Cross these items off of your to-do list. 

By Katie Holdefehr
December 27, 2019
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Getty Images / Jonathan Kantor

At the beginning of a new year, your to-do list is typically long. There are the looming New Year's resolutions to tackle, new holiday presents to organize, decorations to stuff back into storage. Well, here's some good news: on your long list of home chores, there are at least a few things you can cross off right now. Here are five items you can spend less time cleaning in the year ahead. Some don't need to be cleaned at all, while others will suffice with a quick rinse. Keep these in mind during your next cleaning spree, and you'll be done in record time. 

RELATED: Professional Organizers Share Their Ultimate Speed-Cleaning Routines

1
Cast Iron 

Part of what makes food cooked on a cast iron skillet so delicious is that the pan itself is seasoned—and washing it with soap can actually strip away the seasoning. Instead, rinse your cast iron pan with hot water right away after each use (sorry, procrastinators, this skillet isn't for you!). If there's cooked-on food, scrub with a mild abrasive, such as salt. 

For more tips on caring for cast iron, follow our guide

2
Kitchen Sponge

Here's one thing you can cross off your cleaning checklist entirely: your kitchen sponge. After studies showed that the method of "cleaning" your sponge in the microwave may actually increase bacteria, we've been committed to replacing our sponge every single week (and making sure it's able to dry out between uses).

Alternatively, invest in a silicone scrubber or a dish brush

3
Your Jeans

According to denim experts, not only do you not need to wash your jeans after every wear, but doing so can cause them to deteriorate more quickly. Instead, wash your denim after about every five wears, and follow these denim care tips to prevent them from shrinking. 

4
Mirrors 

While fingerprints and smudges are easy to spot on mirrors, keeping them clean is more of a visual concern than a hygienic one. Unlike the bathroom counter or faucets, which you touch often and can spread germs and bacteria, the mirror is a less likely spot for germs to spread. Of course, to create a home that looks clean, wiping the mirrors is on the top of the to-do list before guests come over—but the rest of the time, we can safely skip this chore. 

5
Moka Pot 

If you own a moka pot espresso maker (like the popular Italian brand Bialetti), you can put down the soap right now. Soap can interfere with the flavor of the coffee. Similar to a cast iron skillet, the metal coffee maker will get seasoned with the coffee over time, so you don't want to disrupt that process with harsh cleaners. 

Instead, let the moka pot cool and rinse each part carefully with warm water. Dry each part thoroughly before reassembling, as any lingering moisture can lead to corrosion. 

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