Hundreds of different cleaners and possible cleaning agents may be found in a typical household. There are a number of brands for every type of cleaner and there are different types of cleaning supplies for every surface and object in your home. To name all the possible cleaning supplies would be completely impractical. Instead, we will break the possibilities into some major categories.
Categories of Cleaning Supplies
There are a few categories of cleaning supplies that are worth mentioning. There are several different products within each category, and I am sure that I am missing some as well.
- Bathroom Cleaning Supplies – Bathrooms are one of the hardest rooms in the house to keep clean. You need a number of different types of cleaners in order to keep your bathroom clean and bacteria free. One of the most important is tile and grout cleaners.
- Tile and Grout Cleaners – Most showers, tubs, and bathroom floors have at least some amount of tile. The porous grout is the perfect repository for bacteria, dirt, grime, mildew and mold. You need cleaners that can cut through grease as well as kill mildew, bacteria, and mold. The tile surfaces also get quite dirty with soap scum so bathroom cleaners often advertise their ability to cut through tough soap residue.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaners – The toilet is another area of the bathroom where bacteria can be a problem because of its exposure to fecal matter. Toilet bowl cleaners not only kill these bacteria, but they also have bleaching elements in them to keep your toilet bowl free of stains and rings.
- Drain Cleaners – Drains in the bathroom get clogged far more often than drains in any other part of the house. The reason for this is that hair is prevalent in the shower and bathroom sinks. That is why you want to have a drain cleaner on hand if any of your drains are clogged.
- Kitchen Cleaning Supplies – After the bathroom, the kitchen is the next hardest room in the house to keep clean. The presence of food and the possible bacteria from raw food exposure is a constant threat. In addition, cooking often causes splashes and sprays of food, oil, etc. onto the walls and other surfaces. In order to keep your kitchen looking good and safe for food preparation and consumption, there are several different kinds of cleaners you should have on hand.
- Dishwashing Products – Most modern kitchens have dishwashers so that you do not have to wash dishes by hand. In order to make sure your dishes get clean, you run the dishwasher with dishwashing detergent. However, there are things that cannot be run through a dishwasher so you also need liquid dish soap.
- Oven and Grill Cleaners – Ovens and grill tops are crusted with charcoal and burnt food. It can often be difficult to get this kind of debris off the oven surfaces and stovetop with a sponge alone. Therefore you need a heavy duty cleaner that will break down those heavy deposits of carbon
- All Purpose Cleaners – The rest of the surfaces in the kitchen can be cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner. These cleaners sometimes have an orange extract in them because citrus cuts through grease better than regular cleaners do. You also want to make sure your cleaner has components that will kill the common kitchen bacteria.
- Window Cleaning Supplies – Windows are one of the biggest things in your house that can be seen from both in inside and the outside. If you do not clean your windows regularly, your house will look dirty from the outside and it will be dark on the inside. If your windows are dirty they will not let in enough light. Window cleaners are mostly made of vinegar, ammonia, and water. You could make a perfectly serviceable window cleaner from things just lying around your house.
- Wood Cleaning Supplies – If you have hardwood floor or any furniture that is made of wood you will need some cleaners that are especially for cleaning wood surfaces. Furniture polish actually makes a layer on top of the wood that repels dust and protects the wood from chips and scratches. Wood floor cleaners are polishes with all purpose cleaning agents in them so that you can clean the dirty floor without making it slippery.
- Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Supplies – The other type of flooring in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly is carpet. Carpets need special pieces of equipment to clean properly such as vacuum cleaners and carpet shampoo machines. The cleaning supply that goes into carpet shampooer can be a number of different things. Some people just use a vinegar solution while others buy complicated cleaning formulas from brand name manufacturers. No matter what kind of carpet shampoo you use, make sure that it is also appropriate for use on upholstery so that you can clean your furniture and drapes as well while you have the carpet cleaning machine on rent.
Green Cleaning Supplies
No matter what part of your home you are trying to clean, there is always a green alternative. Today, many people are scared about the additives and chemicals present on many common household cleaners. They worry that over exposure to such chemicals could be detrimental to their health. Whether that is true or not, a huge market has been opened up for green cleaning supplies. Green cleaners are those that use natural products rather than chemicals in their cleaning formulas. They are safe for the environment as well as for the people who may be exposed to them.
Many people might think that all natural products will be less effective than the industrial strength chemical formulation, but that is not true. Many green products are just as effective. The downside to these products is instead that they are significantly more expensive than their non-green counterparts are in many cases.
Where to Buy Cleaning Supplies
When you buy your own home or move into your first apartment you will need to stock up on cleaning supplies. You can of course go to the local grocery store or super store like Wal-Mart, but that might get very expensive very quickly. A better option might be to consider buying wholesale cleaning supplies. Just like with other groceries and supplies, buying in bulk makes the unit cost go down. Wholesale prices are available at stores like Sam’s Club or Costco or from online retailers.