The Essential Cleaning Tools You Need to Tackle Messes in Every Room
Even the toughest spots can be cleaned faster and more efficiently with the right tools. See what experts say are the best products to win cleaning day.
Cleaning the house can be a real chore, and the longer you put it off, the bigger a job it becomes. That's especially true in spots that we often forget about on cleaning day, such as baseboards, vents, shelves, shower curtains, and more. Luckily, there have been some impressive advancements in the cleaning industry recently, and you can find a duster, vacuum, or spray for just about anything. For advice on what supplies you need to tackle the tough jobs, see what our experts suggest for the best cleaning tools for every task.
Best Cleaning Tools for Whole-Home Cleaning
Use these clever products to conquer messes in any room.
Most microfiber cloths are all-purpose and, alone or with water or a cleaner, can tackle the dust and buildup on almost 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.
Kitchen Appliance 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.
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.
Multi-Purpose Cleaning Tool
Best Cleaning Tools for Kitchens
Grease, dust, and food particles float and settle on anything up high, including kitchen cabinets and range hoods. Fight the sticky grime while cleaning your stove using these tips. Get a scraper (like a plastic putty knife) to remove stuck-on residue 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.
To prevent more buildup, spread rolls of plastic shelf protector ($15, Bed Bath & Beyond) over cabinet tops and replace after six months, says Michael Dimopolous, owner of Lazy Susans Cleaning and a Thumbtack.com pro.
Best Cleaning Tools for Bathrooms
Bathroom tile, especially if it stretches from floor to ceiling, can be difficult to keep clean. 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 Casabella Bristle Everywhere Bathtub Scrubber, ($16, Amazon). Use it with Dimopolous' recipe for grout-cleaning paste: Bon Ami Powder Cleanser ($2, Amazon) mixed with equal parts water and white vinegar.
Best Cleaning Tools for Light Fixtures
Different light fixtures require specialized cleaning routines. See what experts use to keep lighting clean and bright.
Cleaning 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 before cleaning because a wet rag could make a hot bulb explode.)
Choose a feather duster with a tilted head that will leave no surface untouched. "I can literally dust my entire house on a commercial break," says Amanda Thomas on her love for the Swiffer 360° Extendable Duster.
Ceiling Fan Duster
Dust bunnies quickly 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.
Cleaning Tools for 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.
Buy It: Dirt Devil FlipOut Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, ($62, The Home Depot)
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.