10 Essential Cleaning Tools For Home Cleaning

About to make a booking for cleaning, but wondering what are the essential cleaning tools required? Find out about the 10 items needed for all cleaning here! Essentially, this will even get you prepped for your D.I.Y spring cleaning without missing an item! To add to the fun, we also included important concise information on each cleaning tool.

With the recent global pandemic, it has made everyone take extra notice of home cleanliness. Because of growing hygiene concerns, cleaning one’s homely abode has never been more important. However, without the proper cleaning tools, part time maids, helpers, and yourself cannot keep your house clean and germ free. In this article, we at MEIDE.SG list out 10 essential cleaning equipment that you will need to make your home spick and span, always!

1. Broom and Dustpan

What cleaning equipment is the most common in Singaporean households? You guessed right. It is the mop and broom! 

Choosing A Broom and Dustpan

For a fuss free cleaning when you don’t wish to make a wet floor with your mop and bucket, use your broom and dustpan. MEIDE.SG recommends synthetic-fiber brooms mostly because floorings in modern Singapore homes are usually smooth. However, if your ground is more rough, choose a natural-fiber broom instead. Lastly, ensure the handle for the broom is of an appropriate length/height for you!

How To Use Broom and Dustpan?

Often, this crucial cleaning tool covers a large surface area and can be used to sweep up anything and everything from broken glass to cobwebs and hair. To use it properly, remember to push one end firmly to the ground, and pull and sweep in one direction continuously, in an organized manner. Choose a starting point and ending point to collate all the debris. Also, ensure this is used mainly for dry areas.

Did you know? It is inauspicious to use the broom and dustpan during Chinese New Year, as Chinese believe that the broom may “sweep out” any luck and prosperity of the household.

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2. Squeeze Mop and Bucket with Wringer

Next to the broom and dustpan, most Singaporeans will immediately think of the cleaning equipment under their kitchen or toilet sink: the mop and bucket! Traditionally, cleaning experts recommend using the mop after sweeping the floor. Whilst brooms and dustpans can remove visible dirt, the mop will wipe up all the smaller and fine dust. Without the mop, our floors will still be somewhat dirty!

Choosing Your Mop

There are 3 major types of mop heads: sponge mops, strip mops and string mops. All 3 are great choices. You may choose any! In fact, you could buy all 3. Nowadays, you can simple buy one common handle or stick, and replace the mop head whenever needed to save space and money!

String Mop

In Singapore, the most commonly found mop that is really economical and tried-and-tested is the string mop. It can be used for all surfaces and requires a wringer (the mesh-like filter fixed on your bucket) to squeeze out water.

MEIDE SG Cleaning Tools_Mop Broom Dustpan
Sample photo of a string mop, synthetic fiber broom, and handy dustpan – all part of MEIDE.SG cleaning tools!

Strip Mop

Strip mops are touted by some housewives as providing better cleaning effect. However, based on our experience, there is minimal difference. Strip mops to leave a bit more water on the surface, and tend to cost more, but the mops itself appear aesthetically more pleasing (to some)!

Sponge Mop

If used correctly, and on a smooth surface, sponge mops do clean more efficiently than string mops. The sponge usually have a fixed shape (v.s. string or strip mops), so cleaning can be done more systemically. Squeezing out water is also relatively faster and easier as many sponge mop come with handles and functions to squeeze all water out in one movement.

On the flip side, sponge mops tend to wear out faster. The sponge needs to be replaced frequently when it collects dirt, or the effectiveness may decline. Certain corners of the house may be difficult to reach too with a fixed sponge shape. Hence, be prepared to spend more if you are getting a sponge mop!

How To Use Mop and Bucket

Firstly, fill the bucket with clean water. You can choose to add some cleaning detergents where required, depending on your floor material. If in doubt, check this information out. Or, simply use plain water and it really already does an awesome job.

Secondly, evaluate the area. Ensure the floor is already swept dry as per our section on “How To Use Broom” / How to Sweep. If appropriate, place a “wet floor” sign to stop people stepping on the floor and re-dirtying it or worse, falling down. Decide where to start and end.

