As warm weather approaches so does the season for spring cleaning. When looking for the tools to get a big cleaning job done right, the more versatile, effective and inexpensive they are, the better.
Here are 15 products, each averaging $10 or less, that are great at what they do, based on tests by various consumer organizations and publications. For added peace of mind, some of these products are also friendlier to the environment. Check out some of the best and cheapest products to stock up on for spring cleaning.
Bar Keepers Friend
Price: $1.99 for 21 ounces at Target
Spring cleaning is more about making money off your old stuff, it’s about having a good cleanser to wipe away every bit of grime in your home. All You magazine put several scouring powders to the test on an old porcelain sink with rust stains, plus on everyday bathtub soap scum. Bar Keepers Friend was the only cleanser to remove the notoriously difficult dirt embedded in a tub’s nonslip coating.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner
Price: $3.99 for 16 ounces at Target
A multi-surface cleaning product helps cut back on the number of items in your cleaning arsenal. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner is not only good at cleaning, it’s also eco-friendly. The fragrances are made from essential oils that also offer aromatherapy value, like lavender for a calming fragrance or lemon verbena for an energizing citrus boost.
All You’s tests showed that this cleaner came out on top when tackling a greasy kitchen hood or bathroom chrome and tile. This bio-degradable cleaner is concentrated, so you get a lot more cleaning power per bottle than with a non-concentrated cleaning solution.
Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergents
Price: $7.99 for 50 ounces at Target
Seventh Generation’s “free & clear” laundry detergents have no added fragrances or dyes, making them a gentler option for those with allergies or skin sensitivity. They’re also made from mostly plant-based materials. The eco-friendly liquid cleaned as well as conventional detergents when put to the test by Reviewed.com. A powdered version also performed well in tests by Consumer Reports.
The eco-friendly liquid cleaned as well as conventional detergents when put to the test by Reviewed.com. A powdered version also performed well in tests by Consumer Reports.
Price: $4.19 for 12 ounces at Target
Stickers and sticky messes happen, especially with kids in the home. Goo Gone is the ideal remedy for sticker residue, grease, gum and even crayon marks. It’s safe to use on carpets, glass, ceramics, sealed wood, some fabrics and even plastic. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way, which can really help you stretch your money.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Price: $3.57 for four at Target
The aptly named Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean works wonders on all sorts of scuffs, stains and messes around the house, making it an excellent addition to your cleaning arsenal.
A magic eraser works equally well at removing scuffs from shoes, baseboards and walls as it does for removing marks or dirt from countertops, dry-erase boards and shower stalls. The best part: A Magic Eraser only requires a little water to unlock its power — no extra soaps, sprays or cleaners required.
Murphy Oil Soap
Price: $3.34 for 32 ounces at Target
Murphy Oil Soap — a favorite for cleaning wood floors — also works on countertops, tile and laminate surfaces without leaving behind a strong chemical odor. That’s because it’s made from 98 percent plant-derived ingredients such as pine oil and coconut. This classic cleaner is gentle, yet powerful enough to clean everything from plastic patio furniture to bathroom surfaces. It can even be used as a spot cleaner for difficult laundry stains, making it a well-rounded product to keep in your cleaning supply cupboard.
This classic cleaner is gentle, yet powerful enough to clean everything from plastic patio furniture to bathroom surfaces. It can even be used as a spot cleaner for difficult laundry stains, making it a well-rounded product to keep in your cleaning supply cupboard.
Great Value Disinfecting Wipes
Price: $4.97 for 105 wipes at Walmart, or 4.7 cents each
Disinfecting wipes come in handy for everything from wiping down faucet handles and doorknobs to tackling a quick sink or countertop cleanup when every minute matters. All You tested several brands against ketchup, caramel sauce and other kitchen messes left overnight. Great Value disinfecting wipes won the All You tests, thanks to the wipes’ pebbled texture and bargain price.
Method Glass + Surface
Price: $2.99 for 28 ounces at Target
A glass cleaner should be able to tackle dust, dirt and even soap scum without leaving streaks behind. While many popular brands are good at all of the above, some of them reek of ammonia and other strong chemicals.
Method Glass + Surface cleaner uses biodegradable coconut- and corn-based surfactants instead of ammonia to help remove the dirt. It also won All You’s trials for best glass cleaner.
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Mr. Clean Duet Premium Latex Gloves
Price: $4.93 for two pairs on Amazon.com
Rubber gloves are a must when deep cleaning those extra dirty areas around the house, patio or garage. For tough jobs, long, durable gloves offer more reliable protection than those use-once-and-throw-away options.
Mr. Clean Duet gloves are flock-lined, which helps keep the gloves from sticking to your hands. They’re also long enough to roll the cuff to keep water off your arms when working overhead. These are the top-selling latex gloves in Amazon’s cleaning section and customers like them better than similar bargain brands.
Swiffer Sweeper Dry + Wet Cleaning Starter Kit
Price: $9.99 at Kmart
Removing dust is a must before a more thorough spring cleaning of floors, walls and general household surfaces. The Swiffer Sweeper Dry + Wet Cleaning Starter Kit offers a mop device plus dry and wet cleaning cloths — perfect for removing pet hair, dust and general debris from hard floor surfaces.
The dry cloths can also be used to dust various surfaces around the house. Both wet and dry pads are designed to capture and trap dust and debris.
Caldrea Lint-Free Cleaning Cloths
Price: $10 for six at Caldrea.com
When it comes to cleaning mirrors, windows and even wood tables, a cleaning product is only as good as the material used to wipe it away. Lint-free cleaning cloths are safe enough to use on even delicate surfaces, without leaving scratches or specks of dust behind.
Caldrea sourced the best lint-free cleaning cloths they could find and came up with 100-percent cotton cloths used by surgeons. These cloths are absorbent and since they’re lint-free, they’re great for drying glasses and dishware, too.
Market Pantry Distilled White Vinegar
Price: $1.59 for 64 ounces at Target
White vinegar works wonders far beyond its use as an ingredient in recipes. It removes mineral buildup from faucets and shower heads, stamps out stains in coffee pots and cups, and even works as an excellent microwave degunker. It can also freshen fabrics and upholstery in place of chemical-based fabric refreshers, can be used to clean glass as well as soften towels in place of a fabric softener.
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Price: $1.29 for 2 lbs. at Target
Baking soda is perhaps one of the best-known and thrifty products when it comes to effective household cleaning. Furthermore, baking soda can be used in a surprising number of ways — not just to deodorize the refrigerator or help unclog a drain.
It also works well for refreshing funky carpets and pet beds, for removing stains and odors from plastic kitchen storage containers and much more. The company’s website offers dozens of solutions for general household cleaning and deodorizing tasks.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap
Price: $9.79 for 16 ounces at Target
When it comes to do-it-all cleaning products that are also healthy for the home and environment, Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap stands at the front of the line.
This brand takes pride in its many uses and even offers tips on how to use it for everything from mopping floors to washing the dog, cleaning the toilet or doing laundry. Unlike most other multi-purpose cleaning products, this one can also be used as a shampoo or body wash. Useful, indeed.
20 Mule Team Borax
Price: $3.99 for 65 ounces at Target
When a product has been on the market for more than 100 years, there’s usually a good reason. This all-natural detergent booster and cleaning product comes in handy for everything from washing baby clothes to steam-cleaning carpets or scrubbing pots and pans. It boosts the cleaning power of regular laundry detergents and can even help remove mold from washables.
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