Green Cleaning (methods and products)

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Green Cleaning (methods and products)
The best cleaning tool is the one you use!

Tools and Equipment that Make Cleaning Easier

Cleaning tools can make cleaning faster and more effective but you don’t need many specialty products to clean your home. These 12 basic cleaning tools can be used on their own to physically remove dirt and dust or be paired with a cleaner to get multiple areas clean.

Best Tools for Scrubbing

Cotton Cleaning Cloths

Reusable cleaning cloths are gentle enough to dust surfaces and can be used to wipe and scrub. Cotton cleaning cloths are made from the natural fibers of the cotton plant. They are affordable, soft and absorbent, easy to launder, and biodegradable.

  • Favorite cotton cleaning cloths: Upcycle cotton cleaning rags from an old tee shirt or buy 100% cotton cloths .

Lightweight Dish Towels (aka Reusable Paper Towels)

Paper towels are a heavily used, single-use item that creates lots of waste. Try replacing some paper towels with reusable paper towels: rags (upcycle them from old clothes or towels) or lightweight cotton towels. Reusable cotton towels can be used for dishes, cleaning counters, and drying your hands. You’ll save money and reduce landfill waste.

Scrubbing Sponge

A non-scratch sponge quickly scours away buildup and stains from ovens, countertops, bathtubs, and more without damaging surfaces. Choose scrubbers made from plant-based cellulose fibers and/or recycled materials, which are better for the environment than synthetic sponges.

Stiff Scrubbing Brush

A stiff scrub brush aids in dishwashing, vegetable cleaning, and even soap scum removal. Choose a bamboo or wooden dish brush for washing dirty dishes and produce and a separate brush for other cleaning tasks.

Small Soft Scrub Brush

A small, soft scrub brush can be used to quickly clean tight crevices and corners or uneven surfaces such as grout. It aids in dirt and laundry stain removal by working cleaners into soiled spots and physically loosening debris.

Best Tools for Dusting and Wiping

Washable Duster

Ceiling fans, light fixtures, moldings, bookcases, and corners quickly collect dust. Use a soft duster with a washable head to wipe these hard-to-reach areas. No duster? Wrap a mop or broomstick handle with a microfiber cloth and secure with a rubber band. Run the duster along high edges, corners, bookcases, furniture, and baseboards to quickly remove debris before vacuuming to maximum dust removal.

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Reusable microfiber cleaning cloths are made from tiny synthetic fibers (plastic). The fibers give the cloths increased cleaning power when compared to natural fabrics. Microfiber cloths are very effective at physically moving household dirt, such as dust, pollen, and bacteria, with water.

Best Tools for Cleaning Floors


A bagless vacuum with HEPA filtering is the fastest way to eliminate dust, dirt, and debris from the home. Vacuum hard floors, carpets, rugs, walls, hard surfaces, and furniture before applying cleaning products to remove dust quickly. This prevents dust from getting trapped by wet cleaners and makes cleaning more efficient. Add a soft brush attachment to clean blinds, curtains, shelves, and more!

Washable Mop

A flat mop with a detachable microfiber cloth or cotton pads makes floor care quick and easy. Use the mop head dry to dust floors, walls, and ceiling fixtures, add a spritz of water or All-Purpose Cleaner to deep clean tile and hardwood floors.

Broom and Dustpan

A durable broom and dustpan set makes cleaning up small messes quick and convenient; there is no need to haul out the vacuum! Look for a broom with soft, sturdy bristles that capture dirt and debris and are long enough to get into nooks & crannies.

Robot Vacuum

A robot vacuum with HEPA filtering is definitely a luxury cleaning tool, but if you can afford it, it is the least labor-intensive way to eliminate dirt and dust in homes with lots of family members or pet hair. They can also be helpful if you live in a dusty climate or come and go frequently, allowing more dirt to be tracked into your home from outdoors.

  • Favorite robot vacuum: Since we have a large dog that sheds, I invested in this affordable robot vacuum when it went on sale . I’m in love!

