top 10 cleaning agents

Even the thought of cleaning tires me out, and I usually have to spend a few hours (okay, more like days) mentally preparing for the chore. 

However, I’ve found that once I start cleaning one of the rooms in my apartment, I get into a productive groove that whisks me from the bathroom and kitchen to the living room and bedroom with montage-like ease. Having both the mental strength to clean and a proper toolkit of products on hand helps me reach this cleaning groove and get the chore over as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

If you’re equipped with thorough, durable, and easy-to-use cleaners and appliances, you can clean your entire home and barely break a sweat in the process. 

So what products should you fill your cleaning basket with? We looked to the top-rated ones first to see what everyone else swears by to catch dust bunnies, clear out clogged drains, and make their countertops sparkle as much as when they first moved in. 

Anywhere: Dyson V10 Absolute Cordless Vacuum

Amazon

Dyson V11 Outsize Cordless Stick Vacuum, $799.99, available at Bed Bath & Beyond

Though the price is a lot to pay for a vacuum, the V11’s powerful and thorough cleaning capabilities make every dollar worth it if you have a large space. The battery only runs when you push on the trigger and comes with a backup for up to 120 minutes of usage, letting you go weeks without needing to charge. Choose between three cleaning modes for more efficient cleaning on hardwoods, carpet, and more. It also comes with additional tools so you can reach every inch of any surface.

Anywhere: Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Roborock S65 Robot Vacuum, $590, available on Amazon

If you absolutely hate cleaning, let a robot vacuum do the work for you. While you’re outside of the house, it can make use of all that empty time to clean your home. It cleans in a systematic way to learn where walls or furniture, and you can set no-go zones around specific rooms or just fragile items like side tables with tall vases on top. There’s even a mopping feature, which further cuts down on how much time you spend cleaning your space, and when the robot vac is low on battery, it’ll go back to its charging dock.

Anywhere: Clorox Wipes

Target

Clorox Bleach-Free Disinfecting Wipes, $2.89, available at Amazon

You’ll see these bleach-free wipes in nearly everyone’s cleaning cabinet because they’re thick and durable, kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, and come in three fresh scents. They dispense easily out of the canister and dry quickly, plus they’re safe on hard and nonporous surfaces like finished hardwood, sealed granite, and stainless steel. 

Due to news of the novel coronavirus, Clorox Wipes are currently sold out at major online retailers, including Walmart and Lowe’s. Items fulfilled by Amazon have also sold out, and prices for Clorox Wipes fulfilled by third-party sellers have gone up significantly — the highest price as of publishing time for this item is $144 for a 12-pack of 35-count canisters. We are monitoring restocks and will update this post accordingly. 

Anywhere: OXO Microfiber Hand Duster

Amazon

OXO Good Grips Microfiber Hand Duster, $9.99, available at Bed Bath & Beyond

This soft, fluffy duster captures all the dust settling on your shelves and countertops in one fell swoop. Flexible and lightweight, it’s comfortable and easy to maneuver around tight, tricky spaces. Its reusable head is machine washable, though it’s best if you simply handwash it in cold water.

If you need something to reach tall surfaces, OXO’s 3-in-1 Extendable Duster is also highly rated. It extends to 8 feet, collapses to 3 feet, and comes with three interchangeable brush heads.

Anywhere: Evriholder Pet Hair Removal Broom with Squeegee

Amazon

Evriholder Pet Hair Removal Broom with Squeegee & Telescoping Handle, $12.98, available at Amazon

Whether you’re dealing with thick pet hair or a slippery spill, this dual-use broom can handle it. The 100% natural rubber attracts hair and debris “like a magnet” from hardwood, linoleum, and traditionally difficult surfaces like carpet and rugs. Then use the built-in squeegee edge if you need to wipe off liquids from windows, showers, tile, and hardwood. It can extend out to 5 feet. 

Kitchen: O-Cedar Spin Mop and Bucket Floor Cleaning System

Amazon

O-Cedar Easy Wring Spin Mop and Bucket Floor Cleaning System, $34.99, available at BJ’s

This well-designed system allows for hands-free wringing. The bucket has a special spinner, activated by a foot pedal, that spins your mop and keeps water splashes contained.

The mop head itself rotates 360 degrees and is shaped like a triangle to better clean the corners of your home. Microfiber is equally effective on hardwood floors and tiles, like the ones in your kitchen, when used wet or dry.

Anywhere: Mrs. Meyer’s Everyday Cleaner

Walmart

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, $4.99, available at Target

Natural cleaning brand Mrs. Meyer’s makes this plant-based multi-surface cleaner that cleans as well as traditional chemical-laden ones but doesn’t leave any harsh odors behind. Instead, after it’s removed dirt from your countertops and surfaces, it has a sweet, pleasant, and flowery honeysuckle scent. Other nice scents from the brand include Basil, Lavender, and Lemon Verbena. 

