A good all-purpose cleaner can help you tackle multiple areas of the house, thus reducing the number of cleaning products you need to maintain a tidy home. The cleaning service Molly Maid recommends using Mr. Clean All-Purpose Cleaner since it is effective and safe to use on almost all household surfaces. Scented with Febreze, this product doesn't leave a strong chemical odor behind. Available from Walmart; $6.97.
The Maids, Merry Maids, MaidPro, and countless other cleaning services agree that microfiber cloths are a must-have for any cleaning arsenal. The small fibers are more effective at grabbing dust and dirt than other cloths, plus they're cleaner than sponges and more sustainable than paper towels. Use them wet or dry on any surface. This set, available on Amazon and beloved for their durability, has earned five-stars from thousands of reviews. Available from Amazon; $16.99 for eight cloths.
You don’t always need strong chemicals to disinfect and clean germ-covered surfaces: Germaphobes have a safe alternative in white vinegar. This pantry item is a natural solution for clearing clogs, banishing soap scum, and sanitizing surfaces. Merry Maids use it to in almost every room of the house! Available from Walmart; $2.
Related: 10 Handy Household Uses for Vinegar
Another must-have cleaner that you probably already own: Baking soda. This kitchen staple can be used to scrub, polish, and shine dull or stained surfaces. Merry Maid's professional cleaners sprinkle it in the bottom of garbage cans to soak up bad smells, while Molly Maid says their cleaners use it as a carpet deodorizer. Available from Target ; $0.89.
Tub and Tile Cleaner
All-purpose cleaners and white vinegar are excellent for cleaning almost any surface in the bathroom, but if you want to save yourself from the stretching and reaching involved in cleaning a tub and shower, then consider using a product like Scrubbing Bubbles, as the cleaners at Molly Maid do. This product clings to tile and cuts through grime and mildew; all you need to is wipe it away with a wet cloth or sponge and the powerful solution does the rest. Available from Target; $2.89.
Glass and Surface Cleaner
A vacuum cleaner isn’t just for cleaning carpets, it’s also a handy way to dust furniture, curtains, and corners between the wall and the ceiling. The Maids recommends using a model with a built-in HEPA filter, which removes up to 99% of particulates from the air. Make the most of vacuum attachments, like the upholstery extension, which Molly Maid says is a must-have tool for pet owners. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe, available on Amazon, has all of these benefits, plus a removable canister to make vacuuming the stairs an easy-to-accomplish task. Available on Amazon; $146.99.
Don’t overlook the importance of protecting your hands while cleaning. Common household cleaners may seem innocuous but they contain strong chemicals, which can hurt bare hands. Molly Maid suggests arming yourself with durable gloves, like these from Amazon, which keep your hands safe while wicking moisture. Available from Amazon; $14.88 for a four pack.
Each week from now through New Year's Eve, receive around-the-house tips, DIY project inspiration, and clever gift ideas to help make this your best-ever holiday season—subscribe now!