Smart Ways to Speed Up Your Cleaning Routine
The Laundress Scented Vinegar
When she doesn’t have time to mix together her favorite homemade vinegar cleaner, Toni Hammersley, the cleaning guru behind the popular blog A Bowl Full of Lemons and author of The Complete Book of Clean, grabs this store-bought potion. This cleanser contains all of the stain-fighting power of vinegar, but the scent of bergamot, thyme, and lavender masks the pantry staple’s characteristic aroma. And how does it speed up a cleaning routine? “It cleans just about everything and saves me time because I don’t have to switch between different cleaners,” Hammersley says. Streamline your cleaning process by investing in products that can work in many areas and on a variety of surfaces.
To buy: $12; thelaundress.com.
Mrs. Jones Soapbox Laundry Soap & Fabric Softener
While Hammersley typically prefers to blend her own homemade laundry detergent (yet another reason to admire her cleaning techniques), whenever she runs out of a batch, she reaches for this store-bought mix. By combining detergent and fabric softener in a single jar, this all-in-one saves the time and hassle of having to buy two separate products. Each load of laundry calls for just one heaping tablespoon of detergent, making it worth the cost, and Hammersley assures us that each jar lasts a long time.
To buy: $25; mrsjonessoapbox.com.
Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castile Soap
Again, Hammersley teaches us the importance of streamlining your cleaning product collection with this multi-tasking pick. “This soap is the ultimate time-saver, and most importantly, it’s non-toxic. I clean everything from my floors to my body with it. If I run out of a certain cleaner, I always grab this as a replacement.” she says. A household cleaner that can stand in for body wash when you run out? Now that’s convenient.
To buy: $19; amazon.com.
Mrs. Jones Toilet Bowl Bombs
When you drop one of these tablets into the toilet, it fizzes up to spread natural cleansing ingredients, such as baking soda and borax, around the bowl. “On days when I don’t have time to scrub the toilets, I drop in a bomb and let it do the dirty work. All I have to do is swish it around and flush!” Hammersley says.
To buy: $6; mrsjonessoapbox.com.
Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes
For pet messes and other truly gross jobs, Hammersley turns to these disinfecting wipes. These handy sheets fight germs naturally using a disinfectant created from thyme. Hammersley appreciates that these disposable wipes save her the time of having to launder microfiber sheets, but they’re also more eco-friendly than other options in the cleaning aisle.
To buy: $28; amazon.com.
OXO Steel Soap Dispensing Dish Brush
Becky Rapinchuk, the blogger behind Clean Mama and the author of Simply Clean, is a go-to cleaning guru when you want to tidy your home at hyperspeed. Having literally written the book on how to keep a home clean in just 10 minutes a day, she knows which products are guaranteed time-savers. The first product on her list: a dish brush with the soap dispenser built right in, so you won’t need to stop scrubbing to load up on soap. Hand-washing dishes just got a little bit easier.
To buy: $7; amazon.com.
Full Circle Dust Whisperer Washable Microfiber Duster
One sweep around the room with this microfiber duster will trap all of the dust that’s settled on shelves and side tables. According to Becky Rapinchuk, the best part is that the removable duster head can simply be thrown in the washing machine when it needs a refresh, or replaced entirely when it’s worn out.
To buy: $8; amazon.com.
Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Cleaner Starter Kit
“This is the only disposable toilet brush where you truly don’t have to touch anything, making it fast and less gross,” Rapinchuk explains. A release button on the scrubber’s handle lets you toss the scour head without having to lay a finger on it, making the toilet-cleaning process as quick and painless as possible.
To buy: $7; scotch-brite.com.
Norwex Microfiber Window Polishing Cloth
Jennifer Lifford, the cleaning expert behind the blog Clean & Scentsible, has tested her fair share of cleaning products, so when she recommended ditching the usual window-cleaning spray for this microfiber polishing cloth, we knew it had to be a true time-saver. “All you need is a spray bottle of water and the cloth to get windows, stainless steel, facets, or any other shiny surface clean and sparkling,” she says. The promise of a streak-free shine without using a chemical-filled spray? Brilliant!
