10 Essential Cleaning Tools Every Home Should Have


Whether you’re just getting started in a new space or looking to complete (or maybe upgrade) your homekeeping kit, we’ve put together a list of the most essential cleaning tools that we believe no home should be without.

1. A Good Sponge

There are a huge variety of sponges out there. It’s nice to have a classic sponge around — especially something with an abrasive side to tackle any grimy dirty surface. But if you want to explore your alternative side, you can try out sponge cloths that bridge the gap between sponge and towel, spaghetti sponges (they don’t require soap!), or silicone sponges that last almost forever.

2. White Towels

I always keep a ton of white towels on hand. I picked up a couple of sets of cotton towels from Crate & Barrel, but you can find packs of these just about anywhere, even at the hardware store. They’ll always match, you’ll know when they’re dirty, and they can be easily bleached and disinfected without getting ruined. An eco-friendly alternative is cut up old t-shirts.

3. Microfiber Cloths

Just like the white towels, getting a few of these to keep on hand can boost your cleaning power. Microfiber can often get surfaces clean on its own or with just a little water, and shouldn’t scratch or leave streaks behind (they’re great for windows).

4. A Squeegee

These little tools are a must-have for keeping showers mold-free. They also work great on windows if that’s a part of your cleaning routine.

5. A Bucket

A nice sized bucket can not only stow your cleaning supplies, but also be used for mopping and a multitude of other household tasks. An essential for sure. You can buy one online (this $15 one from OXO is great), but most people just pick ’em up from the local hardware store.

6. A Spray Bottle (or 6)

Keep spray bottles on hand if you ever need to rinse something off with water, or to try your hand at making your own cleaners. Glass bottles will hold up to anything, and you can buy them one at a time for less than $10 or in multi-packs for a savings boost.

7. A Scrub Brush

A sponge or cloth isn’t always going to work, so keep an all-purpose scrub brush on hand to use on tile, tubs, fixtures and tough stains. We love this one from OXO and it’s only $6.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy)

8. A Toothbrush

When you need something a little more detailed than a scrub brush, a toothbrush is a great option. Disinfect some old toothbrushes and put them to work on grout, sink rims and all the other nooks and crannies in your house.

9. A Broom, Dustpan and Mop

If you have any hard surfaces like wood, tile, cork, and linoleum, you will need a broom, dustpan and mop to get them clean. If you’re buying new, the best picks are the broom and clip-on dustpan from OXO, and the double-sided microfiber mop from O-Cedar.

10. A Vacuum

Whether it’s a Roomba or a Dyson or a sturdy workhorse passed down to you, you need one of these machines to keep floors clean and allergies at bay.

Apartment Therapy supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.

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