Just about everyone I know dreads doing chores. From scrubbing the toilet bowl to dusting the baseboards, there are some tasks on your home cleaning checklist that most of us would be thrilled to never do again. But with fall's arrival, it's time to buckle down and start the new season on a clean and organized note.
And while we can’t promise to make your entire list of chores disappear, we can save you a bunch of time and energy by sharing these easy tips that will help streamline your weekly cleaning routine so you get even the dirtiest of jobs done more efficiently.
Here are 5 clever home cleaning hacks that will help you get your chores done faster than ever.
1. Use Exfoliating Shower Gloves
Ditch your traditional cleaning rags to take a truly “hands-on” approach to bathroom cleaning that’s so much faster and more effective.
Now bear with me, since this one might sound pretty weird at first, but once you give it a go, you’ll quickly discover why this cleaning hack is worth adding to your arsenal.
You know all those hard-to-reach spots that tend to collect gunk in your bathroom, like that incredibly small space between the faucet of your sink and your tile backsplash? Or those extra stubborn spots that need detailed attention, like the corners where your bathtub meets the wall or the grooves around your shower’s drain? This time-saving cleaning hack will make tackling those impossible areas more bearable!
First, put on a pair of latex gloves to protect your hands. Then, layer on a pair of exfoliating shower gloves (yes, like the ones you use to scrub off dead skin, just make sure to use a fresh pair). Spray your cleaning solution directly onto the gunky surface and scrub away at it using your hands and fingers, so you can target the exact areas that need the most attention. While it sounds a bit unconventional, this fall cleaning hack makes getting into all those little nooks and crannies far easier—which means you’ll get the job done in half the time.
2. Whip Up Your Own All-Purpose Cleaning Solution
Yep, you can create your own solution that works on almost every surface to save you time and money, using ingredients you already have at home.
The home cleaning product industry makes a killing by selling you all sorts of products with only mildly different purposes and ingredients. Not only can this take a toll on your wallet and create extra clutter in your home, you're probably wasting time switching between bottles of cleaning solution, when you could use a single product.
You can make one single cleaning solution that works on just about every area of your home. Make this all-purpose cleaning solution by combining four key ingredients you likely already have on hand: vinegar (a natural disinfectant, degreaser, and de-scaler), rubbing alcohol (a fast-drying disinfectant), and some dish soap (which helps loosen up caked-on dirt).
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup rubbing alcohol
- 1 cup water
- 2 or 3 drops of dish soap
- A few drops of lemon juice or essential oils (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together and store in a clean spray bottle. Use this all-purpose cleaner on wood floors, countertops, tile and glass. Just avoid using it on stone surfaces, since the acidity in the vinegar could damage natural stone over time. Replace the the mixture every 1-2 months to ensure its effectiveness.
3. Make Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Your Go-To
Microfiber cloths have thousands of tiny hair-like fibers per square inch, which is why they’re so effective at trapping dust and dirt. What’s more, their fibers are so small that they won’t risk scratching even the most delicate surfaces—you can even use them to clean painted walls without fear of rubbing off the finish. Plus, microfiber cloths can be washed and re-used time and time again, making them an eco-friendly, affordable option to add to your arsenal of home cleaning supplies.
To save time dusting (and replacing your nasty duster!), simply swipe a small section of your microfiber cloth over your dusty surface. Its pliability and ability to be wedged into all sorts of tight spots—like the grooves of your baseboards or each individual layer of your blinds—makes it much easier to use than a traditional duster. You can keep using the same section of your cloth multiple times, since there are so many fibers that can trap the dirt. You’ll know it’s time to refold your cloth and use a new section to continue your dusting job once dust particles start smearing across your surface, instead of being lifted off of it.
Microfiber cloths can also be used wet; however, it’s still recommended to go over your surface with a dry cloth first to remove any loose particles that could clump up (making an even bigger mess!) once your all-purpose cleaning solution is sprayed on.
4. Quick-Clean Any Surface Using a Lint Brush
While it’s admittedly only a surface-level cleaning solution, you can use a lint brush to instantly clean small, dry messes, lint or pet hair from just about any surface in your home in about 5-10 seconds flat.
Perfect for picking up those crushed Doritos that are hiding out between your couch cushions or removing an excessive amount of cat hair from your upholstered ottoman, an ultra-sticky lint brush is your secret weapon for a fast yet effective spot cleaning job. It even works on rugs and carpets, which is a godsend on those days you don’t want to deal with pulling out your vacuum over a few small crumbs. As far as quick-and-easy spot-cleaning solutions go, this fall cleaning hack is clutch.
Of course, to get a deeper clean (which is a must at least four times a year), you should use a vacuum and steam cleaner on upholstered items and wash any removable fabrics, like curtains, slipcovers, and throw pillow covers, to sanitize them thoroughly.
5. Plan Ahead to Help With the Tasks You Hate
While you can’t get away with never scrubbing your toilet bowl or wiping down the insides of your trash can, you can reduce the number of times you have to tackle your most-hated chores—whatever they may be. The key is planning ahead.
For example, regularly replacing your toilet tank cleaning tablets will reduce the amount of build-up that accumulates in your toilet bowl over time, so you can comfortably get away without picking up your toilet bowl brush for an entire month or more. Likewise, lining the base of your trash can with plastic wrap or making sure there’s a double layer of trash bags in your garbage can will help contain smelly, leaky messes when the occasional trash bag does happen to break.
One of my most-hated cleaning chores is scrubbing away the drips of food and sauce that get baked onto the base of an oven. To combat this, I now keep an extra large baking sheet covered in tin foil on the bottom rack of my oven at all times and simply replace the tin foil liner, as needed. Thanks to this strategic planning, I’ve gotten away without having to clean my over for over 6 months—hallelujah!
By incorporating these easy fall cleaning hacks into your weekly routine, you can cut back on the amount of time you spend cleaning, without sacrificing the cleanliness of your home.