I love to clean — I don’t what it is, but I just love it — and anyone who knows my mother wouldn’t be surprised to hear that.
So I have a lot of experience, from scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush to vacuuming and dusting (pretty much everything in my home).
Whether you constantly clean your house or only really tidy things up before guests arrive, knowing a few quick and easy tricks can make the process a whole lot easier!
Though the frequency of cleaning depends on our lifestyle and whether or not we can afford a housekeeping service, it’s a chore that stares us down with mounting pressure.
I’ve got some serious housecleaning to do right now, but I’m short on time and the last thing I want to do after work is spend an hour scrubbing the tub or stove. Should I just put it all off until the weekend and spend a whole day tackling the inevitable dust and grime? I was leaning toward a big fat “yes” until I consulted a handful of cleaning experts and realized, I can get quite a bit done without investing hours of my day, and better yet, I can use ingredients I already have on hand for cooking, etc., so I don’t have to squander a small fortune on a new batch of eco-friendly cleaning products.
So to help save you some time and frustration, along with a lot of wasted money on cleaning products, here’s a list of some cheap and easy hacks that will transform your cleaning routine!
Home cleaning hacks to transform your routine
1. Dryer sheets
Even after they’ve been used, dryer sheets can work magic around your house!
Here are some great uses:
- Buff water spots from mirrors, bathroom/kitchen fixtures and shower doors
- Remove the ring inside the toilet
- Wipe baseboards clean
2. Tackle a stinky garbage disposal with lemon
Add a fresh scent to the kitchen by cutting up a lemon and running a couple of small slices through the garbage disposal. (This is also a great trick to use just before guests arrive!)
3. Clean the blender
Fill the blender with warm water and a drop of dish soap. Turn it on and let it go for a for a few seconds. Then rinse it out with warm water and you’re all set!
4. Clean your sponge
Sponges can pick up a lot of bacteria, especially if they’re left in the sink. So you want to make sure you clean it frequently.
It’s so easy: just pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to remove any bacteria! Just wait a minute or two before pulling out since it’ll still be hot.
You can also put your sponge in the dishwasher to get it nice and clean again.
5. Get tile floors looking like new again
Once you’ve vacuumed up the floor, all you need is a bucket of water, some light detergent and a rag. Then start scrubbing! Make sure to frequently clean the rag and water to make sure you aren’t just pushing more dirt around on the floor.
If you really want to get the tough spots out, try using a toothbrush! Seriously, it will change your life.
If it’s been a while, use a broom or dry rag to sweep off the dust, and then vacuum the area. Use a wet cloth or sock to remove any remaining dust or dirt.
To clean the baseboards, all you need is a sponge (or soft toothbrush) and a bucket of water with a small amount of dish detergent. Once you’ve done the washing part, then use a damp rag to remove any leftover soap residue.
7. Air vents
If you haven’t checked in a while, your air vents are probably pretty dirty and dusty. Not only does that send dust into the room, but it also blocks the air from getting out.
Easy fix: first try to remove dust with a soft vacuum brush tool. If that doesn’t get the job done, then soak a rag with any cleaning agent you have and wrap it around a butter knife to clean the air vents!
8. Use vinegar to get rid of hard water spots
Vinegar can do wonders for your faucets with hard water spots. Check out this video to see how it works!
9. Cleaning the blinds
These are also probably pretty dirty if you haven’t cleaned them in a while, so here’s an easy solution. Combine equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl and get a sock to put over your hand. Dip the sock in the solution and then run it over each slat of the blinds to remove any dirt or dust!
10. Baking soda for brighter, cleaner laundry
Just pour a cup of baking soda in with the wash and your clothes will come out even brighter and cleaner!
11. Use salt to remove fabric stains
12. Easy way to clean stainless steel appliances
Stainless steel appliances seem to be stained with fingerprints constantly. But to give them a good, clean shine, all you need is a microfiber cloth (or just a soft cloth) and some rubbing alcohol! If you really want to get your stainless steel super clean — depending on how big of a clean freak you are (I’m a big one…) — you can use a few drops of olive oil! Check out this video to see how it works.
