The Ultimate Guide: 21 products you need to professionally clean a home
We have listed 21 traditional and a few “green”, professional cleaning products rather you clean homes or offices. These products and equipment have been more than useful to our residential and commercial cleaning business. They have been a life-saver for the past 25 years in business.
Although, there could be tons of products, we have narrowed it down to the basics. You, of course, may not need to take all of these to every home you clean. All you’ll need is the APPROPRIATE cleaning material and equipment to ensure a quality clean.
Cleaning homes can be as simple or as tedious as any other service related occupation. You simply don’t know what you need until you’re in the home. Let’s face it, sometimes what we assessed at the initial walk-through is not what we find when it is time to provide the service. So, it is good practice to show up with any and all supplies you could possibly need especially on the first clean. Then you can easily scale down.
There is nothing like showing up to a job, rather the initial cleaning or the 10th, and not having the simplest of items such as a plastic scraper blade to remove candle wax and such. Or, not having enough nylon scouring pads to properly clean a stove top. There can be nothing more embarrassing showing up to “professionally” clean a home without basic products.
Here’s why you need these basic professional house cleaning supplies
A simple job can turn into a burden very quickly.
For example: Let’s say that you assessed a home at $100 and it would take you 2.5 hours to properly clean it by yourself. Well, if a plastic scraper blade was needed to remove candle wax left on a polished marble counter top, how on earth would you remove it any other way without damaging the surface? Polished marble is not granite and the most innocuous of cleaners can cause damage. Even some hair products can damage polished marble. The effort it would take to remove the wax can easily add 20 minutes to your day. That is money AND time lost!
One more example: Let’s say, at the same home, you forgot to bring a nylon scouring pad. (We actually prefer the nylon pads comparable to the metal. They are much safer for a variety of surfaces including glass). So, you decide to use a metal scouring pad to get the greasy build-up off the stove top. Well, aggressive scrubbing with a metal scouring pad can cause minor scratches. And, I’m certain that you wouldn’t want to cover the repair cost for your customer. Honestly, specialty repairs can start at $100 easily. In this scenario, you could be paying your customer the privilege of cleaning their home.
Not cool at all!
Both hypothetical situations demonstrate the necessity of having all of the material and equipment needed to professionally clean a house.
The outcome can be a loss of time which translates to money in this service industry.
Or, a loss of money due to repair costs for improper cleaning.
It is vital to have any possible material and equipment handy for cleaning for your residential customers.
Although, we have adjusted a great deal over the past 17 years, these products are the basics and can be purchased from a variety of places. You can walk into your local retailer or order on line.
Here are a couple of places you can shop for your products.
- Dollar Tree Store You can get buckets, towels, bleach, and vinegar.
- Walmart.com There you can buy just about every item you see below.
- Amazon This just might be the most convenient for everyone.
Of course, it is always recommended to establish a relationship with a professional cleaning products supplier. We all need help from them from time to time.
Here’s the list of 21 traditional cleaning products you will need to clean a home
1. Disinfecting multipurpose cleaner. Useful for wipeable surfaces throughout the home. We recommend Seventh Generation as a natural solution. You can also use Dawn, yes, Dawn antibacterial dish liquid as a great multipurpose cleaner.
2. Glass cleaner. We simply love this product. If using aerosols tickle your nose, you can purchase Sprayway glass cleaning wipes. It can be used on more than just glass.
3. Polishes. Some furniture will look much better with just a touch of Pledge polish. Now you can purchase Pledge as an antibacterial cleaner as well! You can purchase this in a variety of scents or as a wipes. It is totally your preference, ahem, sorry, your customer’s preference.
4. Stainless steel polish. We recommend Sheila Shine oil based polish. As you know, stainless steel surfaces can come in a large variety and sometimes water-based polishes just won’t leave a perfect finish. Be careful not to over spray if you purchase this item.
5. Liquid scouring cleanser. Over the years, we have switched up with this product. It is useful for getting tough stains out such as rust, mineral deposits, and lime. We recommend Bar Keepers Friend. Use when necessary and factor in extra time to properly rinse the area free of all residue. (It can also be purchased as a foaming spray, yay!)
6. Vinegar. We use vinegar mainly for washing floors. Just a little will do the job. Since we live in the mid-west, (US), we switch up and use Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, in the winter season.
7. Alcohol. Yep! It is a great cleaner and disinfectant. Very helpful to remove hard water stains from shower glass especially in the homes that prefer all-natural solutions for cleaning. Be very careful near marble stone!
8. Air fresheners. We only used sprays when requested. Some customers prefer a fresh scent in their home. Fabreeze can do the job. It comes in a variety of scents and as an allergen reducer and pet odor eliminator.
9. Magic Erasers. We simply never enter a home without it. You can clean flat painted walls and leave no residue! Really! We found the value in this block of genius when cleaning the anti-slip surface at the bottom of tubs.
