My home can get messy in the blink of an eye. So these are my go-to cleaning tips and tricks to get control of the clutter and dust and get back to enjoying life (in a clean space).
Planning to Clean
#1. Ditch Perfectionism
Stunning home décor photos are always staged. They aren’t subject to messy kids, pets or a hubby! So, don’t put that pressure on yourself to make your home look like those photos.
Instead, your home should look and feel neat, tidy and lived-in. It doesn’t have to be perfect so let that stress go!
#2. Simplicity is Key
It’s visually appealing to maintain areas of empty space in rooms, cupboards, and on shelves. Free space always makes everything feel more open and less claustrophobic. Plus it’s more likely to stay clear and uncluttered.
#3. Break up Chores
It’s hard for me to do one chore for hours at a time… like folding laundry for hours. Ugh! Instead, I try to work incrementally.
I usually set a timer on my phone for 30 minutes and go into tidy-everything-in-sight mode. It’s like the Pomodoro technique for being productive. When the timer is up, I can enjoy my glass of wine :).
I deserve it!
#4. Divide the Room
Breaking up a large project into smaller tasks always makes it less daunting and easier to accomplish. The same works for cleaning a room.
I like to mentally divide it into large squares and focus on cleaning one square at a time.
General Cleaning Tips and Tricks
#5. Think about your walls
Do you dust your walls? I do! I use a Swiffer duster to trap everything. You’d be surprised just how dirty walls get.
#6. And doors
Did you know flu viruses can survive for 24 hours on hard surfaces? Hard surfaces include door handles! Scary right!
So, be sure to wipe your door handles with antimicrobial wipes. Wipe more frequently if a family member has the flu. Also, use a damp microfiber to clean the door itself – dust really likes to settle into the tiny groves and patterns on there.
#7. Wipe your light fixtures
Light fixtures, bulbs and chandeliers can trap a lot of dust so give them a good wiping every few months to prevent build up on them.
#8. Clean your filters
If you’re like me, your vacuum does a lot of the heavy work. So it’s important to have clean its filter. Wash re-useable filters. Or buy disposable ones in bulk. Ten to twelve filters will last more than a year.
Clean the filters in your air purifier, air-conditioning unit, and HVAC systems too.
Spritz the filters with your favorite fragrance to reduce any dusty odors. Essential oils like lavender oil are lovely here.
#9. Scrub tiled floors
If you have tiled floors, add warm water to the grout lines and let soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Add powder detergent and scrub with a hard bristle brush. Done! Wipe that dirt away.
I tried the vinegar and baking soda shtick, but it just doesn’t give me the same results. And I hate the smell of commercial grout cleaners.
Kitchen Cleaning Tips and Tricks
#10. Clean those countertops
Scrub counter-tops with mild dish soap, warm water and a sponge. It doesn’t matter if the tops are granite, marble, or some hard surface. Dish soap and warm water is enough to get them clean.
Don’t use vinegar or bleach or scouring pads on marble, they’ll damage it.
#11. And disinfect them
If you want to use something stronger to disinfect your countertops, use isopropyl alcohol. Spritz on the countertops or add it to your cloth and just wipe away.
#12. Wipe your cabinets
Use a damp, soapy cloth to wipe cabinets, especially those closest to the stove where you’ll find oil splatter. Clean off with a warm damp cloth.
#13. Wash the bin
Take your bin outside and wash it with a hose and dish soap. Use a scrubber to get any gunk out. This tackles the smell problem head-on instead of masking it with air fresheners.
#14. Eliminate bin odor
After your bin is washed and dried, cover the base with baking soda before adding your garbage bag or liner. Dryer sheets work great too to minimize odor.
#15. Improve kitchen odor too
I like boiling handfuls of fresh (or dry) bay leaves in water for ten minutes. Try making West Indian bay leaf tea in the process! The smell is divine and I think the vapor has some antimicrobial, purifying benefits.
You can try using essential oils too in place of the leaves. Peppermint, lemongrass and lavender oils are great options.
#16. Clean stainless steel
Use a stainless steel cleaner and polish on your stainless steel appliances.
I’ve used baking soda and vinegar on mine before but I’ve noticed the soda scratching the steel. *sobs* The commercial cleaner-polish works great to clean and hide old scratches.
Get yours on Amazon:
#17. Wash your kettle
Add a third cup of vinegar to your kettle and let it soak for three hours. Rinse thoroughly. Water stains on the base will completely disappear.
If you have metal deposits on the spout or under the lid, add water to the vinegar and boil the kettle. Rinse or use dish soap and a toothbrush to clean the spout and lid.
#18. Clean your microwave
Microwave a bowl of water for two minutes (optional: add lemon juice to the bowl). Use a damp, soapy microfiber cloth to wipe the inside of your microwave to get oil and exploded food out.
Alternatively, a wet sponge with dish soap also gets the grime out.
#19. And inside the fridge
Take your refrigerator shelves out and wash them with warm soapy water. You can use alcohol on them too and on the inside of the fridge.
Newer fridges have back panels with clips which can be easily removed. Mold loves to grow there! Unplug your fridge, move the panels and spray the back with a powerful disinfectant. Wipe and replace the panels.
#20. Don’t forget the top
Wipe the top of your fridge. It might be one of the dirtiest parts of the kitchen. Oh and vacuum under the fridge too!
#21. Clean inside the dishwasher
Add baking soda to the inside of your dishwasher and run empty. This should reduce any bad odors.
If there is still lingering smell, use a stronger disinfectant.
#22. And get the gunk out
If you have gunk and grease build-up in your dishwasher, add a de-greasing dishwashing liquid (I use Dawn) to a sponge and scrub away. Wipe or rinse the dishwasher.
#23. Reduce garbage disposal odor
If you have a garbage disposal, add a couple drops of lemon essential oil. That’ll control the odor.
