30 Cleaning Essentials You Should Have in Your Home by Age 30
There comes a time when you need to finally get on board with these 30 expert-recommended cleaning products.
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Professional home cleaner Vanessa Leroy, Crew Leader for the Brighton Housekeeping Associates of Michigan, recommends the Kenmore Canister Vacuum. "It's more powerful than a standard upright vacuum and perfect for picking up all types of nasty debris to leave your carpets/hard floors clean once again." She adds: "It comes with several attachments to assist in otherwise hard to clean places like corners, stairs, and couches." Find out how often you should be cleaning everything in your house.
Speaking of bathrooms, when it comes to toilet bowl cleaners, you really need two types, says Homer. "One bleach-based and one acid-based, to be able to handle all the different situations you might encounter," she said. One to try? Lysol Complete Power Bowl Cleaner. "If the client has rust and hard water stains, an acid bowl cleaner like this one will dissolve the iron causing the rust ring." Next, learn the cleaning tips all dog and cat owners should be aware of.
If your toilet has been neglected and has black or pink mold build-up, a bleach-based bowl cleaner like Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Clinging Bleach Gel might be a better option than the Lysol Complete, says Homer. Find out what professional housecleaners do in their homes every day.
Vanessa Grimes, the owner of Greensboro, North Carolina-based MaidGift, is a big fan of Green Works All Purpose Cleaner. "I can use it in the kitchen and the bathroom and pretty much through the whole house. It leaves a nice fresh clean smell, and I don't have to worry about any chemical residues." She mainly uses the cleaner in the kitchen. "I usually spray the stove top, let it sit for about three to five minutes while I clean the countertops, and then I come back and wipe it and all the dirt and grease come right off."
Especially for individuals suffering from pet allergies, an air purifier with a HEPA filter is a must. "These small and portable units are excellent at trapping allergens, such as dust and pet dander, as well as other irritants, such a tobacco smoke and strong odors," says Dr. Mithani. He recommends Rabbit Air Purifier with HEPA filter for many of his patients, noting its ease of use, sleek look, and effectiveness in trapping allergens.
Professional window cleaner Merin Jay of the London, UK-based Top Window Cleaners, likes Method Natural Glass Surface Cleaner, Mint. "This cleaning product is almost 100 percent green ingredients, which makes it safe for pets, children, and, basically, the whole family. Also, the bottle is made of biodegradable plastic which makes it an environmentally-friendly way to clean the windows and save nature." She uses it on a variety of surfaces. "And last, but not least, it leaves a nice minty scent and can be used as an air freshener."
If you suffer from a dust mite allergy, it's best to clean your home more often—ideally twice a week. When doing so, Dr. Mithani recommends using a damp or moist microfiber cloth and wearing a mask, gloves, and long clothing, all which form a barrier between your nose, mouth and skin and allergens in the environment. "Purchase microfiber cleaning cloths, which are soft, non-abrasive, and extra absorbent for retaining water, which works great when collecting dust," he says. "They're also better for the environment since they are machine washable and therefore can be reused." See why we love microfiber cloths and why they're worth picking up.
You're probably familiar with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser—it's synonymous with removing crayon marks off walls. But the cleaner offers so much more: "Magic Erasers are lifesavers," says Rochelle Stalter, Branch Manager at Michigan's East Lansing Housekeeping Associates. "Yes, they can be used to clean marks off walls or baseboards, but they also easily remove residue from sinks, counters, doors, and floors, and can even be used to clean grout or dirt in pitted tile floors." But be careful, as there are some surfaces you should NOT clean with a Magic Eraser.
Greg Shepard, the owner of the award-winning Dallas Maids in Texas, recommends Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Spray for use on any stainless steel surfaces you may have around the home. The material tends to collect fingerprints, dust and looks 'cloudy' in appearance if not cleaned properly. "It may not be green, but it's the best stainless steel cleaner we've seen. It'll leave your stainless steel streak-free."
When it comes to cleaning rags, look for microfiber. According to Molly Maid's General Brand Manager Jennifer Gregory, microfiber rags are mostly made of polyester, and, unlike cotton, they leave no lint behind. "They are usually knitted and very soft, making them generally safe for use on relatively soft surfaces such as paint or wood." However, watch that your cloth doesn't latch onto a small piece of grit—it could cause a scratch while dusting, warns Gregory. "Using microfiber cloths also eliminates a lot of bacteria when you're using only water—about three times the effectiveness of traditional cleaning cloths. This is why many hospitals have converted to microfiber cloths, towels, and mops." One to try? AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, an Amazon #1 Best Seller.
"Keeping dishes out of the sink will help prevent indoor allergen such as mold and cockroach build-up, as well as help break down food allergens," notes Dr. Elliott. But instead of choosing just any dish soap available to you at your local market, she recommends buying one that's fragrance-free and ideally plant-based so that it's non-irritation and non-allergenic. Ever wonder what gives Dawn soap its super powers? We've got the secret answer.
