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Clean House Faster: Great Cleaning Shortcuts

Let Cleaning Products Work

Difficult cleaning jobs will be a lot easier to accomplish if you give your cleaning products time to kick in. For example, if you apply oven cleaner and then go make a few phone calls, burned-on grease and gravy stains will be far easier to wipe away when you get back.

When it comes to oven cleaning, Beyer recommends prevention: she uses an oven liner to catch spills. These inexpensive liners, which can be trimmed to fit any size oven, are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Smallin recommends pouring toilet bowl cleaner into your toilet before you go to bed at night, so it will be simple to wipe and flush the next morning. "As I like to tell people, you can clean your toilet while you sleep," she says.

Keep Dirt Outside

Eighty-five percent of the dirt on your carpet is tracked in from outside, says Smallin. She recommends placing a doormat outside the door and another one inside, to keep as much dirt as possible off floors. You may even want to establish a "no shoe" policy in your home to keep dirt out. (Keep a selection of cozy slippers on hand for your guests.)

Get Help

Even if you can't afford a regular housekeeper, you may want to periodically hire a cleaner to give your house a deep cleaning. "If you feel like you can't get on top of the mess, it's worth it to invest in a good cleaning," says Smallin. "A cleaner will probably charge more for a one-time job, but if you start out with a really clean house, it's much easier to do daily and weekly maintenance."

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Reviewed on January 14, 2010
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