We sat down with Alice, one of our longest-tenured cleaning professionals, and got her expert opinion on home cleaning tips, tricks, and hacks she feels everyone should know! These are some of the methods she uses while providing cleaning services in nyc.
Create a Cleaning Plan.
Most of us have moments where we’re motivated to clean, but having a plan makes it much more manageable. According to Alice, “Cleaning can be like ballet. You work at an angle, go down and see everything that needs attention.” Then, as you move around the house, lightly wipe switches, doors, and baseboards; then, continue in a circle around the property. This principle is also helpful when decluttering or if you’re trying to attract buyers.
Consider Speed Cleaning.
Whether your husband or sister is coming and you want to quickly clean the house, knowing how to speed clean the house is your saving grace. Focus on visible surfaces like countertops and bathroom counters for the easiest and quickest clean. It’s easy to be too lazy to put things away in cabinets or behind a coffee machine, but by keeping things visible, we can significantly reduce our cleaning time.
It’s Time to Start!
Keep on reading for my absolute must tips, tricks, and ideas for a cleaner, happier, healthier home 👇
For the Kitchen
Did you know that you can make lemon-scented sanitizer for the trash cans in your house? Not only will this make them smell better, but it will also help to keep your home smelling fresh. This is an easy process and only requires a few simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand. Plus, there are some added benefits to using this natural cleaner, like making your garbage disposal run more efficiently. So next time your trash cans start to stink, give this hack a try!
To have an easier and cleaner life, consider starting with cleaning your kitchen and bathroom space. Then, declutter your house, dust off your sheets, and finally focus on flooring. Please be mindful of what you need to take care of around your property to have a stress-free life. A clean house is a happy house, and one of the best ways to achieve that is by staying organized. Whether it’s putting your belongings in storage solutions like shelving units and plastic bins or streamlining your cleaning routine with decluttering hacks, taking time out of your day to tidy up can make all the difference.
Deodorize Your Smelly Refrigerator with Used Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds can be used for more than just making coffee. If you let them dry on a plate in the oven, once they’re dried they become a great way to eliminate smells. You can put the soil into a container and put it in the fridge to keep absorbing smells and make your fridge smell pleasant. This is a simple hack that can be done anytime, and it only requires a few ingredients. So the next time your fridge starts to smell funky, give coffee grounds a try!
Freshen Up Your Garbage Disposal with DIY Lemon and Vinegar Cubes
Ice cubes, vinegar or lemon slices can help combat stinky bins. Simply cut the lemon in half and place it on an ice plate with vinegar before freezing it. Whenever your disposal starts to smell bad, run some water with a few ice cubes and voila – the scent will be gone immediately! This is a simple and quick way to get rid of smelly trash cans. So the next time your bin starts to smell, try using DIY lemon and vinegar cubes for a fresh-smelling kitchen.
Buy a Dish Brush That Dispenses Soap
Have you ever heard of a dish brush that dispenses soap? Neither did we, and we were ecstatic to find it! Make your life WAY easier with one of these brushed. Instead of needing to repeatedly stop to apply more soap to your brush, all you’ll have to do is let it to its thing, making scrubbing 5x easier, and much faster. Interested in more tricks to clean your bathroom?
For the Bathroom
Here are some tips on keeping your bathroom feeling fresh: Remove any odor from the towel. For example, you can use vinegar and baking soda. If your towel still smells bad after washing, it probably has mildew on it. This can happen if you leave wet towels in the bathroom for too long. To fix this issue quickly, follow these three steps:
1) Wash your towels as usual and run them through the dryer (a second time should do the trick).
2) Add some white vinegar to a spray bottle and spritz it on the towel.
3) Let the towel sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours, then wash again.
Use Your Dishwasher
Dishwashers are awesome at what they do best, getting dirty dishes clean, but they can be tricky if you don’t know what tools work best. For instance, glass will put up a fight in your dishwasher if anything is caked on it, and on top of that, you’ve got to be cautious with plastic – dishwashers get HOT and the plastic will melt.
Soak your dishes overnight before washing them in the dishwasher, and you’ll be surprised by how effective it is! This will also help eliminate hard-to-clean food stains, so it’s a great way to give your machine a little love while also cleaning your dishes more effectively. So the next time you have a lot of dirty dishes, consider using your dishwasher for an easier and more effective cleaning experience.
For Squeaky Clean Glass Windows, Look for the Morning Newspaper
Believe it or not, newspapers are one of the best materials to clean glass surfaces. All you need is a small piece of newspaper and some water or cleaning solvent. The newsprint will absorb the solution, leaving your glass streak-free and sparkling clean. Plus, using recycled newspaper is much better for the environment than reaching for a paper towel every time something needs wiping down! So take it from us, save the environment AND your money, and use a newspaper! Newspaper isn’t the only way to clean windows, though! Read some tricks to keeping yours clean here.
