Tackle the toughest household chores with her recommendations.


How many of the cleaning products in your arsenal do you actually use? Ever feel like you have every cleaner ever made except the one you need? It's time to get your supplies in order! In her all-purpose guide, Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, our founder outlines what she carries in her bucket of tools and materials, and the tasks they're best used for.

Mild Dishwashing Liquid

Mild dishwashing liquid is good for more than dirty dishes, and greasy pots and pans. When diluted, it can also be used in treating stains. Make a simple all-purpose cleaner by mixing two cups of water with two tablespoons of your choice of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle.

All-Purpose Household Cleaner

A good all-purpose household cleaner can lift stains and restore shine to the worn surfaces in your home. Use it to clean stained pots and pans, restore metal and ceramic sinks, and cut through crud on stovetops.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has scrubbing power without the risk of scratching surfaces. Mix a thick paste of baking soda and warm water to scrub down surfaces and keep appliances in tip-top shape. Plus, you can strike away smudges, spills, and stains on your carpet by first soaking up the liquid with a dash of baking soda.

White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar and lemon juice combined make excellent natural solutions for cleaning, deodorizing, and mild bleaching. It's ideal for whitening your laundry, washing your windows, driving out pests, and get your surfaces sparkling clean.

Glass Cleaner

How to get those windows looking sparkly and crystal-clear? Martha uses a squeegee and a homemade cleaning solution of water and powdered dishwasher soap to clean her windows. For an excellent window squeegee, try Uline's Window Squeegee and opt for Mrs. Meyer's as a natural non-ammoniated all-purpose cleaner.


Keep a store of sponges in rotation, using fresh sponges for light tasks and older, used sponges for cleaning the oven.

White Cloths

A supply of soft, clean white cloths are not only better for budget, they're better for the planet. And because they are white, you can add bleach to the wash, if desired, without worry of discoloration.

Kitchen Brushes

For the tougher jobs in your sink, a stiff bristle brush makes all the difference. They come in all shapes and sizes, and ready to handle different cleaning tasks: pot and pan scrubbers, and bottle brushes.

Rubber Gloves

Keep yourself clean even in the toughest jobs that handle dirt and grime. Finding the right size to fit your hands may be tough-and some homeowners may be looking for non-latex options due to allergies. Some pairs come featured with textured fingers and palms to help stabilize your grip in sudsy water.

Scouring Pads

More specifically, Martha recommends keeping two kinds: white nylon for everyday, and green nylon for tough cleaning tasks.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths remove dust and debris from nearly any surface-each one made with tiny fibers that lift and hold dirt, grease, grime, and bacteria. To make the most of microfiber cleaning cloths, use them specifically designed for each task-dusting, wiping delicate glass, and scrubbing hard surfaces from wood floors to tile to stainless steel.


A handy toothbrush can help spot clean even the tiniest of details. Nooks, crannies, crevices, and other areas that full-sized cleaning products can't fit into require a toothbrush; in the kitchen and bathroom, stubborn caked-on stains in your sinks and tubs can also benefit from being scrubbed with a DIY baking soda mix. Keep a few toothbrushes on hand, as you'll need to clean surfaces in your kitchen with a different tool from the one used in the bathroom.


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