15 Game-Changing Cleaning Shortcuts

Easy tips and foolproof strategies for making your home sparkle—fast.

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Photo by Johnny Miller
  1. Clean a room clockwise, top to bottom. All the dirt, dust, and debris will collect on the floor, where you can pick it up in one quick sweep.
     
  2. Leave an extra set of supplies upstairs. You'll tackle rooms there faster (and more consistently).
     
  3. Make dishwasher loading deliberate. Put all forks in one compartment, all knives in another, and all spoons in another. When it's time to restock the drawer, you get to skip the step of sorting.
     
  4. Try this microwave-cleaning trick: Instead of laboring over hardened gunk, heat water and lemon juice in a large microwave-safe bowl for 3 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then wipe the interior with a paper towel.
     
  5. Drop everything for a spill. If you let a mess sit, it solidifies and takes up more time (and elbow grease) when you finally do clean it.
     
  6. After getting out of the shower, give the glass door and sink a speedy wipe-down. You'll have less soap scum to deal with later.
     
  7. Let disinfectant sit. This sounds counterintuitive as a shortcut, but when you wait 10 minutes after spritzing, wiping up grime is a cinch.
     
  8. Stash extra bags at the bottom of your kitchen garbage can. With a clean supply at the ready, swapping in a new bag is less of a chore.
     
  9. If lugging around a messy mop bucket is slowing you down, spritz a damp microfiber mop with an all-purpose cleaner instead.
     
  10. Use a pillowcase to clean a ceiling fan. It will trap the dirt so you don't have to sweep the floor afterward. Spritz a water-and-vinegar solution on the case, then gently rub it over each blade, one by one, to dust.
     
  11. Don't scrub the stovetop. It's faster to soak a cloth in warm, soapy water, lay it over the dirty spot for 10 minutes, then wipe clean.
     
  12. To clean a lampshade fast, run a lint roller over the inner and outer surfaces, and use a hair dryer to blow dust out of the seams.
     
  13. When you need to clear a surface before cleaning it, put all the objects on a tray instead of moving each piece out of the way singly.
     
  14. When you sweep, mop, or vacuum, start in the corner farthest from the room's entrance and work your way out. You won't have to go back to get rid of foot marks or debris on a floor that you just cleaned.
     
  15. After cleaning and drying blinds, swipe with a dryer sheet. The residue repels dust, so you can get away with cleaning less often.