Kitchen: Topist Angry Mama Microwave Oven Cleaner

Amazon

Angry Mama Microwave Oven Cleaner, $8.99, available at Amazon

Rather than stick your head in your microwave and hack away for half an hour at the food crud that has been in there since 200 heating sessions ago, use this accessory to loosen it up first.

Add vinegar, water, and lemon juice to the fill lines on the body and microwave the Angry Mama for 5 to 7 minutes, after which any stains will be loose enough to wipe down quickly. It should cut down your cleaning time in half and make your microwave usable again in time for dinner. 

Kitchen: Easy-Off Oven Cleaner

Amazon

Easy-Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner, $4.24, available at Walmart

People rarely ever wipe up their oven messes immediately, but they come to regret it weeks later when the baked-on spills and grease don’t budge. Make your oven look brand new again with this affordable, fume-free cleaner, which works on ovens, oven doors, broilers, broiler pans, and stainless-steel surfaces to clean up those tough messes. Spray it and leave it on for at least 5 minutes and up to 40 minutes, then wipe down with a cloth or paper towel. 

Kitchen and bathroom: Green Gobbler Liquid Clog Remover

Amazon

Green Gobbler Liquid Clog Remover, $11.99, available at Target

Living in a house involves the constant battle of unclogging pipes and drains. If you’re not fishing out bits of food from the sink, you’re probably unraveling a never-ending string of hair from the shower drain.

Green Gobbler’s clog remover clears your drains by liquifying everything in its path — grease, hair, scum, food, and more. It comes in a dual-chambered bottle and you use one chamber for sinks and tubs and both chambers for toilets. 

Kitchen: Krud Kutter Concentrated Cleaner and Degreaser

Amazon

Krud Kutter Concentrated Cleaner and Degreaser, $6.58, available at Home Depot

This multi-use cleaner can be used all over your house, including exterior parts like driveways and patio furniture. As a powerfully concentrated degreaser, it’s especially useful for your kitchen because it can take out food and drink stains, grease, oil, gum, and soap scums. Dilute one part concentrate with 10 parts water and you can cover up to 75 square feet of surfaces. 

Living room and bathroom: Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner

Amazon

Stoner Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner (2-pack), $15.79, available at Amazon

People who have tried this glass cleaner, available in both aerosol and spray form, never go back to any other products. Your mirrors and glass surfaces will emerge sparkly clear and streak-free since it doesn’t contain any soaps, scents, or dyes. It’s also ammonia-free.

Once all your bathroom and living room glass surfaces are clean, feel free to use on your car to remove the stains, droppings, and other dirty casualties of driving outside. 

Living room: AmazonBasics Cleaning Cloth

Amazon

AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (24-pack), $15.71, available at Amazon

While far from being super plush or thick, these basic cleaning cloths are absorbent and durable enough to get the job done. The pack includes cloths in three different colors, so you can separated them by cleaning tasks. If you’re on a budget, it’s hard to find a better deal than this value pack. 

Living room: Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner

Amazon

Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner, $90, available at Amazon

If you have the double whammy of a pet (or pets) and carpeted floors, you’ll want this specialized Hoover cleaner. The under-$100 appliance both cleans and offers antimicrobial protection, and it comes with a removable nozzle so you can rinse off dirt and grime.

It also has a dual-tank system that keeps your clean water separated from the dirty water, and its signature HeatForce technology means your carpets will dry faster. 

Bathroom: Method Daily Shower Spray Cleaner

Amazon

Method Daily Shower Spray Cleaner, $2.99, available at Target

The fresh Eucalyptus Mint scent of this cleaner might motivate you to actually use this cleaner every single day to prevent scum and grime build-up. It’s made from non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients that you can feel better about going down your drain. Other than in the tub itself, you can use it for chrome faucets and shower doors.

Bathroom: Clorox ToiletWand

Amazon

Clorox ToiletWand, $9.19, available at Target | Also available at: Walmart 

The ToiletWand comes with disposable sponges that are preloaded with Clorox cleaner, eliminating the need to buy a separate toilet bowl cleaner. The sponge pad clicks securely onto the wand and gets into areas of your toilet that a brush can’t, and once you’re done cleaning, it comes off with one click so you never need to touch anything beyond the stick itself. This system also means you won’t have a dirty toilet brush sitting in your bathroom at all times.

Bathroom: The Crown Choice Grout Cleaner Brush

Amazon

The Crown Choice Grout Cleaner Brush, $10.99, available at The Crown Choice

Getting into the tiny lines of your bathroom is difficult without a specialized, narrow brush like this. It has sturdy, angled brushes to reach the soap scum, grime, and mold stuck in your grout, but it’s equally easy to wash afterward in hot, soapy water. The thick 1-inch handle is fairly comfortable to hold, which certainly helps as you dig into the floors and walls of your bathroom. 

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