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 25 cleaning supply essentials.
Tip: Educators can save money when they buy cleaning supplies in bulk from Boxed. No membership needed!
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. 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.)
Buy it: Hand Sanitizer at Amazon
2. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
It’s so easy to grab a Clorox wipe and tackle a germy mess. These disinfecting wipes work great on so many surfaces, including wood, granite, and stainless steel. Keep a few containers in your classroom and your car, and don’t forget about school parties and field trips!
Buy it: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes at Boxed
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 also help remove stubborn gunk and grime. These might be especially useful before and after snacks or lunch.
Buy it: Wet Ones at Amazon
Have you seen how gross things can get when kids don’t have tissues 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 for them to use.
Buy it: Kleenex Tissues at Amazon
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 (or much, much worse), you’ll likely have to wipe something up before the bell rings.
Buy it: Paper Towels at Amazon
6. Prince & Spring Scrubbing Sponges
Need to use a little elbow grease on a tough cleanup? These scrubbing sponges will do the trick (and help you save on paper towels)!
Buy it: Prince & Spring Scrubbing Sponges at Boxed
7. Scrub Daddy
How adorable are these colorful smiley face sponges? They’re perfect for getting your students excited about pitching in when it’s time to clean the classroom. Plus, they’re gentle and won’t scratch delicate surfaces.
Buy it: Scrub Daddy Sponges at Boxed
8. Prince & Spring Ultra Strength Scrub Eraser
You can’t change the past … but you can erase some mistakes! Easily get rid of scuffs and scribbles with this handy scrubber. It’s a lifesaver!
Buy it: Prince & Spring Ultra Strength Scrub Eraser at Boxed
9. 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!
Buy it: Microfiber Cloth at Amazon
10. Lysol All Purpose Cleaner
This versatile all-purpose cleaner eliminates viruses and bacteria on desks and counters as well as washable walls, chairs, and garbage pails.
Buy it: Lysol All Purpose Cleaner at Boxed
11. Green Multipurpose 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 nontoxic and gentle on the environment. A good multipurpose spray is a must-have on any classroom cleaning supplies list!
Buy it: Green Multipurpose Spray at Amazon
12. Air Freshener
You already know that classrooms can get pretty stinky for so many reasons. 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.
Buy it: Air Freshener at Amazon
13. 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!
Buy it: Swiffer Mop at Amazon
14. 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!
Buy it: Shaving Cream at Amazon
15. Magic Eraser
The Magic Eraser is one of the best items for cleaning. Add a little water and use it to get marker or crayon marks off of just about any surface. Doors, desks, seats … you’ll be shocked at how quickly the scribbles are gone.
Buy it: Magic Eraser at Amazon
16. 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 by Sally Hansen!
Buy it: Nail Polish Remover at Amazon
17. Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
Want an easy DIY solution to disinfect your classroom without bleach? Some teachers use a combination of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to spray down germy surfaces. There is some research to suggest that it works!
Buy it: Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide at Amazon
18. Clorox Clean-Up All Purpose Cleaner
It’s hard to beat the power of bleach! Reach for this fantastic spray any time you need to give your classroom a deep clean (like for post-holiday germs and illness)!
Buy it: Clorox Clean-Up All Purpose Cleaner at Boxed
19. Protective Gloves
As a teacher, you’re on the front lines when things go wrong with students. From toilet accidents to upset stomachs and bloody noses, you’re more likely 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.
Buy it: Protective Gloves at Amazon
20. Supply 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.
Buy it: Supply Caddy at Amazon
21. Carpet Sweeper
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.
Buy it: Carpet Sweepers at Amazon
22. Magnetic Wands
This may seem a better item for your STEM supplies, but it doubles as a handy tool to quickly pick up paper clips, staples, pushpins, and any other metal items that have dropped into the carpet.
Buy it: Magnetic Wands at Amazon
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.
Buy it: Toothbrushes at Amazon
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.
Buy it: Q-tips at Amazon
25. 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 reinforcements, make sure you know how to contact your custodian quickly.