If ever there was a time to invest in the best cleaning products it surely is now. In a post-pandemic world it can be good to know which products actually work to kill germs, and for those with busy lives and even busier households, how are you to know which solutions require the least effort? Luckily for you, the Real Homes team has pooled together their most favourite cleaning products they use at home, day in day out. We're talking everything from eco-friendly solutions to cleaning pastes and luxury cleaning products, too (yes, such things exist!).
So, whether you're looking to switch up the cupboard under your sink, or perhaps you'd like to invest in more eco-conscious solutions. Maybe your collection is looking light at the moment? If you prefer to buy your cleaning bits online (Amazon Prime has our heart, too) then you're in the right place. Buying cleaning products online is totally worth it, which we've only recently found out, once you add in petrol and car parking fees. Also, most of the time you can buy online in bulk, which ought to make your bill even cheaper if your undersink storage allows.
Every single one of the 21 cleaning products we've listed in this guide, from concentrated cleaners to floor cleaners to use with your favourite mop, has been tried, tested and approved by our team of cleaning fanatics. Living in flats, family homes, pet households and everything in between, these are the products we use inside our real homes (no testing labs in sight) to clean everyday spills and dirt. And they work! A lot of these products we've repurchased time and time again, and they'll be sure to leave your home sparkling (in looks and scent!) with minimal effort required from you.
Make sure your cleaning arsenal is stocked with the best cleaning products around, and get your pad out to start taking notes. Click through to stock up.
The best cleaning products
Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Our favourite cleaning product
+ Effective degreaser
+ Lovely scent
+ Naturally-derived, anti-bacterial, plant-based cleaner
+ Recyclable bottle
Cutting through grease and dirt in seconds, this kitchen cleaner is definitely one of our faves. It leaves a lovely scent behind, as well as a streak-free shine. To use, simply spray on your surfaces and wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. The rhubarb scent has to be our fave of all time.
Our favourite pet-friendly cleaning product
+ Cleanfluencer approved
+ Kills 99.9% germs
- No eco-credentials
We are totally obsessed with Zoflora, and yes we fully blame it on Mrs Hinch, but this Instagram sensation has gained its cult following for a reason. Stick it in a bucket with some hot water to clean your floors, mix it up in a spray bottle to clean your surfaces or splash a bit in your sinks, bins and drains. We love it so much we have a whole article dedicated to the many, many Zoflora uses.
Our favourite cleaning product for stains
+ Works fast
+ Very versatile
+ Can be used around pets
- Scent isn't nice
- No eco-credentials
White vinegar works wonders when it comes to cleaning everything from pet stains to spillages. It's also a great glass cleaner and a little goes a long way. In fact, we use it pretty much everywhere at home. We put a little in our white washing load, we use it to clean our dishwasher and it works well on cleaning our shower screen. A cupboard staple for sure, whether you have pets or not. Not to mention it's a very safe product.
Our favourite antibac refill
+ Available in supermarkets
+ Just add water
+ Fragrance is subtle
At Real Homes, we're always keen to discover eco-alternatives, and the Ocean Saver Drops will save so much plastic from going to landfill, you won't believe it. We repurchase these cleaning tablets time and time again and use them with our spray bottle. Simply just pop the tablet in, fill your bottle with water, give it a good shake and then wait a few hours to use. The scent is subtle, it works to clean pretty much everything, and at the end you're left only with cardboard waste (and it's minimal!).
Our favourite washing-up liquid
+ Made with essential oils
- Scent can linger on crockery
The Mrs. Meyers brand is already big across the pond, and we're so glad that they've brought their products to the UK. This aromatherapeutic product is gentle on your hands, but boy does it do a good job of being tough on dirt and grime. It's got a good consistency, and a little goes a long way. The packaging is super pretty too, so you'll want to keep the bottle on show. The bottle is also easy to squeeze whilst your hands are wet.
Check out more of our best washing up liquids.
Our favourite versatile cleaning product
+ Just add water
Is there anything this liquid product can't do? Boasting 18 uses (and counting), this soapy superstar can be used cosmetically, as well as to wash dishes, mop floors and do laundry. At first, we were a little skeptical ourselves, but the magic is in how much you dilute the neat product. Different ratios of product to water make this an appropriate solution for cleaning yourself and your homewares. Some say Meghan Markle swears by it for her skin (Lavender is her fave) so if you want to live like royalty for less, pop this in your shopping basket. We're fans of the almond scent with its nutty marzipan/amaretto aroma.
