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Here’s a list of ten absolutely genius time saving cleaning hacks that will save you time and keep your sanity when cleaning your family home.
10 GENIUS TIME SAVING CLEANING HACKS
Hands up who would like to spend less time cleaning?
Yep, thought so.
Which is why this post is all about the little cleaning things you can do to save a bunch of time – often using natural ingredients – to keep the time housework chores take to a minimum.
But sometimes it is truly about the little tweaks you make to your systems that make the biggest difference overall.
So, here’s a list of 10 super easy, super clever cleaning hacks that will help you shave minutes and hours off of the time you spend cleaning your home.
You’ll see that white vinegar features in more than one cleaning hack, I can’t stress how brilliant this cheap, natural product is to have a round, it is one of ten green cleaning essentials I swear by. You can find out about the other nine by reading our Green Cleaning Essentials post.
10 GENIUS TIME SAVING CLEANING HACKS
1.Sanitise Your Dish Sponge in the Washing Machine
Dish sponges are magnets for grot and bacteria build-up.
There is a line of thought that putting them in the microwave cleans and anti-bacs them. But I’m not keen on this.
So what I do is pop our dish sponges in with a load of coloured washing on a 40 degree wash.
It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone – and enabling the reuse of dish sponges is also great for money saving and eco-friendly.
2. Use White Wine Vinegar to Clean Your Microwave
Microwaves are brilliant for saving time when cooking.
However, they are a complete pain in the butt when it comes to cleaning them.
It’s those hard to reach corners in a confined space, combined with practically having to turn yourself upside down to clean the ceiling of the oven.
Want to know a secret?
There’s a completely scrub-free way to clean your microwave.
It’s so easy you can literally walk away and let it clean itself.
Just add a half / half solution of white wine vinegar / water to a microwave safe bowl, pop it in the microwave and set the microwave to cook for an initial five minutes – enough time for it to get really steamy.
Check the progress and repeat if necessary.
Then simply remove the bowl – be careful to use protection in case it is hot – and wipe down the steamy walls of the microwave.
Do make sure there is plenty of solution in the microwave before you switch it on.
If you want to go all fancy and love a kitchen gadget, you can buy a rather fun and lovely ‘Angry Mama‘ microwave steam cleaner for not very many $$, so named because it literally has steam coming out of its head!
3. Use Rubber Gloves to Remove Pet Hair
The bane of pet owners’ lives – unless they’re clever enough to get a poodle or poodle cross that doesn’t moult!
I’m not. We have two black and white cats and at certain times of the year the moulting is extreme.
I got this tip from my mum, who was amazed I didn’t use it already…. but that’s another post about mother, daughter relationships!!!
So, what you do is put on a pair of rubber gloves, dampen them and then run your gloved hands over all the surfaces where pet hair lurks. It’s one of those truly satisfying jobs.
To take this a step further… my mum also swears by rubbing down the cats with the rubber gloves on – as in, you wear the gloves, not the cats. She does it in the garden, so the flyaway hairs can, well, fly away. The rest goes into a biodegradable rubbish sack.
4. Microfibre Cloths are Great for Cleaning Windows
Windows, much as they are essential for letting light into our homes, they are also a pain when it comes to cleaning.
But there is an easier way than lugging round water and squeegees to clean them all.
It involves using a couple of microfibre clothes and going for a prevention is better than cure method.
By which I mean, wiping the windows down every couple of weeks as part of your quick cleaning routine, rather than waiting until they are truly dirty and a massive job.
So, about the microfibre cloths…
I have this e-Cloth pair of window cloths, which includes a cleaning cloth and a glass and polishing cloth.
I quickly wipe down the window from top to bottom – not round and round – with the cleaning cloth and then dry off with the polishing cloth.
It literally takes a couple of minutes, tops.
By not giving the windows a chance to get dirty they are super quick to clean.
5. Use Q-tips to Clean Your Skirting Boards / Baseboards
In the UK we call them skirting boards, in the US I believe they are called baseboards.
Whatever you call them, I think we can all agree they can be a tricky task to clean.
Even if you have a special vacuum attachment.
And especially if they are in the kitchen, boot room or bathroom, where moisture and grease can help seal on grime.
A very cheap and effective way of cleaning skirting boards is to use the humble Q-tip (cotton bud).
Well, it may take several, but you get the idea…
Literally wipe a slightly moist Q-tip along the top of the boards and you’ll see them instantly clean right up.
Green note: Make sure to buy Q-tips (cotton buds) with cardboard stems rather than plastic stems. See more about the reason why this is so essential in our Zero Waste post Plastic free living tips – 7 single use plastics to ditch now.
6. Clean Your Shower Head Overnight With White Vinegar
How many times did I have fights with shower heads whilst trying to clean them?!
Turns out there is a super simple, super quick way to clean them.
A way that pretty much guarantees you won’t end up with cleaner dripping down your face or water dribbling up your sleeve.
You simply fill a sandwich bag with white wine vinegar and place your shower head in it.
Tie the bag on, making sure the whole of the area of the shower head you want clean is in the solution.
Leave the bag on overnight and in the morning you should have a nice, clean shower head.
This tip is from our 6 Green Cleaning Bathroom Tips post, which is proving very popular!
7. Wash Kids’ Plastic Toys in the Dishwasher
It would be silly of me to confess the amount of times I just swerved this job and hoped for the best…
It’s another one of those time soaks that keeps slipping down the to-do list.
But it doesn’t have to be… if you just bung the lot in the dishwasher.
Be careful not to use too hot a programme and you’re all set.
8. Use White Wine Vinegar to Descale Your Kettle
This works quite literally like magic and is one of my favourite cleaning hacks, which is why it has a post all of its own!
You can read the post here: How To Clean Your Kettle With Vinegar, it literally is a super quick kettle cleaning hack that will have your kettle shiny and new within minutes and with minimal effort.
9. Clean Your Bathroom Walls With a Swifter or Dust Mop.
Bathroom walls can get pretty dirty.
Especially given the average weekly clean focuses on cleaning the important things… the toilet, basin, shower and bath.
There’s also something particularly hard to remove about dirty that is stuck on with day after day of steam.
Use a Swifter or dust mop along with your usual cleaning solution as a super quick way to wash down those bathroom walls.
10. Add White Vinegar to Your Toilet Tank
Now this is another prevention is better than cure method to reduce the amount of cleaning you do each week.
Simply fill a glass jar with white wine vinegar, prick a few holes in the lid and place the jar inside the water tank of your toilet.
It will keep your toilet clean for weeks.
There’s an added bonus that it also helps reduce the amount of water you use in the toilet tank, in the same way a toilet hippo does.
What a brilliant time and money saving cleaning hack to end on – if I do say so myself.
Want more cleaning hacks? Have a read of these posts…
We got more turbo charged bathroom cleaning tips like this one in our Spring Cleaning Bathroom Checklist post.
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Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists. She has written about all aspects of organising family life for ten years. Her main areas of expertise are family finance and budgeting, simplifying housekeeping and family admin and kids’ party planning. Read more.