Thirdly, place your bucket and mop at the start point. Dip your mop head into the solution and wring out excess water. Ensure the floor is wet after mopping, but not so much that it forms puddles of water. This may take practice!

Fourthly, mop in an organized fashion. We recommend straight passes left to right and then top to bottom for sponge mops, and circular radial fashion for string or strip mops. Nonetheless, these methods are interchangeable.

Fifthly, re-rinse the mop in your bucket of solution when the floor is getting less wet after some mopping. Again, this takes experience and practice.

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How To Store Your Mop and Bucket

A well-sized bucket can not only provide a savings bank of fresh water to refresh your mop, but store your cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink when not in use too!

However, do ensure the bucket is dried before doing that. Also, dry out your mop (especially the mop head) after use. Do this by hanging the mop over the shower drain, sink or toilet bowl.

In sunny Singapore, many veteran housewives even put out the mops into the balcony or yard, where our blazing sun can totally dry your wet items (mop) and kill germs at the same time!

Lastly, remember to regularly clean the floors with our trusty duo and you will have your beautiful floor tiles always sparkling clean!

3. Cleaning Liquids and Detergents (Bonus: Spray Bottles)

Out of all the cleaning tools, you should never miss out the cleaning detergent. There are numerous different types! Some even come in the handy spray bottle. If not, you can buy an empty spray bottle easily at a hardware store. Use it to contain cleaning fluids and detergents. Use the fluids to remove mold, germs, viruses, or dust mites. Fluids may include bleach, vinegar, stain removers, shampoo, or degreasers. They can be acidic or abrasive or degreasers or detergents, depending on use. A spray bottle reduces your risk of exposure to these toxins.

Variety of cleaning detergents are useful, but know which to use! Learn it from MEIDE SG Blog.
Having a variety of cleaning detergents is useful, but do know which to use! Learn it from MEIDE.SG/Blog today!

Unsure which to buy? Fret not because we explain in detail which cleaning detergents to buy here: https://meide.sg/which-cleaning-detergents-to-buy/

For example, mold should be removed using bleach, which if came into contact with, may weaken your skin’s natural barrier and make it highly susceptible to burning or tearing from other external factors. Be careful not to let them touch your skin or body parts, lest your body become irritated. Professional cleaning services may thus be preferable, and even save you a trip to the hospital.

4. Sponges

Another common cleaning tool you will surely have in your home is the squishy sponge. Didn’t know there are more than 1 type of sponge? At the minimal, you should purchase at least 1 hard sponge and 1 soft sponge for effective cleaning!

Luckily today homeowners can buy hard and soft sponges combined into one.
Luckily, today homeowners can buy both hard and soft sponges combined into one.

So far, many novice housewives do not recognize that different materials require different sponges to clean. For example, abrasive sponges should not be used to clean delicate kitchenware as they may have a non-stick coating which is easily damaged by abrasion. On the other hand, using a soft sponge to rub your used cooking grill will do little to remove the stuck debris and soot.

Thankfully, you are here to learn that sponges can be chosen from the softest sponges to the hardest (and most abrasive) ones. Most established brands provide a color code to indicate varying degrees of toughness. Do check the packaging to be sure!

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Abrasive sponges contain an abrasive layer which scrubs with harsh force. Softer sponge contain cellulose material, which removes unwanted particles with less force. For your benefit, some sponges now come with dual sides – one with a harsh side and the opposite with cellulose side. It is good to note that even though abrasive, hard sponges are still less harsh than scrub brushes (elaborated below).

5. Scrubs / Used Toothbrush

For heavy-duty cleaning when your broom, mop, or even fingernails just can’t make the cut (or scratch), a scrub brush or toothbrush works wonders!

Similar to sponges, scrubs are classified based on toughness. There are soft scrubs and hard scrubs. Of special note, hard bristles do a lot of magic to remove tough stains. A hard bristle scrub (with handle or not) is therefore one of the essential cleaning tools recommended for all home cleaning sessions by us at MEIDE. Additionally, there are a variety of other very useful scrubs for toilet bowl scrubbing, dishwashing, and even gentle washing. Feel free to check out some examples here with our trusted 3M brand.

As per MEIDE, hard bristle brushes are essential for deep cleaning and scrubbing!
Hard bristle brushes are essential for deep cleaning and scrubbing!

In fact, have you also retired your old toothbrush? Save the earth and put it to good use again! This can be done by using it to erase nasty green mold around your toilet mirror or whittle away the grime around your sink tap. In many cleaning scenarios, this small handy brush can reach nooks and crannies. Check out an example right here in cleaning the bathroom sink!

6. Microfibre Towels

One oft-neglected piece of cleaning equipment is….you guessed it, microfibre towels (or spelt microfiber towels in the United States). Microfibre towels are made of synthetic fibres which are very effective at trapping particles and water. They have high absorption, so instead of pushing spilt water around your kitchen island, you can remove it instantly with the microfibre towel!

Microfiber cloths are important cleaning tools in our home cleaning processes.
Microfiber cloths are important cleaning tools in our home cleaning processes.

Moreover, microfibre towels can double up as hand towels. Hang some near your sinks, at the bathroom or kitchen! You would do well to dry your wet hands, or clean your soiled hands with them before touching your food and kids. After all, germs and viruses are transferable between occupants of the same home.

Microfibre towels are especially important when dealing with delicate items cleaning such as glass cleaning, window cleaning and mirror cleaning.

7. Trashbags and Newspapers

When performing a full-scale cleaning, you don’t want any drippings (except from a Christmas turkey) on your floor’s Persian carpets or polished wood. Therefore, when preparing your 10 essential cleaning tools, remember to grab a full stack of Straits Times or Today newspapers (the local Karang Guni dudes buy them for less) and cover your floor and furniture with the day’s journalist news to prevent collateral damage.

In addition, newspapers can be useful tools (though not the best) for window cleaning, as described in our special window cleaning article here!

Trashbags are also important as you need to dispose of huge quantities of dirty newspapers and trash after cleaning them out. After all, you don’t want to clog up your toilet bowl by flushing trash into it, right?

Use trashbags to store all rubbish to easy disposal at end of cleaning session.
Use trashbags to store all rubbish for easy disposal at the end of cleaning sessions.

8. Squeegee / Glass Wiper

Not many Singaporeans have heard of this cleaning instrument, but a squeegee is definitely one of the essential cleaning tools, especially for cleaning windows, glass, and mirrors. A squeegee is a cleaning tool with a flat and smooth rubber blade. It can be used to remove or redirect the amount and directions of liquid on a smooth surface. If you own a car, you may notice the windshield wipers wipe the windshield dry during a rainstorm. Those function exactly like the squeegee!

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Use A Squeegee For Effective Window Cleaning
Use A Squeegee For Effective Window Cleaning!

9. Gloves and Masks

Gloves and masks are very important cleaning tools when you are cleaning your home. Hence, do ensure these are available for any cleaning session.

This is because one may never know what you may find behind the cupboard or mirror. It could be mold. It could be a broken cistern. Gloves will protect your hands, and masks will protect your airway and face. Furthermore, as everyone living with our pandemic would know now, masks also stops droplet transmission and filter our respiration of dirt, dust and harmful micro-organisms. This is a study by University of California San Francisco about the efficacy of masks. In the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important to wear protective cleaning equipment! At MEIDE.SG, we always emphasize wearing these equipment for helpers, whenever possible.

10. Duster

A duster, or commonly known as “feather duster” too, is one of the common cleaning tools found in many homes in Singapore. The feather duster is a wooden stick which has feathers attached to it. Often, these feathers are from ostriches. The duster is an essential cleaning tool to remove dust and dry debris. This procedure is done preliminary to most other cleaning (eg. wet mopping). It is good to know that there are many dusters in Singapore’s markets – such as this.

Choosing A Duster

Buy one that is of an appropriate size and length. For example, if you require cleaning of places high up (eg. kitchen cabinets, ceiling lights or fans), you could use a duster with a longer (or better, extendable) handle, instead of climbing up a ladder for safety purposes!

