One of the first questions people have when thinking about cleaning homes (or businesses) professionally is, “What tools, equipment and supplies do I reallyneed?”  There are probably as many answers are there are cleaners in the world, but I’m going to try to get you started for as little investment as possible, without sacrificing quality.

Here’s a list of the must-haves of any cleaning company when starting out (note: some links are affiliate links):

  • Microfiber cleaning cloths.  They need to be about 14″x14″, not much bigger, so they’re easy to handle.  You’ll need at least 60 per full time cleaner (you + employees) to last 1 week.
  • Paper towels.  We use standard Bounty and stock up when they’re on sale.  We don’t use many, a roll should last at least a few weeks/. It’s also Ok to use a few of the client’s paper towels.
  • Mop.  We like these Rubbermaid  commercial mops.  They are inexpensive, and easy to keep in good shape.  (Sometimes the mop head needs replacing, we use this one when it does.)
  • Microfiber mop heads.  These work so well and wash easily.  Having 10-15 on hand for each full-time cleaner is a good idea.
  • Vacuum.  Because you will be using your vacuum 10-20 times more than typically inside a home, you have two main options: buy an expensive heavy-duty commercial vacuum that may last 5 years or more, or buy a less expensive one that’s lighter and might not last as long, but you’ll be able to afford to replace it quicker.  We love Shark DuoClean because it’s less expensive, very light weight, easy to maneuver in and out of cars as well as under furniture.  They are usually the least expensive on their website – check for specials like on Black Friday!
  • Feather duster.  We’ve started using these instead of Swiffer disposable ones.  These are healthier because they’re less waste and animals aren’t harmed in the creation of them.
  • Blue Scotch-Brite non-scratch scrub sponges.
  • Stainless steel scouring pads.  Not SOS brand, just plain ones without soap.  These are fantastic on the inside of ovens.
  • White “magic” erasers.  Either Mr. Clean brand or no-name brands.  The no-name brands will not last as long, but often 15% the price so you’re still ahead.  We like these.
  • Liquid Bar Keepers Friend.  It will become your friend too we promise!
  • Murphy’s Oil Soap.  Good for floors (well diluted), woodwork, smells great and grips dust off surfaces to clean well.  Always follow up with a clean dry cloth to wipe up any smears.
  • Toilet bowl brush.  Amazon and IKEA sell simple brushes for about $1, you can buy one to keep at each house (if the house doesn’t have one).  It’s also good to have one on hand in a tall sleeve so it doesn’t contaminate the world.

We make our own general bleach cleaner as well as an alcohol cleaner (Recipes HERE!).  You’ll need the following ingredients to make your own – feel free to play around with recipes to suit your needs and desires: