The Best Home Cleaning and Care Products of 2024

The Best Home Cleaning and Care Products of 2024

Healthy living

The 2024 SELF Healthy Home Awards: 35 Essentials That’ll Keep Your Space Clean and Cozy

Introducing the winners of SELF’s first-ever Healthy Home Awards.

healthy living SELF Healthy Home Award winners

Photographer: Ryan Segedi

All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

It’s often the practical workhorses that make a house truly feel like a cozy home: the laundry detergent that leaves your towels feeling extra fluffy; the warm white bulbs that cast a flattering glow over an entire room; and the reliable disinfectants that keep your space feeling clean and safe. But with so many home care and cleaning items out there, choosing the perfect products that really, truly work can be challenging.

That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce SELF’s first-ever Healthy Home Awards. Over the last few months, our diverse group of testers (including new parents tackling baby messes; New Yorkers cramped in tiny apartments; and pet owners managing smelly surprises from their furry friends) put 124 items through the wringer. After some serious scrubbing and washing—and consulting with a group of sanitation and home care experts—we’ve crowned 35 winners that can help you stay healthy around the house. (You can learn more about how we picked the winners here.)

Without further ado, meet the germ, dust, and grime fighters that wiped out the competition, and swept us off our feet. (Yes, puns intended.)

Jump ahead!


Photographer: Ryan Segedi

Healthy living Kitchen

Grove Co. Dish Soap

Why we love it: This dish soap proves you don’t have to spend a ton of money to feel a little bougie. Say goodbye to pasta sauce splatters and sticky peanut butter residue, and hello to a cleaning staple that also looks cute sitting by your sink.

One tester said: “I hand-wash any and all plastic cups, plates, chopping knives, and nonstick cookware, and this product was great for everything. It even removed some half-burned beans and rice from a pot with minimal scrubbing. I was seriously impressed!”

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray

Dawn

Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray

Why we love it: TikTok swears by this stuff, and now we can confidently say Dawn’s miracle worker truly lives up to the hype. Hand-washing dirty dishes truly couldn’t get any easier: Just spray and wipe—that’s it!—to get rid of crusted-on oatmeal bits or coffee stains on your favorite mug.

One tester said: “This is a Sunday reset DREAM! It works great for nonstick pans that may or may not be a bit past their prime. I recommend this to anyone looking to elevate their dish-cleaning game.”

Dirty Labs Bio Enzyme Dishwasher Detergent

Dirty Labs

Bio Enzyme Dishwasher Detergent

Why we love it: To start with the obvious, Dirty Labs’ Bio Enzyme detergent packaging is really cute—and, despite costing less than $20, feels way more high-end than your average plastic bag of pods. Another bonus? It comes with a charming wooden scooper, which measures the exact amount of product you need for a load of dishes (just use one scoop for regular rinses, and two for heavy-duty cleans).

One tester said: “I historically rely on flimsy little pods (which have discolored my cutting boards, by the way). But I didn’t realize how much more effective a powder detergent can be—especially this one. My glassware looked as good as new. Definitely buying again!”

Cascade Platinum Plus ActionPacs – Fresh Scent

Cascade

Platinum Plus ActionPacs™ – Fresh Scent

Why we love it: Testers were blown away by this little pod’s ability to wipe away last night’s dinner remnants—even on dishes that weren’t rinsed before being tossed into the dishwasher. And thanks to Cascade’s subtle (emphasis on the subtle!) lemon scent, our testers reported that their dishes smelled goodlong after each cycle.

One tester said: “I always get weirded out by strong, artificial chemical smells lingering on my dinnerware, so I loved that these pods had a more natural and pleasant scent. I have yet to find a dish that wasn’t 100% clean after running the washer with these!”

Scrub Daddy Color Sponge

Scrub Daddy

Scratch-Free Multipurpose Dish Sponges

Why we love it: You’ve probably seen Scrub Daddy somewhere—on Shark Tank, TikTok, or at your local grocery store. They’re undeniably cute, but what really makes them stand out from other sponges? Their texture changes based on water temperature, staying firm in cold water for deep scrubbing and becoming soft in warm water for gentle wiping. They also dry quickly, which one expert tells SELF is great for avoiding mold and pathogen growth in your food prep area.

One tester said: “I never knew I could feel so deeply about a sponge! It’s effective without much effort and never leaves scratches. Overall, it’s really durable and fun to use.”