Also, the feather duster is suitable for cleaning tight areas in your home. The feathers act as fingers to collect dust and dirt. This ensures a thorough cleaning of your home. MEIDE professional cleaners do not just use feather dusters, but other cleaning equipment for a thorough cleaning. For example, we can use the dry rags and broom to remove dust and dirt before deeper cleaning. Contact us to book a cleaning today!

Additional Cleaning Tools

Beyond the 10 essential cleaning tools for your home cleaning, MEIDE.SG also recommends these bonus equipment to enhance your cleaning processes!

Ladder and Stools With Rubber Base

Here is a pat on your back for reaching the end of the 10 essential cleaning tools list! However, we do have more handy cleaning equipment to recommend. One of them is the ladder. Alternatively, find a stool of suitable height.

Importantly, ensure these tools come with a rubber base – not just to prevent scratches to your parquet or marble or other types of flooring, but also to prevent slippage! Read more to find out if you really require ladder and stools here. (for they may be particularly crucial for window cleaning!)

Vacuum Cleaner

Since its invention in 1901, a vacuum cleaner has become the pretty common cleaning equipment of choice in every Singapore household. There are now dozens of brands and models, but a vacuum cleaner can last for years if used and maintained properly. It is also sometimes less troublesome to use than a mop and bucket. MEIDE.SG recommends a vacuum cleaner when there are large surfaces and huge upholstery and fabric materials to be cleaned. This includes homes with large rugs, carpeted ground, or require curtains cleaning too!

MEIDE SG Cleaning Tools_Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuum Cleaners Are Useful Tools In Certain Cleanings

Sanitization Tools

Our definition of “cleaning” doesn’t just include cleaning what humans can see, but also what humans cannot see. Hence, MEIDE.SG also espouses sanitization tools such as air filters, air purifiers, steam sanitization equipment and chemical sanitization sprays.

Precisely, Singapore is a city where factories are built cheek to cheek alongside public housing flats and carparks. Almost yearly, we face haze in Singapore too. To top things off, we now have a pandemic where any surface touched by others could be a harbor for harmful germs.

Air Purifiers and Filters

Air filters and purifiers can be costly. However, investing in one does one’s health good benefit, especially if you do not have an air-conditioning unit. In particular, HEPA air filters are very effective at capturing almost every size of particle (COVID-19 virus beware!). Since you spend the longest time in your own home, make sure the air you breathe is of the highest quality. When choosing, only look for air filters with the HEPA technology.

Steam Sanitization

Steam sanitization equipment can be used to emit hot steam to sanitize your house. We recommend using this for areas such as the sofa, bed and curtains and rugs. After doing steam sanitization, it is best practice to allow the materials to be exposed to bright daylight for natural UV disinfection and drying by the sun.

Chemical Spray Sanitization

Chemical sprays can be used for many other areas, such as door handles, cupboard corners, and wardrobes. These eliminate >99% of harmful germs most of the time. Nonetheless, we do not recommend overdoing this because one may find the smell of excessive chemical spraying suffocating. It should also not be used on areas where young children and babies come into contact with (eg. baby wardrobe, playpen, crib, etc). All said though, with a well-measured amount of chemical spraying at the right locations, it does not just kill germs, but comes with a nice clean and fresh scent.

Summary Checklist of The 10 Tools

In case you have forgotten, here it is – a summarised checklist of the 10 essential tools for cleaning!

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This article was originally and partially contributed by our guest writer Mr Bernard Lim – who was a sanitation equipment sales professional. He also enjoys writing about various subjects, such as hygiene and cleanliness, society and economics.

meide.sg have since vetted and modified as necessary to best suit the article to our audiences. In view of the fact that this is an article contributed by a guest writer, meide.sg, meide services, and all affiliated businesses: (1) Reserves the ownership and writing copyrights to this article nonetheless, as explicitly explained and agreed upon with the guest writer/contributors; (2) Have done our best to validate and check it against any form of copyright infringement or plagiarism. However, in any event of dispute or unhappiness, we offer our sincere apologies in advance and are open to negotiation of plausible corrective actions (eg. if adequate credits have not been given). Do contact us at admin@meide.sg in any such instances.