Or Fight Stains with Blackboard Chalk
The next time you see dirt or grease on your clothing or the tablecloth, instead of reaching for the laundry detergent, try using chalk. I’m going to read your mind. “Chalk?” is probably what you’re asking yourself. Yes, chalk! Chalk is a surprisingly effective substance for fighting stains and dirt. It absorbs very easily and helps keep surfaces dry. So before you toss your stained items in the wash, let chalk work its magic. You’ll be surprised by how effective it is!
Clean Denim by Putting it in the Freezer
Do you want to keep your jeans looking and feeling new? Here’s a hack for you: next time you wash them, don’t put them in the freezer (yes, people do this, and I used to be one of them). Instead, fold them into a bag or canvas (canvas is best) and keep them at room temperature for 3-5 days. This will stop any shrinkage from happening and will prevent bleeding. Keep your jeans smelling fresh!
Pick Up Glass Shards with Bread
To clean up glass shards from broken glass, look no further than your bread drawer. Yes, you read that right – bread can be used to pick up tiny pieces of glass better than a broom! Keep your hands bare and hold the slice of bread with firm fingers. Gently pat the surface around the broken glass until all of the shards have been picked up.
And Use Milk to Wash Away Red Wine Carpet Stains
If you’re worried about accidentally spilling red wine on your carpet, don’t be. Just grab some milk from the fridge and pour it over the stain. Leave it for an hour, then come back and rub in a little bit of water. The milk will help to absorb the wine into itself instead of onto your rug. The milk works by breaking down the wine itself and preventing it from settling into the rug’s fibers. Milk makes strong bones AND strong rugs!
Use dishwasher detergent pods to clean anything from a dirty oven to a toilet bowl
Dishwashers are amazing for so much more than just washing dishes. The detergent can also be used to clean up messy stovetops and counters. Dishwasher detergent is EXCELLENT at breaking down grime. Place one tablet into a bowl of warm water and let it dissolve for at least one minute. Next, take a scrub brush or sponge and scrub the door all over. But that’s not all you can do with dishwasher tablets! You can also use them to clean almost any stain from your toilet bowl and fixtures. Just like you would with a regular sponge, scrub the surface. Talk about multi-purpose!
Buff Up Scratched Tableware with Cream of Tartar
Have some cream of tartar lying around? Have some tableware that needs buffing? It’s time to get those dishes clean! For this recipe, you’ll need cream of tartar and a bit of water. Make a paste out of the two ingredients, then rub it onto the scuffed plates with a dishcloth. Wash it off with either soap or plain water – whichever you prefer! Your dishes will look good as new in no time.
Use Your Pillowcase!
You probably don’t need an extra pillowcase every evening, but you will need to use the pillow to clean your ceiling fans if you want to prevent a whole lot of dust flying around. “The pillow covers the dust and prevents it from being deposited on the floor,” Reichert said. It’s an easy cleaning solution.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda to Make a Dirty Baking Sheet Look Brand New
If you’re looking for an easy way to clean your baking sheets, sprinkle them with baking soda, add hydrogen peroxide, and let the mixture sit for a bit before scrubbing. Most of the dirt on oven sheets comes from the surface. Baking soda will keep your food from sticking and can completely clean any hardened messes. Rinse off the baking sheet with hot water and in minutes.
For the Living Room
There are many floor cleaning products available on the market, but they can often be expensive and not work as well as advertised. I think that using a simple homemade cleaner could be the change you are hoping for. The odor and grime of sectioned-off commercial cleaners are not worth their cost when compared to the ease and effectiveness of this DIY solution which only uses a handful of common household ingredients. You’re wondering, “what in the world are they talking about?!” The answer is drum roll please… Wear woolly socks with Swiffer pads on them! Throw them on fresh out of the washing machine (for warmth!). As you walk around, you’ll pick up a large chunk of that dust that’s been building up.
For Your Furry Friends
Pets are amazing companions that bring us immense joy, but they also come with a downside: hair. By donning rubber gloves every once in a while when petting them, you can avoid having their fur all over your clothes. The rubber will also remove a whole lot of shedded fur. It’s commonly said that trying to keep your pillow covers free of cat hair is futile. But if you put on some gloves and run them over any fabric, you can quickly remove pet hair and tangled strands. Do you really need to use a lint roller? We think not.
Skip the Polish
If your wood floors look dull, you may need to polish them occasionally. All you need is a wet microfiber cloth to make them shine again. “The furniture will actually be cleaner if you don’t use furniture polishes,” Alice adds. Microfibers – man’s gift to… man!
Use Baby Powder to Remove Grease Stains
If your shirt is stained with grease, don’t rush to the dry cleaners! Try this tip from the Happy Mom blog instead. Apply baby powder directly onto the greased areas and wipe away any residue. Then, apply a toothbrush and scrub into the dripping dish detergent until the foam is gone. Put the worn blouse in the dryer and hopefully all of that gunk will disappear too! Speaking of grease, here are some awesome ways to clean a greasy oven.