More ways to clean stainless steal:
- Dish soap & water to clean the surface –> dry any wet spots –> use a few drops of baby or mineral oil on a second cloth to make it shine.
- Spray WD-40 on the appliance and then wipe away with a soft cloth.
13. LEMON OIL IS A NATURAL DEGREASER FOR THE OVEN
“In addition to its scent benefits, lemon essential oil is a great degreaser and can be an excellent tool to remove stubborn grease stains naturally,” says Rogers.
“Spray a mixture of one cup water, one cup vinegar and lemon essential oil onto your stovetop and simply wipe clean. For tougher stains, sprinkle baking soda first, then spray and wipe. You can use the same technique to clean your oven — which will help prevent kitchen fires — many of which are caused by grease.”
14. BAKING SODA FOR A HANDS-OFF STOVETOP SCRUB
Carol Meerschaert, a registered dietitian and the owner of Appleton Home Services, hails baking soda as a favorite stove-top cleaner.
“Just pour it on, sprinkle with water, let sit one hour and wipe.”
15. REMOVE PET HAIR WITH RUBBER GLOVES
“When your standard vacuum doesn’t seem to get all your pet’s hair, rubber gloves will get the job done,” says Leanne Stapf, VP of operations at The Cleaning Authority. “Just slide them on and rub down any areas that need extra cleaning. When rubber is pushed against fabric, it can generate elasticity to gather remaining pet hair. Rinse the gloves under running water when you’re done and the hair will unstick.”
16. ELIMINATE FOUL ODORS FROM UPHOLSTERY
Joshua Miller, director of Technical Training of Rainbow International, a Neighborly company, recommends wiping out pet smells and other odors from upholstery by combining vinegar, water and your favorite essential oil (he vouches for lavender).
17. FIGHT GARBAGE ODORS WITH NEWSPAPER
I love this for two reasons. Firstly, I hate, with a capital R, smelly, leaky garbage. I mean, nothing grosses me out more. So, if you are not a fan of those green garbage fumes and crusty drips and drops of garbage juice, all you need to do is crumple up some newspaper and place it in the bottom of a fresh garbage bag – you can do this for the kitchen and even for your bigger garbage bags. The newspaper helps absorb odours and leaks. Amazing!
18. HANGAR TAG TRICK
For those that didn’t, here’s the best way to hang your clothing so that it doesn’t fall down. Slip the garment tag through the top of the hanger hook and then place the shoulders on your hanger as usual. Now, your clothing will stay put! If your clothing comes with a ribbon you can use that as a hanging aide, and you can also criss-cross ribbon straps to help avoid items from falling off the hangers.
19. QUICKLY CLEAN A BLENDER
I love my blender to bits and pieces, and use it every single morning for my smoothie – which involves kale, spinach, berries, chia, flax, coconut milk and a bunch of other colorful, sticky and seedy ingredients. Anyway, it gets messy every single morning and can be quite the clean up task, especially where time is limited. So, to clean it up, just fill it with warm water and a drop of dish soap, then turn it on and blend for a few seconds and voila! Be sure to rinse well and leave to dry. I leave my belnder parts in order but i never close the lid in order to allow everything to dry properly and that avoids mildew growth.
20. REMOVE CLOTHING PILLING WITH RAZOR
If you get those tiny fabric balls on your clothing, you are a victim of pilling. The good news is, there is an easy way to get rid of them. You can use a dull razor blade to ‘shave’ off the tiny clusters and have a wad of tape handy to easily clean the razor. By using an old razor, it’s dull enough that it won’t ruin the clothing but even with that in mind, be careful to not ruin your clothing! If you don’t have one available, you can use a cheap pumice stone to quickly buff off the tiny balls using short strokes and then grabbing the pile of pills.
21. CORN STARCH TO GET GREASE STAIN OUT OF CLOTHING
And finally, should you get a grease stain – you know the rule is to act super fast. Blot up as much oil as you can with a paper towel by pressing down on the stain several times and then, colour over the stain with plain white chalk or sprinkle some baby powder or corn starch on the stain. The powder will absorb the oil on contact and you’ll see it start to form a crust after a few moments. Gently brush off the crust (being careful not to re-sent the stain) and then pre-treat with laundry detergent and launder the item. Done.