10 Cleaning Tools Everyone Should Own

This post may contain affiliate links that won’t change your price but will share some commission.

When it comes to basic cleaning tools, there’s no need to spend a lot of money. Look for tools like these that can be used in multiple ways. You’ll save money as well as space.

Recently a reader, who is setting up her first home, asked for my recommendations of cleaning tools everyone should own. It’s an excellent question because having the essential cleaning tools makes staying on top of messes so much easier.

Essential Cleaning Tools Everyone Should Own

When it comes to basic cleaning tools, there’s no need to spend a lot of money. In fact, if you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to learn how to clean properly before you invest in more expensive gear.

1. Microfiber Cloths

A set of microfiber cloths in different colors tops my list for a good reason. Unlike feather dusters or those disposable things, a wet microfiber cloth holds onto dust. As long as you rinse it often while cleaning, you aren’t just moving dirt around from one spot to another.

They’re also brilliant at cleaning counters or appliances, polishing tile or glass, even getting pet hair off clothing. Use one color for bathrooms, another for the kitchen, and the third for everywhere else in the house.

2. An Adaptable Stick Vacuum

Even if you have hard flooring, there are times you need a vacuum, so a combination stick/hand vacuum is a must.

  • A hand vac gets crumbs and pet hair off of upholstery, helps freshen your mattress, and keeps your car interior looking nice.
  • Use it as a stick vacuum in the kitchen, and you’ll never have to deal with that annoying line between a broom and dustpan always leave behind.
  • Give your home’s entrance mats a quick vacuum every couple of days, and you’ll cut down on the dirt tracked indoors, too.

3. An Extension Dusting Kit

Dusting your ceilings and walls helps reduce indoor allergies a lot, but it’s a hassle unless you’re tall or like hauling a step-stool around. An extension dusting kit makes it easy, plus you can use it to clean chandeliers, light fixtures, and the tops of kitchen cupboards. Shake it outdoors or rinse it in the sink, and you know the dust is out of your house.

4. A Ceiling Fan Cleaning Brush

Pop a ceiling fan duster onto your extension pole to clean both sides of the blade in one quick swipe. The brush’s stiffer bristles are also great at getting cobwebs off popcorn ceilings and picking up lint from behind the dryer.

5. Spray Bottles for Homemade Cleaners

A set of inexpensive spray bottles is perfect for homemade cleaning products. They’re also great to mist clothing before ironing and to train pets to stay off the furniture. I bought a set of the ones pictured over 5 years ago, and they’re still going strong.

6. A Steam Mop

A steam mop with washable pads gets the grout and tile clean at the same time. Got a small shower stall that’s awkward to clean by hand? A steam mop will get those walls clean, too. Plus, steam sterilizes without chemicals that might harm pets or kids.

7. A Squeegee

A squeegee that attaches to your extension pole lets you get windows clean and streak-free. Use it on tall mirrors, too. In between those tasks, use it in your shower to keep glass doors spot-free. Oh, and if you own pets, a damp squeegee is one of the easiest ways to get pet hair off furniture.

8. A Scrub Brush

The list of things you need a scrub brush for is almost endless.

  • Use it to get tough stains out of car mats, off garage floors, or cement patios.
  • Clean flower pots and garden tools.
  • Get soot off of your fireplace walls.
  • Scour grout.
  • Clean garbage cans.
  • Get dry mud off the bottom of your shoes.

You get the picture.

9. White Cleaning Cloths

A white cleaning cloth is necessary when removing carpet or clothing stains since colored fabrics may transfer their dyes and make the problem worse. Inexpensive white washcloths like these make it budget-friendly, too. Don’t like the thought of spending money on cleaning rags? Use them as washcloths to start, and repurpose them once they start to look worn.

10. A Lint Roller

A lint roller is, of course, excellent at removing pet hair from clothing but it’s also a fantastic tool for cleaning other things around the house.

  • Use one to sweep crumbs and dust off of upholstery quickly.
  • Run a lint roller over lampshades to clean them.
  • Dropped a glass on the floor? Pick up the big chunks, then run a lint roller to get the little ones you might not see.

Comment Policy

Comments are moderated. It may take up to 72 hours for moderated comments to appear. I welcome and encourage questions and discussion. However, I will not approve comments that are off-topic, repetitive, or contain hateful or threatening language, advertising or spam. Comments asking for information already covered in the article will not be approved.

Comments may be removed in the future if the information they contain or seek becomes outdated or gets incorporated within the article itself.


  1. Christy Parks says:

    Great list! The only thing I’d add is an old toothbrush or q-tips for those impossible to reach crevices.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Both great suggestions, Christy!

  2. Question: Can you use the extension pole that comes with the dusting kit on the ceiling fan cleaning brush? I don’t really want to have to get 2 poles. Thanks!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I do all the time. They both had universal ends when I bought them.

  3. Julie P Clark says:

    My favorite cleaning tool is a Cuban mop (also known as a T mop)! With a wet bar towel, my favorite cleaner made up in a spray bottle, I can mot all the downstairs hardwood and the vinyl downstairs bathroom/mud room/laundry room in a little over 10 minutes! I first saw a Cuban mop used in Miami Florida back in the 1960s. About a year ago, that mop popped into my mind and I wondered if it had a name so I Googled (stick mop) and that’s how I learned about Cuban mops. I loved using them so much I made two more; one for upstairs and a smaller one for dusting hard to reach places by attaching a microfiber cloth. I always hated to mop–getting out the bucket of water, rinsing rinsing rinsing and still seeing dirty streaks. The Cuban mop is so easy, you just rinse out the cloth and keep going, then wash the cloth!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Julie,
      I’d never heard of a Cuban Mop before but they look brilliant!

    2. I lived in Germany in the 90s and the mops were similar- the only difference – the T was a stiff broom/brush (Schrubber). You used the bristle broom to scrub tile with cleaner before mopping. While mopping, it’s simple and easy to remove the cloth to rinse multiple times and then to launder afterwards.This was a great improvement on the difficult to ring and clean, smelly because slow to dry string mop I was accustomed to. Nowadays I use a rubber “Schrubber” on a telescoping stick with microfiber cloth. Happy mopping:)

  4. Lynette Bayliss says:

    Looking forsometning that can clean skirting biards

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Lynette,
      The extension duster can be shortened to the perfect length to knock dust off of skirting boards. For deeper cleaning, a microfiber cloth and this homemade all-purpose spray do the job.

  5. How do you keep the kitchen sponge smelling fresh?

Leave a Reply
Comments are moderated. Your comment is pending moderator approval.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *