Everyone loves a clean house, there’s no doubt about that. But when you’re busy, the thought of cleaning might leave you groaning like it does me. It seems like it’s an endless job, but somebody’s got to do it, right?
I feel like I’m getting closer to mastering a clean house. My friend Meghan’s house is always spotless. When I asked her how she does it (she’s a busy, working mom, too) she told me to do a little bit each day. I started doing that and boy, does it make a difference! I’ve noticed especially with the laundry, it’s a MUST in my house of four people to wash at least one load of laundry a day. It really helps the overwhelming feeling of laundry dread. I’ve even got my husband in on it; he’ll do one load just about every night. It’s so nice because now I’m not up until midnight on Sunday nights putting laundry away. I’ve put together a list of my other top 10 cleaning tips that save me time.
One reason I feel like I’m getting closer to mastering a clean house is because I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. They definitely help speed up the cleaning process and help keep my house clean. Some tricks are environmentally friendly because they are chemical free, and they are better for our health too.
Here’s my top 10 cleaning tips and tricks that make cleaning a lot easier and quicker. These cleaning tips definitely have helped me cut out time cleaning to be spent with my family and friends, and who doesn’t want more time with their family or friends? Heck, even more time for yourself…can I get a hell yeah???
Carissa’s Time Saving Cleaning Tips and Tricks
- We have two dogs. The amount of dog hair is never-ending. My dog has allergies and will scratch every so often, so hair goes flying all over (see that post here) I’m constantly sweeping, not only because of the dogs, but because we have hardwood floors. I need to be able to walk barefoot on the floors without feeling like I need to shower immediately afterwards. Even one crumb on my foot makes me shiver. If you have hardwood floors then you know you could spend forever cleaning them, just to turn around and clean them again. I noticed that I would sweep my floors extra, super good only to find that my broom wasn’t picking up all the stuff, especially dust bunnies and dog hair. To make the broom work more efficiently, I mixed about three parts of water to one part of fabric softener in a spray bottle. I sprayed my broom with it and let it dry. I’ve noticed that since I’ve done that I haven’t had to waste extra time running over the floors with the vacuum after I’ve swept. Time saver!
- Speaking of pet hair, it isn’t just on the floors. It’s everywhere, especially on our clothes and the furniture. I hate to tell my dogs no, and because they’re my babies, they are allowed on our furniture. I try to keep them on their blanketed area, but yeah, that works about as well as trying to baptize a cat. Anyway, one day while I was sweeping, I noticed a dryer sheet under the couch. I picked it up and noticed it was covered in dog hair. Light bulb! I tried rubbing a dryer sheet on the couch and was AMAZED by all the dog hair it picked up. Total time saver #2, I no longer have to spend an hour vacuuming the couches! Score!
- I used to clean the garbage disposal often because I couldn’t stand the smell of it. You know that smell, not the absolute worst smell but that smell that makes your eyebrows raise? Yeah. I used to spend a lot of time cleaning it, boiling water and doing the ‘ole baking soda and vinegar volcano trick. I saw on TV somewhere to freeze white vinegar into your ice-cube trays and put them in the drain and turn on the disposal. It is great! It cleans the blades well and I just follow it with hot water for a few seconds to really clean the blades. After that, I throw in a lemon rind and hit the power switch – voila! A lovely smelling garbage disposal. I’ve searched for a few cleaning tips on garbage disposals and this one has worked the best by far.
- Stainless steel sinks. If you have one you know they are a PAIN to keep clean and shiny. I would spend hours cleaning my sink, first using a baking soda paste, then spritzing with vinegar, blah, blah, blah. I tried everything to make it easier. Wiping the sink dry when we were done with it, store-bought cleaners, bleach spray, but the only thing that worked was my time-consuming routine. One day I thought I’d try rubbing alcohol. It stunk so bad I almost passed out. That stuff is strong! Anyway, long story short, I tried cleaning it with vodka. It works so well! I spritz it all over the sink until it’s soaking. I leave it for about 10-15 minutes, then I just wipe it up! The hard water spots are gone and it makes the sink really shiny! It’s amazing! You can also drink while it’s working…win/win.
