Essential Home Cleaning Products for Clueless Men (and Other People)

Do you feel like everyone else already knows how to actually clean their living space? Do you feel like it should be easy to pick out cleaning products – but it isn’t? As a Clueless Man, I’ve recently had these thoughts. But I wanted to stop using these thoughts as excuses for not cleaning my house, and so I’ve put some energy into figuring out the best way to clean.

I’d like to pass on what I’ve learned to other people who want to clean their living spaces. I present to you: several essential home cleaning products, where to buy them, and how to use them.

TL;DR: The Shopping List

If you don’t need any explanations of products and would prefer a quick summary of what to buy, you’re in the right place. Below this Shopping List section, I’ll detail each of the cleaning products, why I like them, what to use them for, and how to use them.

Reusable Tools

Reusable ToolPriceAmazonOther
O-Cedar EasyWring RinseClean Microfiber Spin Mop & Bucket Floor Cleaning System~$45AmazonHome Depot
24-pack 16×16″ Multi-Purpose Microfiber Cloths~$9Amazon1Home Depot
32 oz. All-Purpose Sprayer Bottle~$3Amazon1Home Depot
Miele Complete C3 Calima Canister Vacuum ~$800 Amazon Miele USA
Total Initial Investment~$857

1 If possible, buy this at retail. It’s less expensive.

Consumable Goods

It’s most economical to buy these consumable goods at retail rather than having them shipped via Amazon or similar. Thus, I only include links to items at retail below.

Consumable GoodPriceLink
All-Purpose Cleaner
Fabuloso 169 oz. Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner
~$7.67Home Depot
Cleaner for Sinks, Cookware, Kitchen, Bathroom, etc
Bar Keepers Friend 26 oz. Soft Cleanser
~$3.50Home Depot
Garbage Disposal Cleaner
Rejuvenate Lavender Scent Disposer and Pipe Cleaner (6-Pack)
~$6.97Home Depot
Bathroom Cleaner
Clorox 30 oz. Disinfecting Bleach Free Bathroom Cleaner
~$3.88Home Depot
Cleaner for Stainless Steel Appliances
Weiman 22 oz. Stainless Steel Cleaner Trigger
~$6.37Home Depot
Cleaner for Wood, Vinyl, and Tile Floors
Murphy 32 oz. Orange Soap Wood Cleaner
~$3.97Home Depot
Glass Cleaner
HDX 32 oz. Streak Free Glass and Window Cleaner
~$2.08Home Depot
Air Freshener Spray
Glade 8 oz. Lavender and Vanilla Room Air Freshener Spray
~$1.47Home Depot
Cat Litter Box Odor Magnet
Gonzo Pet Odor Air Magnet
~$5.27Home Depot
Total Initial Investment ~$41.18

Product Details

If you’re reading this, you’d like to learn more about each of the products above, why I’ve selected them, what they’re used for, and how to use them. Let’s jump in!

Reusable Tools

Mop

O-Cedar EasyWring RinseClean Microfiber Spin Mop & Bucket Floor Cleaning System
~$45
Amazon Link
Home Depot Link

Wet mops clean floors made of hard material, like wood, vinyl, or tile.

The 1.5-gallon clean-water tank in this mop system ensures that you’re only moving clean, soapy water over your surface. Dirty water is stored in the bottom of the tank and can be easily dumped when you’re done cleaning or refilling for the next task.

Before mopping, make sure you vacuum your floors. You don’t want to be rubbing dirt or dust or other particles around your floor as you mop.

Once you have vacuumed, fill the tank with clean water, then add about 1/4 cup of the Murphy floor cleaner to the same tank. Open the clean water valve, and mop away! Make sure to mop in such a way that you don’t have to step on a wet, previously-mopped surface in order to continue cleaning.

If you’re tall, like me, you may discover that the mop handle isn’t long enough even when it is fully extended. That’s my main gripe with this mop.

Also: I first saw this mop in a TikTok. I was surprised to find out how highly-rated it is!

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

HDX 16 in. x 16 in. Multi-Purpose Microfiber Cloth (24-Pack)
~$8.98
Home Depot Link

It’s time to stop reaching for paper towels or other disposable wipes when cleaning around your house. Instead, reach for a washable microfiber cloth like one of these. They won’t scratch surfaces, they’re lint-free, and you can simply toss them in the washing machine once they’re dirty. And, because there’s 24 of them, you can switch out dirty cloths for clean ones as often as you want!

I don’t recommend buying cloths like these on Amazon – going that route will be more expensive, and you’ll end up with smaller cloths. These Home Depot-branded cloths are a great size and are the right price.

Sprayer Bottle

HDX 32 oz. All-Purpose Sprayer Bottle
~$2.68
Home Depot Link

When diluting cleaning solution in this bottle, first pour water into the bottle, then pour in your cleaning solution. If you make the mistake of pouring liquids in the other way around, you will end up with an overflowing, sudsy mess.

This is another product that I recommend you buy at retail, rather than via Amazon.

Vacuum

Miele Complete C3 Calima Canister Vacuum
~$800
Amazon Link

Everyone needs a vacuum. You cannot escape dust.

