The 5 best carpet cleaners in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Carpet cleaners for home use allow you to remove stains and dirt without having to call in a professional.
  • Some cleaners can be used on multiple surfaces such as upholstery, tile floors, and even in your car.
  • Our top pick, is lightweight, easy to use, and fast-drying, making it ideal for home use.

Pets, kids, and just general wear and tear can leave your carpeting looking lackluster, but hiring professional carpet cleaners can get expensive and time-consuming. Instead of calling the pros, buying a carpet cleaner can be a sound investment, keeping your carpet (and in some cases, your upholstery) in good shape. In the best cases, a good carpet cleaner can even buy you extra years before you have to recarpet.

We’ve evaluated and selected the best carpet cleaners for their overall performance, versatility, durability, ease of use, and value. The products in this guide can tackle stains, ground-in dirt, and more, leaving your carpeting looking refreshed and revitalized. They’re easy to operate right in your home and available at a variety of price points. There are even a few options that are suitable if you’re tight on space or just need a carpet cleaner that’s quick and easy to use.

Here are the best carpet cleaners in 2021

The best overall

Bissel carpet cleaner

Suitable for both carpeting and upholstery, the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro features an Express Clean Mode that can dry carpeting in as little as 30 minutes. 

Pros: Shorter drying-time option, dual brush rollers, removable roller cover, targeted spot pretreating, pet upholstery tool

Cons: Doesn’t include an actual heat function

The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro is a versatile carpet cleaner that can tackle carpeting, upholstery, and area rugs while also meeting the challenge of cleaning stains in homes with pets. Weighing just 19 pounds, this cleaner is easy to wheel through your home, and its 1-gallon tank capacity allows for plenty of continuous cleaning. It also has an 11-inch wide cleaning path that allows you to cover a significant area in a single pass.

The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro carpet cleaner has many features that make for easy use and impressive performance, and it’s designed to tackle stains with low physical exertion. It’s also designed for the challenges of cleaning up after pets. Its two-in-one handheld pet upholstery tool features both a dry and a wet mode to remove pet hair and odors. 

While you can use the Max Clean Mode for embedded dirt and stains, the Express Clean Mode provides a lighter, faster cleaning. According to Bissell, the Express Clean Mode can dry in as little as 30 minutes. This mode is ideal when you’re in a hurry or have to try to keep kids off of the carpet as it dries.

The handheld tool and the cleaner’s generously sized 8-foot hose can go where the body of this carpet cleaner can’t, allowing you to tackle upholstered furniture, tough-to-access spaces in your rooms, pet beds, vehicle upholstery, and more. 

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining the unit itself, the brush rollers feature a removable cover, allowing you to easily access the rollers for hair removal and maintenance.

The best for big jobs

Big Green carpet cleaner

The Bissell Big Green Machine Professional Carpet Cleaner with dual 1.75 gallon tanks offers serious stain-removing power to tackle big jobs.

Pros: Offers powerful cleaning, long-reach hose makes cleaning stairs easy, strong enough to remove deep stains, two generously sized tanks allow for longer cleaning between refills

Cons: A little bulky, heavy when filled with water

The Bissell Big Green Machine Professional Carpet Cleaner is a powerful carpet cleaner ideal for tackling cleaning jobs without having to rent a professional cleaner. This machine is equipped with an extra-large power brush, which scrubs and removes deeply embedded dirt and stains both as you push the unit forward and as you pull it backward, saving you time and maximizing efficiency.

With a cleaning path of 10.5 inches, it also allows you to quickly clean larger areas. When you pull the trigger on the handle, the cleaner sprays out a water-and-formula solution that the power brush scrubs into the carpet.

This Bissell Big Green Machine comes with a 25-foot cord and a 9-foot spot cleaning hose, allowing you to access tight spots like carpeted stairs. Its 6-inch-wide Tough Stain Tool allows you to spray and scrub stains in spots the main body unit can’t access, like upholstery, pet beds, and more.

The flow indicator allows you to monitor and recognize when it’s time to add water and detergent. This machine’s large capacity dual 1.75-gallon tanks allow you to clean an entire room before pausing to empty the dirty water tank and refill the clean water tank. Plus, the design of the cleaner, with an anti-tip wide base, helps to keep the machine stable.

While the Bissell Big Green Machine is powerful and similar to rental cleaners, it’s compact enough to be stored away in a closet. It’s one of the heavier carpet cleaners, though, weighing 41 pounds. 

