Cleaning might not be your favourite chore (it’s a chore, after all), but it’s an important one for your health and comfort. Sure, you can always hire someone else to do the cleaning for you, but there are times when it’s more efficient to just do it yourself.
That said, perhaps the reason why you find cleaning unpleasant is that you don’t have the right tools and supplies to help you do the job right. Fortunately, cleaning essentials are easy to find; they’re also quite affordable.
Below, we list down some of the cleaning must-haves that even professional cleaners swear by.
A Vacuum Cleaner
No matter what type of floors you have, a vacuum cleaner will always come in handy to get rid of dust and dirt. If you have carpeted floors and/or some area rugs, make sure to get a model that comes with the right attachments so you don’t snag the pile.
If you don’t have enough space for storage, there are many handheld vacuum cleaners that offer almost the same amount of suction power. Even better, these smaller vacuums are great for smaller tasks like removing pet hair from furniture and dusting surfaces.
For something multipurpose, you can get a wet and dry vacuum. This allows you to clean both wet and dry messes; if you want, you can also DIY some more heavy-duty tasks like scrubbing your sofa cushions.
A crucial note about vacuum cleaners: make sure to wash their filters when needed. Usually, it’s as simple as soaking the filter in soapy, rinsing thoroughly, then letting it air dry. Make sure that the filter is the washable model, too; disposable filters aren’t designed for reuse and will not produce the same results.
A Good Broom and Dustpan
There are times when using a vacuum cleaner isn’t practical. For example, if your overactive toddler spilled a few pieces of cereal on the kitchen floor, setting up your vacuum cleaner to pick it up can be bothersome. It’s also, for lack of a better word, overkill.
As such, it’s a good idea to invest in a good broom and dustpan for simpler tasks. Look for a broom with sturdy synthetic bristles with flagged ends. This way, the broom can perform a better job of capturing dirt, dust, and hair. A broom with synthetic bristles also allows you to clean it more easily with soap and water when the need arises.
For the dustpan, find something that lays as flat against the floor as possible so you can more easily sweep debris onto it.
A Couple of Mops
To keep your floors sparkling clean, it’s better if you can mop them after sweeping or vacuuming. Especially for tile floors, mopping can serve as the buffing step for a nice shine. It can also pick up the last bits of dirt that you may have missed with the broom or vacuum.
You may also want to invest in a dust mop or flat mop if you prefer using mops over brooms. Get a wide one with washable microfibre mop pads so you can cover a larger floor area and you can avoid waste.
Microfibre Cloths or Kitchen Towels
Speaking of microfibre mop pads, it’s also a good idea to get a few microfibre cloths or towels that you can use for a variety of purposes. These handy cleaning supplies are great for dusting, as well as mopping up minor spills and drying up moist or wet surfaces.
To avoid cross-contamination, use a colour-coding system: blue cloths for the living room, yellow for the kitchen, red for the bathroom, and so on. For more absorbency and to cover bigger areas, consider getting a few hand-towel-size microfibre cloths.
Microfibre cleaning materials usually last for a long time with proper care. That said, it’s still a good idea to have a few on hand so that you have something to use for any occasion.
The Right Cleaning Solutions
While you can use laundry detergent to wash a variety of things other than clothes, it’s not the most effective or efficient for other materials. To ensure that your belongings don’t get damaged, make sure to invest in the right cleaning products. These include the following:
Wood cleaner and polish
Stainless steel cleaner
Toilet bowl cleaner
White vinegar (as a natural disinfectant)
A Bucket or Two
Most simple cleaning jobs don’t require a bucket, but it’s still a handy supply to have. A bucket is especially useful for mopping floors, with one bucket containing the soap solution and another serving as your rinse bucket. You can also use a bucket for storing your cleaning supplies, much like a storage caddy.
A Variety of Brushes and Sponges
For dirt and grime that can’t be removed by a quick wipe-down by a cleaning cloth, you’re going to need something more heavy duty like a brush or sponge. Depending on the cleaning job, you’re also going to need different kinds of brushes or sponges. Some of the most important ones include:
Grout brush (this can be old toothbrush, to minimise waste)
Dishwashing scrub sponge
Many of these can last a long time, but be sure to replace them as needed. Usually, this is when the bristles are worn down and you’re taking longer to achieve the results.
Other things you may want to invest in and stock up on include rubber gloves, baking soda, and disposable wipes. A squeegee may also come in handy for cleaning windows.
With these cleaning supplies ready and waiting for the next you need them, your cleaning tasks will be so much easier to handle.