Cleaning Essentials for a Very Clean Home

No matter what type of cleaner you are, there are a few bare essentials to have before you start.

Cleaning your home is part of being a homeowner, and while cleaning might not be the most fun task to many people, it is a necessity. With countless products on the market it is easy to get lost and lose sight of what cleaning essentials are must-haves to begin your cleaning. Whether you are taking on the large task of a "spring" cleaning, or the smaller cleaning touch up, it is a good idea to gather the essential cleaning supplies before you start.

Much like a construction worker is as good as the tools he carries, a house cleaner is as good as the cleaning supplies they clean with. One of the most important things is to find a place to keep your cleaning tools, and a small portable tote or basket is a cheap and easy way to carry your cleaning tools wherever you go around the house. HGTV.com has a list of cleaning essentials to help you get your cleaning done.

A cleaning tote is a housecleaner's best friend. A plastic bucket or totable tray, it holds the tools and supplies needed to clean it right and clean it fast. What's inside? Check your cleaning tote for these top tools:

Cleaning apron.

An apron protects clothing, keeps cleaning tools at hand and has pockets to hold spare garbage bags and collect trash or small out-of-place items. Choose a sturdy, comfortable, machine-washable apron.

Rubber gloves or washing-up gloves.

Protect hands from harsh cleaning products with rubber gloves. New colors make rubber gloves a bright addition to the cleaning tote-but steer clear of frou-frou decoration. Fur cuffs or rhinestone embellishments are fun to look at, but are not meant for serious cleaning.

Cleaning cloths.

White cotton cleaning cloths are the cleaner's mainstay. Fold them for easy access, and then use them to wipe fixtures dry, make mirrors gleam, and remove fingermarks fast.

Scrubbing sponge.

This dual-duty sponge has an absorbent side and an abrasive side. Flip from soft to tough to take out stubborn, dried-on deposits in the sink.

Squeegee.

Clean windows, mirrors and glass the way the pros do. A rubber-bladed squeegee removes cleaning solution and soil with one quick swipe. Wipe the blade dry with a cleaning cloth between strokes.

Scraper.

Dried-up gunk comes up fast when tackled with a smooth metal or plastic scraper. Keep the scraper handy in an apron pocket; it'll make quick work of blobs of jelly or dried-on oatmeal.

Tile brush.

A handled brush with thick bristles cleans tiles, bathtub surrounds and ceramic fixtures in a flash. Bristles reach into corners; the handle keeps your hands free and clear of the cleaning fray.

Toothbrush.

Tiny spaces attract big-time dirt. Tackle them with a firm-bristle toothbrush. Use it to rout gunk from around sink fixtures, sink rims or tight corners.

In addition to the above, if you are planning to buy cleaning products in bulk, you will also need the following:

Squirt bottle.

Tile and bathroom cleaner works best when applied evenly and thickly. Use a funnel to decant the cleaner into a clean squirt-top bottle to get the right amount of product in the right spot-even underneath toilet rims.

Spray bottle.

Whether you spritz it for light coverage or spray it for harder jobs, adjustable spray bottles make it easy to apply window cleaner or degreaser to surfaces. Use a color code or label bottles to tell them apart.

Equipped with these cleaning items, you should find cleaning your home to be faster and more efficient. Be sure to always have these cleaning items fully stocked with your other supplies and stowed away in your cleaning tote. It is also a good idea to keep all of these cleaning items in a closet or cabinet that is easily accessible and near most of the rooms in your house. That way, in case of a spill or accident you can easily retrieve the cleaning items and start your cleaning right away. Whether you are an avid house cleaner or occasionally tidy up a few rooms, keeping these cleaning items in your household inventory will lead you on the way to living in a clean and happy home!