The best on a budget

Hoover carpet cleaner

The Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner is lightweight and powerful, and while it’s full of features, it’s still offered at a highly affordable price.

Pros: Compact upright design saves space, lightweight, low profile foot allows you to clean underneath furniture and tight spaces

Cons: Smaller water reservoir requires frequent filling, some users found the cleaner doesn’t pick up enough water

If you’re living in an apartment or small house and only have occasional carpet cleaning needs, you don’t want a large, bulky carpet cleaner taking up valuable storage space. The Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner is compact, has an upright design, measuring 15.2 inches by 10.1 inches by 43.5 inches. It offers a 10-inch cleaning path and can hold up to half a gallon of clean water at a time, yet weighs only 12.5 pounds.

This cleaner is equipped with many valuable features that make it efficient and easy to use. One of its better features is the HeatForce, which applies hot air to the carpet that you’re cleaning to speed drying. It also has an antimicrobial SpinScrub Brush System, a patented system that is treated with antimicrobial materials. As the brushes rotate and clean dirt from the carpet, these antimicrobial materials help to keep odor and bacteria from developing in the brushes and in the carpet cleaner. 

The dual tank system is easy to fill, empty, and rinse and keeps the clean water separated from the dirty water for more effective cleaning. One of the most convenient designs is the low-profile foot, which allows you to fit this carpet cleaner underneath furniture to access stains almost anywhere.

The best steam cleaner

Dupray carpet cleaner

The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner utilizes the pressure of steam to offer chemical-free sanitization that can be used on floors, grout, and so much more.

Pros: Chemical-free cleaning, steamer operates on just tap water, heats up in seven minutes, works on multiple surfaces, backed by a two-year warranty, up to 50 minutes of cleaning time

Cons: No suction or vacuum function, steam can be dangerous so careful handling is needed, need to continuously hold down a button to operate steam function

The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner brings the power of steam cleaning to your home at an affordable price. In just seven minutes, this unit heats steam to 275 degrees, allowing you to quickly get cleaning. This low-moisture steam works on all surfaces, including floors, furniture, mattresses, ceramic and tiles, grout, and even car interiors. It’s more than just a carpet cleaner, and its versatile design makes it suitable for use throughout many areas in your home. 

This steam cleaner cleans, disinfects, sanitizes, degreases, and deodorizes without using chemicals, relying instead on the cleaning power of pressurized steam. Steam cleaning can loosen dirt and kill threatening substances like dust mites, bacteria, mold, and allergens. Additionally, the hot steam dries quickly. Because this cleaner uses just water, you also don’t have to worry about buying (or running out) of cleaning products. 

You can operate the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner with just tap water and it offers up to 50 minutes of continuous cleaning time. This 18-piece kit includes everything you need to do a full-house cleaning, including a rectangular floor tool, three microfiber pads, a window tool, two extension tubes, one lance, one microfiber cloth, one triangular tool, one triangular tool microfiber bonnet, five nylon brushes, one brass brush, and one AddFresh Fragrance Disc.

The unit weighs just 9 pounds and is on wheels, so you can roll it through the house. It also features a 16-foot power cord and a 6.5-foot steam hose, allowing you easier access to hard-to-reach spaces.

The best portable carpet cleaner

Bissell pet cleaner

Weighing under 5 pounds, the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Portable Cordless Carpet Cleaner is compact, versatile, and easily portable.

Pros: Cordless and lightweight design; ideal for removing pet stains; built-in scrub brush; versatile enough to use on carpets, upholstery, and auto interiors

Cons: Requires recharging, doesn’t include any power scrubbing features, limited capacity means it’s best for small jobs

Rather than lugging out a heavy carpet cleaner, the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Portable Cordless Carpet Cleaner gives you cleaning power that’s easily portable. Weighing only 4.6 pounds, this little cleaner can go just about anywhere, meaning it can clean stains on carpeted stairs, upholstery, area rugs, and vehicle interiors. It’s cordless and battery-powered, further adding to its agility, and makes cleaning stains an easy, fast process.  

This carpet cleaner may be small, but it still does a great job of cleaning up stains. Just spray the cleaning solution, use the built-in scrubber, and then suction the cleaner and stain out of the carpet. You can store the cleaning solution right in the machine, so it’s always ready to go. The fully charged battery offers up to 15 minutes of use, and recharging takes about four hours. 

This Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Carpet Cleaner is a go-to in my house. I can tuck it away in a closet until I need it. I particularly like that I can fit it underneath furniture like tables, making it easy to clean up small messes on my rugs without having to move any furniture.

