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Basic Cleaning Tools

Make housecleaning a fast, efficient experience by keeping these tools on hand.

Stock your home with basic cleaning tools to ensure you have the essentials for maintaining a clean home.

Feather duster: Safely dust lampshades, light fixtures, art, and delicate collectibles with this handy tool.

Latex gloves: Protect your hands from chemicals with rubber household gloves. Use for washing dishes, too.

Paper towels, soft rags, sponges: Use for wiping and light scrubbing.

Dusting Tools

Choose your dusting tool based on the room, area, or object you want to clean.

Lamb's-wool duster: The long wand on this duster makes it ideal for hard-to-reach areas, including light fixtures and ceiling fans. Dense fibers attract, rather than scatter, dust and dirt.

Treated cloths: Soft, nonscratching cloths work well for picking up and holding dirt when dusting. Use them in place of silicon sprays, which are not recommended for fine wood furniture.

Duster for blinds: The soft-fiber fingers of this tool slide between blinds to trap and remove dust. The duster works best when used frequently -- before heavy dust and dirt build up.

Classic feather duster: An ostrich-feather duster removes dust from delicate, easily damaged surfaces such as silk lampshades, mirrors, picture frames, art, and fragile collectibles.

Mops & Brooms

Choose the right mop or broom for the chore at hand for the best results.

Rag or string mop: This classic mop works well for large areas and tight corners. Rinse well after use and let it dry upright to retain its shape.

Sponge mop: The best models include easy-to-replace sponge heads. They are easy to use and work well for small kitchens and for baths.

Utility broom: These brooms are for large areas that require heavy-duty sweeping -- such as decks, patios, garages, or driveways.

Dust mop: These mops pick up particles vacuums miss. They're ideal for quick touch-ups. Spray with a dusting agent for better results.

Angled-bristles broom: This lightweight broom with angled bristles fits into tight corners and around and behind furniture. It also works well for baseboards and trim.

Natural-bristles broom: This classic broom is fine for general sweeping into a dustpan. Choose the best quality of broom to avoid picking up shedding bristles when you sweep.

Vacuum Attachments

For the best results when cleaning floors and rugs, choose the right vacuum attachment for the job.

Smooth floor brush: Use on wood, vinyl, tile, and other smooth floorings but not on carpet. Pick up large objects before vacuuming.

Upholstery nozzle: Vacuum dirt and crumbs to prevent upholster fiber damage. The nozzle might also be used on some draperies; adjust the suction control at the hose.

Canister: Bags or collection canisters store dirt until emptied. Empty frequently for maximum vacuum efficiency.

Dusting brush: Dust baseboards, moldings, sills, wood trim, heating and cooling vents, and tops of doors with this attachment.

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