12 Essential cleaning tools for household chores

Buying cleaning products may not be the most exciting part of setting up a new home, but it's essential to your quality of life, and a good deep clean is a lot easier when you have the right supplies on hand. Here's a handy list of must-haves that will ensure you’re ready to tackle any mess, big or small.

Green bucket containing many cleaning tools.

Table of contents

1. Scrub brushes 2. Toilet brush 3. Multi-purpose duster4. Sponges5. Vacuum6. Spray bottle7. Microfiber cleaning cloths8. Broom and dustpan9. Mop10. Bucket11. Cleaning solutions12. Gloves
Hand in a yellow cleaning glove holds a scrub brush.

1. Scrub brushes

Get yourself at least one great cleaning brush. A plastic one with strong bristles and a handle with a rubber grip is enough to tackle most messes, including scrubbing a bathtub or sink. Consider buying a brush set that comes with multiple brush heads so you can tackle different spaces, like corners and even your shower head

Image of a toilet brush.

2. Toilet brush

Make sure to buy a dedicated toilet brush because, well, you don’t want to use that brush anywhere but the toilet bowl. One that comes with a stand is especially convenient, as you can store it next to or behind the toilet. Some brushes even come with a cleaning solution compartment in the handle for an all-in-one cleaning experience.

Image of a brightly colored duster used on a wall.

3. Multi-purpose duster

An extendable wand duster will serve you well once you notice the cobwebs gathering on the ceiling fan in the living room. Look for one that has a pivoting head and enough length to reach your ceiling height, and you’ll never have to worry about how to dust those tough-to-reach nooks and crannies.

Image of two sponges, one with a scrub side and one without.

4. Sponges

For doing dishes, look for sponges that have a soft side for delicate dishes and a rough side to blitz stuck-on food. Use non-metal, non-abrasive sponges to clean cast iron cookware, if you have it. Purchase heavy-duty sponges made of tough material for floor cleaning, ovens, and other surfaces that need a thorough scrubbing. Make sure to store your sponges separately, so that you aren’t cleaning your dishes with the same sponge you use on the floor!

Image of multiple different types of vacuum cleaners.

5. Vacuum

Your vacuum is your secret weapon to tidy up quickly and keep dust at bay. When choosing one, think about your space and needs. If you’re short on storage space, consider a cordless stick vacuum that can be hung up behind a door. If you’re in a tiny space, there are small handheld vacuums that are great for sucking up spills.

Images of multiple cleaning spray bottles.

6. Spray bottle

When you’re trying to evenly distribute cleaning solutions, a regular water bottle won’t do the trick. Invest in a few glass spray bottles and you’ll always have an easy way to kick off a cleaning spree. Get a roll of painter’s tape and a sharpie to make quick, easy-to-remove labels for your bottles so that you and your roommates always know which cleaning solution they are reaching for.

Stack of multi-colored microfiber cloths.

7. Microfiber cleaning cloths

Microfiber cloths are gentle on surfaces and ideal for picking up dust. They’re perfect for tidying up flatscreens or furniture, and they don’t leave streaks on mirrors or stainless steel. You can even buy them in the form of a glove to clean tricky spaces like baseboards.

Turquoise broom and dustpan.

8. Broom and dustpan

A broom and dustpan are essential for cleaning up spills, such as a knocked-over box of cereal on the kitchen floor, or sweeping up clippings on your patio. They’re also great for doing a little pre-cleaning before you vacuum. Opt for a pan with a rubber lip, which will grip the floor and allow you to neatly sweep all of the dust and debris into the pan.

Mop with a reusable pad.

9. Mop

A mop is your go-to tool for cleaning hard floor surfaces like tile, wood, or laminate and making them shine. You can buy one that has a handle you can fill with cleaning fluid, or a simple stick mop with a sponge head. Another option is a steam mop which uses hot water, and sometimes cleaning fluid, to clean floors. They also often have washable, reusable cleaning pads that you never have to wring out like a traditional mop head.

Image of a red bucket.

10. Bucket

If you do opt for that simple mop, you’re also going to need a bucket to hold your water and cleaning fluid. Buckets are also great for rinsing out sponges or rags, for soaking items, and for storing cleaning products when not in use.

Spray bottle spraying cleaning solution on a surface.

11. Cleaning solutions

A trip to the cleaning products aisle can be a bit daunting because there are so many choices. Make it easy on yourself by opting for a multi-purpose cleaner that is safe for multiple surfaces, or make a DIY solution—like a simple mix of vinegar and water—so you’ll always have something on hand to tidy up the kitchen counter or the floor. Note that store-bought multi-purpose cleaners may not be suitable for tasks like cleaning stainless steel, so make sure to check the label before you spray on different materials.

Pair of blue cleaning gloves.

12. Gloves

Cleaning fluids, hot water, and soap scums can be tough on your hands, so take care to protect them. Invest in a pair of sturdy rubber gloves that will help you tackle messier home cleaning tasks with confidence. Look for a set with a textured surface, so you can get a good grip on your brushes and other tools.

Looking for a home where monthly cleaning is always on the books? Bungalow’s homes are designed for roommates, located in the best neighborhoods, and set up for seamless living. Common spaces come furnished, cleanings are scheduled monthly, and payments are handled individually on our app. Whether you already have roommates or are looking for new ones, there’s a Bungalow with your name on it. Find your Bungalow. 

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