Photographer: Ryan Segedi

Branch Basics The Concentrate

Branch Basics

The Concentrate

Why we love it: Branch Basics’ versatile product seriously lives up to its all-purpose claim. Need a glass cleaner for your mirrors? You got it. Laundry detergent? Check! Shower spray? Absolutely. After mixing some of the Concentrate with water (don’t worry—the brand has plenty of resources with recommended proportions for any type of cleaning), you’ll have everything you need for a sparkling home.

One tester said: “We’ve been using nothing but the Concentrate as our counter spray for several months, and we still have one-third of the bottle left. There’s the first win—it’s SO economical. Overall, I’m always happy to use this product: It most certainly makes my life easier.”

Method All-Purpose Cleaner: Concentrates Starter Kit

method

All-Purpose Cleaner: Concentrates Starter Kit

Why we love it: Method’s all-purpose concentrate is the perfect pick for anyone who wants a spotless home with a little less waste: The handy starter kit includes recyclable containers of concentrate and a colorful aluminum spray bottle you can refill and reuse time and time again.

One tester said: “I use this cleaner for my grossest tasks, and the grapefruit scent makes my bathroom feel like an upscale spa.”

Simple Human 45 Liter / 12 Gallon Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can

Simple Human

45 Liter / 12 Gallon Rectangular Hands-Free Kitchen Step Trash Can with Soft-Close Lid, Brushed Stainless Steel

Why we love it: Trash cans are something we rely on daily. A subpar one can be downright annoying and get gross quickly. Enter this cleverly designed option from Simple Human: Just step on the pedal, toss in your garbage, and that’s it—no loud clangs or lingering odors. Bonus: It has a hidden back panel to store the extra bags.

One tester said: “This is just an all-star that makes one of the nastiest spots in your kitchen so much more pleasant! I also love that it doesn’t show fingerprints, unlike every other stainless steel appliance I have.”

Koala Eco Hand Wash

Why we love it: With a refreshing blend of lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary, this winner will leave your hands dirt-free, hydrated, and smelling like a dream. It’ll impress your house guests, sure, but acts as a lovely little treat for you too.

One tester said: “Eucalyptus always feels refreshing, and this didn’t disappoint. A surprising bonus is my hands didn’t feel dry after using it. This is a new must-have!”

Homecourt Mandarin Basile Hand Wash

court

Mandarin Basile Hand Wash

Why we love it: Of all the products we tested for these awards, Homecourt’s hand wash is the only one to receive a perfect 10 from every reviewer—and it’s no surprise why. Yes, it’s pricey (so you may want to only pull it out for special occasions and guests), but its sexy black bottle, herb-garden-in-the-summer scent, and hydrating ingredients will make your builder-grade bathroom feel like a swanky hotel bar.

One tester said: “The small things truly make a difference, and this hand soap is a perfect example of that. Suddenly, the most mundane task is a sensory delight: This soap smells exactly like oranges and basil. It lathers well, leaves my hands feeling clean, and looks lovely on my counter too.”

Everyone for Every Body Hand Soap

Everyone For Every Body

Hand Soap

Why we love it: Your hands will feel squeaky clean and irresistibly soft, thanks to moisturizing ingredients like vitamin E. Plus, there are a ton of subtle yet refreshing scents to choose from, like pacific eucalyptus, ruby grapefruit, or spearmint and lemongrass.

One tester said: “This has been our go-to for a few years now. The quality feels unmatched for the low price, and it’s the kind of must-have we buy over and over again—a true grocery list staple.”

Photographer: Ryan Segedi

Healthy living Bathroom

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Potty Pods

Rotten

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Potty Pods

Why we love it: When even your strongest candle falls short, Poo-Pourri’s potty pods will come to the rescue. Just drop one in the toilet, let it dissolve, then go about your business. Bonus: They also double as a toilet cleaner, leaving your bathroom with a fresh lemon scent instead of, well, you know.

One tester said: “You can’t even see your mess, because the foam provides a barrier that stops bad smells. It sounds strange, but these pods made going number two more pleasant.”

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Probiotic Daily Shower Spray

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

Probiotic Daily Shower Spray

Why we love it: Thanks to this set-and-forget spray from Mrs. Meyer’s, cleaning your shower is easier than ever: Just give it a quick spritz, walk away, and within a few hours any soap scum, mold, or mildew stains should wipe right off.

