I admit it. My house is messy. My mom tries not to clean-shame me… but she could definitely try a little harder. Ha! These are a couple cleaning tips and tricks that I do regularly but especially before she comes over.
Cleaning Tips: Planning
- Professional home décor photos are staged most of the time. They aren’t subjected to messy pets, kids, and a husband! Your home doesn’t have to be perfect all the time. Don’t beat yourself up if it isn’t. Let that stress go!
- 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 even 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 also like to mentally divide a room into squares and focus on cleaning one square at a time.
- It’s visually appealing to maintain areas of empty space in rooms, cupboards, and on shelves. Simplicity is key and some free space makes everything feel more open and less claustrophobic. Plus it’s more likely to stay clear and uncluttered.
General Cleaning Tips
- Do you dust your walls? I do! I use a Swiffer duster to trap everything. You’d be surprised just how dirty walls get.
- Wipe doors with a damp microfiber too. Dust really likes to settle in tiny grooves and patterns.
- If you’re like me, your vacuum does a lot of the heavy work. So it’s important to have clean filters. Wash re-useable filters. Or buy disposable ones in bulk. Ten to twelve filters will last more than a year.
- Here are cleaning tips for your filters. Spritz them with your favorite fragrance to reduce any dusty smell coming out of your vacuum. Essential oils like lavender oil are lovely here.
- 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.
- Don’t forget to wipe your light fixtures and bulbs.
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen
- I like boiling handfuls of fresh (or dry) bay leaves in water for ten minutes. 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.
- Scrub countertops 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.
- If you want to use something stronger to disinfect your countertops, use isopropyl alcohol. Spritz it on the countertops or add it to your cloth and just wipe away.
- 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.
- Take your bin outside and wash it with a hose and dish soap. Use a scrubber to get any gunk out too. This tackles the smell problem head-on instead of masking it with air fresheners.
- After your bin is washed and dried, cover the base with baking soda before putting the garbage bag in. Dryer sheets work great too to minimize odor.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wipe the top of your fridge. It might be one of the dirtiest parts of the kitchen. Oh and vacuum under the fridge too!
- 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.
- 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.
- If you have a garbage disposal, add a couple drops of lemon essential oil. That’ll control the odor.
Cleaning Tips for Living/ Dining Room
- Vacuum couches – front, back and under. Use the soft brush attachment especially for leather couches.
- 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.
- 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!
- Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and rugs. Leave for half an hour, then vacuum.
- If you can, vacuum under your carpets and rugs and their undersides. This is dust heaven so be sure your space is properly ventilated.
- Store less toys in the living room and keep Legos out. Haha!
- Unplug your electronics. With a damp microfiber, wipe the plugs, cords, and surfaces. Use isopropyl alcohol to wipe tv screens.
- 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.
- 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.
Cleaning Tips for Bathrooms
- 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.
- Use gloves and Lysol wipes (or any disinfecting wipe) to clean the outside of your toilet.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pop your shower curtain in the washing machine on the delicate cycle. Add a small capful of bleach to get mold and mildew stains out.
Cleaning Tips for Bedrooms
- 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).
- Use a lint brush or dryer sheet to remove hair from your sheets and pillows before washing.
- Using a damp microfiber, wipe your headboard. It’s loaded with dust. Wipe your bed frame and base too. Don’t forget your side tables.
- Vacuum your drapes, curtains and blinds. Spritz them with a homemade air freshener with lavender oil.
- 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 Laundry Room
- 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.
- 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! Yay!
- Wipe the inside of your dryer with a clean microfiber to remove stuck-on lint.
- If it can fit, use a Swiffer duster in the lint trap of your dryer to get excess lint out.
- With some help, unplug and pull your dryer to access the back. If you can remove the panel, you’ll find the electrical components covered in lint. Electricity plus lint is a fire hazard so use your vacuum to clean the components.
Omg 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.