Our favourite product for carpets
+ Pleasant scents
+ Fast results
+ Easy application
- Scent doesn't last long
- No eco-credentials
This easy to use cleaner can rescue stinky carpets or rugs. We like to spray some onto our rugs and carpets before vacuuming, for a lovely scent boost. There's a pet-friendly one, too, and it's great for use just before guests come over.
Our favourite mould spray
+ Kills 99.9% of bacteria
+ Cruelty-free & Vegan
+ Works fast
+ Zero scrubbing required
- Does not remove mould from silicone
Highly effective and fast-acting, use this mould spray on walls, UPVC window frames, glass, plastic shower curtains and much more. A little goes a long way to remove mould stains, just spray it on the affected area, leave for around 10 minutes and wipe clean. Have a read through our guide on how to get rid of mould and mildew for more tips.
Our favourite cleaning paste
+ Great for rust
+ Easy to remove stains
- Messy application
One of Mrs. Hinch's favourite cleaning products, The Pink stuff is our top cleaning product for removing stains. Use it to clean everything from your hob to your oven, your appliances and outside it can work wonders on outdoor furniture. It works wonders getting grease, rust and even paint and fingerprints on pretty much any surface. Pair it with a scourer and you're golden.
Our favourite eco-friendly cleaning product
+ Eco-friendly & vegan
+ Recyclable packaging
+ Made from natural ingredients
- Not for use on plastics, non-stick coatings, polished metal or brushed stainless steel
A versatile eco-friendly product, use this paste to remove sticky residue from jars, limescale from showerheads, and for making kitchen surfaces sparkle. Use it with a damp clean sponge, nylon scouring pad, or soft cloth with warm water. Watch it turn from green to brown as it removes all sorts of residue.
Our favourite cleaning concentrate
+ Neat or diluted
+ 4 scents
As you might be able to glean from this guide, at Real Homes we like eco-friendly cleaners a lot. This genius concentrate from Method is suitable for cleaning dozens of surfaces in your home. Use it in its ultra-concentrated form for those grimy spots, or mix with water to create those method sprays we know and love. Oh, and they smell amazing too, of course.
Our favourite wood polish
+ Non-toxic, plant-based
- Not for unsealed surfaces
This cleaner works amazingly on sealed wood surfaces, particularly wooden furniture and flooring. It cleans dust and dirt, leaving wooden surfaces with a protective, non-greasy shine. To use just spray this product on a soft cloth, wipe down your tree-based possessions and buff with a clean, dry cloth. For a full guide on how to clean wooden worktops check out our step-by-step guide.
Our favourite dishwasher tablets
+ Free trial available (pay £1 for postage)
+ Eco-friendly & cruelty-free product
+ Plastic-free packaging
- Requires subscription
Our favourite dishwasher tablets have to be these ones from Smol which work by subscription, although you can get your first box for free so that you can try before you buy. These pink tablets will leave your glassware shining, and your carbon footprint to a minimum. Not to mention they look very cute on display, and the convenience is second-to-none.
Our favourite window cleaner
+ Smells nice too
+ Refills available
+ Plant-based ingredients
+ Vegan + cruelty-free
+ Plastic-free packaging
- Not the cheapest
This window cleaner smells as good as it looks, and it cuts through tough grease and grime to leave a streak-free shine. For the best results, use it with some kitchen roll. Otherwise, it's great for windows, doors, TVs, mirrors and more. Not to mention it's free from the nasties so is safe for use around kids and pets. Its bottle also gives off a good amount of solution and its eco-credentials are brilliant.
Our favourite washing up refill
+ Eco-friendly and cruelty-free
+ Refill products available
+ Attractive packaging and enticing scent range
- Available online only
Bower Collective are the place to go if you're looking to shop more sustainably with your cleaning products. Their service allows you to pick up reusable packaging and then simply order your refills when you need them, with gorgeous packaging and enticing scents. We tried these refills out and loved how convenient they were, as well as how great they smelled.
Our favourite cleaning starter kit
+ Attractive and eco packaging
+ Non-toxic, plant-based
+ Scented using essential oils
- A little pricey
Start cutting down on your plastic use with this wonderful starter kit from Purdy and Figg Co. Included comes one glass bottle that you can reuse far into the future, all you need to do is add water to the included concentrate, and you'll be spritzing this gorgeous scent all around your home. Choose from four scents: Citrus, Floral, Vetiver and Summer.