Living Room Cleaning Tips and Tricks
#24. Get dust bunnies out of the couch
Vacuum your couches and chairs. Front, back, under, everywhere! They trap a lot more dust, dirt, and allergens than you think.
Use the soft brush attachment, especially for leather couches.
#25. Disinfect them too
For fabric couches, lightly spritz Lysol or another disinfectant spray to kill any microbes or mites in them. I sometimes pass the steamer before I spritz to freshen the fabric.
#26. Care for leather
For leather couches, clean with a leather cleaner or a damp cloth soaked in water and white vinegar (equal parts). Dry the sofa with a dry towel.
Once your leather sofa is fully dry, you should condition it overnight. Mix one part of white vinegar to two parts of flax seed oil. Apply this mix on your couch with a soft cloth and let it rest overnight. The next morning, you should buff with a soft clean cloth and watch it shine!
#27. Wash throw pillows
If your throw pillows are machine washable, pop them in the washing machine for a quick wash, on the delicate cycle. Otherwise, wash their slip covers.
#28. Remove odor from carpets and rugs
Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and rugs. Leave for half an hour, then vacuum.
#29. Get under your carpet
If you can, vacuum under your carpets and rugs and their undersides. This is dust heaven so be sure your space is properly ventilated.
#30. Create moveable storage
Store less toys in the living room and keep Legos out. Instead, add the toys to easy-to-move storage containers that can be moved and played with in other rooms.
#31. Wipe electronics
Unplug your electronics. With a dry microfiber, wipe the plugs, cords, and surfaces. Swiffer dusters work well too.
Use isopropyl alcohol to wipe TV screens, laptops, computers, phones, Alexa and other electronic devices.
#32. Clean ceiling fans
Use a Swiffer duster or a simple microfiber to clean your ceiling fans. Wear a dust mask when doing this, because those blades sure like to trap dust.
#33. Dust your dining space
Wipe your dining table and dining chairs with a damn microfiber. If your table is marble or stone, scrub with mild dish soap and warm water.
Cleaning Tips for Bathrooms
#34. No hassle toilet cleaning
Add a tablespoon of bleach to your toilet bowl and leave overnight. Water stains will start disappearing.
Don’t add chlorine tablets to the toilet tank if you have a toilet flapper. The chlorine will melt that sucker.
#35. Get the urine stains out
Use gloves and Lysol wipes (or any disinfecting wipe) to clean the outside of your toilet and say goodbye to any gross urine stains.
#36. Clean mirrors
Scrub your mirrors with a sponge and mild dish soap. Wipe down with a damp microfiber and a dry towel.
The towel prevents water stains and keeps your mirrors spotless.
#37. Scrub the shower
If you have a hand-held shower attachment with a high water pressure setting, aim that sucker on your bathroom grout. Use the attachment to essentially pressure wash your shower or tub.
Any remaining mold and mildew can be easily scrubbed away with a grout brush, scoring pad and a regular bathroom cleaner.
#38. Wash shower curtains
Pop your shower curtain in the washing machine on the delicate cycle. Add a small cap full of bleach to get mold and mildew stains out. It works!
#39. Use drain cleaners
Drains develop scum and gunk over time that cause odor. To prevent this, try using a drain cleaner every month or two.
If you don’t have drain cleaner on hand (they can be expensive), use a quarter cup of bleach instead.
#40. And sink snakes
Use sink sticks or snakes to keep your drains clear. Use them to remove clusters of hair, food and gunk out. They work! And you won’t need to wait an hour for your sinks or tub to drain. This is one of my favorite cleaning tips.
Get them on Amazon here:
Bathroom Cleaning Tips and Tricks
#41. Say no to smelly shoes
Smelly shoes? Add baking soda to organza bags (do this over the sink because it can get messy) and carefully place them in your shoes (so the soda stays in the bag).
#42. Remove hair from sheets
Use a lint brush or dryer sheet to remove hair from your sheets and pillows before washing.
#43. Clean your bed frame
Using a damp microfiber, wipe your headboard (or vacuum if it’s fabric). Usually headboards dust havens.
Wipe your bed frame and base too and don’t forget your side tables.
#44. Clean your drapes
Vacuum your drapes, curtains and blinds. Spritz them with a homemade air freshener with lavender oil. Or, if they are machine washable, pop them in your machine on the delicate cycle.
#45. Clear your closet
Use the one year rule when it comes to your closet. If you haven’t worn something in a year, donate it, sell it, move it.
Auditing a closet is tough so split the closet into squares or boxes and work one box at a time. You’ll get through it. I have faith in you :).
Cleaning Tips for the Laundry Room
#46. Clean your machine
Clean your washing machine with a toothbrush, dish soap and microfiber. Use the toothbrush and soap to clean the little holes and the inside of the lid.
Take out your fabric dispenser and get in there too. Use the microfiber to wipe down the inside and outside of the machine.
#47. Sanitize it too
Once you’ve used the toothbrush and microfiber, fill your washing machine with hot water and add a cap full of bleach. Set your machine to wash for about ten minutes, then empty. Your machine is now sanitized!
#48. Wipe your dryer
Wipe the inside of your dryer with a clean microfiber to remove stuck-on lint.
#49. Clear the lint
If it can fit, use a Swiffer duster in the lint trap of your dryer to get excess lint out.
Unplug your machine, open the back panel and vacuum the lint from electrical components (lint buildup can start a fire!).
#50. Clean mineral build-up on water fixtures
Use vinegar to remove scale and mineral build up from your water fixtures to the washing machine, water heater, boiler and more.
I’ve gotten to 50 cleaning tips already! Waw! What did you think? What secret tips and tricks do you use? Share them please. We’re all looking for the easier way to clean.
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