The Best Everyday Cleaning Essentials
Best Rubber Gloves
Mr. Clean Bliss Gloves
Latex-free and lined in super-soft cotton, these are so comfortable, you won’t want to take them off. And they won’t make your hands sweat, even after you’ve done a load of dishes. Available only in white.
To buy: $6, amazon.com.
See more cleaning essentials: best vacuums, best cleaning wipes, best floor cleaners, best bathroom products, and best spray cleaners.
Best All-Purpose Cleaner
Planet All-Purpose Cleaner
The go-to bottle for kitchen cleaning and touch-ups in every room, this unscented spray easily obliterated the mustard and strawberry stains that our testers planted on hard surfaces.*
To buy: $6, drugstore.com.
* In the case of a tie between two cleaning products, Real Simple chose the biodegradable option.
Casabella Microfiber Sponges
Quicker to dry than traditional options, super absorbent, and effective without soap. And how about those colors?
To buy: $9 for three, amazon.com.
E-cloth Washing Up Pad
Curved to sit nicely in the hand, it pairs a gentle abrasive side with a microfiber surface for wiping.
To buy: $7, amazon.com.
Best Cream Cleanser
Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser
A 130-year-old classic, it makes faucets, tile, and cookware sparkle and removes mineral stains and rust marks with minimal muscle.
To buy: $7, amazon.com.
Best Paper Towels
Viva Brand Choose-a-Size Paper Towels
In the old-school strength test (wet paper towel piled with a weighty load of fruit), Viva was the overwhelming winner. It also cleaned an entire kitchen with just one sheet rinsed and wrung out repeatedly. More like cloth than any other brand, this pick is eco-friendly because it offers so much use out of so little product. Our testers liked the choose-a-size option, since half a sheet is plenty for small jobs.
To buy: $2 a roll, at retailers nationwide and target.com.
Best All-Around Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
E-cloth Microfiber Cloths
You might assume that all microfiber is created equal. Not so. This winner delivers impressively on the three promises of the category: to serve as a magnet for dust, to clean and shine with plain water (although it’s fine to use a solution if you prefer), and to stand up to the washing machine. E-cloths are guaranteed to last through 300 washes—just don’t use dryer sheets, bleach, or fabric softeners, because they’re kryptonite to microfiber. Testers loved the purple general-purpose cloth but couldn’t resist the color-coded variants: stiffer or softer options for stainless steel, glass, and cooktops.
To buy: $22, amazon.com.