The Best New Cleaning Tools for Every Task
Even the toughest spots can be cleaned faster and more efficiently with the right tools. See what experts say are the best products to tackle cleaning day.
As much as we wish it were a hobby, cleaning the house is a chore. And like most chores, the longer you put it off, the bigger a job it becomes. That's what often happens in spots that we forget about on cleaning day, such as trim, vents, shelves, switch plates, windowsills, shower curtains, and more. Luckily, there are some impressive advancements in the cleaning department, and you can find a duster, vacuum, or spray for just about anything. For advice on what tools you need to tackle the tough jobs, see what our experts suggest below.
Tools to Clean Sticky Cabinets and Range Hoods
Grease, dust, and food particles float and settle on anything up high. Fight the sticky grime while cleaning your stove using these tips. Get a scraper (like a plastic putty knife) to remove goo from hard surfaces. If the buildup is really thick, Amanda Thomas, founder of Moxie Girl Household Assistants, uses dish soap to break down grease first.
Best Way to Clean Floor-to-Ceiling Tile
No matter your preferred cleaning solution, you'll need a scrub brush long enough to reach from your bathroom's showerhead to the drain. We like the domed head of the Bristle Everywhere Scrubber by Casabella. Use it with Dimopolous' recipe for grout-cleaning paste: Bon Ami Powder Cleanser mixed with equal parts water and white vinegar.
Best Products for Cleaning Light Fixtures
Different light fixtures require specialized cleaning routines. See what experts use to keep lighting clean and bright.
Glass Fixtures: Feather-dust often, and periodically run glass light fixture covers through the dishwasher. Dirty to the eye? Dimopolous uses a 1:2 ratio of distilled white vinegar and water. Spray on; wipe off using a microfiber cloth. (Let lights cool first because a wet rag could make a hot bulb explode.)
"I can literally dust my entire house on a commercial break," said Amanda Thomas on her love for the Swiffer 360° Extendable Duster. With a tilted feather duster head, there's not a surface that will be left behind.
Ceiling Fans: Dust bunnies build up on ceiling fan blades. Try the Microfiber Ceiling Fan Duster and extension pole by Connect & Clean to get rid of them. Substantial dust? Slip a pillowcase onto the blades, then brush over the case so it catches all the dust.
Hard-to-Reach Surfaces: A long handle and ball hinge give the Duop star status in the microfiber mop world. Try it on the telltale baseboards, tall windows, and behind toilets. It's sustainable, too; toss the cloth in the washer when it's dirty and reuse the next time.
Best New Vacuums
It's time to rethink the way you view vacuums. Thanks to smart accessories and extra flexibility, these models can go practically anywhere. See why having multiple vacuums could be a major help on cleaning day.
Best Upright Vacuum: The Hoover React Reach-Plus upright vacuum is your all-in-one vacuum. A lift-off canister allows for stick-vac flexibility and extra reach, while the stair attachment rotates to reach treads and risers.
Best Handheld Vacuum: Everyone should have a handheld vacuum. This one has a rotating handle and on-board crevice tool to make hard-to-reach spots more accessible. Plus, the red design is super sleek.
Best Cordless Vacuum: Don't worry about moving from surface to surface. At only 5 pounds with a nice array of attachments, this cordless vacuum can reach it all with ease. It's super slim and can fit into the corner of just about any cleaning closet.
5 Reasons to Consider a Robo Vacuum
When robotic vacuums first came onto the cleaning scene, many were skeptical. But then came the Ecovacs Deebot R95, a smart little disc that won over Diana Dickinson, the features editor at Better Homes & Gardens. Here's why:
- The robo vac features technology that maps floor plans to optimize routes and cliff sensors that keep it from crashing down stairs.
- It has an app so owners can start the R95 while at work. Or at the movies.
- It has a dirt bin large enough to hold an entire roomful of dust bunnies.
- The tireless mini Zamboni switches easily from wood floors to carpet.
- After 90 minutes, it finds its way back to its charging station.
Cleaning With Microfiber
Most microfiber cloths are all-purpose and, alone or with water or a cleaner, can tackle the dust and buildup on most any surface. Stock your cleaning bucket with one just for glass (use with window cleaner or a vinegar solution) and one for electronics (use dry). Then add a wearable version, like this polishing mitt by Libman. Inch-long "fingers" on one side trap dust and allergens. The microfiber mitt is especially good for large neglected areas like the space behind your TV.
No, there isn't a mistake with this six-fingered glove. Flip over this double-thumbed glove when one side is dirty, or switch from right to left. The microfiber digits give you dexterity for more delicate dusting tasks.
Buy It: Groovy Glove, $23.31, Amazon
Best Small Cleaning Brushes
Toothbrushes and other small scrub brushes are secret weapons when it comes to cleaning small crevices. Keep one under the bathroom sink to tackle grout, drains, and the dreaded toilet seat hinges.
Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Brushes: This small brush set, complete with two different brush heads and two scrapers, will get into every nook and cranny of your kitchen appliances. Your stand mixer hasn't been this clean since the factory.
Electronics Cleaning Brush: Keyboard crumbs no more! This dual-ended cleaning brush can get between every key. It's great for landline phones and game consoles, too!
The New Multi-Tool: Nylon bristles on this cleaning brush pick up the dust in vents, radiators, fridge coils, and that space between the range and cabinets. It's also handy for knocking cat toys out from under furniture. Bend it into any shape to reach into any crevice.