One tester said: “A+ product! I used it to clean the grout in our high-trafficked bathtub, and the verdict? Very easy to use and effective.”

Tushy Classic 3.0

Why we love it: Bidets seem like fancy luxuries you can live without—until you experience their game-changing magic. This one from Tushy is our top choice year after yearnot only for its butt-washing prowess but also for its affordable price tag.

One tester said: “This bidet instantly upgraded my bathroom-going experience tenfold. It was extremely easy to install, and the bamboo dial is the perfect little accent.”

Photographer: Ryan Segedi

Healthy living General Home

Tide Free Liquid Laundry Detergent

Tide

Free Liquid Laundry Detergent

Why we love it: Meet the unsung hero of scent-free laundry: Tide’s liquid detergent is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-recommended, and pretty much perfect for anyone looking for a gentle option that won’t irritate sensitive skin or trigger an allergic reaction.

One tester said: “This Tide gets the job done in every sense: My clothes are clean and smell fresh, but not like they were doused in something with a distinct ‘laundry scent.’”

Swash HE Ultra-Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent

Swash® Laundry Detergent

HE Ultra-Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent

Why we love it: If you’re sick of dealing with sticky measuring caps and messy guesswork when d oing laundry, let us introduce you to this Swash product, which measures out pre-portioned doses of detergent for you. All you have to do is turn the bottle upside down, squeeze, and the exact amount you need for one load will dispense.

One tester said: “You know how a lot of the products on Shark Tank are aiming to ‘fix’ an everyday problem? Like, ‘What if you didn’t have to do Y every time you X?’ Well, this really, truly felt like one of those. This detergent is so satisfying, really—and makes me want to do more laundry.”

Babyganics 3x Laundry Detergent

Babyganics

3x Laundry Detergent

Why we love it: Babyganics’ detergent is formulated without sulfates and fragrances, which can be irritating for babies (or anyone with sensitive skin!). It doesn’t skimp on cleaning power, either—testers say it gets rid of just about every bodily fluid.

One tester said: “We’ve been using this for my six-month-old daughter’s clothes since the day she came home from the hospital, and she’s never had a skin issue. I’ve also been so impressed with its stain-removing capabilities.”

Bissell Cleanview XR Pet 300W Stick Vacuum

BISSELL

Cleanview® XR Pet 300W Stick Vacuum

Why we love it: Anyone living with dogs, cats, or other furry friends understands the seemingly impossible struggle of digging pet hair out of couches, rugs, and other home textiles. Lucky for you, this Bissell vacuum has a specialized brush that is designed to suck up every last bit of fur, dander, and dust.

One tester said: “Cleaning the floors used to leave me a sweaty, tired mess—but now that this glorious little vacuum is in my life, I feel like I’ve found a cheat code. I use it every week, and the biggest difference by far is how well it cleans my rug, which always ends up full of dog hair.”

SharkNinja Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System with QuadClean Multi-Surface Brushroll

Shark

Cordless Detect Pro™ Auto-Empty System with QuadClean™ Multi-Surface Brushroll

Why we love it: A vacuum that empties itself? Count us in. This SharkNinja marvel does the dirty work for you, literally: Put it back in its dock after use and the dustbin will automatically unload its contents into a small compartment at the bottom of said dock. One tester says she’s been using this product nearly daily for two months, and hasn’t needed to empty the bin yet. (Though she tried it out and confirmed it’s super easy when you do eventually need to do it, and way more efficient than emptying your vacuum after every clean.)

One tester said: “This is impressively sleek (dare I say pretty?), high-tech, and COOL. It’s just fun to use! I noticed just how much it picks up after ONE use in ONE room—it surprised me how much was suctioned up so quickly.”

V12 Detect Slim V12 Detect Slim

Dyson

V12 Detect Slim Vacuum

Why we love it: A longtime SELF favoriteDyson’s V12 Detect Slim is an investment that truly pays off. It’s lightweight, has a long battery life, doesn’t require you to hold the button down to operate it (not a given with stick vacs), and is long-hair-household-friendly.

One tester said: “Yes, it’s fucking expensive. However, I swear my apartment felt significantly cleaner and fresher once we got this Dyson and started using it regularly. Thanks to the laser feature, I could actually see all the hair and dander disappearing in front of me too.”

