Our ultimate cleaning tools
Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces Antibacterial Spray ($3 for 32 oz., amazon.com) will leave surfaces in your home lemon-y fresh. This top-performing all-purpose cleanser cut through grease and grime quicker than any other formula in GHRI tests and cost less than most too. Plus, it was the only to promise antibacterial powers and it's EPA-registered too.
Video: How much detergent to use
One mean steamer
Really stick it to grime with the Oreck Steam-It ($179, amazon.com). This capable steam mop can clean continuously for 35 minutes on a single tank and has attachments that clean windows, countertops, and toilets. It cut through nearly every stuck-on stain we threw at it in GHRI tests and boasts adjustable steam settings and an extra-long cord to boot.
Capable carpet cleaner
Whether you're looking at fresh messes or set-in stains, Hoover Platinum Instant Carpet Spray ($10 for 18 oz., amazon.com) should get the job done. This aerosol spray works quickly to fight tough stains (like coffee, spaghetti sauce, and red wine) and is safe to use on upholstery, too.
Dirt Devil's Gator BD10165 Handheld Vacuum ($55, amazon.com) sucks up dirt from carpet and bare floors with aplomb, and comes with a nifty telescoping crevice tool for tight spaces. It lasted an impressive 25 minutes on a charge and boasts handy flip-open dirt cup for easy emptying. It's only so-so at picking up pet hair though — to fully clean up after Fido, consider Dirt Devil's Gator BD10125 ($45, amazon.com).
Leave your kitchen appliances sparkling with best-in-test Stainless Steel Magic Aerosol ($6.29, amazon.com). This surface cleaner completely removed our test mess, left little residue on stainless steel surfaces, and did a good job camouflaging fingerprints.
Looking for a real deep clean this spring? Invest in a carpet cleaner like the Bissell Proheat 2X Healthy Home Carpet Cleaner ($329.99, amazon.com). This high-powered appliance boasts four power settings plus heat. It did a very good job removing water from the carpets so they dried fast in our tests and we found it plenty easy to clean after use.
Clean window screens, frames, and tracks in a snap with Ettore's Clean Screen Wipes ($6 for 25, amazon.com). These pre-moistened towelettes remove dust and debris easily — sans scrubbing
Bona's Ultimate Hardwood Floor Care System ($60, amazon.com) boasts everything you need to care for your floors. The kit comes with Bona's hardwood floor cleaner (plus a refill), floor polish, a mop, and three washable microfiber mop pads. Our test floors looked great after cleaning and polishing and — even better — they dried within two hours.
Tackling dirty outdoor windows? Windex's All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool ($15, amazon.com) makes it easier to reach and clean most panes without having to climb up on a ladder. (It reaches up to 11 feet.) The pad boasts ample suds for plenty of continuous cleaning and our test windows dried virtually streak-free.