5 things you need – and 5 you don’t – for a clean, healthy home.


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5 things you need – and 5 you don’t – for a clean, healthy home.

By emily.bailey

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Cleaning supplies | Schlage

To make cleaning easier and more effective, you need the right tools.



To make cleaning easier and more effective, you need the right tools. Scrubbing grout with a toothbrush might be effective, but do you really want to spend your entire Saturday like that? Just thinking about it hurts our back and knees. Some must-have cleaning supplies like a high-quality vacuum are obvious. As for the rest, use our list of five cleaning essentials to keep in your house, plus five more you can skip.
Father and son sweeping the floor.

5 cleaning supplies you need

Broom and dustpan

Even the tidiest people drop crumbs. Pets leave hair and track litter. Kids somehow spray glitter everywhere. A good broom and dustpan can keep these messes under control in between vacuuming. Choose a reusable broom instead of disposable Swiffer pads to help the environment and save money.

Laundry basket

There is always dirty laundry. When choosing laundry baskets, get one that’s the right size – big enough to hold everything but not so big it’s hard to carry or store – and one that’s attractive. If it’s pretty enough to leave sitting out, your family might actually use it.

Microfiber cloth

The benefits of microfiber cloths are many. First, you’ll be putting less in the landfill when they replace paper towels. Also, they leave less lint behind than traditional rags when cleaning. That makes them perfect for buffing mirrors and shining windows. They’re also gentle on electronic screens, so you can finally get rid of those fingerprints on your tablet.


So simple, yet so good at so many jobs. Use it as a caddy for your other cleaning supplies. Use it when mopping. Use it to catch a sudden leak. You won’t need it all the time, but when you do, you’ll be glad it’s there.

Bar Keepers Friend

We’ve seen a lot of recommendations for Bar Keepers Friend lately and it’s easy to see why. Try it in your kitchen, bathroom, garage and even backyard to tackle rust, soap scum, baked-on food and that mysterious grime you don’t want to think about. In addition to the original formula, you can also find cleansers designed for coffee makers, cooktops and other surfaces that require a softer touch.

5 cleaning supplies you don’t need

All-purpose cleaner

First of all, most all-purpose cleaners aren’t. You can’t use the same cleaning solution on stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, porcelain sinks, windows and hardwood floors and expect it to work. It might even damage some of those surfaces. Instead, be selective with the specific cleaners you do purchase. If you’re worried about the expense and impact on the environment, try making your own natural DIY cleaners.

Kitchen sponge

We’ll admit to using a regular sponge for washing dishes, but we’re starting to seriously rethink our decisions at this point. Kitchen sponges can be a breeding ground for germs, not to mention you make Mother Nature angry every time you throw one away. Instead, use cloths that you can wash and reuse. They’re healthier for you, the environment and your wallet.

Air fresheners

Like kitchen sponges, we’re guilty of using these from time to time, too. The closet where our hamper is always smells like sweaty gym clothes and the trash can smells like, well, trash. Don’t just cover up the smells with air fresheners, some of which can cause headaches or breathing difficulties. Instead, try deodorizing trash cans with a good scrub and some baking soda. You can also look for natural essential oils if you really want a fresh scent without the chemicals.

Drain cleaner

Many drain cleaners are made with harsh chemicals. While they can help your sink or shower drain more quickly, they might also be damaging your plumbing. Instead, invest in a snake, plunger or both. We know it’s gross down there and you don’t want to look at what you pull up, but it’s a safe solution.

Junk drawers

Technically this isn’t a cleaning supply, but it can make your house seem dirtier. Junk drawers tend to be the catch-all space for stuff that, if we’re honest, we just don’t need. Declutter your junk drawer and find legitimate homes for any items stored there. If you can’t find a dedicated spot for something, decide if you actually need it in your life, then donate it or throw it away.

Keeping your home clean and organized is an ongoing process but one that is worth the effort. With the right tools and a routine of tackling small messes a little bit at a time, you’ll be on your way to a healthy home and family. Try these 10 quick cleaning jobs you can do in 10 minutes or less and find more organization hacks at the Schlage blog.