I have owned and used several vacuums in my life, and this one has been my favorite so far.

Canister vacuums tend to be higher-quality than upright or stick vacuums, they tend to offer better suction, and they tend to last a very long time. This Miele vacuum, while expensive, will serve you and your home very well for an extremely long time.

If you are on a tighter budget or want something wireless, I recommend the Dyson v7 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum ($400).

Consumable Goods

All-Purpose Cleaner

Fabuloso 169 oz. Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner
~$7.67
Home Depot Link

Use all-purpose cleaner when there isn’t a more specific product to do the job. For example, I use all-purpose cleaner on kitchen countertops, cabinets, stair banisters, and other surfaces.

This particular Fabuloso product smells great, works to remove stains that have accumulated on surfaces, and doesn’t need to be rinsed off.

This product must be diluted. When diluting cleaner into another container, pour in water first, then pour in your cleaner. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sudsy mess.

The following dilution ratios work for this particular Fabuloso cleaner and are all equivalent:

  • 1/4 cup of cleaner to 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tablespoon cleaner to 32 fluid ounces of water
    • The HDX spray bottle linked above holds 32 fluid ounces of water.
  • 1 part cleaner to 64 parts water

Adjust your dilution ratio as needed for your particular cleaning job. For example, if your surfaces are very dirty, increase the ratio of cleaner to water.

To use, liberally spray your diluted solution onto your surface, and wipe vigorously with a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Cleaner for Sinks, Cookware, Kitchen, Bathroom, etc

Bar Keepers Friend 26 oz. Soft Cleanser
~$3.50
Home Depot Link

So far, I’ve only used this product to thoroughly clean our kitchen sink. It works fantastically for that purpose.

However, if you read more about this product, you’ll learn that people have so many uses for this stuff. They use it for belt buckles, bathtubs, door knobs, and way more.

Pour some shakes of this liquid on a surface, then wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. Rinse. Shiny!

Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Rejuvenate Lavender Scent Disposer and Pipe Cleaner (6-Pack)
~$6.97
Home Depot Link

If you have a garbage disposal, you can use a product like this to clean the disposal and leave it smelling fresh. The package on this product says to use it once a week, but I’m not going to use it so often.

Instead of relying so much on our disposal lately, I’ve been using this sink strainer to catch food. Using a strainer instead of the disposal means that it’s way less likely for the sink to get backed up and require a snake.

Bathroom Cleaner

Clorox 30 oz. Disinfecting Bleach Free Bathroom Cleaner
~$3.88
Home Depot Link

I use this stuff on most horizontal and vertical surfaces in every bathroom, including countertops, sinks, tubs, and showers.

Spray, wait a few moments (Clorox says 5 minutes – I don’t wait that long), then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Rinse with a different, damp microfiber cloth.

Cleaner for Stainless Steel Appliances

Weiman 22 oz. Stainless Steel Cleaner Trigger
~$6.37
Home Depot Link

I spray this stuff on our stainless steel appliances, then wipe off with a microfiber cloth. It makes the stainless steel very shiny and does an excellent job of cleaning. Easy!

Cleaner for Wood, Vinyl, and Tile Floors

Murphy 32 oz. Orange Soap Wood Cleaner
~$3.97
Home Depot Link

Dilute 1/4 cup of this in 1 gallon of water, then use the resulting solution to mop your wood, vinyl, or tile floors. It smells great and leaves the surfaces nice and clean. No need to rinse.

You can pour a bit more than 1/4 of a cup into the 1.5 gallon tank from the mop system I recommended above. It’s really not necessary to aim for precision when diluting – just picture 1/4 of a cup in your head when pouring, and then pour a bit more than that.

Glass Cleaner

HDX 32 oz. Streak Free Glass and Window Cleaner
~$2.08
Home Depot Link

Spray some of this on the glass in your shower, or on mirrors, or on windows, then wipe the surface with a microfiber cloth. Rinsing is not necessary.

I wouldn’t trust this glass cleaner on my TV, PC monitor, or phone display. For surfaces like that, I’d use lens cleaning solution. I love this Zeiss lens cleaning spray.

Air Freshener Spray

Glade 8 oz. Lavender and Vanilla Room Air Freshener Spray
~$1.47
Home Depot Link

For me, it’s really nice to spray a room with a small amount of this stuff once I’m done cleaning, or when I feel like a room needs to smell like more than “nothing.” I also really like using candles for the same purpose, but using air freshener spray is more immediate.

I love the way this particular lavender and vanilla concoction smells. Yummy! 😋

Cat Litter Box Odor Magnet

Gonzo Pet Odor Air Magnet
~$5.27
Home Depot Link

We have a cat, and the closet where we store his litter box smells like cat litter.

This odor magnet works surprisingly well to destroy the bad odor emanating from his litter box closet.

Conclusion

Did I miss something? Do you prefer using alternative cleaning products to those I listed above? Leave me a comment below!

Thank you so much for reading! I wish you a clean and yummy-smelling home.

Have a comment?