Let’s face it: cleaning can be quite a chore (pun intended). However, the right products can help make this job easier, safer, and quicker. Here are a few must-haves that you should definitely keep in your cleaning cabinets.

Baking Soda

No list of cleaning must-haves is complete without baking soda. You can find it in the ingredient list of a lot of environmentally friendly cleaning products, but on its own, baking soda is a fantastic deodorizer, degreaser, and stain remover.  You can also use it to scrub the grime off tiles and grout, and remove the baked-on residue from the bottom of pots and pans. You can even add a cup baking soda to your load of laundry, along with your liquid detergent, to make whites look whiter and colors brighter.

Microfiber Cleaning Implements

Whether you’re at home or in the office, there are a lot of surfaces that can gather dust — tabletops, baseboards, the tops of the blades of ceiling fans, even picture frames. With the help of microfiber cloths and microfiber dusters, you’ll make quick work of these dusty surfaces. That’s because the positive charge of microfiber attracts and lifts dust, which has a negative charge, instead of just pushing it around like regular rags do. Another benefit of microfiber is that it will hold on to the dust until you wash or rinse it.

To deal with high places like the tops of cabinets, and narrow areas like the spaces under furniture, look for a microfiber duster with a threaded handle and a flexible head.

Sturdy Broom and Dust Pan

You need a good broom with sturdy, sweep-them-all head to deal with all kinds of dry debris on your floors: dust, food crumbs, bits of paper, even broken glass. Check the bristles: the tighter they are, the better. Another good feature to have on a broom is an angled or adjustable head; this will give you a more ergonomic stroke that’s easier on your wrists and arms. For dust pans, make sure that the lip lies as flat against the floor as possible, so that no rubbish can escape when you sweep them in. If you’re regularly dealing with a lot of detritus — spilled cereal from over-enthusiastic toddlers, for example — opt for a deeper dustpan.

Other features to look for are adjustable handles, clip-on attachments so you can keep the broom and the pan together for storage, and cleaning “teeth” that you can use to comb through the bristles of the broom to keep them clean.

Eco-Friendly Disinfectants

Keeping your kitchen and bathroom looking clean is not enough — you need to disinfect them to keep those germs and bacteria at bay. Ideally, you should wipe down the sink and kitchen counters every day. For your bathroom, once a week is an ideal schedule for disinfecting your toilet and sink. You should also wash and disinfect your shower curtains once a week to prevent mildew build-up. Your bathtub can take longer in between disinfecting sessions, about once every two weeks; adjust this schedule, however, if you shower often or if the tub is shared among several members of the household.

There are a lot of eco-friendly disinfectants available in the market, most of which are plant-based. You can look for ingredients such as eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and mint.

Rubber Gloves

Of course, you don’t have to wear rubber gloves all the time, especially if you’re only doing some routine sweeping or dusting. However, for more heavy duty cleaning jobs like scrubbing the toilet and tub, cleaning the oven, and hand-washing heavy dishes and cookware, rubber gloves are a big help. They improve your grip and also protect your hands from bacteria and other harmful elements.

Keep your rubber gloves clean by simply rinsing and air-drying them after each use. You can pop them on the top rack of your dishwasher or include them in a wash cycle together with your other cleaning cloths to disinfect them. Air-dry them completely, away from direct sunlight to keep them sturdy for a long time.

It maybe tiresome for many, but just like any other job, you need the right tools for cleaning. Once you do, not only will you be more effective at doing, you’ll also find that it can also be rather enjoyable. Happy cleaning!