Cleanliness may be a virtue but it doesn’t have to involve intensive labour. These quick shortcuts should help get the job done in no time:
1. Halt dirt at the source
Rule number one: don’t wear shoes in the house and you’ll exponentially reduce the filth. Set up an area near the front door and line up your kicks with plenty of room for guests’ shoes so they get the idea.
2. Mix your own cleaner
Use an all-purpose cleaner — you can whip up an all-natural version yourself — and assemble a “cleaning kit” for fast fixes. Include lots of spare rags and a toothbrush for tight spots. Tackle shiny surfaces with your cleaner to make them sparkle (scummy faucets are a turnoff) then wipe down mirrors with wet newspaper for streak-free gleam.
3. Bust dust
Reusable electrostatic cloths attract dust like a magnet — buy them in bulk and attach them to dry mops in lieu of those pricey disposable cleaning sheets. For an even cheaper solution, old dryer sheets also do the trick. Don’t forget to run a cloth over light bulbs; they will burn brighter and last longer. Dust before hitting the floors with a vacuum cleaner or mop to catch the debris you just unsettled.
4. Rest easy
Always make your bed — it makes getting into it so much nicer. A fluffed duvet can hide a multitude of sins like crumpled sheets. Efficiency expert Donna Smallin, author of the One-Minute Cleaner, advises to keep an extra set of sheets on the box spring for quick changes.
5. Water works
Clean the shower while you’re still in it. Let your conditioning hair mask soak in while you wipe tiles down. Hint: Shampoo and liquid soaps prevent water marks from building up. Use your dishwasher for more than dirty pots and pans. The high heat will disinfect cleaning items like dish brushes and old toothbrushes.
6. Soak it
Don’t scrub what you can soak. Soak a paper towel with a mixture of 2 tbsp baking soda and 4 cups of boiling water. Place over spills in the fridge, close the door and in 20 minutes food residue will be easy to clean up. Donna Smallin’s handy hint for cleaning the microwave: Add some lemon slices to a cup of water and nuke for five minutes. Food and grime will effortlessly wipe away.