1. Clean as You Go: Filling your sink with hot soapy water as you start dinner will make clean up a breeze. “Place used dishes and pans in the filled sink so they’ll be soaking while you eat.” Also, wipe up any spills immediately—don’t give sauces, oils or spices a chance to sit around.
2. Time It: If you actually time how long it takes to do certain chores, you won’t mind them as much. Believe it or not, most chores only take 10 minutes.
3. Coffee Grounds: Use your morning pick-me-up to eliminate odors in the fridge. Simply place coffee grounds, new or used, in a bowl on a shelf. Replace them every two months for a fresh, slightly caffeinated smell.
4. Ice Cubes: It won’t be a pretty sound, tossing ice cubes into the garbage disposal break sup grease and keeps it clean. Every few weeks, toss in a handful of cubes, turn on the disposal and run cold water. Add some orange, lemon or lime peels to ward off odors.
5. Say “Bye-Bye” to the Broom: You don’t have to switch from a broom to a vacuum when you clean, says Jackie Harmon, owner of Healthy Clean green cleaning company. “Use a vacuum on all floor surfaces.” It’s quicker to use, plus you’ll remove one lanky, awkward tool from the mix.
6. Overlook the Little Things: That thimble collection or brass animal display needn’t get a complete wipedown every single week. Save time by giving yourself the OK to skip the little stuff and instead focus on the big picture. Treating wee things to a good dusting once a month is just fine.
7. Use Aluminum Foil to Scrub Off Baked-On Food: If you have remnants of your casserole stuck to your baking dish, wad a clean piece of foil—maybe one you used to keep a plate of food warm while the rest of dinner cooked?—into a ball, then use it with few drops of dishwashing liquid to scrub glass cookware clean.
8. Use a Pillowcase for Dust-Free Cleaning: Yes, you can clean a ceiling fan without the dusty mess. Working with one blade at a time, slide an old pillowcase over the blade, then slowly draw the fabric back. All the dust and dirt will stay in the pillowcase instead of flying everywhere.
9. Use a Dryer Sheet to Get Rid of Soap Residue: Don’t toss that used dryer sheet. Sprinkle it with a few drops of water, then use it to wipe away built-up soap residue on your shower doors. It works wonders on scummy surfaces.
10. Use a Rubber Glove to Pick Up Fur: Never mind your pet: Has its fur taken up residence on your sofa or chair? Pick it up quickly and easily by running a damp rubber glove over the surface. Any hair will cling to the glove, not the upholstery.
11. Use Baking Soda to Unclog a Drain: If your drain moves slower than a tortoise, unclog it by pouring down ½ cup baking soda, then ½ cup vinegar. Cover the drain with a wet cloth, and let sit for five minutes. Uncover, and flush with steaming-hot water.
These are just some of my favorite cleaning tips I have picked up over the years. Do you have any cleaning tips you or your family swear by that might seem unconventional to others? If so, we would love to hear them!