Clean House Faster: Great Cleaning Shortcuts
Change Air Filters Regularly
Replace the air filter in your furnace every three months or so. A
clean filter will catch more of the dust and particles in the air, and minimize
wear and tear on your furnace. A clean filter also reduces the energy your
furnace consumes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Use Your Dishwasher More
Your dishwasher offers a variety of cleaning shortcuts. Many pots and pans
can go in the dishwasher (check the label first), as can refrigerator shelves,
drawers, and ice trays. Beyer recommends putting sponges in the dishwasher to
sterilize them for reuse.
Put Clothes Hampers All Over
If you place clothes hampers in every bedroom and bathroom in your house,
you're likely to find fewer cast-off clothes and towels on the floor -- even if
you share your home with teenagers.
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
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.)
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