20 Must-Have Classroom Cleaning Supplies (Trust Us, You Need These!)

From grime to goo we’ve got you covered.

A lot of learning takes place in the classroom, but things can also get pretty messy. Sometimes it feels like every surface quickly becomes downright gross—especially during cold and flu season! Whether you’re dealing with glue, glitter, or germy hands, you’ll need the right classroom cleaning supplies to get through the school year. Not sure what you need? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Let’s look at our top 20 cleaning supply essentials.

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1. Hand Sanitizer

Classroom Cleaning Supplies Hand Sanitizer

What did teachers do before hand sanitizer? Well, our generation (mostly) survived, but it sure is nice to have a pump in the classroom. It also helps make those heartwarming high fives and rounds of card games a little less contagious. Maybe you should grab a few bottles …

2. Disinfectant Wipes

Half of your students out with the plague? Be sure to use these on the desks, doorknobs, and light switches at the end of the day so they can work their disinfecting magic overnight! You’ve got our permission to use two on your own desk, of course. This is a judgment-free zone.

3. Wet Ones

Sometimes our hands need more scrubbing action than sanitizer can provide, but it’s not always possible to use a sink. Soap and water is best, but Wet Ones can help remove stubborn gunk and grime. These might be especially useful before and after snacks or lunch. 

4. Kleenex Tissues

Have you seen how gross things can get when kids don’t have tissue in the classroom? Suddenly, their sleeves are covered in slimy residue and you’ve got to look at it for the rest of the day. Save yourself the headache and have some Kleenex on your desk. 

5. Paper Towels

Clean up on aisle five! All jokes aside, there will be moments when spills happen, and you don’t want to be scrambling. One of the most important classroom cleaning supplies is definitely paper towels. Whether it’s spilled milk, or worse (much, much worse), you’ll likely have to wipe something up before the bell rings. 

6. Microfiber Cloth

Want to reduce your use of paper products? While there will be times when you can’t practically avoid using paper towels, for every other moment, you can use a microfiber cloth. Instead of adding to our burgeoning landfills, just toss this in the washing machine and use it again!

7. Green Multipurpose Spray

Classroom Cleaning Supplies Green Spray

A day of crafts, kids scribbling on desks, and more might leave you reaching for the nearest spray bottle. Try to choose something that’s effective, but also non-toxic and gentle on the environment. A good multipurpose spray is a must-have on any classroom cleaning supplies list! 

8. Air Freshener

For so many reasons, you already know that classrooms can get pretty stinky. When odors linger, it can become a real distraction. Having a neutral air freshener can make life so much easier—just be sure to check with your students in case anyone is sensitive to scents. 

9. Swiffer Mop

Classroom Cleaning Supplies Swiffer Mop

During the day, any number of things can contribute to the nastiness on your classroom floor. Whether it’s food crumbs or confetti, no one wants to feel a crunch under their feet as they walk across the room. A traditional broom is also very helpful, but a Swiffer can remove very small particles even quicker!

10. Shaving Cream

If you’ve never heard of this hack, it might seem strange, but many teachers stock up on shaving cream at the beginning of the year. Why? Because it can take a dingy, dull desk and restore it to its former glory. It really is magical!

11. Magic Eraser

Classroom Cleaning Supplies

The Magic Eraser is one of the best items for cleaning. Add a little water and use it to get marker or crayon marks out of just about any surface. Doors, desks, seats … you’ll be shocked at how quickly the scribbles are gone.

12. Nail Polish Remover

Stocking up on classroom cleaning supplies? Grab some nail polish remover. No, you won’t be giving manicures to your students, but it can help remove permanent marker from desks. If you’re wondering which brand to buy, some teachers swear it MUST be Sally Hanson!

13. Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

Want an easy DIY solution to disinfecting your classroom without bleach? Some teachers use a combination of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to spray down germy surfaces. We can’t speak to the effectiveness, but there is some research to suggest that it works! 

14. Protective Gloves

As a teacher, you’re on the front lines when things go wrong with students. From toileting accidents to upset stomachs and bloody noses, you’re more likely than not to come in contact with some sort of bodily fluid. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have gloves nearby to protect yourself in those situations. Some kids are sensitive to latex, so opt for the non-allergenic kind. 

15. Supplies Caddy

Classroom Cleaning Supplies Caddy

It’s so much easier to grab a caddy filled with classroom cleaning supplies than trying to carry each item individually. Do yourself a favor and pick one up! Look around and find the right size for what you need.

16. Carpet Sweepers

It seems like the floors are constantly getting covered in pencil shavings, bits of paper, and crumbs. These carpet sweepers are great for quickly picking up messes and they work on tile and hardwood floors too.

17. Magnetic Wands

This may seem a better item for your STEM supplies but it doubles as a handy tool to quickly pick up paperclips, staples, push pins, and any other metal items that have dropped into the carpet.

18. Toothbrushes

This one isn’t for cleaning teeth, rather it’s for cleaning the earwax out of earbuds! Keep one for each student or dispose of them after use. Either way, your students will be thankful the next time they have to listen to an audiobook or online lesson.

19. Q-tips

Q-tips are perfect for getting into hard-to-reach places like laptop and desktop keyboards. If you are out of Q-tips, you can also use sticky notes to clean the keyboards. Just invert the note—sticky side down—and run it between the rows of keys.

20. The Custodian’s Number

You can’t do it all, even if you wish you could. For those moments when you need to call in the reinforcements, make sure you know how to contact your custodian quickly.

When it comes to cleaning, supplies aren’t the only thing we need. Check out these teacher cleaning hacks for quick cleaning tips.

Are there other cleaning supplies in your cabinet? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Deals group on Facebook.

20 Must-Have Classroom Cleaning Supplies (Trust Us, You Need These!)

Posted by Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne is a mother of six (including toddler twins!), writer, and social sciences professor. She loves cooking, reading, and dancing in her kitchen.

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