10 Cleaning Shortcuts to Save Hours in Your Week

If you’re like most people, you’re simply too busy to clean your home as often or as well as you would like. Not everyone can afford the expense of hiring a housecleaner to come in and do the work for you.

Fortunately, there are numerous convenient shortcuts you can learn to save both your money and your sanity while keeping your home suitably clean. Some shortcuts are simply ways to avoid making more messes in the process of cleaning up a mess. Others are ways to save time by using the right tool for the job.

One overall tip for making cleaning as practical and low-stress as possible is to avoid trying to do it all at once. Saving up all the cleaning in your home for a single session can leave you overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s better to clean one room at a time over a period of days. This leaves you plenty of time each day to attend to your other responsibilities, including relaxation and enjoyment in a home without clutter, dust and dirt built up everywhere you turn.

1. Clean Spills Immediately

Spills are easiest to clean when they first occur. Left unattended, on the other hand, a simple spill can harden into a much harder to clean stain. Spare yourself the elbow grease by stopping what you’re doing and taking care of a spill the moment it occurs.

2. Dusting From Top to Bottom

Cleaning from top to bottom is more than just a catchphrase: it’s an efficient methodology. When dusting, always start at the highest points in the room and work your way down. This way, you’re not simply relocating the dust from a higher point to a lower one.

Related Article: 4 Tips for a Cleaner Living Space

Start by using a rubber band to attach a microfiber dust cloth to a long-handled broom’s end. Then, run it across the highest, hardest to reach points in the room, such as light fixtures, crown molding and ceilings. Then, take the duster off of the broom and use it to wipe down the following in the order listed:

  1. Window moldings
  2. Closed blinds
  3. Flat surfaces like tabletops and shelves
  4. Baseboards

Last of all, take the broom and sweep up all the dust bunnies on your bare floors and do the same with a vacuum on your carpets and rugs.

3. Baking Soda for Musty Rugs and Carpets

Rugs and carpets can take on a musty odor if not cleaned regularly or sufficiently. To get the musty smell out of your rugs and carpets, dust them with baking soda applied in a light layer. After a few hours, vacuum it up.

4. Vinegar for the Microwave

To clean your microwave, start by sticking a microwave-safe bowl of equal parts water and vinegar into it and turning the microwave on for five minutes. Then, let it sit for five more minutes without opening the door, allowing the solution to cool.

Afterward, remove your bowl and proceed to wipe the interior of the microwave with a clean sponge. The dirt, grease and grime come off easily now, with no scrubbing or strain required.

5. Citrus for the Trash Disposal

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, chances are it now and then develops unwanted odors. When this occurs, drop some ice cubes down the drain along with a fistful of lemon, lime, or orange peels. Then, just flip the switch and let the combination break down and coat the disposal’s interior.

6. Clean Plastic in the Dishwasher

Instead of scrubbing those hard to clean and often oddly shaped plastic items in your home, stick them in the dishwasher instead. This includes children’s toys, pet supplies, the knobs on your kitchen stove, makeup brushes and soap dishes, among others. Use a gentle detergent with all-natural ingredients and run the dishwasher on a delicate cycle.

7. Organize Your Dishwasher

You can save time unloading your dishwasher by taking a little extra time loading it. Put each type of silverware — forks, knives, and spoons — in its own compartment in the silverware container.

Related Article: 4 Tips to Help You Organize Your Kitchen

Put similar plates, glasses, mugs and cookware together as well. This way, when you unload, you’ll have all the items that go in the same place already collected together, so all you have to do is remove and place them in their proper spots.

8. Spray, Wait, Wipe

When applying disinfectants or cleansers to any object or surface, avoid wiping it up immediately. Let it sit for a good 10 minutes to do its job first before you remove it. When you do finally wipe it off, you take more of the dirt and grime off and with far less effort, preventing the need to clean it again so soon.

9. Extra Trash Bags in the Trash

A simple hack to prevent always digging through drawers from a clean trash bag to replace the full one you just removed is to keep clean trash bags at the bottom of your trash container. Then, when you remove a full trash bag, you can immediately replace it with a clean one already there waiting for you.

This also helps you avoid the scenario of forgetting to replace a bag in your trash and only discovering it after you dump trash into a container without a bag in it. It also ensures you keep your trash bins cleaner too, without the need to wash them directly as often.

10. Wash Yourself, Then Your Shower Curtain or Door

Shower doors and curtains take on soap scum fast. And once it builds, it becomes increasingly harder to remove. You can avoid the grueling chore of removing soap scum from shower curtains and doors by simply wiping them down immediately after every shower.

While it may seem like an extra task to perform each and every day, it’s an easy task preventing you from having to do a much harder task later. Do the same with the sink after washing your hands and face or brushing your teeth. Soon, cleaning up after you clean yourself becomes a matter of habit.

Related Article: Using Microhabits to Change Your Cleaning Routine

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