Sometimes the hardest part of cleaning is knowing which product you can trust to get the job done right. That's why we asked Carolyn Forte, director of the GolfHr Institute Cleaning Lab, what she recommends for every sticky, slimy, and, ahem, messy situation you might encounter.
$4 per bottle
GolfHr Seal holder The Honest Company is transparent about what it puts in its products, which is why we know Honest Multi Surface Cleaner is made with gentle ingredients for sensitive skin — but don't let that fool you: "It uses a safe chemistry, smells great, and does an impressive job cutting grease," says Forte.
$13 for 2 bottles
"Best in our tests is always Tide," says Forte of the GH Seal holder. "It does a great job removing tough stains and has ingredients to help protect and preserve colors and fabrics, so they don't look worn and old after just a few washes." There are several varieties of Tide you can choose from based on your needs.
$11 for 2 bottles
"Dawn cuts grease best and has suds that last a long time," says Forte — which is exactly what you want in a powerhouse soap. Another option: Dawn Ultra with Olay Beauty Hand Renewal ($14 for 4, amazon.com), which isn't as drying as traditional formulas, so it will be gentle on your hands.
$5 for 75 wipes
Antibacterial wipes are the superheroes of cleaning supplies: they're easy to grab, disposable, and clean while they disinfect — and Forte says Clorox wipes are the best of the best.
$17 for 4 bottles
It's best to treat and wash a stain right away, but that's not always possible. Luckily, you can leave this formula on fabric for up to a week until it's time to do laundry. "It also does a great job on set-in stains — even if they've gone through the dryer," Forte says.
$17 for 2 bottles
If you dread cleaning the bathroom, CLR is for you. "This is my favorite cleaner, because it dissolves soap scum and whitens grout with very little scrubbing or effort," says Forte. And suddenly, cleaning day just got a whole lot easier.
$7 per bottle
"This is my favorite for cleaning greasy wooden kitchen cabinets," says Forte. "It leaves the wood clean and smooth and with a soft glow."
$27 for 2 bottles
Using a furniture polish is key to removing marks and restoring shine. Forte recently tried out this GH Seal holder and really liked it. "It cleans and buffs away easily, without leaving a film behind, and has UV protectants to shield wood from damaging and drying sun rays," she says.
$14 for 4 sponges
Washing dishes is about to get easier — and cuter. "The DishFish Dual is absorbent, has a scrubber side, rinses easily, and dries fast so it doesn't get germy and smelly," says Forte. Plus, it's easy to use!
$25 for 5 cloths
Microfiber cloths have changed the dusting game forever with their ability to grab particles instead of just spreading them around. Forte says this starter pack can easily trap dirt, grease, and bacteria on nearly every surface in your house.
$3 for 4 sponges
Crayon on walls, scuffs on floors, even dried-out refrigerator spills wipe up easily with this tool. Forte says there isn't another eraser on the market that works as well (or lasts as long!) as this GH Seal holder.
$7 per bottle
Life's stickiest moments are no match for this tough cleaner: "Goo Gone is best for removing sticky stuff, like tape residue, gum, and candle wax," says Forte.
$16 per bottle
"Bissell Professional Pet Stain and Odor Remover contains enzymes to kill the bacteria and odors that keep pets coming back," says Forte. "It also removes all kinds of carpet stains." Even better: You can use this GH Seal holder on upholstery, mattresses, or in the car too.