Check out our other great cleaning guides

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The 4 best stainless steel cleaners for appliances and kitchenware in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Stainless steel home appliances are durable, but are susceptible to fingerprints, streaks, and smudges.
  • A good stainless steel cleaner is gentle on appliances and doesn’t leave spots behind.
  • We’ve selected the best stainless steel cleaners including wipes, aerosols, natural cleaners, and more.

Stainless steel is extremely durable and resistant to water damage and rust. But it can also show every fingerprint, smudge, and water spot that is not properly wiped away. If you use the wrong type of cleaner, there is no way to restore the finish.

Ammonia, chlorine bleach, and oven cleaner are all particularly damaging, as are scouring powders and steel wool. And if you live in an area with extremely hard water, the minerals will leave spots. In other words, despite its hardiness, stainless steel requires a high level of upkeep.  

For tougher stains, I need to call in backup. Luckily, I’ve tested enough stainless steel cleaning products to determine which ones get the job done. 

Here are the best stainless steel cleaners in 2021

The best cleaning wipes for stainless steel

Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes

Perfect for tight spaces and quick cleanups, Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes quickly make fingerprints vanish.

Pros: Wipes conform to tight spaces, useful for quick clean-ups, disposable, removes fingerprints and smudges

Cons: Darkens some types of metal like aluminum, wipes will dry out quickly if the canister is not properly closed

Any surface is easy to clean if you do it frequently, and this rule applies to stainless steel. In between deep cleaning, Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes are perfect for quick, everyday cleanups like cooking splatters and fingerprints on refrigerator doors.

The wipes are offered in a convenient, resealable pop-top canister to keep them from drying out — similar to other household cleaning wipes you may already have. To use, simply wipe in the direction of the metal’s grain and then buff with a soft, dry cloth to prevent streaks. Smudges, water spots, and stains will be gone.

I also love to use these wipes to remove greasy smears and splatters on my outdoor grill. And nothing will fit into the tight spot where handles join a stainless-steel panel like Weiman Wipes. When I attempt to clean those spots with some liquid cleaners, the cleaner runs down the panel before I can get my cloth in there to clean.

The best aerosol cleaner for stainless steel

CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner

With just one spray, CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner will leave stainless steel clean and streak-free — no buffing needed.

Pros: One-step cleaning, works well to remove smudges

Cons: Petroleum-based product, should never be used near a gas flame or hot appliance

Almost every stainless steel cleaner recommends using the product to clean away smudges and stains and then coming back with a soft, dry cloth to buff away any streaks the cleaner has left behind. With CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner, the second step is eliminated — no buffing is needed.

My microwave is mounted at eye-level which means the top of the appliance is above my head. Cleaning anything above my head is not a favorite chore so I like a one-step process. Just a good shake of the can, a quick spray with the cleaner, and one pass with a microfiber cloth leaves the finish shiny and streak-free.

While the product is scented, it is very light and dissipates quickly. The steel can is also recyclable.

The best natural cleaner for stainless steel

Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish

Developed with plant-based ingredients, Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is safe to use around children and pets.

Pros: Plant-based formula, safe to use around children and pets, leaves appliances clean and streak-free

Cons: Most expensive stainless steel cleaner per use, not readily available in mass-market stores

With a gentle herbal scent and plant-based ingredients, Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is an excellent choice if someone in your home has chemical sensitivities. The company makes one of the few stainless-steel cleaners that actually list every ingredient on the label: filtered water, coconut oil, sorbitan monooleate (emulsifier), lavender vanilla essential oil blend, acrylates copolymer (emulsifier), and methylisothiazolinone (preservative).

The starter kit includes a 16-ounce spray bottle of the cleaner and a 14-by-14-inch microfiber cloth. Simply spray on the solution and, working with the grain of the metal, wipe away grime and smudges. Finish by buffing with a dry area of the microfiber cloth. After cleaning, a bit of the coconut oil remains on the surface to protect the shine and repel fingerprints.

Therapy is formulated to use on refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, sinks, outdoor grills, and microwaves. It should be noted that Therapy is slightly more expensive than the other cleaners on this list. 

The best homemade solution for stainless steel

Heinz Cleaning Vinegar and Oilve Oil

Using household ingredients like Heinz Cleaning Vinegar and Pompeian Pure Olive Oil can leave stainless steel appliances streak-free.

