The 20 Essential Cleaning Tools Every Home Should Have

Photo: Roborock H7 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

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Though the world is slowly returning to a pre-pandemic normal, many of us are still spending the lion’s share of our time cooped up in our homes. As a result, keeping one’s dwelling nice and tidy is arguably more crucial now than ever before, and though this can be a difficult and time-consuming task, there is a myriad of key appliances, tools, and products that make the job markedly easier and more efficient.

While a great many cleaning product staples have gone largely unchanged over the last century, this isn’t the case with several more contemporary offerings such as powerful wireless cleaning appliances and potent cleaning solutions that are gentle on both the environment and your skin. And it’s this crop of items that we’ll be exploring today in this guide to the essential cleaning tools every home should have, so whether you’re a homeowner or apartment dweller, this hand-picked list contains everything needed to keep your domain looking its best.

Roborock H7 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

A powerful yet lightweight vacuum for the modern wireless age, the Roborock H7 cordless vacuum features an OLED display, a battery pack with a 90-minute runtime and a 2.5-hour complete recharge time, and ultra-powerful 160AW suction that’s helped along by a multi-surface brush with deep carpet cleaning capabilities. Spinning at up to 4,000rpm, the H7 packs durable high-torque planetary gears that are backed by 55-watts of power and send torque to carbon fiber anti-static bristles. Other highlights on this high-end vacuum include a washable dustbin and filters, a child-lock, and compatibility with (and integrated storage for) a variety of Roborock’s magnetic-coupling MagBase accessories and attachments.

Purchase: $500

Bar Keepers Friend

For nearly 140-years, Bar Keepers Friend has been used to clean and polish a variety of surfaces, from stainless steel and aluminum to porcelain and ceramic to fiberglass and brass. And while this product is primarily used in the kitchen and bathroom, it’s no less handy around the garage, in the backyard, and even in some vehicle applications.

Purchase: $3

Chemical Guys 16oz Sprayer

A spray bottle is obviously an essential cleaning item, though this offering from car cleaning specialist, the Chemical Guys is better than most as it’s made from a special chemical resistant construction that won’t retain the smell or residue of previous contents like most regular plastics, and is resistant to UV degradation and cracking. Sold individually or in packs of three — as well as in a jumbo-sized 32oz version — this spray bottle also sports an adjustable nozzle paired with a 9.75” stem.

Purchase: $6+

E-Cloth Non-Scratch Microfiber Scrubbing Pads

Traditional scrub pads are ridiculously useful and help save on enormous amounts of elbow grease, however, they can be prone to leaving scratches and they often break down and fall apart over the course of only a few months — if even that. The E-Cloth pads, on the other hand, don’t suffer from these issues, as they’re made from a microfiber material that is gentle on sensitive surfaces and much more durable, coming backed by the brand’s 300-wash or three-year warranty.

Purchase: $8

Bluettes Neoprene Household Gloves

Whether protecting your hands from hot water while washing dishes or shielding your skin from harsh cleaning chemicals, rubber cleaning gloves have long been another bonafide household cleaning staple. Bluettes has managed to deliver an improved take on this item by replacing the regular rubber material with a more modern neoprene construction that offers greater dexterity and durability without compromising on protection.

Purchase: $8

Scotch-Brite Scrub Sponges 9-Ct

Every kitchen (and bathroom) needs a set of sponges, and when shopping in this space it’s hard to go wrong with almost anything from Scotch-Brite, as the 3M-owned outfit has spent the last decade producing a variety of scrub sponges. For general daily use, the brand’s non-scratch scrub sponges are hard to beat, and the fact these are sold in packs of nine means you’ll have one from practically every room in the house and, more importantly, won’t have to use the same sponge for washing dishes as you do for scrubbing floors. These sponges are also dishwasher-safe.

Purchase: $8

Finish Line 5-Piece Pro Brush Set

While sponges will be sufficient for the majority of jobs, some cleaning tasks will require a more specialized tool, so when you really need to get into the nooks and crannies, there’s no substitute for a quality scrub brush set. This kit from Finish Line features five different cleaning brushes in varying shapes and sizes, and because it was technically made to clean mud and grime off of mountain bikes, it will have no problem busting up any dirt in your home.

Purchase: $18

Dust-Off Keyboard Cleaning Kit

Considering how frequently most of us use our computers, it’s a little strange how little attention most desktops and laptops receive in terms of cleaning. This keyboard-specific cleaning kit from Dust-Off boasts everything needed to freshen up your computer, including a 3.5oz can of Dust-Off, a microfiber cleaning cloth, four cleaning swabs, and a 1.7oz bottle of Dust-Off Screen Spray.

Purchase: $20

Smithey Ironware Co. Chain Mail Scrubber

For ultra-stubborn grime and grease that’s baked onto cookware, you’ll occasionally need a more heavy-duty tool than your average scrub sponge. And while you could go through dozens of steel wool pads over the course of a year, a far more sustainable — and objectively cooler — alternative is this chainmail armor-style scrubber from Smithey Ironware Co. Dishwasher safe, this item is made in America and crafted entirely from pure stainless steel.

Purchase: $20

Thread Experiment Room & Linen Spray

After cleaning a room, you can give it one final touch by bestowing the environment with a refreshing scent, and while there are plenty of cheap grocery-bought air fresheners to choose from, none offer an unmistakably premium and masculine aroma quite like Thread Experiment’s Room & Linen Spray. Made in small batches and sold in an 8oz spray bottle, this formula boasts scents of sandalwood, musk, and Italian bergamot.

