There's nothing more dreadful for me than cleaning the house, but I have to admit that if you have the right tools, cleaning your kitchen, living room or even the bathroom can be satisfying. Whether you're scrubbing, wiping, sweeping or vacuuming, the unique tools mentioned here can make cleaning a breeze. From sponges and rags to larger appliances and cleaners, there is no shortage of choices.
It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to be clean, either -- with the exception of one product, a $250 vacuum that performs as well as those that are nearly twice the price, each of the cleaning products listed here comes in at under $20.
More household cleaning tips
These tough-looking black sponges hold up to a lot of dishwashing abuse and promise not to scratch your dishes while you clean them.
One CNET editor said that these sponges make her actually want to do the dishes -- high praise indeed.
, pack of three
For stuck-on food, this versatile scrubber made from peach pits is perfect. It's a long strip of sandpaper-like material that you can bunch up to scrub and then stretch out to wash and dry. I've owned several and loved them.
, pack of two
You already know that you should be scraping -- not rinsing -- your dishes before they go into the dishwasher, right? These small scrapers are built for just that.
Bonus: They're also a good solution for getting rid of bits of stuck-on food from your pots, cast iron pans and stove top.
Pampered Chef Nylon Pan Scrapers, pack of three
The appliance that cleans your dishes needs cleaning too. Every so often run an empty cycle with one of the tablets in the detergent chamber to remove all the limescale, rust, grease and other gunk that can accumulate.
, six tablets
Garbage disposals do the hard work of breaking up food pieces and, over time, leftover bits of food can cause a nasty smell.
This foaming cleanser disinfects your disposal and drain, including that black splash guard that can get really gross.
, pack of eight
Sweeping the floor should be a daily task, especially if you have pets. If you're annoyed that most brooms bend and get gunky after you use them to clean, it's time to try a rubber broom. The flexible bristles easily pick up pretty much everything on your floor, plus it has a squeegee to wipe up spills.
Oh, and you can use it to get dog hair out of your carpet or rugs.
If you have a blender, juicer, food processor, coffee grinder or pretty much any other kitchen appliance, you know they can be a pain to clean. This set of cleaning brushes is designed to get into the nooks and crannies of pretty much any appliance you own.
You can also use them for general cleaning in the bathroom or kitchen.
When you don't want to use elbow grease to get your shower clean, these brushes are the answer for effective cleaning. They attach to a cordless drill (not included) to use its power to scrub anywhere in your house. Cleaning the bathroom has never been faster.
No power tools or just don't want to hurt your back scrubbing your tub? This cleaning pad on a stick extends to scrub away soap scum, dirt and stains from those far corners of your shower.
I doubt I have to convince you of the merits of the Magic Eraser. But in case you've never used them, these foam sponges clean away kitchen grime, soap scum, marks on your walls and dirt from pretty much anywhere in your house, all with a little water.
, set of nine
I've used many different microfiber cloths, but this one is my favorite because it's durable and doesn't leave streaks behind.
You can use it to wipe down counters and sop up spills, but cleaning mirrors and glass is where it really shines.
I am guilty of using disposable cup after disposable cup for water at the office because I hate washing my water bottle. These tablets are here to change that.
Plop one in your water bottle, add water and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes, and you'll have a sparkling clean bottle without any scrubbing.
Bottle Bright Tablets, pack of 12