Pros: Cleans stainless steel using natural ingredients, inexpensive to use, can be used to clean many other surfaces around the house

Cons: Vinegar aroma

Is there anything that vinegar can’t clean? If you don’t mind the scent of vinegar and have a little leftover oil in the kitchen, your stainless-steel appliances will gleam after using this simple mixture.

I’m recommending Heinz Cleaning Vinegar because it is slightly more acidic than regular white distilled vinegar, which makes it more effective in removing grease and food splatters. I keep it in a labeled spray bottle to make cleaning easier. Just spritz the vinegar onto the surface of the stainless steel and wipe the appliance down using a microfiber cloth (following the grain of the metal, of course). You will be amazed at how clean it looks.

Then, to help protect the finish from holding onto every single fingerprint (and nose-print from the dog), use just a teeny bit of Pompeian Pure Olive Oil on a soft cloth for a final coating. You can actually use any type of oil you have on hand; mineral oil, vegetable oil, even WD-40. The key to success is using as little oil as possible (and, again, buffing it in with a microfiber cloth). 

Tips for keeping stainless steel appliances clean

Wipe appliances down regularly between deeper cleanings

Since equipping my kitchen with stainless steel appliances, I have been testing various cleaning products and techniques. One tip I swear by is wiping down the appliances daily with just a dry microfiber cloth; often, this allows me to skip other cleaning products altogether.

Wipe with the grain

Like wood, stainless steel has a grain so always wipe with it, not against it.

Always use a microfiber cloth 

Using a microfiber cloth instead of paper towels is also another helpful tip as these cloths reduce streaks and pick up small food particles and dust. Simply spray the cleaner directly on the appliances surface and wipe for an easy streak free shine. 

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The 5 best dusters in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The average home accumulates about 40 pounds of dust each year, making a duster a must have.
  • A great duster removes dust quickly and easily, and can get to those hard-to-reach places.
  • Our top pick by OXO will help remove dust from your home and help you breathe easier.

While I would like to say that the dust and cobwebs in my home are early Halloween decorations, that line doesn’t work most of the year. Dust just seems to accumulate at an extraordinary rate. That’s not surprising when you consider how dust originates.

Those 40 pounds of dust that settle in your home each year are a combination of pollen, human and pet dander, dead skin cells, dust mites and insect droppings, soil, food crumbs, and particulates in the air. The more people and pets in your home and the more often the doors and windows open, the more dust you’re going to have.

Even if you claim to love the patina of dust-covered surfaces, there are plenty of good reasons to remove the dust. When we breathe in dust particles, depending on the type of particulate, our respiratory tracts respond. Some particles are fairly benign and cause mild allergic reactions like sneezing and a runny nose. Other particles can trigger asthma which severely affects breathing.

Even with diligent cleaning, there will still be dust, so it’s a good idea to buy a duster. We’ve done the research and testing to find the best dusters.

Here are the best dusters in 2021

The best duster overall

oxo duster

The OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster traps dust easily, extends and adjusts to reach high surfaces, and can be washed for years of reuse.

Pros: Microfiber duster head traps and holds dust, machine-washable head, aluminum extender handle reaches from 27 to 54 inches, replacement heads available

Cons: Duster head will shed fibers unless washed first

As a woman who is both short in stature and always watching expenditures, the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster is my duster of choice. My favorite thing is that after dusting, I can remove the head and toss it in the washer so I can start each dusting session with a clean duster. The washable head means no additional expense and no excuses to put off cleaning because I’m out of disposable duster heads.

With a sturdy, but lightweight, handle with a comfortable grip, the duster can stretch from 27 to 54 inches. The duster head rotates 270 degrees and can be locked into place at multiple angles. Since the duster head has microfibers on each side to capture dust, you can simply switch the angle and continue dusting when one side is heavily soiled.

Microfiber is made from polyamide (nylon) and polyester and creates an electrostatic fabric that attracts dust. The dust is then trapped in the many, tiny fibers until you use laundry detergent and water to flush them away. Because of the way microfiber is manufactured, you may see lint or loose fibers at first on the duster. Just rinse the head under cold water and give it a good shake before drying. The lint will be gone.

To keep your duster in top-shape, avoid bleach that can damage fibers and fabric softeners and dryer sheets that coat the fibers and lower their ability to trap dust. I find that air-drying the head works best.

The best disposable duster

swiffer

With its 360-degree duster surface that has more fibers and an extendable handle, the Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters with Extender Handle is a hard-working disposable duster.

