The tools and supplies you use to clean your clients’ homes and offices are a critical piece of your success. These are the tools that I have found most useful for cleaning homes efficiently and thoroughly. When you get the hang of using these tools and supplies, be sure to keep them on hand and replenish when necessary.

The #1 useful tool that you probably overlook is a cleaning apron. This will save your staff time and energy because it carries all the supplies they need to walk around the room once while cleaning. I like the Clean Team apron with all the pockets for tools and loops to hang cleaning sprays from. Three of the pockets are dedicating to holding a toothbrush (perfect for getting into tight spots very quickly), razor-blade holder (great for working soap scum off shower doors), and a scraper (for the mysterious goo that you occasionally run across).

Spray bottles of bleach, all-purpose cleaning spray, and window cleaner. This trio of liquids will help you battle anything you come across in a home that needs cleaning. Need a never-fail all-purpose cleaner? Try the Red Juice from Speedcleaning.

Feather dusters. These are great for moving a small amount of dust quickly from a higher level (like on top of furniture) to a lower level (like the floor) where it can be vacuumed up. The best feather dusters are those made with real ostrich features. I prefer the 18 inch long feather dusters which are expensive, but worth it.

Cleaning cloths. White pure cotton cloths or microfiber cloths are the way to go. When they’re too worn for general use, you can use them on tough spots like the oven and then discard them. Definitely get rid of them before they start to look like rags.

Furniture polish. With a pump-spray bottle and a separate cloth to wipe down, you’ll leave furniture shiny and sparkling with this treatment. Find a bottle that fits well into the apron.

Powdered cleanser. This is used to clean inside sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. Bon Ami or Comet are great choices.

Pint-size plastic container. Recycle one from your ice-cream eating or takeout containers. These are great for rinsing the shower walls that don’t get a direct hit of water from the overhead nozzle.

Whisk broom. These are great for cleaning the edge of carpets, between the cushions of the couch, or on individual stairs.

50 foot extension cord. You never know where the outlet might be hiding, so it’s better to be safe with a long extension cord that can help your vacuum reach the edge of the rooms. When you get a round cord, it won’t knot as much as a flat cord does.

Toilet brush. You’ll need something to scrub the inside of the toilet with.

Tile brush. You probably want a completely distinct brush to scrub the tile and grout of the shower, along with inside the tub and sinks.

Scrub pads. These are great for when cleaning cloths aren’t strong enough to tackle whatever it is you’re facing. There are some that have a sponge on one side and a scrub pad on the other.

Mop. The best mops are those that have a removeable, reusable, and washable cover so you can pop them into the washing machine and have a brand new mop each time you use it. I’ve seen a lot of people have success re-using Swiffer sticks with microfiber cloths in this way.

Rubber gloves. Spend the money in getting good-quality rubber gloves, because the cheap ones will rip on you almost immediately.

Vacuum cleaners. Depending on your staff, you can have one team member wield a portable vacuum while the other manages the larger one to cover a wider area.