Your home cleaning supplies checklist

Natural cleaner. Vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon

Home is where the heart is—and the dust, dirt, and mildew. That is, if you don’t clean it regularly. Thankfully, you don’t need a special cleaning service or expensive equipment to keep your abode in tip-top shape. Keep the items below in your cleaning arsenal and keep your whole home squeaky-clean.

Gather the essentials. There are a few basic cleaning supplies that can be used across the board. First up: rubber gloves. Particularly if your skin is sensitive, you should avoid coming into contact with cleaning products that may contain bleach or ammonia. For mixing or diluting cleaning solutions, you’ll need one or two five-gallon buckets and an equal number of plastic spray bottles. Sponges, old rags, and ultra-absorbent chamois towels are essential for cleaning and drying, while an all-purpose scrub brush and scouring pad can help with tougher messes. And of course, you’re going to want a dust pan, broom, and mop.

For wood floors. Invest in a durable mop that can hold up after multiple uses and be machine washed, or use cost-effective disposable heads. (Tip: Be sure to sweep before mopping, or you’ll risk scratching your floors with debris.) For floors that are not wood, use all-purpose cleaner with your mop, diluted with water as per the cleaner’s instructions. Go with all-purpose instead of floor-specific cleaner, as it’s typically less expensive. Do invest in a separate wood cleaner, though, as the all-purpose kind can damage wood floors.

For carpets and rugs. A vacuum is basically all you need. Do some research on the different kinds and determine which one best fits your needs. One that is reliable and can get in all of your home’s nooks and crannies should be your choice.

For the kitchen. With all the different kinds of surfaces found in a kitchen, cleaning it can be a daunting task. But, if you’re equipped with the right tools, it should be less of a hassle. Any surfaces made of marble, granite, or quartz should not come into contact with all-purpose cleaner; instead, use a mild dish detergent mixed with warm water. The more natural you can go when cleaning your kitchen, the more at ease you’ll feel when cooking. Clean stainless steel by first rubbing baking soda on it, then adding vinegar. An oven will likely need a special oven cleaner, so be sure to follow the proper instructions when taking on that task. If you have any pesky food stains, try rubbing lemon on them and leaving them for a while. Knowing that no harmful chemicals have made their way into your dish means you can serve dinner with confidence.

For the bathroom. When combined with the right (all-purpose) cleaner, a scrub brush can really come in handy in your tub, shower, and even on tile grout—but do not use the same one in the toilet! Keep a separate brush for cleaning your potty; some are specially designed to get in the tough-to-reach areas of the bowl and can make your life easier.

For your living areas. That handy all-purpose cleaner can make your windows look streaky, so go ahead and get a good glass cleaner. Dry windows off with a lint-free cloth. A duster with an extendable arm will help you get cobwebs and other unsightly things in those hard-to-reach places. And don’t forget about the lint roller, which can clean up dog hair and other fuzz on upholstery in a snap.

House Cleaning Kit Checklist [Real Simple]

Cleaning Supply Checklist [Molly Maid]

Checklist: Basic Cleaning Supplies for a Small Space [Apartment Therapy]