Pros: Disposable, lightweight, fits into tight spots to trap dust, extendable handle reaches three feet, dusting head locks into place

Cons: Replacement dusters can become expensive

When I want to use a disposable duster, I turn to Swiffer. I’ve tried every brand on the market and the Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters with Extender Handle is the very best one I’ve found.

Because there are more electrostatic fibers on the duster head, I find the Swiffer Heavy Duty Duster picks up twice as much dust as other brands. The sturdy plastic extender handle expands from about 15 to 36 inches plus the 8-inch duster head. The head can be locked into four different angles to clean hard-to-reach surfaces.

This starter kit comes with one handle and 12 dusters. The disposable dusters are easy to find online and in many stores; however, a heavy-duty duster refill costs around $1.00 each.

I like Swiffer for dusting “knick-knacks” on mantels and shelves. The duster is flexible enough that I don’t have to move each small item every time I want to capture the dust. I also use it in my car to reach those tight spaces in the corners between the windshield and dashboard and all the little nooks and crannies of air-vents.

The best lambswool duster

Norpro duster

The Norpro Pure Lambswool Duster acts as a natural magnet for dust, comes from a renewable source, and will last for years.

Pros: Natural fibers, a renewable material source, picks up dust easily, reusable, lasts for many years

Cons: Handle is not extendable

If you prefer a natural fiber duster, then lambswool is an excellent choice. Many man-made fibers were developed to mimic the characteristics of wool fibers. The qualities of wool fibers and the lanolin they contain make them a natural magnet for dust and amazingly strong.

Wool has an inner cortex that is elastic and resilient to damage meaning the fiber can be bent more than 20,000 times without breaking. The cortex is covered with the cuticle layer that is composed of hundreds of microscopic overlapping scales. The scales create tiny pockets that trap and hold dust particles. Finally, the scales are covered by a thin protective film called the epicuticle that makes the fibers resistant to abrasion on even the most delicate surfaces.

If you decide on a wool duster, look no further than the Norpro Pure Lambswool Duster. I was introduced to the Norpro line while in college and still have the duster I purchased then these many years later. The dusters are available in 12-, 24-, and 48-inch lengths. The head is around 12 inches long and seven inches wide when fluffed. The handle is wooden with a leather loop for hanging.

When you have finished a dusting session, simply step outside and spin the handle between your hands to release the dust. (Consider wearing a dust mask while you do to avoid breathing in the dust particles.) If the head becomes excessively soiled, it can be hand washed with cool water and a gentle detergent. Give the head a good spin to fluff the fibers and then allow the duster to air dry.

If you are ready to lessen your dependence on plastics and choose a natural fiber, Norpro Lambswool is an excellent choice.

The best duster for tight spaces

OXO under appliance duster

One glance under your kitchen and laundry room appliances and you’ll know why you need the OXO Good Grips Under Appliance Microfiber Duster.

Pros: Slim profile and flexible handle fit under appliances and in tight spaces, the duster head is removable for washing, reusable

Cons: Duster head can shed if not washed before the first use

After an embarrassing moment when the refrigerator had to be moved to retrieve some dropped jewelry, I discovered the OXO Good Grips Under Appliance Microfiber Duster. It is the perfect dusting tool. I simply can’t move some appliances and furniture during weekly cleaning, but a few swipes with the OXO Under Appliance Duster and I can feel satisfied that my house is cleaner.

You may say, “who cares” about the hidden dust. Unfortunately, it can be a breeding ground for insects and can even hinder the proper operation of an appliance. Dust and lint under a refrigerator can clog the circulating fan and cause it to overheat and fail. With a clothes dryer, excessive lint can cause a fire, especially with gas dryers. It’s not all a vanity thing.

The OXO Under Appliance Duster has a microfiber head that is removable for easy cleaning in the washer. The duster head flexes so it can conform to tight spaces and the 33.5-inch length will reach the back of most deep appliances, cabinets, and furniture. The duster head can be removed and washed for reuse.

The best duster for window blinds

window blind duster

If you want to remove dust from window blinds and shutters more quickly, the Hiware Window Blind Cleaner Duster is for you.

Pros: Cleans window blinds, indoor shutters, and air vents thoroughly, comes with five duster heads, washable, reusable, can be used with cleaning solution if needed

Cons: Microfiber can shed if not rinsed before first use

I have white wooden blinds on every window in my home. They are great for privacy and to shut out the heat of the sun but they do love dust. They must love it because it is always there. I’ve tried other types of dusters to get rid of the dust that clings to both sides of each slat but just when I thought I had all the dust removed, I’d see it clinging to a slat I missed. Then I found Hiware Window Blind Cleaner Duster.

This ingenious little contraption has a study 3-pronged plastic handle and microfiber “gloves” that slip over the prongs. I can dust the top and bottoms of blinds at the same time! To get the best results, give the flexible handle a little squeeze to get good contact with the slat surfaces.

Since there are five microfiber cloths included, when one gets soiled I can just slip on a fresh one and keep dusting. At the end of the job, all the cloths go in the washer and I can start again tomorrow.

FAQs

How do you reduce dust in your home?

In addition to looking for the most effective, easiest to use, and the best value in dusters, there are also other steps you can take to lower the amount of dust in your home.

  • Declutter: The less “stuff” you have in your home to accumulate dust, the less dust there will be.
  • Clean from the top down: When you’re ready to clean, start at the top of the room and do the floors last so you can capture all of the dust that settles there. No need to dust twice.
  • Wash bedding weekly: We spend hours and hours in a bed and within a week bedding accumulates a great deal of human and pet dander, dust mites, and dead skin. Washing is a simple way to get rid of the problem.
  • Remove your shoes at the door: Around 60% of dust particles come from outside and removing shoes dramatically reduces the amount of dust in a home.
  • Lower the humidity: Keeping interior humidity levels around 40% will reduce the number of moisture-loving dust mites.
  • Change your air filters: Fresh filters in your HVAC system will trap more dust and keep your system running more efficiently.
  • Bathe and groom pets: A clean animal sheds less dander and hair.
  • Vacuum regularly: Keep floors clean with a good vacuum that has a HEPA filter to trap the smallest dust particles.

Are reusable dusters or disposable dusters better for removing dust?

The choice of whether to use a reusable duster such as the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster or a disposable duster such as the Swiffer Heavy Duty Duster, mostly breaks down to cost and personal preference. Reusable dusters offer a significantly cheaper alternative to dusting while disposable dusters must be replaced after each use. Both options work very similarly, when it comes to removing dust as they both are made of special fibers that grip dust easily and efficiently.

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The best mops in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Keeping your home clean includes the floors, and that means mopping. 
  • Libman Spin Mop and Bucket is our top pick because it works in kitchens, bathrooms, and mudrooms, and can help keep wood floors gleaming.
  • For more info on the right type of cleaner to use on your flooring, check out our guide to the best floor cleaners for wood, vinyl, tile, and more.

To keep your home sparkling clean, you have to mop your floors. Of course, that’s often a dreaded chore.

You should always sweep or vacuum first to pick up small debris and dust so you’re not just moving dirt around with your mop later. It also helps to mop weekly so it’s more like maintenance work as opposed to a big undertaking. But the best way to make mopping easier is to have a good mop that actually gets the job done.

A quality mop should make quick work of even sticky floors, be easy to use, and ideally, have a removable head so it can be washed and disinfected to keep bacteria from growing. In fact, if your mop ever smells bad or looks particularly grimy, don’t use it.

All of the floors in my home require mopping, so I’ve been testing mops and cleaning products for decades. I’ve also been a home economist for companies and publications, so I’m always looking for the most effective and easiest to use products. 

Here are the best mops

Updated 1/14/21. We updated prices, links, and formatting. We’ve also included an additional mop we’re looking forward to testing for a future update of this guide.

The best overall

Libman Spin mop

With the Libman Spin Mop and Bucket you can clean every hard surface floor in your home with the same mop, from dry-dusting hardwood to wet mopping sticky kitchen messes.

Pros: Simple to use for all hard surface floors, hands never have to touch water, easy to assemble, removable and replaceable mop head

Cons: Plastic lever can break if used with excessive force

If you have multiple types of hard surface floors to clean in your home, it can be expensive to buy several different mops and frustrating to store them. With the Libman Spin Mop and Bucket, you can clean every floor with just one mop.

Libman combined a deep-cleaning microfiber mop and a mop bucket with a stainless-steel spin chamber to give you everything you need for mopping. The microfiber mop works great as both a dry-dust mop and a slightly damp mop for hardwood floors. Then, with the right cleaning solution, it’s perfect for scrubbing dirty floors in the bathroom and kitchen. The head is removable from the handle and can go straight into the washing machine to be cleaned.

I’m particularly impressed with the durable, adjustable stainless-steel mop handle and the stainless-steel spin bucket. Other brands have plastic components that are more prone to breaking.

With the lever system to activate the spinning mechanism, my hands never have to touch the mopping water, and I can adjust the amount of moisture left in the mop head. I’ve been using it for many months with no issues, but it’s good to know that replacement mop heads are available if this one ever wears out.

