Voted By Pros

Essential cleaning business supplies to get started

November 17, 2021

The right cleaning supplies can help you be more efficient and grow your cleaning business. Find out what veteran cleaners said are the must have cleaning supplies.

Are you gearing up to start your own cleaning business?

If so, there are quite a few supplies and tools you’ll need to gather before you can start cleaning. From carpet cleaning solutions, disinfectants, to vacuum cleaners, choosing the right cleaning supplies can seem a little overwhelming. To help you get your cleaning business started, we surveyed hundreds of veteran cleaners to help you create a list of must-have supplies.

So, without any further ado, let’s jump right in!

Get Greenlight in your inbox.

Join a community of 50,000+ small business owners and get insights and inspo every other week.

Essential cleaning supplies checklist

Being prepared to tackle any cleaning job means having a well-rounded arsenal of cleaning products and supplies. Your cleaning arsenal should include:

  • Disinfectant spray
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Refillable spray bottles
  • Degreaser
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Mop
  • Mop bucket
  • Duster
  • Waste bin liners
  • C-fold paper towels
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Disposable latex or plastic gloves
  • Facemasks

Top cleaning products

Regardless of whether you plan to focus on commercial or residential cleaning, there are some essential supplies that every cleaning business has to have in their arsenal. Per the cleaners we surveyed, these are:


Especially in light of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for surfaces (particularly those that come into contact with multiple people) to be thoroughly sanitized of all potential germs. A good disinfectant also helps protect yourself and your crew! Don’t forget hand sanitizer, gloves, and disinfectant wipes. If you do choose a bleach disinfectant, the CDC recommends that you only use bleach that contains 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite.

Readers’ picks:


Degreasers are purposefully formulated to remove grease, oil, and other stubborn substances from a variety of surfaces. Keep in mind that not all cleaners are considered degreasers. The top degreaser from our survey was Dawn Dish Soap, which can be used for way more than just the dishes.

Readers’ picks:

Eco-friendly products

Your clients and their homes will likely appreciate the fact that you use natural cleaning products and solutions. Eco-friendly products shouldn’t contain any harsh chemicals; instead, they should have a base of vinegar, baking soda, and/or lemon juice. Look for microfiber cloths and all-natural products but keep in mind the cost to you when pricing your cleaning services.

Readers’ picks:

Must-have cleaning equipment for your business

In addition to your top-of-the line cleaning solutions, there’s some equipment that you simply can’t do your job without, including:

Vacuum cleaner

A person’s home—particularly the communal areas—can quickly accrue dirt, dander, hair, soil, allergens, and a bunch of other debris on the floors and carpets. The most powerful cleaning weapon at your disposal is the vacuum cleaner. For that, you need a unit that’s mobile, effective, and has powerful suction on hard surfaces and carpets. When polled, our cleaners collectively preferred canister vacuums.

Readers’ picks:


Besides the broom, the mop is the oldest and most universal of cleaning accouterments. Ideally, you should have a dry mop for picking up dust, sand, and debris as well as a wet-mop to get a deep clean afterward.

Readers’ picks:


Dusters help quickly pick up debris build ups on the floors and surfaces of a home or office. The best products, such as the Swiffer Duster, function as both a mop and duster. Cleaners love dusters for their versatile use and cleaning even the hardest to reach places.

Readers’ Pick:

Cleaning supplies you may not have considered (but should!)

Now that we’ve covered the baseline equipment, there are some cleaning business supplies that you may not think of, but our cleaners have added to their tool kits over the years. Some of their lesser known, must-have supplies include:

Dusters with extensions for ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are often out of reach, which causes them to gather lots of dust. With cleaning extensions, you don’t have to climb up a rickety ladder to reach those tricky, high spots.

Cleaner pro tip: Cleaning ceiling fans is an added nice touch that customers appreciate. (You know what they say, a happy customer is a repeat customer!)

Bar Keepers Friend

This all-in-one cleaning product can clean every type of surface, even when nothing else you try seems to work. For decades, it’s been “once tried, always used” for kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and more.

Vapamore industrial steam cleaner

Want to reduce your use of cleaning chemicals? Steam cleaning harnesses pressure, temperature, and speed to provide a powerful deep clean for the entire home.

Cleaner pro tip: “It’ll reduce your chemical cost and reduce the time you spend cleaning both equal more money in your pocket.” – Seth Jones,, Thimble Customer


Have to deal with some tricky, sticky adhesives? Whether it’s tape, gum, wax, or any other sticky residue, Liftoff is the best adhesive remover on the market. Simply spray it on, let it sit, scrape it off, and then wipe it clean.

The Clorox ToiletWand

One of the least pleasant parts of cleaning is the bathroom and specifically the toilet. Fortunately, the toilet wand allows you to efficiently clean inside and around the toilet without having to touch it yourself. (Amen!) This handy tool kills germs while powering through tough stains.

Protect your cleaning business with insurance

Whether you work in industrial or residential cleaning, the job carries inherent risks. One of the best ways you can reduce the potential financial burdens of a legal claim is by purchasing the right type of cleaning business insurance. We didn’t ask about insurance specifically, but the cleaning pros surveyed add it as a must-have cleaning business supply! (We, of course, were thrilled to hear this!)

Stock up on cleaning business supplies & grow your business

As you prepare your shopping list for essential supplies, be sure to get your hands on some Zep Degreaser. In addition to that, no cleaning toolkit would be complete without a top-notch vacuum cleaner, mop, and duster. Finally, consider the various other cleaning supplies that are less known but still incredibly useful.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be fully prepared for any residential or commercial cleaning job that comes your way!

Written on November 13, 2020 | Last updated: November 17, 2021

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.