10. Awesome. …and it really is awesome. Great as a quick degreaser. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Also, don’t let in sit too long, it can remove paint. We’ve done magic with this cleaner on ceiling fan blades. Caution: have ventilation while cleaning with this product. It may tickle your nose.
11. Resolve carpet spray. If you have agreed to remove spots from your customers’ homes, this spotter cleaner works great.
12. Non-acid toilet bowl cleaner. If you choose not to use Bar Keepers friend or any disinfectant cleaner, you will need a good toilet bowl cleaner. With or without bleach is at your discretion and your customer’s preference.
13. CLR Pro. Excellent bathroom tub and tile cleaner. Really removes hard water, soap scum, and dirt without causing harm to the surface. (Be advised: you must be aware of the surface you are cleaning to be efficient and effective.
14. Nylon scouring pads. Have at least three per home. Great for cleaning counter tops, stove tops, inside appliances, bathroom surfaces, glassware, etc.
15. Gloves. Rather latex disposal, nitrile disposable, rubber reusable, long, short, and/or powder free. It is your preference but we highly recommend using gloves.
16. Towels. Microfiber is fine to have. We especially liked terry cloth. They were extra absorbent and worked wonderfully in the baths and kitchens. We also used 100% cotton (t-shirt) towels because they left a lint free surface when cleaning glassware.
17. Plastic scraper blade. Plastic because you can scrape on soft surfaces without running the risk of damage.
18. Lambswool dusters. Ahh, yes. We typically used two per home. One extended and one short. They cut our dusting time in half. They’re excellent for removing cobwebs and worked great for hard to reach areas like underneath radiators and sides of furniture. Let me also add. WASHABLE!!
19. Brushes. Tooth brush for tile grout. Hand held flared soft bristle brush for floor grout. Long handle for toilet. (Only if your customer does not supply one).
20. Canister, upright or backpack vacuum. Once again, your preference. We would recommend a commercial canister vacuum like this. These vacuums were extremely light weight and that’s why we loved using them. Don’t forget the attachments; crevice, furniture and stair tools. You will need them for sure.
21. Mop. Or whatever your preference is for cleaning all hard surface floors. We have always preferred the O-cedar light and thirsty mop. Simple, washable and effective.
If you would like the cheat sheet, you can download it for free. We keep it in our “professional cleaning toolbox”, aka, our resource library. Just enter your name and we’ll send it to the email you leave on the form below. By the way, we also have cleaning checklists, a daily schedule, help to find employees, and more!
If you’re looking for more professional cleaning essentials to explore, check out our online shop. The shop has ebooks and printables just for residential and commercial cleaning contractors.
As a precaution with these professional cleaning products
As I write this post, I must mention a couple of things…
1) It is unlawful to use any of these products for anything other than what was intended. They are all intended to be used for cleaning. 2) The descriptions given above are just an example of the product. You can obtain MSDS for every product PRIOR to purchase. 3) The recommended items are based solely upon our 25 years of experience with real customers. 4) Please be advised to have fresh air or ventilation while using the above mentioned chemicals. Use precautions. 5) It is also advised to pretest chemicals on an inconspicuous surface area before full application. It is vital to know the surface that you are cleaning.
It will be best to make sure you can use these products in your customer’s home.
As I have stated above, please, get to know your customers for yourself. If your customer insists on all-natural cleaners, then use all natural products. Seventh Generation is great! There are other brands to try or you can choose to DIY some products as well.
If your customers prefer more traditional chemicals and want an aroma, then give them what they want. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your health. This is absolutely your choice.
Some of the items can simply be on hand regardless of the customer. We all know that our residential clientele will vary between the bachelor who lives alone or the multi-generational family in a small home. However the customer, it is their needs that we meet.
The bachelor’s needs may realistically require more products because they may not pick up within the 2-week intervals that we clean. The multi-generational family may only want us to clean the floors, baths and kitchen, because they do pick up between cleanings. So, keep that in mind when choosing products.
Become aware with the climate where you clean with regards to the use of chemicals.
Additionally, please give attention to the climatic changes in your service area. If you provide cleaning to beach front homes, it will be an excellent investment for a good hepa filtered vacuum. Canister or upright.
If you clean in areas that have rough winters with lots of snow. Keep in mind the ice melter that is used outside of the home can leave a horrible residue on floors and additional clean time has to be factored in your price. Also, additional products may have to be used for both extreme climatic situations.
Lastly, please remember this above all else. YOU are the professional and it is up to YOU to be knowledgeable. After all, this was only 21 products you need to professionally clean a house. Soon, we will take a deeper look into the cleaners themselves.
“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.” Oprah Winfrey
That’s all for now,
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One other thing we talk a lot about other than our 3 boys, love of traveling, eating good/ greasy food, and using ketchup to clean copper kitchen sinks is our love for not wasting your precious freaking time! Seriously, we’re not about that!
In fact, enter the FREE Deep Cleaning Challenge so that you won’t waste your precious freaking time only performing basic cleaning. Level up! Your customers will love you for it – so will your pockets!
So good to meet you. We’re glad you stopped by!