SharkNinja StainStriker Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Shark

StainStriker™ Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Why we love it: SharkNinja’s portable spot cleaner is a secret weapon against spills and pet accidents—the kinds of messes a regular vacuum simply can’t handle. Beyond just suctioning dust, this device uses water and a special cleaning solution (included with your purchase) to lift coffee, mud, and even yogurt from your beloved carpet.

One tester said: “Well, my cat vomited. A lot. It smelled. This ultimately did the job, and the stain was gone!”

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vac

BISSELL

CrossWave® HydroSteam® Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vac

Why we love it: Not only does this bad boy effortlessly suck up dirt, dust, hair, and annoying crumbs, but its steaming action will help remove nasty spills and stains from your rugs and carpets, bath mats, pressed wood floors, and even bathroom tile.

One tester said: “This vacuum was super easy to use, and I love that it comes with ‘modes’ for different surfaces. After just one pass, my carpet was actually white again.”

Photographer: Ryan Segedi

Aunt Fannie’s Glass & Window Vinegar Cleaner

Aunt Fannie’s

Glass & Window Vinegar Cleaner

Why we love it: Some glass cleaners promise to make your mirrors and windows sparkle, only to leave behind annoying streaks and swirls. But not this one: According to one tester, Aunt Fannie’s removed smudges and fingerprints with just one wipe.

One tester said: “This was non-streaky-deeky (I hate dealing with glass cleaner streaks) and cleaned my coffee table in a minute flat.”

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Apple Blossom Baking Soda Cream Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

Apple Blossom Baking Soda Cream Cleaner

Why we love it: Apple blossom and baking soda sound like an unusual combination, but trust us on this one: This gentle, abrasive cleaner will work wonders on sinks, stovetops, pots, and pans.

One tester said: “I’ve tried other products that claim to ‘scrub,’ but they didn’t do anything. This stuff is truly miraculous, and my sink was clean and sparkly in seconds!”

If You Care Latex Gloves

Why we love it: The right pair of dishwashing gloves can be your shield against a wet, soggy mess, and we’re happy to report that If You Care’s reusable latex ones deliver exactly that and make a dreaded chore…dare we say…pleasant.

One tester said: “I actually refuse to do dishes without these (so if I can’t find them, I literally just won’t do the dishes). They really put all other cleaning gloves to shame in their durability and comfort.”

Eightree Smart Plugs

Why we love it: Smart plugs probably aren’t the most obvious addition to your healthy home checklist, but hear us out: They let you control home electronics and appliances from an app on your phone, so everyday tasks (like turning on your lights or a fan) become more easily accessible—especially important for anyone who has mobility problems or is dealing with a chronic illness.

One tester said: “Anything that involves Bluetooth is just hit-or-miss, because most ‘smart’ devices come with their own unique phone app. If that app is glitchy, can’t find your network, or has a bad UX, the whole experience becomes deeply irritating, if not impossible. The good news is that that is not the case with these; they are SO EASY to set up and to maintain—meaningfully faster and better than any others that I’ve tried.”

Schoolhouse Utility Stool 18″

Schoolhouse

Utility Stool 18″

Why we love it: To do a really thorough clean, you have to reach every nook and cranny—and we bet you’ve done your fair share of climbing on wobbly chairs and countertops. You might also need some additional height to reach extra rolls of toilet paper or change smoke alarm batteries. So instead of, you know, risking your life on the regular, why not invest in a quality stool? Even though this one is pricey, our tester says that it’s super sturdy, sophisticated-looking (meaning you can leave it out all the time), and worth every penny—she even called it “life-changing.”

One tester said: “This has been one of my favorite purchases from the past year, and a big joy sparker—it’s functional, beautiful, and makes it demonstrably easier to keep a house.”

Photographer: Ryan Segedi

Healthy living Atmosphere

Coway Airmega 100

Why we love it: Since the pandemic started, a lot of us have become more aware of the importance of ventilation in our homes. So it’s no surprise that a reliable air purifier is becoming a pretty popular household staple—for COVID, yes, along with other viruses and allergens. Testers loved that this one from Coway has an indicator light that turns blue for good air quality, green for moderate, orange for unhealthy, and purple for very unhealthy—it’s fascinating to see how it changes throughout the day, and during different activities, like cooking.

One tester said: “This air purifier gave me extreme peace of mind with a new baby in the house. I feel good about our house being clean and safe for her—and I love that it’s so user-friendly and pretty hands-off!”

Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

Pure Enrichment

PureZone Elite 4-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

Why we love it: Designed for medium to large rooms (up to 990 square feet), this device automatically adjusts its fan speed depending on the amount of allergens and pollutants it senses floating around.

One tester said: “My cat took a major dump. It was awful. So I immediately ran to turn on this air purifier, and the smell was gone in about five minutes. (Usually, it would linger in my apartment for upwards of 30 minutes.) Generally, my apartment just feels so much nicer and cleaner with this thing running.”

Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier

Rabbit Air

BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier

Why we love it: Yes, this is the priciest air purifier on our list, but its benefits go beyond just filtering out pollutants and allergens: It has a slim, sophisticated design (and no cluttered buttons or switches!) and a remote control, so you can easily change the settings from across the room.

One tester said: “I can confidently say the Rabbit is worth the splurge if you care a lot about the look of your air purifier or want something a little sleeker (and less obtrusive). Plus, it’s fairly quiet compared to its competitors: My girlfriend initially thought it wasn’t working because she could barely hear it.”

Clorox Home Appliances Ultra Air Purifier with UV-C light

Clorox Home Appliances

Ultra Air Purifier with UV-C light

Why we love it: Most of us know and love Clorox for their line of disinfectants, but their air purifier deserves a little love too. Its digital display and color-coded lights will tell you exactly how clean—or dusty—your space is in real-time, and it even works for extra-large, 2,220-square-foot spaces.

One tester said: “According to the manual, a safe and healthy air quality measure would be 0–12. When we first plugged it in, ours was around 300. (Oh goodness!) After 10 minutes, however, we were back in the designated ‘good’ zone, and when I checked an hour later, it was fully down in the ‘healthy’ zone of 12 or under. Overall, I’m really happy with this product—and it fits nicely in my apartment!”

Pure Enrichment PureZone True HEPA Air Purifier

Pure Enrichment

PureZone™ True HEPA Air Purifier

Why we love it: Not everyone is looking for a giant, bulky air purifier. Whether you’re in a smaller space or just want it for single-room use, a compact option may be all you need—and one tester raved about how well this one worked in her tiny NYC apartment.

One tester said: “My living room has no windows and no filtration. But after turning this thing on, the apartment no longer feels musty or smells like the food I just cooked for dinner.”

PureBaby by Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

PureBaby by Pure Enrichment

Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Why we love it: The PureBaby Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier checked all of our boxes: It’s easy to fill, operates silently, and even doubles as a colorful night light that looks nice on your bedside table.

One tester said: “This humidifier has transformed my sleep! It’s super cute and looks more like decor than a small appliance. I know this is marketed for babies, but it’s great for adults too.”

Levoit OasisMist 450S Smart Humidifier

Sees it

OasisMist® 450S Smart Humidifier

Why we love it: Take it from our discerning reviewer, who has tried (and been disappointed by) countless competitors: What sets this Levoit humidifier apart—other than sheer effectiveness—is its fancy “smart” display, which tells you your room’s humidity levels at any given time. Pretty neat, huh?

One tester said: “I’ve dealt with a dry nose and chronic nosebleeds for my entire life, and must have tried a dozen different humidifiers over the years—and this one really did help. Aside from the ‘smart’ display, another standout feature is simply how long the humidifier lasts: We turn it on at 10 p.m. every night, and it usually keeps going until 3 p.m. the next day—and I should add that we don’t even fill it up all the way, or put it on full blast.”

Hey Dewy Wireless Facial Humidifier

Hey Dewy

Wireless Facial Humidifier

Why we love it: Dry skin can strike anytime, anywhere. That’s why we love this portable humidifier—you can set it on your desk at work, nestle it in your car’s cup holder, or even pack it in your carry-on for your next vacation.

One tester said: “This is such a useful (and cute!) little gadget. While this humidifier is small, I noticed my skin felt significantly less dry once I started using it consistently, and it’s tiny enough that I can even travel with it.”

Healthy living Credits

Photography: Ryan Segedi
Creative Director: Amber Venerable
On-Set Producer: Melissa Kramer

Editor in Chief: Rachel Wilkerson Miller
Executive Editor: Alisa Hrustic
Associate Director, Special Projects: Hannah Pasternak
Associate Art Director: Amanda Bailey
Web Producer: Caroline Acosta
Editorial Assistant: Grace McCarty

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