- One of the most time-consuming chores is cleaning the shower. Just typing that makes me want to hide. My husband prefers bar soap, so all my soap scum mamas out there…you know my pain. I’ve tried all types of stuff. Things I’ve found on Pinterest, store-bought chemical sprays that made my dog have head tremors…yeah, never again. Now, I spray the shower down with vinegar and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After that, I rub it with a used, dry dryer sheet. It works wonders and it does not give my dog head tremors. Still not my most favorite chore but there is a lot less scrubbing and time involved.
- I hate washing dishes. Hands down my least, least, least favorite cleaning chore. Something about the thought of people’s mouth germs and wet, gooey smears of food on plates makes me want to heave. That’s why I’m so glad I have a dishwasher, but I hate loading that too. Anyway, sometimes I notice my dishwasher not cleaning so well. I know then it’s time to clean my dishwasher and that can be time-consuming and difficult. I have kind of a set- it-and-forget-it method though, that can be a super-duper time saver. First, I run an empty dishwasher on the hottest setting with white vinegar instead of soap. That seems to clean it pretty well and helps to deodorize it. Finally, I fill up the soap dispenser again, but this time with unsweetened lemon aid. I buy packs of Kool-Aid without sugar. One pack does the trick. The citric acid in the mixture will help break up scum and hard water deposits in your dishwasher and make it clean like new again. Set it and forget it! I’ve seen other cleaning tips on cleaning the dishwasher that take hours and this one is so much easier.
- The oven. Everyone knows how hard it is to clean the oven. I don’t like to use the self-cleaning feature because it smells weird and the super high heat makes me nervous. I have spent so much time scrubbing and have tried all the awful chemical mixtures out there and then I figured out the best way to clean the oven quickly! (Well, kind of.) I sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom of the oven. I then spray the baking soda with white vinegar and work it into a paste. The bottom is always the dirtiest for us, so I really cake on the paste on the bottom, but if I see any specific side goo, I slather the paste on there too. Then I leave it sit overnight. In the morning all that stuff that used to take me hours getting off wipes right off. The whole clean up is about 15 minutes total. Not bad!
- For years and years I seriously thought the only way to REALLY have a clean kitchen floor was to scrub it on my hands and knees with a brush. It literally took me half of a day because I would go tile by tile. It worked so well, I really didn’t think anything could even compare. One day, I filled up a big spray bottle with vinegar and sprayed the entire floor down after I swept it (I learned that day to only do half at a time because my socks soaked up lots of vinegar that day). I let the vinegar sit for 15 minutes and then I mopped it up with a damp mop. After that, I followed with some floor soap. The floors looked awesome! The vinegar gets in the nooks and crannies of the tiles similar to what the brush bristles do, but without the work!
- Ever notice how dirty and dusty the base boards get? I always feel like such a slacker when I sit down to pee and notice how dirty the base boards are. One tip…when you’re sweeping, run the broom over the baseboards a couple of times. It helps spread out the time when you have to get on your hands and knees to clean them. I love anything that helps keep things cleaner longer!
- BABY TOYS! The ultimate germ catchers. Instead of spending time soaping them up in the tub or sink with bleach like I’ve done so many times, I’ve started throwing them in the dish washer! I set it to the heavy wash mode and boom! Clean baby toys. As soon as he gets a hold of them, they’re only clean for a minute or two before they’re on the floor again, but putting them in the dishwasher has saved me so much time! To me, this is like the mother of all cleaning tips because those toys can get so dirty and there are always so many of them!
So, there you have it, a few of my cleaning tips and tricks to save time when you’re cleaning. As a busy mom, saving time is so important, but really, for anyone who cleans, these tricks will help you save time so you can spend more time doing what you WANT to do!