Since mold doesn't discriminate when it comes to its ability to thrive in moist environments, growing in plants, basements, bathrooms, air conditioners, refrigerator coils, and even stuffed furniture, Steven Davis, MD, ENT, an allergy and sinus specialist and founder and director of Breathe Clear Institute, recommends using a dehumidifiers, which can help make high-risk areas less appealing to mold. "Install humidity gauges to help keep track of how dry you are keeping the rooms in your home, and keep small, unvented spaces lit because molds prefer dark areas," he says. Better yet, check out a self-draining dehumidifier.
"Better Life cleaning products are great! I used them in my own home," says Morgan. "They're completely green. I love the brand's Kitchen and Bath Scrubber for my glass top stove and my granite counters. When the stove top is still a little warm I apply the scrubber, let it sit for a minute, then wipe off with a damp cloth and it removes any stains or food build up."
Bathrooms get pretty germy, but with the right product, they're easy to clean and disinfect. "At MaidPro, our go-to, acid-based bathroom spray is Comet Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner because it's powerful enough to cut through soap scum, hard water deposits, even toilet bowl stains, yet gentle enough to use on chrome and most natural stone, all without the fabric-staining risks of bleach," says Homer. "The best part about Comet Disinfecting is that it's an easy rinse liquid, unlike its powdered predecessor, so we can clean bathroom sinks, shower wall, tubs, and toilet bowls all with one product; and no gritty, powdery mess to clean up." Here's a guide to the germiest spot in your bathroom—hint: it's not your toilet.
If tough stains are getting you down, let OxiClean come to the rescue! This versatile stain fighter uses a unique formula that's activated by water, unleashing bubbling oxygen power for safe, effective cleaning. It's great for laundry, cleaning the patio furniture, carpet stains and more.
"I resisted buying this product for years because of the cheesy infomercials," says an Amazon reviewer. "Honestly, can it really be that good? Yes, yes, it can! Had some really nasty deodorant stains built up on my shirts and dresses and after watching some tutorials online I decided to cave and give it a try. This product is a miracle and it far exceeded my expectations!"
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There's no denying that Swiffer has made a major name for itself in the world of cleaning products. And for good reason! The dry cloths in this kit conform to surfaces and grout lines, tackling dirt, dust and hair. The wet mopping cloths also trap dirt and grime and lock it away for good!
"Couldn't live without my Swiffer, works great on the hardwood floors," says an Amazon reviewer. "The dry cloths really pick up the dirt and all the pieces of crud brought in the house on the bottom of my shoes, even though I try to only wear "house shoes" when inside. I like that the bottom is hinged allowing you to push the Swiffer under thin spaces. I no longer use it wet, but it works just as well wet as dry."
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These non-scratch scouring pads can be used on all cookware to cut through stuck-on grime. Use the scouring pad side to cut through messes, and the absorbent sponge side for multiple uses.
"I cook a lot. My husband bought me all stainless steal skillets about four years ago. I use the Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge at least three times a day every day cleaning those pots and skillets. I have never had a single scratch on any of them using the non scratch sponge," says an Amazon reviewer. "Plus, instead of going through a box of steel pads weekly, this sponge outlasts all of them and saves me money.
"Excellent product, great price and best of all, it is dependable each time I use it."
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Make cleaning dishes easier and more efficient with this OXO brush. It features a slip-resistant handle, an angled head and stiff, durable bristles that tackle all the nooks and crannies of your dirty pots, pans and dishes.
"We went through multiple of those brushes with an integrated reservoir for soap," says an Amazon reviewer. "They seemed nice but in practice they ALWAYS wound up getting moldy over time since you couldn't get them dry or clean the inside part. Then we got this simple brush and it is great. Durable enough to run it through the dishwasher to get clean (toss it in there once a week or so) but strong enough to really scrape off the worst of the muck. OXO always has a good handle so it's easy to grip."
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Plunging toilets and dealing with backed-up drains is a pain. Say goodbye to such disasters with this highly effective formula from Green Gobbler. The ultra-thick liquid dissolves grease, hair, paper, soap scum and everything organic that's causing clogs within your pipes.
"Fantastic stuff," says an Amazon reviewer. "My bathtub was so bad that when I showered I would be standing in almost a foot of water. I used other products all to no avail and was to the point of calling a plumber when I came across this product. I used half the bottle and within a couple hours the clog was totally gone and no evil odor. I highly recommend."
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Featuring durable, high-quality nylon bristles that are great for scrubbing and cleaning fiberglass, porcelain, linoleum, tile and grout, this is one powerful cleaning product! The two-brush combo kit fits all cordless drills and impact drivers.