Thanks to this awesome hack, cleaning your cast iron pans will be a breeze! All you need are some potatoes, fine salt and oil. First, add the salt to the pan before scrubbing the potatoes. Then season the dish with cooking oil, making sure to spread it over the surface evenly. Finally, put the cooked tin in a hot oven for a couple of hours and voilà – no more mess!
Apply Toothpaste to Clean Dirty White Sneakers
Home Repair Man knows the pain of ruining a brand new pair of shoes. To avoid this tragedy, or to fix it if it’s already too late, grab a wet toothbrush and some white toothpaste. Gently brush the soiled areas until the mud comes off; with it, the stains will be gone as well!
Stock Up On Products
“Please, PLEASE, stop using cleaning products that aren’t made for whatever you’re cleaning without researching first!” says Alice. It’s easy to reach for the floor polish to use on your stainless steel or to use certain cleaners on unsealed granite, but that would be making a huge mistake. Alice recommends stocking up on cleaning supplies that are designed for their purpose. You can use certain cleaning products outside of their marketed use, but be careful and always do your research, otherwise you can cause serious damage to your floors, steel appliances, and unsealed counters. Not sure what cleaning supplies you should keep stocked up? Read this comprehensive guide on what supplies you should always have on hand.
Use a Disposable Razor to Remove Pilling From Sweaters
Tired of all those itchy bits on your sweater touching you? To remove pilling from a sweater, lay it flat on a table or ironing board and hold it tight. Use disposable razors for short strokes, being careful to test the sweater first on an inconspicuous area to make sure the fabric can withstand this treatment
Vacuum the Right Way
Alice recommends vacuuming rooms horizontally then vertically to release the accumulated dirt. Most professional cleaners agree on the need to vacuum slowly to remove dirt from the air. Equipped with a powerful vacuum cleaner, Alice adds that you can use the back of a chair or sofa to sweep the blinds. “Switch back and forth between horizontal and vertical lines for best results,” she said.
Microwave a Bowl of Water and Fresh Lemon Juice to Quickly Clean and Deodorize your Microwave – No Chemicals Required
“I’m confident this hack will work well because I do this with all of my clients that have microwaves,” says Alice. Fill a measuring bowl with water and cut lemons in half then microwave the cup for 3 minutes. Remove everything from the microwaves–the steam mixed with lemon juice will leave your microwave smelling fresh and clean.
Skip the Bucket
A bucket-free cleaning method offered by Leslie Reichert, Founder of Green Cleaning Coach and author of Joy Of Green Cleaning, is our new gold standard, and Alice swears by it. Instead of spreading dirty water, sludge, and whatever other debris accumulates in your mop water, let’s focus on keeping it simple. Ditch the bucket, give the floor a quick sweep, mix a little cleaning solution into a spray bottle and spritz around, then swiffer it up. Clean floor, happy life!
Use Black Tea to Clean Glass Surfaces Like Windows and Mirrors
You can easily clean windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces with homemade black tea. Simply steep several cups of black tea in boiling water and leave it to cool. Once it has cooled, transfer it to a spray bottle. The acid and tannin properties in black tea make it effective at combating dust and smudges. Black tea also acts as a bit of a dye, so make sure you read up on how to remove tea stains before trying this method.
Don’t Forget the Doormats
By placing a door mat both inside and outside of your home, you can prevent trodden-in mud from making its way into your living space. This is especially useful during winter months when boots are likely to be caked in salt and snow. Remember to regularly clean your door mat – it will contribute to the overall cleanliness of your house.
Remove Water Rings on Wooden Surfaces with Mayonnaise
Here’s a hack for keeping your household items in place: try mayonnaise. Just cover the surfaces with a generous layer of mayo, and it will help keep things from moving around. Plus, the mayonnaise will disappear when you rinse it out within a couple of seconds.
Did you know that dirty hairbrushes and combs can contain harmful substances? Yuck! That’s why it’s important to wash your brushes regularly.
To clean a hairbrush, rinse it in hot soapy water. For makeup brushes, place them in a trivet and wash them with soap and water. Cleaner brushes are not only more sanitary, but they also work better than those that aren’t clean! Learning how to clean your hairbrush is important for your hygiene, see how we suggest doing it here.
Clean more efficiently by completing two tasks at once. For example, clean floorboards and window surfaces by vacuuming or washing floors. When mopping the floor, sweep a bowl of water and cleaning solution.
You can make your cleaning routine more efficient by using some of these simple hacks. For example, you could speed-clean the kitchen or sanitize trash cans every day or week. There are plenty of tricks that can make keeping any home clean much easier. So what are you waiting for?
This one isn’t a traditional hack, but it is important to add on here. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to get our home cleaned. I’m sure you’ve heard this statement before, “A clean home is a happy home.” This couldn’t ring more true. A study was done recently, and the results are exactly what you would expect, 80% of people felt more relaxed in a clean home. If you can’t find the time to clean, even with these time-saving hacks, consider booking a cleaning service.