Last week we gave you a great roundup of eco-friendly cleaners. But sometimes even the best cleaner needs a hardworking tool to help get the job done. Here are some of the essentials that everyone should have for a clean home. 1. Sponge: There are a huge variety of sponges out there. It's nice to have a mix of regular sponges, some with an abrasive side, and then some with a microfiber side to tackle just about any dirty surface. If you plan on reusing a sponge, don't forget to clean it!
2. White Towels: I always keep a ton of white towels on hand. I picked up a couple of sets of organic 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. 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 regimine.
4. Microfiber Cloths: Just like the white towels, getting a ton of these to keep on hand is super helpful. Microfiber can often get surfaces clean on its own or with just a little water, and shouldn't scratch or leave streaks behind.
5. Spray Bottle: Keep spray bottles on hand if you ever need to rinse something off with water, or like to make your own cleaners.
6. Broom, Dustpan and Mop: This is obvious. If you have any hard surfaces like wood, tile, cork, and linoleum, you will need a broom and mop to get them clean. Dustpans help with the process, and of course are crucial for quickly cleaning up any spills.
7. Vacuum: Whether it's a Roomba or a Dyson vacuum, these machines help keep floors clean and allergies at bay.
8. Bucket: A nice sized bucket can not only stow your cleaning supplies, but also be used for mopping, or any other of a multitude of household tasks.
9. Scrub Brush: A sponge or cloth isn't always going to work, so keep a bristle scrub brush on hand to use on tough stains.
10. 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.
MORE CLEANING SUPPLIES ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Checklist: Basic Cleaning Supplies for a Small Space
• 12 Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Supplies
• The Most Beautiful Cleaning Supplies & Tools
• Organizing Cleaning Supplies
• Odd, Weird, Wacky (& Possibly Helpful) Cleaning Supplies
• 10 Must-Have Essentials for a Well Stocked Housecleaning Kit
• Kid-Sized Cleaning Supplies
• Top Ten: Cleaning Supplies
• 8 Easy To Store Cleaning Products & Tools
(Image: Swedish Dustpan and Broom from the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum Store)