The best on a budget

Libman Wonder mop

Want clean floors without breaking the bank? Libman Wonder Mop uses microfiber strips, wrings out easily (but keeps hands dry), and is easy on the wallet.

Pros: Microfiber head is removable and machine washable, wringing action keeps hands dry, can be used wet or dry, the mop head is replaceable

Cons: Wringer can be difficult for someone with limited hand and wrist movement

If you are looking for a good, basic mop, the Libman Wonder Mop is inexpensive but durable.

Despite the multiple components of the mop, it’s also quite compact. The mop head can be removed and tossed in the washer for a good cleaning, the built-in wringer keeps your hands out of the cleaning solution, though it’s not ideal for anyone with limited mobility or movement.

I’ve owned a Wonder Mop for many years and found an amazing number of ways to use it beyond mopping the floor. Since the head is made of microfiber that attracts dust, I pull down the wringer sleeve to shorten the mop fibers into something resembling a stiff brush. I then use the mop to reach corners that seem to attract every spider web and insect possible. I’ve used the mop to absorb water from ice chests and to capture spills in car trunks. All this in addition to actually mopping floors.

Since I use it so often, I buy a couple of replacement heads so I can always be sure to have an extra for non-mopping use. When I do use it for regular mopping, I find that with hot water and a good floor cleaner, the mop does a very good job.

The best for wood floors

Swiffer Wet Jet wood

The easy to use Swiffer WetJet Wood Mopping Kit gives you everything you need for shiny, streak-free wood floors.

Pros: Compact, all-in-one mop and floor cleaner, cleaning solutions for other types of floors are interchangeable, refills are simple to find, great customer service

Cons: Spray nozzles can become clogged if the mop isn’t used regularly, cleaning pads aren’t reusable, pricier to maintain

Whether you have solid hardwood or engineered hardwood floors, the Swiffer WetJet Wood Mop will make cleaning them a breeze. With disposable cleaning pads and an all-in-one mop and cleaning solution, it’s a no-mess, no-fuss cleaning system.

Hardwood floors can easily be ruined if you don’t clean them correctly. They don’t stand up well to regular mopping with a strong cleaner and lots of water. Instead, when muddy tracks and spills happen, a delicate touch is best. As with any floor, they must be swept, vacuumed, or dry-dusted before any cleaning with a mop.

I love the Swiffer WetJet Wood Mopping Kit for many reasons. The pads are disposable so I can begin each cleaning session with a fresh surface. The cleaning solution is “built-in” to the mop so with just a touch of the battery-operated micro-mist spray, I can add the solution to the floor while I mop. And, as a bonus, the nozzles are illuminated so I can see just how much solution is hitting the floor and check if the area is dry after mopping.

With the Swiffer WetJet Wood Kit, you get the power mop, five mopping pads, a bottle of wood floor cleaner, and four batteries. You can easily buy refill bottles and pads and there are cleaning solutions for other types of floors like vinyl, stone, and ceramic tile.

If you have problems with the Swiffer WetJet, Procter & Gamble’s customer service is very helpful with tips to get you mopping again.

The best for ceramic tile floors

Libman Nitty Gritty mop

The grout between ceramic tiles is the toughest part of the floor to clean unless you have the Libman Nitty Gritty Roller Mop with Scrub Brush.

Pros: Built-in scrub brush with sponge mop head, simple to use, rollers for squeezing out water

Cons: Sponge mop heads usually do not last as long as microfiber

Ceramic tile floors in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and mudrooms are probably the easiest floors to clean. The tile doesn’t absorb stains, doesn’t scratch easily, and stands up to harsh cleaners. But just to make your life a bit more challenging, the tiles are put together with grout. Grout absorbs stains and doesn’t react well to harsh cleaners that can make it become brittle and crack.  

Enter the Libman Nitty Gritty Roller Mop with Scrub Brush. The soft absorbent sponge roller with textured cleaning pads works great to remove spills and surface dirt on the tile. Then, the built-in scrub brush can be used to get rid of the grime on the grout without having to get on your hands and knees to scrub.

To get your grout clean, I dampen the floor and sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the stained areas before scrubbing with the mop brush. Then pull the handle to activate the rollers and squeeze out the water back into a bucket or utility sink, and use the damp sponge mop to lift away the baking soda and dirt. Again, what I love is not having to get my hands wet with the dirty mopping solution.  

