Being the "manager" solely responsible for your home is hard. Especially if you have a certain level of cleanliness you hope to uphold. Time constraints, training children, and toddlers (and even pets!) are just some of the many obstacles you'll face. But there are a few things I've learned in the last 14 years of being a homemaker and mother that have really helped streamline the cleaning and maintenance process for me. So, I thought hard about it and decided to put together my 6 Best Tools to Help You Maintain a Clean Home.
My #1 on this list might make you laugh, cry, or shake your head imagining it, but I stand by it as it has gotten me out of more than a few really bad messes. The pros that landed on this list are things like, 1. Power 2. Ease of use 3. It's ok to get it dirty 4. It cleans up a mess way quicker than a broom and dust pan. It isn't your ordinary vacuum, that one is coming later in the list. Without further adieu I give you my #1.
#1 A Wet/Dry Vacuum
I'm not talking about some little timid vacuum, I'm talking about the 12 Gallon Rigid Wet/Dry Vacuum that you can get at any Home Depot or on Amazon here* (See my disclosures here. I am an Amazon Associate and make a small commission if you purchase using my link at no additional cost to you).
They come in many gallon sizes for your choice, but I can't sing its praises enough. I'm actually of the opinion that these should be on most baby registries. Forget about cute outfits or bottles, buy me a wet/dry vac.
Kid spills an entire pitcher of juice on counter? Suck it up. Food all over your counter? Suck it up. Food under the table? Suck it up. Toilet overflows because said child threw a toy down and clogged it? Suck it up. Seriously, the list can go on and on.
In the beginning, we purchased one because we had regular issues with our hot water heater elements going out. And to fix this we had to empty out at least the top part of our water heater tank every single time to replace the element. This makes this process a dream, especially because our hot water tank is under our house in our crawl space!
I have used it daily for the last 8 years and at this point, I can't imagine living without it. Sure, it's kind of bulky, but we like our vacuums chunky in this house.
#2 Shark Steam Mop
What can I say? Children create messes, it's kind of their job. My pet peeve is stepping on food when I walk into the kitchen, or pretty much everywhere. I have a fairly large amount of tile in my home and so it comes in pretty handy. If I don't want to take a scene from Cinderella and get on my hands and needs to scrub the sticky and chunky food stuck to the floor, I can get it up with my steam mop.
There is also the added bonus that it sterilizes your floor with steam. This is great for many reasons, but especially when you have a toddler that puts their hands all over that floor. Bonus, you don't have to buy special cleaners, simply fill them with water! You can find them on Amazon below*.
#3 Dyson Vacuum
This is my everyday hero. It has taken so much abuse and lived to tell the stories, notice that it is in plural not singular. My two older kids are almost 10 and 13 and so they are often responsible for vacuuming. This comes with its own set of challenges as well as benefits. They like to vacuum up many things that should not and do not fit inside a vacuum's small tubes. But I have become an expert, with the help of a few YouTube videos, at taking them apart to unclog and clean this vacuum thoroughly.
Side note: Did you know when you clean a vacuum you become a vacuum cleaner?
I've owned this model for 3 years and have washed the filters and the entire system multiple times. It is hard working, long lasting, well made, and has reusable parts that keeps maintenance basically free!
I'm not the first and I won't be the last to sing their praises. I've owned Shark vacuums and Dyson, Dyson wins every time. They are the #1 vacuum to properly and efficiently maintain a clean home. You can find one on Amazon below*.
#4 E Cloths
I don't use microfiber cloths for everything, but I do keep a few on hand to clean certain things like my cars. They are a staple in my "car bucket" which consists of a few important cleaners (that I wouldn't use in my house, but work spectacularly in my car), the bucket itself, a tooth brush, a few scrub brushes, and the e cloths.
They are hardy, easy to clean, and are great at thoroughly cleaning an area without a ton of effort on your part. In your home, the bonus of these cloths is they don't actually require anything but water! I just cleaned both of our vehicles thoroughly and these handy little cloths saved my life and made the process so much quicker. I love cotton rags, but they definitely aren't the same. Click below to purchase with Amazon*.
#5 Bissel's Little Green Steam Machine
Did I mention I like to keep things pretty clean? The idea of food, drinks, and other nasty messes which I won't bother to mention (think keeping pets) getting ground up and stuck in my carpets really bothers me on a deep level. I'm not a germaphobe, but certain things just gross me out and I like to keep things looking fairly nice.
This machine packs a punch! It is small, but so efficient. I used it cleaning one of my recent vehicles while prepping to list and sell it. My 5 kids really take the challenge to heart of how they can dirty up a vehicle floor as efficiently as possible. It was disgusting. So, it went to work and you can't even tell my kids were in this car anymore, which is what I was hoping for!
I've used it to spot clean my carpet, but I have a floor steam cleaner that I typically use in that instance. Because if I'm going to steam clean a carpet, I'm going to steam clean the whole area. But there are exceptions to the rule and this little tool most definitely helps me maintain a clean home. You can find it on Amazon below*.
#6 O Cedar Mop & Bucket
This one is one of my new favorites. A few reasons, 1. It is the easiest mop I've ever used, 2. I don't have to use all my arm strength to wring the water out of it, & 3. My children think it is the greatest thing ever to mop now. I think we can all agree that #3 is the best reason. I haven't had to mop in days, because they're happily taking turns.
But seriously, the handle expands and retracts for space saving, the foot pedal makes it so easy to wring out the water, and the best part is it's effective. I've used it on my wood floors that appeared clean before I started, but the water told a different story. So, anything that makes my life easier & makes somewhat mundane tasks more enjoyable is a win in my book!
There are my 6 favorite tools to help you maintain a clean home, I would love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite tools you use to keep up with the mess?
Thanks for stopping by! And happy cleaning!