To buy: $24; amazon.com.
Swiffer Sweepervac Rechargeable Cordless Vacuum
For jobs that call for both a vacuum and a broom, Lifford reaches for this tool that combines the best of both. “The vac sucks up all of the larger debris, while the Swiffer cloth collects finer particles, dust, and dirt,” she reports. Grab this hybrid vacuum and Swiffer whenever you need to quickly clean high-traffic areas of your home.
To buy: $63; amazon.com.
Murchison-Hume Ladies Room Cleaner
As its name suggests, this multi-purpose cleaner can be used on almost any surface in the bathroom, including tubs, tiles, and fixtures, saving you time and money by not having to switch between multiple cleansers. “This stuff is non-toxic, cruelty-free, and smells amazing!” Lifford says. Plus, the apothecary bottle is pretty enough to leave out on the counter so it’s always ready for an impromptu wipe down.
To buy: $15; amazon.com.
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover
“Instead of having to use different cleaners for different stains, OxiClean seems to tackle them all—carpet stains, pet accidents, and a variety of laundry issues,” Lifford says. She also loves that this cleaner comes in an unscented version, so you can enjoy all the cleaning power without the unwanted smell.
To buy: $15; amazon.com.
Thieves Household Cleaner
When Melissa Michaels, the blogger behind The Inspired Room, discovered that many of the cleaning products in her cabinet contained toxic chemicals, she decided to start fresh and embrace a “less is best” philosophy. Now, her favorite cleaning picks not only have to help her save time, but they also must be plant-based, chemical-free, and artificial fragrance-free. One of the few products that still makes the cut is Thieves Household Cleaner, a mix of five essential oils. Don’t let the price deter you—this concentrated solution is diluted with water (check the website for ratios), so each bottle lasts a long time.
To buy: $31; amazon.com.
Bon Ami Cleaning Powder
This old-school cleaning powder is considered a classic—and for good reason. Invented in 1886, Bon Ami has been proving its ability to polish tile, defog windows, and clean cast iron cookware for more than 130 years. Melissa Michaels from The Inspired Room often reaches for this non-scratching abrasive, proving it still has serious cleaning power today. Use it to quickly remove cooked-on food from pans and clean soap scum off bathroom tiles.
To buy: $6; amazon.com.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Sponge
If you follow the blog Young House Love (or have a copy of the book Lovable Livable Home), then you already know that Sherry and John Petersik are an inspiration when it comes to home makeovers, DIY projects, and practical advice for maintaining an orderly home. The blog’s readers constantly marvel at the couple’s remarkably clean-looking home, especially since they have two children. When asked about the products behind their tidy home, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser was at the top of the list. “I have a ridiculous amount of love for Magic Erasers. At first I thought the name was an overpromise, but it truly gets things out that no amount of scrubbing with a sponge can do,” Sherry Petersik explains. Marker scribbles and grubby handprints are no match for this magic.
To buy: $4 for four sponges; amazon.com.
3M Command Picture Hanging Strips
You may be surprised to see picture-hanging strips on a list of time-saving cleaning products, but if you have a gallery wall of frames to dust, Petersik promises they’re a game changer. Simply add a little strip to the back of each frame and secure it to the wall—the frames will stay straight when you dust them. Never again will you waste time readjusting your art after a cleaning session.
To buy: $7; amazon.com.
Barkeeper’s Friend Powder Cleanser
The Petersiks love this classic cleanser for its sparkle power. “It’s great for getting a super shiny ready-for-its-close-up sink! It's also awesome for scrubbing down an old tea kettle so it looks brand new, or even for removing hard water buildup from a showerhead or faucet,” Sherry Petersik says.
To buy: $11 for pack of 2; amazon.com.