Let’s be honest. We know dirt and grime when we see it on a surface, but if we don’t see it, we assume our house is clean. When it comes to certain germs, however, the human eye is not enough to detect their presence.
Once we understand the importance of cleaning counters, floors, sinks and other surfaces, the next question is this: what’s the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? While cleaning works by using soap, detergent and water to remove germs from surfaces, disinfecting uses chemicals to kill bacteria. In this guide, we’ll list the best home cleaners and disinfectants to use and how to clean every room and surface in your house.
The Best Home Cleaners
When you set out to clean the surfaces in your home, you want to be as efficient as possible. Knowing the best cleaners for removing germs and disinfecting will help you meet your goal. Keep these tips in mind:
- Best drain cleaners: Drain cleaning may not be at the top of your list for home objects to clean, but it should be. Drain cleaning prevents things like clogs and other problems from occurring. Some of our top choices for drain cleaners are Whink Hair Clog Blaster* for hair clogs and Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver* for grease clogs. CLR Build-Up Remover* is an excellent choice to use once a month in both kitchen and bathroom drains for preventative measures.
- Best disinfecting cleaners: Our favorite disinfecting cleaner for a variety of surfaces in your home is Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray* and Lysol Laundry Sanitizer Additive* for laundry.
- Best stainless steel cleaners: Using the right cleaner on stainless steel surfaces is imperative because the wrong cleaner may damage the finish. Some of the best stainless steel cleaners for kitchenware and appliances include CLR CSS-12 Stainless Steel Cleaner*, Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish* and TriNova Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish*.
- Best floor cleaners: Because there are different floor cleaners for different surfaces, we chose our favorite in each category: StoneTech RTU Revitalizer* for stone floors, Hoover Grout & Tile Plus Hard Floor Cleaner Solution* for ceramic tile and Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner* for vinyl floors. You can also look for the Swiffer WetJet Wood Mopping Kit* for laminate floors or Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner* for wood surfaces.
- Best hand soap: Hand washing is one of the best ways to keep bacteria from entering your body and prevent the spread of illness. Look for Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap*, or Softsoap Coconut and Warm Ginger Liquid Hand Soap* if on a budget.
- Best mops: Mops are great cleaning solutions for the regular upkeep of hard surfaces like concrete, wood, laminate and stone. While a Libman Wonder Mop* is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget, a Libman Spin Mop* and Bucket is our top choice.
How to Disinfect Electronics
With all this talk about cleaning floors, drains and stainless steel surfaces in your home, it’s easy to overlook things like electronics — remotes, video game controllers, computers, phones and more. As a precaution, always check the manufacturer’s manual before you clean electronics and don’t spray water or cleaner directly onto the surface of any electronic device. Also, make sure to remove batteries and disconnect electronics from power sources before disinfecting.
Here’s how to sanitize and disinfect your electronics:
- Laptops: Make sure to remove the battery from your laptop before cleaning. Then, turn your laptop upside-down to remove crumbs. Use a can of compressed air to blast the crevices, input and keyboard. Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe down all surfaces on your laptop. Finish by wiping down the keyboard with an isopropyl alcohol and water solution.
- Phone or tablets: Always be careful when disinfecting your phone or tablet because it may have a fingerprint-resistant coating that can potentially be damaged. Remove the case and wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth before doing the same to your device. Use cotton swabs to get into crevices.
- Game controllers: Wipe down the controller and cord with a cloth dampened with alcohol and water solution. Then, use the same sanitizing solution on a cotton swab to clean into the grooves and around the buttons on the controller. Ensure all equipment is dry before reconnecting the controller and plugging it into your console.
How to Disinfect the Kitchen
To clean and sanitize a kitchen:
- Use a paper towel to wipe your counters and stovetop with dish detergent and water.
- Mix 1 gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of bleach. Pour a portion of the mixture into a spray bottle and spray on kitchen surfaces. Allow to air dry.
- Wash any items that touch raw meat immediately with hot water and soap. Then, rewash them with the bleach mixture.
- Pour bleach mixture into a bucket and use a mop to scrub your floors.
- When finished, wash your hands with warm water and soap.
How to Clean the Living Room
Although cleaning your living room may seem like an overwhelming task, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps and you’re done! To clean your living room quickly:
- Remove everything in your living room that doesn’t belong there.
- Dust shelves and furniture surfaces.
- Vacuum under furniture upholstery and cushions before vacuuming the floor.
How to Disinfect the Bathroom
Sanitizing your bathroom is crucial to get rid of germs. To go above and beyond a regular cleaning in your bathroom:
- Clean all surfaces with soapy water and be sure to wash the sink, toilet surfaces, faucet, doorknob, tub and handles. Rinse thoroughly and let surfaces air dry.
- Fill a 1-quart spray bottle with 1 teaspoon bleach and water. Replace the top and shake well to combine.
- Spray all surfaces in the bathroom with an even coating of the bleach water and let air dry completely.
- Scrub the toilet bowl with a toilet brush before soaking the bowl with bleach for 10 minutes. Flush.
- Disinfect floors with a bleach dilution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per quart of water. Let floors air dry.
Contact 50 Floor to Schedule Your In-Home Flooring Estimate
Have you disinfected all home surfaces and still feel like you need an upgrade? At 50 Floor, we offer a shop at home experience so you can stay away from crowds, envision your flooring with greater accuracy and experience the convenience of in-home shopping.
One of our flooring consultants will bring samples to your home so you can see options in your own lighting and among your decor. Once you’ve chosen a flooring option that suits your needs and tastes, we’ll take care of everything else, including installation. Contact 50 Floor to schedule an in-home flooring appointment today.
*50 Floor is not affiliated with, nor do we endorse specific cleaning products. Always check your flooring warranties before using cleaning products.