14 Gifts for People Who Love to Clean
For some people, a day spent buffing the house to a sparkle is a day well spent. As such, those scrubbers and washers deserve excellent, well-designed, and beautiful tools to make cleaning that much more satisfying.
We’ve collected some of our favorite cleaning potions and gadgets, which are all extremely giftable (even for those who see house cleaning as a chore) and make scouring, sweeping, dusting, and general spick-and-spanning even more enjoyable.
Washable, compostable, and quick-drying, each of these colorful reusable cloths takes the place of 17 rolls of paper towels, according to the company.
These cute printed dishcloths are, despite their name, made in the US from wood cellulose and cotton, and they’re beloved by multiple Wirecutter staffers. They arrive crispy as rice crackers, but once you wet them, they transform into light, spongy dishcloths that can absorb 20 times their weight in water. Swedish dishcloths take the place of paper towels, but they can be rinsed, wrung out, and reused like a sponge, plus they dry out much faster than cotton. If they get stained or smelly, launder them in hot water; when they wear out completely (staffers have enjoyed some upwards of a year), simply snip them up and throw them in the compost. They’re available in 45 cheerful prints.
This rust-resistant, stainless chain-mail pot scrubber eliminates the need for steel wool or dish soap when scouring cast iron and other metals; it’s also guaranteed for life.
This surgical-grade stainless steel chain-mail scrubber feels drapey in the hand and works wonders on gunk stuck to cast iron, glass, carbon steel, and other nonscratch surfaces. Wirecutter supervising editor Hannah Morrill says the Knapp Made chain-mail scrubber has given precious minutes back to her morning routine scrubbing the satin enameled interior of a Le Creuset skillet after eggs. It rinses spotless with no odor but can also be thrown in the dishwasher if any particles get stuck.
This high-quality stainless steel dish rack drains well, looks nice, and holds a generous amount of dishes, but it’s expensive.
Made of thick-gauge stainless steel (except for the plastic feet) this rack may never need to be replaced. It has a sleek, industrial look and a creased, tilted base for drainage. Staff writer Samantha Schoech has used hers daily for about four years, and it looks and works as well as it did on day one.
This concentrated all purpose cleaner can be used for nearly every household cleaning project, from laundry to dishes.
Leave it to our old friend Dr. Bronner to create a supremely versatile multi-purpose cleaner. Most neatniks would love a bottle: The blend of naturally derived surfactants readily break up grease on glass cooktops, oven hoods, and cabinets. It’s also not too heavy for wood or tile floors, windowsills and baseboards, and cars. The text-heavy bottle is also pleasing and would be lovely gifted alongside a pretty pail, such as this steel bucket.
This kit has moist wipes that are strong enough for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces and don’t contain plastic; the sleek dispenser is refillable.
Biom wipes have two major things going for them: Their reusable capsule container looks great in plain view, and the wipes themselves are tough, plastic-free, and home compostable. Although they’re not disinfecting, they do a excellent job wiping down a greasy stovetop, an icky toilet, or sticky countertops. They’re made from sustainably grown wood fiber, moisturized with aloe, and scented (barely) with essential oils. Refills of 50 wipes are about $24 for a pack of three, or about 16¢ per wipe.
This is a superior stain remover that works on pigment, oil, and protein-based stains, and it won’t leave ghost stains on laundry, upholstery, or carpet.
This creamy, non-toxic (PDF) laundry stain remover has been a decade’s long go-to for Hannah, who has two children and a subscription to the stuff. Just pretreat common stains—blueberries, marinara, blood—and they’re gone in a single wash. But the real kicker is how it dissolves formidable opponents, such as paint, ink, and permanent marker; it’s the only stain remover recommended by the makers of Sharpies. Amodex stain remover can be left on a stain anywhere from 15 minutes to 12 hours before laundering, and as long as some of the mark fades, repeated applications will fully remove it.
A handsome floor-and-wall duster made in Vermont from loops of dust-attracting wool yarn.
Proving the old chestnut that the best things are the simplest is the Sladust Big Wooly Mop. Made in Vermont in essentially the same way since 1909, this pretty dust mop naturally attracts dust and pet hair with wool fibers and lanolin. The multicolored, shaggy head reaches cobwebs on the ceilings as easily as it collects the dust on floors. To clean it just give it a vigorous shake (a cold water hand-wash on occasion also works). It’s available in three handle options, including a extendable metal handle. They also make hand dusters for smaller jobs.
