The cleaning products you need for your home may vary depending on personal preferences, lifestyle, and the specific surfaces you need to clean.
However, here’s a general list of 12 essential cleaning products that cover a wide range of cleaning tasks.
1. All-Purpose Cleaner
If you only have one cleaning product in your home, it needs to be an all-purpose cleaner.
These sprays can be used for general cleaning on various surfaces, from countertops to bathrooms, coffee tables, wooden furniture, tiled flooring, and more.
Various multi-purpose cleaners are available online through stores like Amazon, but you can also make a homemade cleaning spray using white vinegar and water.
Pour equal parts water and white vinegar into a spray bottle and shake gently to combine. Add a few drops of lemon juice or your favourite essential oils to transform it into a fragranced cleaner.
2. Disinfectant Wipes
Disinfectant wipes are versatile cleaning products designed to kill or reduce the number of bacteria on surfaces.
They’re effective for wiping down kitchen countertops, bathroom fixtures, tables, desks, doorknobs, light switches, and other frequently touched areas.
Disinfectant wipes are also a must-have if you have young children. You can use them to effortlessly clean their pram, highchair, changing tables, and other surfaces that have come into contact with your little one.
They’re also excellent for cleaning their toys to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for your child to grow up in safely.
3. Glass Cleaner
Glass cleaner is a specialised cleaning product designed explicitly for cleaning glass surfaces. It is formulated to remove smudges, fingerprints, streaks, and other residues, leaving glass surfaces clear, sparkling, and streak-free.
While glass cleaning sprays are not strictly essential, they can be very useful. Glass is a material found in almost every home, from mirrors to windows, glass tables, shower screens, and more.
You can also use glass cleaner to give metal fixtures some extra sparkle. So, although only intended for use specifically on glass, it is versatile as it can be used on many items.
4. Washing-Up Liquid
Washing-up liquid isn’t only for handwashing dishes! Its grease-cutting properties make it a versatile cleaner that can be used on countertops, appliances, bathrooms, floors, and more.
Dilute a little dish soap in water to create a soapy solution effective for cleaning many types of materials.
Sensitive washing-up liquids are typically mild and safe for use on various surfaces, including dishes, glassware, and non-porous countertops. They’re also excellent for getting greasy stains out of clothes and carpets.
If you want something stronger, antibacterial washing-up liquid kills bacteria and can be used to disinfect germ-covered surfaces.
5. Carpet Stain Remover
If you have carpet in your home, a carpet stain remover is a must-have cleaning product. Spills and stains are inevitable, so having a product on hand that you can use to tackle various marks quickly is key to keeping your carpets clean and fresh.
Alternatively, keep a bottle of white vinegar in your cupboards for a quick DIY solution. All you need to do is combine the vinegar with water in equal parts and add a drop of washing-up liquid. This powerful combination breaks down the stain and washes it from the carpet fibres.
6. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Toilet bowl cleaner is specifically formulated to target and remove stains, mineral deposits, and bacteria that can accumulate in and around the toilet bowl. Its composition is designed to break down and remove stubborn substances and clean a toilet more effectively than general-purpose cleaners.
Many toilet bowl cleaners also contain disinfectants that help kill bacteria and other germs present in the toilet bowl.
This is crucial for maintaining a hygienic bathroom environment and preventing the spread of illnesses.
They also often contain fragrances that help control unpleasant odours associated with the toilet.
7. Toilet Brush
Even with a powerful toilet cleaner, the toilet bowl won’t be stain-free if you don’t have a toilet brush.
This essential cleaning tool has stiff bristles and a rounded shape to effectively scrub all stains from the loo.
Scrub thoroughly during your weekly clean, or use the toilet brush to conveniently address daily messes in the toilet bowl between regular cleans.
Scrubbing the toilet bowl using a brush is also a hygienic way to manually clean it—far more hygienic than putting your hands inside the toilet to clean it using a cloth or scrubbing.
You can maintain a clean and sanitary bathroom environment without getting your hands too dirty.
8. Microfibre Cloths
Microfibre cloths are indispensable for cleaning due to their performance and versatility. Composed of ultrafine synthetic fibres, these cloths are excellent dusters and effectively lift dirt from surfaces.
Their lint-free design also ensures surfaces remain clean and streak-free, making them ideal for tasks like cleaning glass, mirrors, and electronics.
Microfibre cloths can be used for more than dusting and wiping, though. Their high absorbency makes them efficient at cleaning up spills, and their durability allows for multiple uses and washings, contributing to cost-effectiveness. Simply wash the microfibre cloth after use and use it again.
9. Wood Cleaner and Polish
If you have a significant amount of wooden surfaces in your home, wood polish is another must-have cleaning product.
These cleaners are specifically formulated to clean grime off wood while helping to preserve its natural beauty and finish.
Regular cleaning can prevent dirt, grime, and stains from accumulating and potentially damaging the wood over time.
Many wood cleaners also contain moisturising agents that help prevent the wood from drying out and cracking.
They often contain ingredients that can enhance the natural shine and lustre of the wood, leaving surfaces looking polished and well-maintained.
10. Bicarbonate of Soda
Although not a traditional cleaning product, bicarbonate of soda is a fantastic all-round cleaning solution.
Bicarbonate of soda is so effective at cleaning as it is a gentle abrasive, meaning it can lift grime and stains from surfaces without causing damage.
It also has a neutral pH, making it suitable for cleaning acidic and alkaline substances, and natural antimicrobial properties. Additionally, bicarbonate of soda can remove smells as it is a natural deodoriser.
11. Vacuum Cleaner
Investing in a quality vacuum cleaner will instantly up-level your cleaning routine.
Modern vacuum cleaners come with various attachments that allow for cleaning different surfaces and hard-to-reach areas. They can be used on floors, stairs, upholstered furniture, and even in the car.
Vacuuming is generally faster and less physically demanding than other floor cleaning methods (such as sweeping or mopping), saving time and effort during regular cleaning routines.
12. Liquid Laundry Detergent
Our final essential cleaning product is laundry detergent. While there are alternative forms of detergent, such as powder and pods, liquid detergent is superior due to its effectiveness and versatility.
It can be used for various types of laundry, including regular clothing, delicates, and linens, and is compatible with cold water washes.
Unlike powders and pods, liquid detergent can also double as a stain remover.
Pretreat stains by applying a small amount to the mark, letting it sit for several minutes, and gently blotting it using a cloth.
This trick doesn’t just work on clothes—you can use laundry detergent to clean carpet, too!
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.