Keeping your home clean can feel like the world’s biggest, never-ending, time-sucking chore. And with all the cleaning equipment and supplies you have to buy, it’s also expensive, right?
Wrong. Cleaning doesn’t have to take hours of your time or empty your wallet. With these 10 must-know cleaning hacks, you’ll save both your time and your money.
Keep a Cleaning Caddy
One of the best ways to save time while cleaning is to keep your supplies in a cleaning caddy. This eliminates the need to pull out your items one by one and allows you to get straight to cleaning, knowing that you have everything you’ll need in your hands.
You can opt to make separate caddies which hold the materials for each room (e.g., a separate bathroom caddy and separate kitchen caddy) or you can have one larger caddy with everything on it to move through the whole house, whichever suits your cleaning style. No matter which option you choose, make sure to stock it with not only the sprays you’ll need, but also other materials like gloves, microfiber cloths, brushes, and sponges.
Having all of your materials together will also mean you’re less likely to run out of something without realizing it. When your caddy is running low on one thing, you can quickly tell if the others need replacing as well.
Clean Top to Bottom
One cleaning method which will save you tons of time is to make sure that you clean every room from top to bottom. You don’t want to start by cleaning your floor only to follow it up with dusting – you’ll just add dust to your floor and create more work for yourself.
If you start at the top of a room, you ensure that any fallen dirt or dust is handled as you move down to clean the next sections. Bookshelves and picture frames are likely to drop dust to the tables and floors below, while wiping kitchen counters can send crumbs flying. Anywhere in your home that is dirty or dusty should be handled before you clean the floors or furniture below it.
Clean in Batches
Certain cleaning tasks are easier to do in batches than cleaning one whole room at a time. Instead of doing these things as you come to them in each room, you can save time by doing all of them in the house at once.
Spraying Bathrooms – if you have more than one bathroom in your home, you might find it quicker to spray all of your counters, sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets at one time and then allow the cleaning agent to soak in and do its thing. When you return to wipe or scrub, you’ll find that your job is easier.
Dusting – dusting is one of those chores that’s annoying, but actually relatively quick and painless. However, stopping to clean other parts of the room or house can really make you lose your momentum. Instead, grab a duster and head through every room. This should only take a matter of minutes (in fact, it can be done while you allow your bathroom sprays to soak in).
Vacuuming – instead of vacuuming each room once you’re done cleaning the rest of the items, it’s much faster to wait and vacuum your whole house at one time. This will mean you don’t have to keep stopping and switching cleaning supplies and equipment. You can just breeze right through each room and move onto the next.
Use White Vinegar as a Disinfectant
If you’re tired of purchasing expensive disinfecting sprays, you can turn to white vinegar instead. It’s naturally acidic, which gives it strong disinfecting properties, and as a bonus it is completely natural. It’s safe for use on many different types of surfaces, so you can dilute it with some water or add some lemon juice to it to make a powerful multipurpose cleaner.
Because of its acidic nature, vinegar is also good for removing things like limescale and mold. Plus, it’s often cheaper than buying commercial cleaning products.
Use Baking Soda to Absorb, Deodorize, and Clean
Like vinegar, baking soda is a must-have natural item for your cleaning arsenal. Not only is it natural, but its deodorizing and absorbing powers are second to none. Plus, you can buy large amounts of it for cheap.
Sprinkle baking soda over anything with an odor and give it some time to absorb. After a few hours, you can simply vacuum up the baking soda and your odors should be gone! Dealing with stuck-on grease? Mix the baking soda with a little water and wipe it over your grease using a sponge or cloth. It should dissolve the grease in no time. You can even use baking soda to get rid of stains in your carpets, on your countertops, or in your grout.
When mixed with white vinegar, baking soda becomes even more powerful. The foaming reaction caused when the two are mixed helps to dissolve and lift dirt and grease even faster. This great for your toughest stains or your blocked drains.
Reuse that Lemon
Another natural item that can be used to help clean your home on a budget is that leftover. If there’s still any juice left, it can be used to remove hard water buildup, restore your grout, or even degrease your pans. No juice left? You can still toss it in the microwave with some water to steam clean and make it easier to wipe, or you can toss down the garbage disposal to freshen it up. You can even wipe a wooden cutting board to refresh it and remove the smell of garlic and other veggies.
Dry Your Clothes Faster
If you need to dry your clothes in a dryer, there’s one hack to reduce the amount of time it will take (saving you money on energy, also!). Just toss a dry towel in with your clothes for the first 15 minutes. The towel will help absorb extra moisture from the clothes and reduce the drying time significantly. Just make sure you take it out after about 15 minutes, and try to use either a light-colored towel or a color which matches your load of laundry so that the dyes don’t transfer.
Make Your Own Cleaning Cloths
No need to purchase expensive cleaning cloths, disposable towels, or sponges – instead, make your own cleaning rags from recycled clothing and towels. Pure cotton makes a great cleaning rag, so next time you want to get rid of some T-shirts, set a few aside and cut them up into smaller rags. Getting rid of towels? Because of the texture, these can be used for scrubbing in place of sponges.
Use Your Dishwasher for More Than Dishes
Your dishwasher is a serious sterilizing machine, and it can be used for so much more than dishes. You can place lots of metal items in the dishwasher (this is a super easy way to clean metal range hood filters!) and also hard plastics. If you need to sanitize your children’s plastic toys, pop them on the top rack of the dishwasher.
Use a Squeegee to Remove Hair
If you have long hair or if you have a pet in your home, then you know how difficult it can be to clean that hair. Both human and animal hair have been known to stop up vacuums. Instead, use a squeegee to remove hair from fabrics and carpets. The rubber edge will pull at the hair and collect it, allow you to pick it up and dispose of it easily.
So there you have it, our must-know hacks for saving time and money while cleaning. Using these 10 cleaning tips, you’ll get through your cleaning chores in no time, without breaking the bank.