Best Tools for Bathroom Cleaning

Toilet Brush

A stiff-bristled toilet brush will clean the toilet bowl with minimal effort. Buy a sturdy reusable brush with a long handle and its own holder. Use with Easy Bathroom Cleaner. Spray the brush head with Basic Disinfectant Spray and air dry between the toilet rim and seat after cleaning to disinfect.

Stiff Scrub Brush

A stiff-bristled scrub brush can help remove bathtub rings, soap scum, and greasy buildup left behind by shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. It’s an easy way to quickly clean large amounts of tile and grout.

  • Favorite scrub brush: I prefer a short-handled scrub brush, if you want to scrub the tub or shower without bending or kneeling, look for a scrub brush with an extendable handle.

Best Specialty Cleaning Tools

Some difficult cleaning tasks or hard-to-reach spaces can benefit from a specialty cleaning tool. Consider adding one or more of these tools if you have challenging spaces to clean.

Rubber Gloves

Protective cleaning gloves are not 100% necessary when using gentle cleaners, but they can keep your hands from drying out, protect your nails, and help you get a better grip when cleaning slippery items. Invest in a reusable pair that can be rinsed and dried each time you clean.

  • Favorite cleaning gloves: I purchased this heavy-duty pair at my local hardware store. They are thick and resist holes.

Step Ladder

A small step ladder makes it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas like cabinet tops, high shelves, and the top of the refrigerator.

Large Plastic Cup

Bathtubs and showers can be particularly tricky to clean and rinse without a detachable shower hose. Upcycle an 18 to 20-ounce plastic cup or container to use as a “rinse cup” for easier bathroom cleaning. Fill it with clean water to rinse the shower and bathtub walls easily after scrubbing.

  • Favorite plastic cup: Use any empty plastic cup or container you already own!


A squeegee with a flexible rubber blade is useful for cleaning glass shower doors and large windows with streak-free results. If you have lots of glass surfaces in your home or glass shower doors, consider adding a small squeegee to your cleaning tools. Use it daily to reduce steaks.

  • Favorite squeegee: Any small, affordable squeegee you already own will do; I like this foldable version that looks nice hanging in the shower.

Pumice Stone

Pumice is a soft, porous rock that can be used to clean tough messes around the house. It uses abrasive action to remove hard water deposits, baked-on oven gunk, rust, etc. Pumice must be used with caution because it can scratch and damage some surfaces.

Plastic Scraper or Razor Blade

A small plastic scraper or a single-edge razor blade can be used to remove adhesive stickers, build-up on glass oven doors, glass stovetops, and dried paint. Dampen the surface to be cleaned and make gentle passes across the surface, keeping the scraper or blade at a low angle to avoid scratching the glass.

  • Favorite scrapers: I received this type of plastic scraper as a gift with purchase and use it all the time while washing dishes; I bought this scraper tool for glass.

Best Tools for Storing Cleaners

Keep your cleaning tools organized using these 3 tools. For easy access, consider designating a specific storage area for them, such as a cleaning closet or cabinet near the areas where they are used.

Spray Bottles

Store homemade cleaners in glass or plastic spray bottles. Buy new or reuse existing cleaner bottles and nozzles after cleaning them well. Tip: top an upcycled glass bottle with a plastic nozzle to make your own glass cleaning bottles.

  • Favorite spray bottles: I use both amber and blue glass bottles.

Cleaner Labels

Cleaners can look alike. Make sure to label store-bought and homemade cleaners to quickly identify the bottle you need and make sure you use the right solution to keep your home and family safe.

Cleaning Caddy

A portable cleaning caddy allows you to quickly move cleaning supplies from room to room as you clean. Choose a handled bucket or bin that fits in the cleaning cupboard and has room for your favorite tools and cleaners so you do not have to repack it each time you clean. Use one caddy for general household cleaners/tools and a separate caddy for bathroom cleaners/tools.

  • Favorite cleaning caddy: I got my cleaning tote as a gift with purchase, this white metal caddy is very similar.