The Best Multi-Purpose Household Cleaning Products
Before March 2020, the thought of doing chores stressed us out. We planned our cleaning days well in advance, trying to pump ourselves up in the run-up to scrubbing our tubs.
Now that we’re all spending a lot more time at home, cleaning has become less of a chore and more of an obsession. That dust bunny under your entertainment center is a lot more difficult to ignore when you’re staring at it for twelve hours a day instead of two or three a night.
We can’t speak for everyone, but we think it’s pretty fair to say that many of us can now emphasize with the previously confounding “stress cleaners” of the world.
But our budgets are tighter than ever, and placing a Target order for dozens of one-task cleaning products is out of reach.
Fortunately, you don’t need six different cleaners for your bathroom. A set of just a few durable, thorough, multi-tasking, easy-to-use cleaners are all you need to get a good clean.
So which cleaners should you buy, and which should you remove from your cart? Here are our favorite household clean products that can catch dust bunnies, make countertops shine, and unclog drains.
Disposable dusters? That’s the old you.
Microfiber cloths capture dust that settles on your countertops, books, baseboards, and shelves all in one fell swoop. They’re lightweight, flexible, and easy to maneuver around uneven, tricky spaces.
They may not be as fluffy as their single-use cousins, but they get the job done.
The best part? You can throw your cloths in the washer between cleans.
If a traveling salesperson tried to sell us a multi-surface cleaner, we’d probably shut the door in their face.
A do-it-all product that cleans all hard surfaces, disinfects, degreases, and acts as a detergent in a pinch?
But despite sounding like a totally made up wonder product, multi-surface cleaner really is that good. Instead of needing five different products for your glass, stone, wood, tile, laminate, and painted surfaces, a good multi-surface cleaner can handle them all.
There’s no set standard list of ingredients for a multi-surface cleaner, but an effective one should disinfect, de-grease, get rid of dirt, and act as a solvent and detergent without leaving behind any residue.
Different brands will use different formulas, so try a few to figure out which works best for all the surfaces in your home.
These days, it’s all about the fancy vacuum.
Cordless vacuums. Vacuums with allergy filters. Robot vacuums you can put your baby on for a TikTok challenge.
Vacuums are lovely, but that doesn’t mean we want to lug them out of the basement every time we spill a bag of coffee beans.
Brooms are lightweight and super helpful for everyday spills, and getting into tight corners your vacuum won’t reach.
Get yourself a standard broom and a small handheld. You’ll be glad you did.
Fact: dish soap is just for your dishes.
Sure, dish soap can be used to wash dishes, pots, pans, and glasses, but it can be used in so many other ways.
The vast majority of dish soap formulas have at least one degreasing ingredient. Degreasers can cut through caked-on leftovers, cut through grease in your oven, unclog your drain, and remove built-up gunk on top of your cabinets.
(Hey, remember the last time you cleaned on top of your cabinets? We don’t either.)
For even more degreasing power, mix a little baking soda with your dish soap, then slather it on whatever surface needs degreasing. After a few minutes, any build-up will slide away with a warm cloth.
We’d like a word with whoever invented grout, please.
It disintegrates over time, never stays the same color for long, and collects dirt, dust, and grease like no other surface in our homes. Getting into those tiny lines with a sponge, paper towel, or dish rag is nearly impossible.
Luckily, there’s an answer to our grout-related woes: grout brushes.
Sturdy, angled grout brushes can reach all that mold, soap scrum, and grime stuck in your grout without using a harmful chemical cleaner. Just use a little dish soap mixed with hot soapy water, and the gunk will come right out.
Our bathrooms present their own unique set of cleaning problems.
They have mirrors that need streak-free shines, toilets that need disinfecting, tubs that need mold removal, and shower walls that need squeegeeing.
An effective bathroom cleaner should be able to tackle all of those tasks and more. Look for a formula made with hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. It serves the same cleaning purposes, without all the associated health risks.
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