The best with disposable pads

Swiffer sweeper

If you don’t have space for a broom, mop, and bucket, the Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet is a good choice. 

Pros: Simple to use, no additional floor cleaner or water solution needed, refill pads readily available

Cons: Does not clean heavy soil effectively, refills can be costly

The best mopping results come from getting rid of dry loose dirt and hair first before you wet mop. With the Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Mopping kit, you have everything you need at hand to take care of hard surface floors. The kit comes with a lightweight, easy-to-assemble sweeper, seven dry disposable cloths, and three wet disposable cloths.

I’ll say upfront that the Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Mopping is not going to tackle floors that are really dirty. If you have lots of pets and kids who leave muddy footprints and spills, you need a heavy-duty mop. But, for light soil and quick cleanups, this is the ticket. There is no fuss, no mop bucket, and no need for additional cleaning solutions. I use mine all the time in my guest bedrooms and bathroom that don’t get daily use.

Once you buy the starter kit, refills are available everywhere. Swiffer just introduced Heavy Duty Wet Pads and Dry Pads refills that trap even more soil if you have been lax between cleanings.

What we’re looking forward to testing

We’re constantly testing new mops, so here’s what we’re looking forward to testing:

Rejuvenate: They make stick mop and cleaning systems that are similar to Swiffer, though the microfiber cleaning pads can be washed and reused. There are also different colored pads for dry dusting, wet mopping, and polishing so it’s easier to keep track of each one’s purpose. 

Check out our other great cleaning guides

OdorKlenz Laundry Additive
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How to clean your AirPods and their case to improve audio quality and kill germs

  • To clean your AirPods, you’ll need a lint-free cloth, some water and alcohol, and a fine-edged tool like a toothpick to dig out earwax.
  • Cleaning your AirPods can help them sound better, as well as reduce the amount of germs you’re touching each day.
  • When cleaning your AirPods and their case, be careful not to get water or alcohol inside the devices.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

AirPods are probably the most popular earbuds on the market right now, especially for iPhone users. But like all earbuds – and all devices – over time they get dirty, and will need to be cleaned.

Not only do AirPods get clogged up with earwax, but there’s also the grime they accumulate when they’re lost under your car seat. And of course, anything that you touch every day will fill up with germs and grease anyway.

Fortunately, cleaning your AirPods and their case is easy.

To clean your AirPods and their case, you’ll need at least one lint-free cloth, some water, and a fine-edged tool like a toothpick or pin. If there are dirty spots that won’t come out, you might also need some rubbing alcohol.

How to clean your AirPods

The earbuds

To clean the earbuds, you’ll need a soft lint-free cloth, and a tool with a fine end. 

For the cloth, we recommend buying a “microfiber” cloth. The fine-edged tool can be a toothpick, dental floss stick, bobby pin, needle, or another household item – if you don’t want to use something sharp, a cotton swab works too.

1. Wipe the outside of the earbuds with the lint-free cloth, lightly dampened with water.

2. Use another dry lint-free cloth to dry the earbuds, being careful not to get liquid in any of the openings.

How to Clean AirPods
You don’t need to soak the cloth – just slightly dampen it.

3. To tackle earwax that’s stuck in the earbuds’ speaker hole, grab your fine-edged tool or dry cotton swab. Carefully dig out the earwax, making sure to focus around the edges of the speaker. If you’re using a sharp object, be careful not to cut yourself or pierce the speaker.

How to clean airpods 2
Wax gathers easily around the edges of the speaker.

If you have AirPods Pro, you’ll also need to clean the silicone tips that cover each earbud’s speaker.

1. Remove the silicone tips that cover your AirPods Pro earbuds and rinse them in water. Don’t add soap, or any other household cleaner.

2. Wipe them dry with a soft, lint-free cloth, making sure they’re totally dry.

3. Once they’re dry, reattach them to the AirPods.

How to clean airpods 3
You’ll need to invert the earbud tip when you put it back on.

The case

Before you clean the AirPods’ case, remove the AirPods.

1. Use a dry lint-free cloth to wipe the outside of the case. For tougher spots, you can dampen the cloth a bit with alcohol, but be sure to dry the spots afterwards. Make sure not to get any moisture inside the case’s AirPod holders, or in the charging port.

2. To remove debris from the charging port, use a soft bristle brush.

How to clean AirPods 4
You don’t want to pierce the charging port, or get it wet.

3. To clean the inside of the case, use a soft bristle brush or a soft toothbrush – the bristles will help dig dirt out of the nooks and crannies inside of the case.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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