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You appreciate your house for its charm, history, and maybe even it's location.

However, the grime between your bathroom tiles and the dust on your windowsills is another story entirely. Basically, you hate to clean, but that doesn't change the fact that you still have to.

So to make things a little easier, I found this great list of 16 essential products, in Real Simple magazine (Nov. 2007), that will help you tackle your entire house with ease.

  1. Microfiber cloths - These machine-washable cloths handle almost any chore with just water -- no cleaning products needed.
  2. Scrub brush -- Use it on floors, fireplaces, or any rough surface.
  3. Spray bottle -- This comes in handy for spraying homemade solutions.
  4. Rubber Gloves -- To protect your skin form harmful chemicals.
  5. Toothbrush -- This little guy gets into all the places you can't.
  6. Dry-cleaning sponge -- Its tiny pores pick up soot, dust, and pet hair from upholstery and lampshades.
  7. Squeegee -- It works on more than windows ... try mirrors and shower doors too.
  8. Disinfecting Wipes -- They eradicate nearly 100 percent of bacteria and can clean a counter in a flash.
  9. Mild Abrasive Cleaner -- This helps you scour scum on tubs and tile with a minimum amount of elbow grease.
  10. Vinegar -- Removes mineral deposits from faucets and windows.
  11. Dishwashing Liquid -- You name it, it's dirt-cheap and still cleans everything from dishes to windows.
  12. All-purpose cleaner -- The name says it all.
  13. Baking soda -- A natural scouring powder and it eliminates odors.
  14. A caddy (to hold everything) -- This is what will determine your success ... if everything you need is in one easy-to-find place that can move with you ... you're more likely to tackle the cleaning that's needed.
  15. Microfiber duster -- With magnetic attraction, it will pick up dust and pet hair on blinds, works of art, and even plants.
  16. Hand broom with dustpan -- Convenient for whisking away small spills.

Now all you need to do is put everything in your caddy and move from room to room cleaning like a pro. I think the only thing they forgot is Laundry detergent (a little heavy for the caddy) ... but unless you live in a nudist colony, don't you also have to clean your clothes?


  • Gary Edelstein

    Microfiber & anti static wipes do a great job. I'm a small manufacturer/distributor business in Lawrence, Ma. selling to commercial/industrial business. Homeowners can buy Microfiber & anti static products at the same price as large janitorial supply companies. Visit

  • Lynne

    Re: #5
    Even better than a standard toothbrush is a denture brush; it's firmer & has an extra round set of bristles on the handle end!

  • Reynouw Ashburn

    I think everyone should stop cleaning and killing bacteria so much. That is why most people have such low amune system and low tollerance of deseases. What happend to "A little dirt won't hurt"

  • anches

    There is one tool that is not on this list, but that we all DEFINITELY NEED if we want to make sure our home is as clean as it can be: a vacuum. All those other items are useful to be sure, but without a vacuum, how are you supposed to get your carpets and floors truly clean? Not only that, but in my experience, using a vacuum (if it has a telescoping wand and a head attachment with bristles) is far more effective at dusting than anything else. Even those microfiber dusters cannot match a vacuum cleaner for effectively removing dust (instead of just moving around the room).

    Thanks for the list!

  • Karla ll

    This is all great, but it really doesnt matter if you are not cleaning with natural non-toxic

  • kllveda

    This is all great, but it really doesnt matter if you are not cleaning
    with natural non-toxic products...

  • Marge

    I live in Colorado and would like to know how to keep mold at bay. Also, is meldew the same as mold? Thanks

  • amp

    Dishwashing liquid is horrible for windows. However, vinegar is great.
    (You can use old newspapers instead of paper towels to conserve your budget and have no lint.)

  • anamary

    Dishwashing liquid is terrible for washing windows, but vinegar is great! You can use old newspapers instead of paper towels. You conserve your budget, and leave no lint!

  • sue shinkle

    Did you forget about a vacuum cleaner, mop, paper towels. Newspaper gets ink on white trim. I use dawn dish washing liquid and water (10 drops per gallon water) to clean windows. Works great. Do this for a living.

  • customlollichic

    those mr. clean magic erasers work wonders for koolaid spots on counters/ink/boot polish... etc. its great.

  • alise

    marge:mold and mildew is caused by excessive humidity especially in rooms like baths. i manage apartment communites and see it every day. the best product to rid this is old fashioned bleach sprayed onto the mold.

  • flopsy

    Alise, will bleach kill mold on Sheetrock where a wet towel has hung? (It is a painted surface). thanks~


    One of the best tools I've ever found was an inexpensive paint brush, it works wonders on dusting picture frames and wood furniture, it also works great in window tracks!

  • alisewendykap135

    flopsy, bleach should rid the mildew on the sheetrock. i then paint the surface with KILZ, and then paint the wall to match.

  • Tanya Ryno


    I had mold in my garage and I sprayed an all purpose cleaner that had bleach in it on the mold and it all went away with no damage what-so-ever.

    Hope that helps.


    Tanya Ryno

  • stefano

    I would also suggest to use old newspapers instead of paper towel, is cheaper and i think also more effective.

  • 17 Comments / 1 Pages

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