and Sprays—Furniture needs to retain its luster and shine. Purchasing mild sprays and using soft cloths can eliminate the allergens found in household dust and keep your surfaces looking as good as new.
Tub and Tile Cleaners—in the bathroom, you will need to be sure that you have a quality tub and tile cleaners or a cleaner that meets the needs of your shower. Glass or plexiglass shower doors will require special cleaners, and tubs made from different materials may have different care needs. However, most of them can use a basic tub and tile cleaner. This cleaner may also be safe for the floor if your floors are tile.
Toilet Cleaners and Wands—the toilet will also require effective cleaners to ensure they are properly sanitized. Don’t forget to scrub under the seat, rim, and along the base of the toilet as well as inside the bowl. A good rag or towel can do the trick.
Do I Really Need Expensive Cloths?
NO! Some things I often use at home are old towels that are tattered, baby socks, and old burp cloths. These cloths are soft, and it’s not a big deal if they get stained. In all likelihood, the burp cloths are already stained. If you don’t have any of these things available, inexpensive microfiber towels and washcloths can be purchased at most home goods retailers.
House cleaning does not need to be expensive or use products with only one purpose. Anytime you can use multipurpose or all-purpose cleaners, invest in those. Some of those can be used on tile, floor, and sinks. Don’t feel that every surface needs a new chemical for cleaning.