Each of these sturdily flexible straw brooms is handmade in New Hampshire using traditional Shaker methods.
May be out of stock
These brooms are not just tools, they’re little pieces of American history. Handmade by Everett Bailey of New Hampshire in the traditional Shaker way, they’ve remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Stiff straw bristles are bound into a wide flat broom and attached to a wooden handle with a leather hanging loop. Hannah was gifted one years ago and uses it most days with few lost bristles or frayed tips. We recommend other brooms here at Wirecutter, but this one is so pretty, she keeps it hanging in plain sight.
These durable plastic nail brushes in a rainbow of pretty colors double as all-purpose scrubbers and dishwashers.
Don’t let the name fool you. These nail brushes are actually all-purpose scrubbers that dedicated cleaners would want in every room. Senior staff writer Tim Heffernan says, “I love these Vikan Nail Brushes, but I use them for dishwashing and other scrubbing jobs. They’re compact, comfortable to hold, incredibly durable, and as someone who notices manufacturing details, beautifully finished—not a rough seam or sharp bristle anywhere.” The brushes are 5 inches long and the bristles are stiff but soft, perfect for all manner of sloughing.
This mini beechwood and horsehair broom set is perfect for cleaning small messes like desktop crumbs, and it nests together for easy storage.
The 5-inch oiled beechwood and horsehair dustpan-and-brush set is diminutive and attractive enough to be left nearly anywhere around the house for sweeping up dust, crumbs, and other small debris, and its soft bristles don’t mar surfaces. Because it nests neatly in a semicircle, it stays out of the way between uses. Your tidiest friend will appreciate how easy this set makes whisking away coffee grounds, fallen petals, and morning toast crumbs.
Microfiber cloths are our recommendation for cleaning all reflective surfaces plus ovens, countertops, and more.
Microfiber cloths have an extremely tight weave and an electrostatic charge that grabs dust and tiny particles of dirt. They are inexpensive, machine washable, and perfect for cleaning and shining any reflective surface. (Anyone who loves to clean knows this already.) Senior staff writer Rachel Wharton uses them to clean her glass cooktop, and Samantha has them all over the house (and car) for returning glasses and screens to their crystalline glory. We recommend microfiber for cleaning the oven, countertops, and all devices. This pack of 12 is our go-to and would look great wrapped with a floppy, festive ribbon.
Embellished latex dishwashing gloves have a winking 1950s vibe but hold up for years; decorative cuffs prevent wet sleeves.
A favorite of senior staff writer Lesley Stockton, these reusable latex gloves protect hands from heat, chemicals, and chapping. The long, decorative cuffs are more than just cute, though. They also protect sleeves from slipping into the dishwater. But although they claim to be one-size fits all, they can only accommodate a 3.5-inch palm.
The back and forth rolling of this handheld cleaner generates an electrostatic charge that effectively clears even the most hair-matted upholstery; it holds up for years and doesn't require refills.
If the neatnik in your life has pets, it’s a guarantee that they do battle with fur. Rolling this simple plastic device back and forth over fur-covered fabric creates an electrostatic charge that picks up hair and then collects it in an easy-to-empty chamber. It feels like magic, but it’s actually the combination of fur grabbing brushes and a rubber lip that capture even worked-in fibers. Empty the collection chamber with the touch of a button, and there is nothing more to clean, replace, or refill. It’s Samantha’s go-to gift for new pet owners because it’s the only thing that can keep up with the amount of fur left behind by her two fluff balls.
This cordless handheld vacuum’s powerful suction, long battery life, and large bin make short work of tidying up around the home and in the car.
May be out of stock
Our handheld-vac pick has long battery life and a larger bin than almost any other cordless handheld vacuum we’ve tested. The Ryobi 18V One+ runs for a respectable 18 minutes, recharges in under an hour, and includes a pivoting dust brush and crevice tool. But best of all, it really sucks, picking up dust, cracker crumbs, and sand with ease. It will be a go-to for the cleaners who can’t rest until the floor is spotless.
We love finding gifts that are unusual, thoughtful, and well vetted. See our gift guide here.
This article was edited by Hannah Morrill and Jennifer Hunter.
Except for the time she gave a boyfriend her mother’s old toaster for Christmas, staff writer Samantha Schoech has a reputation as an excellent gift giver. She lives in San Francisco with two teens, two cats, a geriatric betta fish, and a bookseller husband. Her first book of short stories, My Mother’s Boyfriends, is coming out in 2024.
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