Our favourite cleaning cloth
+ Waffle-weave design
+ Removes 99% of bacteria
+ Eco-friendly and machine-washable
E-cloths are also a glass cleaning essential in our eyes. Use them to clean windows for a crystal clear, streak-free finish. Best of all? You can use them with water alone to get a good shine. So for anyone who hates cleaning products or the plastic that comes with (or both), then this is your best bet.
Our favourite shower cleaner
+ Non-rinse formula
Literally the easiest shower cleaner out there, just spritz it around your shower (when it's wet) and it just gets on with its job: dissolving watermarks, soap scum, and residue. Oh, and it's free from toxic chemicals. The Method Shower Cleaner is brilliant. And, of course, we've got a guide to tell you how to clean a shower fast (and thoroughly).
Our favourite disinfectant spray
+ Ready to use
+ Eliminates odours
+ Long-lasting scent
+ Super affordable
+ Bold and bright packaging
- Not eco-friendly
We use Fabulosa sprays in every room of our home, with our current favourite scent being Lemon Lavender. They also have an excellent range of polishes, and the packaging for the entire range is so fun. You can use it pretty much anywhere, to refresh your sofa cushions or to clean your bathroom. Pick one up at your local Aldi.
The best looking eco-friendly products
+ Attractive products
+ Powerful formulas
+ Reusuable bottles
+ Refills available
Getting a package from Homethings was genuinely a gamechanger, with eco-friendly products that look the part too. The washupthings formula is amazingly powerful, and the reusable bottles, refill pouches and boxes will all upgrade your under-sink situation in an instant.
Our favourite luxury cleaning products
+ Minimalist packaging
+ Dermatologically tested
+ Proven to be child-friendy and pet-safe
+ Kills viruses like E.Coli and Salmonella
If you want to really splash out on your next set of cleaning products, or you have a loved one that would go wild for a high-end cleaning product, then this should be on your list. With stunning understated branding and divine scents to match, this ultimate stylish set is formulated with active silver, which acts as an anti-microbial agent - boujee and better for the planet.
The freshest-smelling, bleach-free toilet cleaner
+ Ocean fresh fragrance
+ Macerator-safe de-scaling formula
+ Suitable for Saniflow systems
+ Suitable for daily cleaning
+ Bleach-free and non-toxic formula
+ Cruelty-free / Vegan
- Much more expensive than bleach
If you've tended to pick up the cheapest toilet bleach in the past, it's time you changed your approach. As we know, a big family = a busy bathroom, so you'll want to stay on top of your toilet-cleaning game, if only for a squeaky-clean bowl. The coastal-inspired fragrance doesn't make your eyes sting when you walk into the WC, and it does a decent job of getting rid of excrement and stubborn urine stains. Technically, it's a professional cleaning product (using phosphoric acid instead of conventional bleach), so expect to pay more for it. Can be used to clean a septic tank too and macerator seals too.
Our favourite car cleaning spray
+ Kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses
+ Cleans dash, steering wheel, sat navs, screens, and doors
+ Leaves a long-lasting smell and shine
+ Vegan-friendly formulation
+ Recyclable PET plastic bottle
- May cause skin irritation
- Contains benzalkonium chloride
Aside from our home and garden, things can get a mucky in your motor! Sure you could use an air freshener, but what about food stains in the car, and sticky children's fingerprints on the windows? Not to mention that spilled protein shake that left a soured-milk crust in your centre console (gross). The Fabulosa interior car cleaner is a great 2-in-1 product that leaves hard surfaces shiny, smear-free, and smelling great. Silver Shades is a very masculine fragrance so great for dad's taxi, or if you want your car to smell like a designer fragrance for men. Unfortunately, it does contain benzalkonium chloride, so steer clear if you take your pet on road trips.
Real Homes review process
We've pooled all of the favourite cleaning products from the whole team at Real Homes to show you which sprays, aerosols, foams, powders and concentrates we actually use in our homes. So, rest assured we can give you our honest opinion on how they work. All of the solutions we test are used for a number of weeks inside our homes, to clean every nook and crevice we deem dirty. We try to test these supplies on all sorts of fabrics, flooring types and appliances.
Whilst testing these branded items, we consider everything from size to price, ease of use, cleaning quality, and most of all: how much product do you have to use for it to work?
Here are the team's top favourites...
Christina Chrysostomou has tried a number of these products in her 2-bedroom maisonette, which she shares with her husband-to-be, George. While she's pretty careful when handling strong solutions, a big fat Greek (and Mauritian) family means she's on the look out for natural products that are pet and child-friendly, and favours essential oils over synthetic scents.