"For sixteen bucks on Amazon this is a total game changer," says an Amazon reviewer. "Since I purchased my home, the master shower has had stains in the grout and also on the shower floor that I have never been able to get out. It didn't matter which cleaner I used or how hard I scrubbed. Nothing came out. It looked so disgusting that I started to feel like we were going to go through the expense of having the shower replaced. I bought this drill brush and I am amazed. It took me three separate times of cleaning my shower with this brush to get all the stains out. My shower is now spotless. Spotless people! I would recommend this in a heartbeat. Just make sure you have a good drill with a good battery."
If your tile grout is dirty and stained but still sound, consider whitening it. It's an easy, inexpensive four-step process.
As unsightly as it might seem, wearing a mask is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from an allergic reaction when you clean your home. "Make sure it's a N95 mask, which protects against most inhaled particles that can be given off from cleaning products as well as airborne allergens, dust, VOCs, and mold," adds Dr. Elliott. A N95 mask is a must for any DIYer, as are these safety items.
Just spray and leave it—that's how Method Daily Shower Cleaner works! This non-toxic, plant-based cleaner dissolves and prevents soap scum. It's safe for most non-porous surfaces, just do a test in a small spot first. "This is awesome! It absolutely reduces the number of times you have to scrub your shower/tub. Just spray it around after every shower and mold just won't happen," said one buyer. These 15 cleaning mistakes could make you sick.
"Love this product! It cleans and shines without streaking or residue of any kind. I tend to be sensitive to chemical smells, and this product doesn't bother me at all," said one user of Hope's Perfect Granite. This granite and marble cleaner gives you a streak-free clean on your countertops and backsplashes. It's also safe to use on other stone surfaces. Never mix these 20 common household cleaning products.
Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not dirty. Glisten is a foaming cleaner that helps remove all that odor-causing buildup in your garbage disposal sidewalls, blades, splashguard and drain pipes. Use it weekly or as needed. "I can literally hear how much easier the disposal spins. I can see the metal which used to be black," said one buyer, adding, "Simply amazing, I'm shocked how well this stuff works." These are the best cleaning products for people with allergies.
If you think the inside of your dishwasher is clean, think again. Affresh is designed to penetrate, dissolve and remove odor-causing residue left behind. Use the cleaner once a month to keep your dishwasher fresh and clean, thus giving your dishes the best clean possible. Just drop the tablet in, turn the dishwasher on and let the cleaner do its job. "This was simple to use, smelled good, and I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the dishwasher after the recommended cleaning cycle. This product actually did what it advertises that it will do! Great results, fairly economical—and by the way—it works," said one buyer.
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If you struggle with rust stains, try Iron OUT. This cleaner is a power gel that clings to rust stains to help dissolve them on contact, without scrubbing! This cleaning product is easy and safe to use in hard-to-reach places like showers, sinks, toilets, tile and many other surfaces. "When we bought our home there was no water softener and years of iron buildup. We tried so many things on our shower, nothing worked. We were convinced we'd be stuck until we renovated the bathroom. The Iron OUT worked wonders. I still can't believe it. We had to let it sit for about an hour. It then dissolved and wiped right off," said one buyer. This is the best way to remove hard water stains.
Over the years, Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner has gained a cult-like following. This best-selling cleaner has essential oils along with plant-derived cleaning ingredients, making it a safe and affordable cleaner for everything from countertops and sinks to bathroom fixtures, finished wood and tile. And, it will leave your home smelling great! "I love this cleaner! It smells amazing and the scent really lasts! It doesn't contain any nasty chemicals so I feel better about my 3-year-old 'helping' me clean. This spray does a great job for cleaning up everyday counter and kitchen messes," said one buyer. Learn how to clean hardwood floors with natural products.
Resolve will lift those stains out of your carpet while neutralizing odors at the same time. It breaks down a number of tough, everyday stains such as tomato sauce, oil, make-up, pet stains and coffee spills. "This product is great! I was able to get rid of multiple spots on my white carpet including grimy oil stains, tomato and wine spot stains. Super easy to use. I just sprayed the affected area and let it sit and soak in for a while. After that, I used a brush to scrub the stains out. I was shocked at how well this worked. The stains had been driving me crazy for months, but thanks to this stuff my carpets look almost as good as new," said one buyer.
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A long-time favorite for tough kitchen cleaning jobs, Bar Keepers Friend is a must-have if you're looking to remove tough grease and rust stains, lime buildup, mineral deposits and tarnished cookware. It works great on stainless steel pots, pans and sinks and can also be used on glass casserole dishes, baking sheets and oven door interiors. Take it outside to clean up grills, tools and camp cookware.
"It makes the silver shine like new. Takes off the grease build up too! If you love your silver to shine, this is a must-have, and it's definitely worth the buy," said one buyer.