Every Home Needs These 15 Items

(Today I'll cover the first 7)

Fire extinguisher

- Not only should you keep fire extinguishers in areas most prone to fire (kitchen, BBQ, garage and workshop), You also need to regularly check the gauges to ensure they're still functional. Extinguishers labeled "ABC" are the best choice because they're capable of fighting a wide variety of fires.

Antibiotic ointment

- By far the most common household injury is a cut or scrape. To keep these and other open wounds from getting infected, keep an over-the-counter antibiotic like Neosporin or Polysporin at the ready (in addition to a good first-aid kit).

Disaster supplies kit

- You need to be prepared to survive on your own for 72 hours should a natural disaster occur. That means having your own food, water and other necessary supplies. The Department of Homeland Security devotes an entire page on its website to items that should be included in the kit. See the "Build a Kit" section at ready.gov.

Eraser pads

- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pads and similar products (like Scotch-Brite Easy Erasing pads) can work wonders when it comes to removing scuff marks, ink and other truly unruly stains from painted surfaces.

Microfiber cloths

- The tiny fibers in these cloths supercharge their cleaning ability and reduce the physical effort on your part. Use them to clean just about any surface of dust, dirt, grease and grime. When washing them, do not use fabric softener. When drying them, do not use fabric softening sheets.

Toothbrush

- Nothing is better at cleaning nooks and crannies than an old toothbrush. Once they've lost their power to clean your teeth, set them aside to use for general house cleaning.

Pumice stone

- The fine abrasive grit of a pumice stone is a powerhouse at cleaning discoloring from porcelain toilet bowls, hardwater deposits from chrome plumbing fixtures and so much more. Try it in the kitchen, bathroom, BBQ, on pool tile, etc.