When it comes to cleaning supplies, it's easy for the average shopper to get sucked in by the latest and greatest promise. Whether it's a multi-purpose spray that will supposedly replace all your other cleaners, or a new kind of bottle that's somehow more efficient and ergonomic, there's always something to get us excited.
Professional house cleaners? Well, they know better.
They've tried out the products, seen through the gimmicks, and cut through the clutter to find the most efficient (and typically, the most economical) way to get your house clean. While some professional house cleaners provide their own products, others use what you've got in the house, so they've tried it all.
Professional house cleaners also tend to have a penchant for eco-friendlier and less chemical-laden cleaners, because they are exposed to the stuff all day, every day. "We are also seeing more customers steering away from traditional types of bleach cleaning products, as they are harsh and leave a strong potent smell which is overpowering," says Michael Dimopoulos, an NYC-based Thumbtack House Cleaner and Founder of Lazy Susan's Cleaning Service.
With all that in mind, here are the best cleaning supplies, according to Dimopoulos and two other professional house cleaners.
1. Bona mop and floor cleaner
"It's the best for expensive wood flooring," says Dimopoulos. The formula is gentle enough for older homes with original flooring and it won't damage the finish.
Buy: Bona 4 Piece Hardwood Floor Care System, $30
2. Traditional wring mop
For non-wood floors, an old-fashioned mop is best. "In large spaces with tiles or concrete, nothing does a job better than a real traditional wring mop with great detergent, hot water, and maybe vinegar," says Dimopoulos.
Our favorite: O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop and Bucket Floor Cleaning System, $34
3. Microfiber cloths
All of our cleaners swear by microfiber cloths. "I use these on every surface," says Dimopoulos. Melissa Maker, a Toronto-based cleaning expert and founder of Clean My Space, agrees: "They last forever, dry quickly and don't harbor bacteria."
Some Microfiber Cloths We Love
4. Mrs. Meyers multi-surface cleaners
"Mrs. Meyers provides a great result and is good for the environment, too," says Dimopoulos. Hermina Gil, owner of It's All About Homes in Raleigh, NC (and the woman who keeps my house spick-and-span), has a similar sentiment: "If I only used one cleaning product, it would be Mrs. Meyers."
Buy: Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Cleaners, from $9 for three, 16-ounce bottles
5. Non-cellulose sponges
"These are great for any wipe-downs or any general cleaning where you don't need to use anything heavy-duty," says Maker. As a bonus, they don't harbor bacteria, odors, or stains like cellulose sponges do.
Our favorite: Skura Style sponges, $12 for four
6. Paper towels
As much as professional cleaners like to be eco-friendly, nothing beats paper towels for getting a shine on mirrors and glass, say Dimopoulos. Gil agrees: "Countertops sparkle when you dry off the liquid fully, so paper towels are a must."
Buy: Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels, $10 for 6 rolls
7. Coconut oil spray
"I use this as a natural furniture and leather polish," says Dimopoulos. And it's eco-friendly, too. Use it on your kitchen table, chairs, buffet, and other pieces.
Buy: Chosen Foods Coconut Oil Spray, $7.50 for 4.7 ounces
8. Vinegar and water
In their own homes, Maker and Dimopoulos both like this natural DIY solution for regular cleaning. "Just don't expect it to be as effective as a commercial cleanser for deep cleaning," says Dimopoulos.
Read more: How To Make an All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner
One last note from the pros: Be sure to stock up! Often, professional house cleaners are surprised by how little cleaning product is left in the bottle for them to work with. If you're cleaning yourself, you're also going to need enough supplies.
What cleaning supplies do you swear by? Tell us about them in the comments below.