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Having some simple cleaning hacks to get your house tidy and clean can make cleaning easier and save you time you’d rather spend doing other things.
Here are 15 cleaning hacks that won’t cost you a cent but will get you done and out.
1. Clean the inside of your kitchen cabinets with your vacuum.
For the most part, cabinet shelves get an accumulation of dust and crumbs and vacuuming gets rid of them quickly without needing to take all the contents out.
2. Use your dishwasher to clean lots of things around your house.
Dishwashers do a great job on dishes, but they can also clean many other household items. Among them: glass light globes, plastic kids’ toys, small bathroom trash cans, hair brushes & combs, pet dishes, metal sink fixtures (on pots & pans cycle), sponges, garden and BBQ tools, plastic flowers, golf balls (put in basket), sports equipment, removable cup holders from your car, hubcaps, heavy rubber or plastic pet toys, and more. To be safe, don’t use the dry cycle.
3. Use old socks to clean blinds.
Just spray them with a vinegar-water combination or commercial glass cleaner and wipe both sides of blinds at the same time. When you do this on a regular basis, it keeps the grime from becoming sticky and hard to remove.
4. Use the clean as you go approach.
Automatically picking up and wiping up as you go through a room will save you time when you’re ready to actually clean your house. Swish a brush around the inside of a toilet after using it. Wipe down the kitchen counter after each use. Pick up the loose thread or wad of dog fur you see out of the corner of your eye. Seconds now means less to clean later.
5. Use a damp paint roller to clean popcorn ceilings.
Popcorn ceilings are still very much a thing and for many people, keeping them clean and cobweb free is a chore. A water-damped paint roller quickly glides over the surface of the popcorn texture, removing the dust and cobwebs, without tearing off chunks of the finish.
6. Use a long extension cord with your vacuum cleaner.
You can easily move from room to room without having to go back, unplug the vacuum cleaner and find another plug in the next place you’re working. Anything that can keep you from tracing your steps and having to do more work will save you time.
7. Keep Mr. Clean erasers in every room.
These genius little things can remove fingerprints and grime from light switches and around doorknobs. Having them handy makes it easy to make these areas gleaming clean again with little effort.
8. Make garbage disposal cleaning cubes
Fill ice cube trays with vinegar and lemon wedges and freeze. Keep them in a plastic bag in your freezer. Whenever you think you need to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal, just drop a couple into the sink and use the disposal to crunch them through and disperse grease and odors.
9. Combine your cleaning jobs
Multitasking? BAD idea. Except when it comes to cleaning. You already do this automatically. Folding laundry while on the phone or while watching TV is a good example. Now do it intentionally by combining area jobs. Clean the window blinds when you are cleaning the window glass. Wipe out the surface of the sink after moving dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Clean under the sofa cushions when you’re vacuuming the living room. Combining cleaning jobs means a cleaner house and less time spent doing it.
10. Keep your cleaning materials supply up to date.
It’s Saturday morning. You want to clean the house and then take your family to the park for the afternoon. When you reach for the window cleaner, you discover that you used it up last week. Your house really needs to get done, so you run to the store and delay your family trip by at least a half hour or more. Keep an inventory of the things you use on a regular basis to clean house and make sure they’re always in stock. In a pinch, have a few DIY cleaning recipes to get the job done if you just can’t get to the store. The Penny Hoarder has some great recipes and you can whip them together from things you probably already have at home.
11. Use Opportunity Cleaning.
Opportunity cleaning is – you’re already there, so why don’t you clean it? Taking a shower? Grab the surface cleaner and a sponge and clean it before getting out. Getting ready to put the freshly-bought groceries into the fridge? Take a second to first throw out all the dried up and dying goods, and give the surfaces a quick wipe. Taking the laundry out of the dryer? Get into the habit of emptying out the vent and wiping down the surfaces.
12. Define what clean means to you and don’t let anyone pressure you to do more.
Everyone has a different idea of what clean means. For some people, clean is hospital-sterilized surfaces, even if they’re covered with clutter. For others, an always tidy room that gets cleaned every couple of weeks is just right. Figure out what is best for you and tailor your cleaning effort around your own standard.
13. Have a cleaning plan in place.
When you attack a room, think about how to most effectively clean each area. Move around the room in a circular pattern, clean from high to low, and then go into the center of the room where there is usually only the floor to sweep or vacuum. So that would look like this in a typical living room. Start at the TV cabinet, run a broom or long-handled duster along the crown molding or ceiling edge to catch dust and cobwebs, then wipe down the top surfaces of the TV and cabinet, and keep moving down until that area of the room has been cleaned from top to bottom (in that order). Move on to the next section of the room and clean the same way. When doing the sofa area, sweep or vacuum under the cushions. The last thing to do in the room is the floor. Be sure to have all the cleaning products and tools you need. No wasting time going into other rooms for what you need.
14. Use Coca-Cola in a new way.
You might have heard of using Coke to clean the inside of your toilet. Pour out a can, making sure to hit under the rim, then let it sit for an hour or more while you clean other areas of the house. It works really well, but there are other areas you can clean with your favorite beverage. Try pouring Coke on your greasy garage floor. Walk away and come back to wipe off all that gunk easily. It will also work on greasy pans and tools.
15. Make your blender clean itself.
Love smoothies but hate the blender mess? When you’re done making your drinks, squirt a few drops of dishwashing liquid into the blender and fill it 3/4 full of water. Secure the lid and put the blender back on its base. Blend on high for a couple of minutes, then pour out and rinse clean. The power of most blenders make this clean-up a breeze.
Have any cleaning hacks and tips you can share? Drop them in the comments below!
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