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8 Home cleaning items you need to have

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Cleaning must-haves

Whether you're out on your own for the first time or cleaning up after a busy family, keeping your home nice and tidy is a never-ending task. Shopping for home cleaners can be confusing. Which sponge really works, anyway? We've compiled a list of go-to cleaning items to help you keep your home clean. Try a few different brands and see which you like best, but these are the basics that you'll need to keep everything clean. They're all multi-purpose, too, so you'll also save money (and time!) in the process.

Woman with cleaning supplies

Vacuum cleaner

Not only are vacuum cleaners great at removing dirt and dust from floors and surfaces, they're also one of the fastest (and easiest) ways to keep your home looking spic and span. The key is to find a cleaner that has a good filtration system. And remember: Even if a vacuum brand is trendy, that doesn't mean it's the best quality. Check out brands that are a little less expensive but well known and reliable.

All-purpose cleaners

There is no better way to wipe the dirt and grime away from your home than an all-purpose cleaner. You can use it on all sorts of surfaces, from leather to ceramic, and many kill germs on contact.

Microfiber cloths

Because dust mites (of which dust is largely composed) move, simply sweeping or wiping them away will never do. What you need, aside from a good vacuum cleaner to pick up dust bunnies, is a microfiber cloth that's made to attract and trap dust particles so they don't move elsewhere.

Dishwasher

Washing the dishes by hand is never fun. What's more, because this chore uses so much water, it's actually less environmentally friendly than using a dishwasher. In fact, one of the most "green," economical and time-saving home items you can have is a reliable dishwasher.

Baking soda

Despite your best efforts, little nasties can sneak their way into garbage bins or your refrigerator. These germs can breed bacteria and horrible smells. To bust these bad guys before they start to grow, sprinkle some baking soda in your garbage can and keep an open box of it in your fridge to keep everything germ and smell free.

Gloves

Before you go about chores with bare hands, think about what you're cleaning and the germs that could be sneaking their way into your body through small cuts. Wearing a good pair of gloves will prevent transmission of the germy sort.

Sponges/scrubbers

Why use paper towels to clean your home's surfaces when you can use something that's just as efficient and reusable? Sponges and scrubbers are essential to any keeping-your-home-clean arsenal. Remember, though, to toss these guys into your laundry after one or two weeks of use. Because they're constantly damp, they can breed bacteria faster than any other surface in your home.

Stain remover

Whether you meant to or not, that salsa fell on your nice beige couch and, without a stain remover, that big red stain it left is not coming out. Moral of the story? Always, no matter what kind of furniture you have, keep a stain remover on hand. You can use all-purpose types on everything from clothing to furniture. Some can even wipe stains from leather and wood.

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