Her favourite cleaning products have to be the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Washing-up Liquid (Peony scent) (opens in new tab) which makes her kitchen smell like the seasonal British blooms all year round. Despite having a dishwasher, she'll use it to wash Tupperware, if she's prepped lunch for work. Christina enjoys a muddy lunchtime forest stomp, much to the demise of her trainers. However, she's been 'astonished' by how effective The Good One (opens in new tab) is at bringing her kicks back to life. She loves using Method's multi-surface concentrate (opens in new tab) (in bing cherry and bergamot) and finds that the small size is easy to carry if she hasn't commuted to the supermarket by car.
Annie lives in a spacious two-bed flat in South London, along with her husband-to be-and two pets. Annie's always on the lookout for eco-friendly alternatives, and she's always up for testing something that will make her chore list a little shorter.
Her favourite cleaning products have to be the Ocean Saver Drops (opens in new tab), which she repurchases every time she runs out. She also loves her Smol dishwasher tablets (opens in new tab) that she's been getting delivered for years. And last but definitely not least (or very eco-friendly but it does work), the Astonish Mould & Mildew Blaster (opens in new tab) is a cleaning cupboard staple for her, too. It works wonders in her windowless bathroom.
Lindsey lives in a cute (but dusty) Victorian cottage. She lacks storage space so loves to streamline her cleaning supplies by looking for multipurpose buys.
Lindsey loves The Pink Stuff which can be used for everything from cleaning to the oven, to polishing tiles. It is made not far from where she lives and is based on natural ingredients. Zoflora is another under-the-sink essential for her. She uses a drop in her spray mop to clean the floors and a diluted spritz around the home to bust nasty niffs.
Molly lives in a two-bedroom flat in London and has a cleaning cupboard that's fit to burst after trying out a strong selection of products in this guide.
Molly is constantly battling against a damp windowless bathroom and a kitchen sink that suffers from limescale due to hard water. To combat these issues, she loves to use Astonish's The Good One (opens in new tab) to refresh surfaces, and the Mold and Mildew spray (opens in new tab) from the same brand.Her other favourite brands have to be Method, especially thanks to their multi-surface concentrated cleaners (opens in new tab), and anything from Zoflora (opens in new tab), who really have the best smelling cleaning products out there. Another brand that can do it all is Homethings (opens in new tab), and Molly would recommend anyone trying to be more eco-friendly to pick up their incredible cleaning bundle (opens in new tab).
3 things to consider when buying cleaning products
These are the essential things we keep in mind when restocking your cleaning caddy.
1. What does it smell like?
We know there's more to a spray or toilet cleaner than its scent, but at the end of the day, it is still important to like the smell of whatever you're spritzing in your home. Work out which scent profile you like, whether that's fresh cotton, a citrus burst or something more specific like lemongrass and try and line your products up with that smell, to avoid a headache when you're deep cleaning. Also, don't forget that seasonal scents are normally released by brands, so around Christmas time you might want to go for a festive-scented anti bac.
2. Does it have eco-friendly credentials?
For a lot of us, it's becoming increasingly important to ensure that the things we buy for our homes are certified as being good for the planet in the long term. There are so many great brands you can invest in that have starter bundles featuring glass bottles and cheap refill programs for when you run out of your favourite cleaners so that you can overhaul your whole set of products. Otherwise, always check if the plastic bottle or tub that you are buying is recyclable, and how to recycle it after use.
3. Don't forget about hazardous chemicals
Understandably, people have different viewpoints when it comes to using chemicals to clean their homes. While some won't mind using a stronger cleaner to shift bleach or mould, others will want to avoid it entirely. Always check the hazards involved when it comes to cleaning supplies, and prepare yourself with rubber gloves and protective clothing if necessary. If a pet or child does ingest it, or you suffer from a skin or breathing reaction, dial 999 immediately and seek medical advice. Be sure to take the bottle/packaging with you to show the health professional.
Where to buy cleaning products online
Here's where we suggest shopping for your cleaning products online. In some cases, it might be best to bulk buy as prices may work out to be cheaper, so long as you've enough storage space.
- Amazon cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- Dunelm cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- Ethical Superstore cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- Lakeland cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- Nisbets cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- Robert Dyas cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- Savers cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- The Range cleaning products (opens in new tab)
- Wilko cleaning products (opens in new tab)