Purchase: $24

Pendleton Canyonlands Dish Towel Set

An exponentially more sustainable alternative to paper towels, reusable dishcloths are another important must-have in the kitchen. Measuring 20” x 28”, this two-pack of dish towels from Pendleton is jacquard-woven from 100% cotton and sports a southwestern-style pattern that was inspired by Pendleton’s Canyonlands blanket. Pendleton also offers this same pair of towels in different color and pattern options.

Purchase: $25

CB2 Nexus Black Marble Toilet Brush

Rather than hiding away your toilet bowl scrubber, you can be proud to display this modern-looking item from CB2 in almost any bathroom. Measuring 3.75” in diameter, this product features a black marble base with white veins that are unique to every unit — i.e. no two are exactly alike. CB2 also produces an entire matching black marble bath collection that can be used to further compliment the scrubber and build out your bathroom.

Purchase: $30

D.S. & Durga Big Sur After Rain Hand Soap 8oz

The hand soap space wasn’t a segment we’d ever put much thought into prior to COVID, though with how important hand washing has become, we’ve started to care a whole lot more about the formula we’re using to clean our hands. In typical D.S. & Durga fashion, the high-end grooming brand has delivered a luxurious and top-shelf take on regular hand soap, bestowing the liquid with the scent of fresh rainfall in the eucalyptus groves off the California coastline as well as vitamin C, vitamin E, glycerin, green tea leaf, and several other soothing and moisturizing ingredients.

Purchase: $35

Marley’s Monsters Washable Bamboo Fleece Duster

Instead of merely spreading around and relocating dust, this ultra-eco-friendly item from Marley’s Monsters actually grabs onto dust and filth and then locks it in until the duster is run through the washing machine. Measuring 15.25” in length, this duster boasts a natural wooden handle that’s decorated with a cotton strap and fitted with a 7” wide duster head made from an amalgamation of viscose bamboo and organic cotton fleece that are mated together via polyester thread.

Purchase: $38

YETI Loadout 5-Gallon Bucket

A large bucket is another important cleaning essential, and with YET’s five-gallon Loadout model, you’ll likely never have to buy another bucket again for the rest of your life. Offered in five color options, the bucket is approximately 16” tall, 13” in diameter, and weighs in (empty) at 5.8lbs. Made from an incredibly rugged, high-impact-resistant material that’s nearly indestructible, this food-safe bucket features YETI’s HEFTYHAULER and LIPGRIP handles, a non-slip and non-marking base, and a bevy of anchor and tie-down points.

Purchase: $40

Pelican Multi-Purpose Microfiber Towel

With smartphones, computers, smart TVs, and a host of other gadgets likely occupying your home, a quality microfiber cleaning towel is an essential, yet often overlooked cleaning staple. Sold with a polymer carrying case paired with an aluminum carabiner, this newly-released product from Pelican is made from an ultra-absorbent and moisture-wicking super fine microfiber material that can absorb more than seven times its own (0.61lb) weight in water.

Purchase: $50

Branch Basics Starter Kit

Considering that it’s their 2021, you should have probably transitioned to utilizing a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable suite of cleaning chemicals, though if you haven’t yet taken the plunge, then Branch Basics is here to help you kickstart the process with its all-inclusive Premium Starter Kit. Sold in biodegradable bottles and packaging, these plant and mineral-based products are human safe, never tested on animals, and are free of GMOs, fragrances, and harmful preservatives of any kind.

Purchase: $59

Eva Solo Kitchen Sweep

A sleek and unmistakably Scandinavian take on dustpan and brush set, this item from Eva Solo is crafted from a combination of hand-worked oak, silicone, plastic, and leather. Roughly 8” in diameter, this set’s circular brush neatly stows away inside of its round cover when the latter item isn’t being used as a dust-pan. The genuine leather strap adorning the oak handle also makes it easy to hang or display this Nordic-designed dustpan.

Purchase: $79

Shark Steam & Scrub Mop

Often, traditional mop and bucket arrangements will dilute and spread dirt and grime across your floors just as much as it picks it up or cleans it. This, however, is not the case with Shark’s electric Steam & Scrub mop. The system utilizes a pair of rotating pads that break up grime and fifth, along with a chemical-free, steam-based sanitization process that eliminates some 99.9% of bacteria.

Purchase: $140

Takada Japanese Cypress Broomstick

Absolutely gorgeous and artisan-made, this broom from Takada was made using traditional Japanese construction techniques and features a handle comprised of hinoki wood — an ancient type of cypress — that’s mated to an ultra-supple head made from hand-selected windmill palm fibers. While it admittedly doesn’t come cheap, the quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail on this broom are truly second to none. Takada also produces a matching wooden dustpan to compliment this already beautiful broom.

Purchase: $200

Molekule Air

When we think about tidying up our homes, the cleanliness of the air quality seldom comes up, despite objectively being of importance. Engineered to accommodate spaces of around 600-square feet, the Molekule Air is a decidedly premium air purifier that uses a state-of-the-art dual-stage filtration system with a pre-filter and a PECO filter that neutralize bacteria and other contaminants that are up to 1,000-times smaller than the industry standard. Taking visual inspiration from modern Scandinavian design language, the Molekule Air also sports a sleek cylindrical brushed aluminum housing accented with a leather strap.

Purchase: $799

How To Clean and Maintain Your Car Interior

Now that you’ve got everything needed to keep your house spick and span, why not do the same for your ride? Our guide on how to clean and maintain your car interior includes step-by-step instructions on the entire process, as well as a handy buyer’s guide containing everything needed to keep your car’s cabin at its freshest.