You don’t have to spend an entire day on housework. Using these cleaning hacks and methods, you’ll clean house faster and better than ever.
Do you look forward to spending your entire Saturday cleaning house? Or would you like to get it done in less time while still doing a good job, so you’ve got time to do something more fun?
Most people enjoy having a clean home, but they don’t want to wear themselves out doing it. Me, either. That’s why I rely on the methods below to get my house clean faster while still doing it well.
How to Clean Your House Faster
Know the Difference Between Cleaning and Tidying
Cleaning is about getting rid of dirt, dust, and grime. It deals with surfaces like counters, bathtubs and toilets, and floors. Tidying deals with objects — tossing trash, purging clutter, and organizing what’s left. Don’t try to do both on the same day.
That doesn’t mean you have to set aside an entire day to tidy up, either. Spend ten minutes before bed each night to put things away and pick up trash. Or do it in the morning while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. Putting away clutter makes it easier to clean your house fast.
Clean Room-by-Room Not Task-by-Task
Working task-by-task is inefficient. Dusting all furniture, then wiping all counters and cleaning every baseboard before vacuuming? Stripping all beds, then putting clean sheets on each one? Scrubbing all tubs and showers, then the toilets before polishing every mirror? You’ll get your steps in for the day, but you’re likely to get interrupted or worn out before your house is clean. Do one room at a time instead, but clean the right rooms first.
Know Which Rooms You Should Clean First
Have you ever wondered what you should clean first in your house, or where to start? The goal of cleaning is keeping your home healthy. Creating a comfortable environment or making things look nice comes after that.
So, always start by cleaning your kitchen then clean the bathroom(s). Next, clean the bedrooms to help control dust mites and reduce allergy symptoms. If you run out of time or energy after those, you can feel confident you’ve protected your family’s health. But, if you want to continue cleaning, focus on the remaining rooms based on how much they’re bothering you.
Move Dirt Down Then Out
To clean your house faster, clean each room in the right order. You don’t want to clean furniture first then get more dust on it by cleaning the ceiling fan next. Likewise, you don’t want to waste time retracing your steps. So, start at the top of the room with fans and light fixtures, then work your way to the walls, windows, and blinds. (Left to right.) Clean furniture and beds next, and finish with baseboards and floors — where all that dirt has fallen.
Use the Right Tools
You need lint-free cloths for dusting and polishing mirrors. They won’t leave bits behind. You could use those same cloths to clean windows, but a good squeegee works even better. Using the right tool for the job includes floor cleaning — there are rarely good reasons to use a broom indoors. They just stir up dust that settles onto other surfaces. Use a vacuum instead, and save the broom for outdoor work.
Have Those Tools Ready and Clean
You don’t cook dinner by running to the store for one ingredient, chopping it, and going back to buy the next. That would be crazy, right? Not gathering cleaning supplies before you start is nuts, too. Keep them all in one bucket or caddy, so they’re easy to find. (I use this one, which isn’t the prettiest, but it holds a lot and is easy to wash.) Also, keep them clean! Dirty cleaning gear makes messes worse.
Cleaning cloths: Grimy cloths leave streaks. Wash them in hot water immediately after use. Tumble-dry or line-dry them in bright sunlight for added disinfection.
Mops: Filthy mops spread germs. If you can’t toss the mop head in the washer, disinfect in 2 gallons of hot water with 1 cup of bleach. Let it soak for 10 minutes, then rinse and let it air-dry.
Squeegees: Remove gunk with rubbing alcohol. Use a cleaning cloth and hot, soapy water to wipe the blade. Dry it with a fresh cloth right away, so it doesn’t rust.
Vacuum cleaner: Even your vacuum cleaner needs regular cleaning. So, wash your vacuum’s non-motor parts in a bathtub with soapy water. Pull threads out of the cleaning head. And don’t forget to change your vacuum’s filters as needed.
Clean Before it’s Dirty
The real secret to cleaning your house faster is to do it before it looks messy. That’s why it’s called a cleaning routine — you do it regularly, in the same order every time, not only when needed. When you first start a routine, it may take a long time. But if you’re consistent about it, you’ll clean house in half the time because there won’t be much mess to clean. (Related: How Often to Clean Everything in Your Home.)
Fast Cleaning Hacks to Use
You know the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” It applies to housework, too. Here are some easy tricks to make cleaning faster, so you don’t have to work so hard.
Using a dry cloth to dust sends debris into the air, then it settles back onto your furniture. Soil is gritty, too, so using a dry cloth to wipe it away leaves microscopic scratches. A damp rag, rinsed often, not only picks up dust but gets it out of your house without damage.
Clean Windows and Mirrors Quickly
A good squeegee is the fastest way to get glass clean without streaks. Get the surface wet with glass cleaner then run the squeegee left to right across the top. Then run it from top to bottom, left to right, wiping the blade between strokes. (Related: Streak-Free Homemade Window Cleaner.)
Spray and Mop
There’s no need to haul a sloppy bucket of water throughout your house. Fill a spray bottle with floor cleaner and use it to get a 3-foot section damp and mop it. Repeat. (Related: Homemade No-Rinse Floor Cleaner.)
Let Your Vacuum Do More
Your vacuum can clean much more than floors once you know what to use your vacuum cleaner attachments for. Use the soft bristle attachment to clean curtains, baseboards, and cobwebs in corners. The upholstery attachment (the flat head without bristles) cleans sturdy fabrics. Use it on sofas, chairs, throw pillows, mats, and mattresses. The long, narrow crevice tool fits into tight spaces well. Use it around the base of walls and heavy furniture, down air registers, and between sofa cushions.
Clean Ceiling Fans Quickly
There’s no need to haul out a ladder to dust your ceiling fan. Lay a sheet on the floor beneath the fan to catch dust, then run an oval brush (like this one) over the fan blades. Gather the cloth and shake it outside, then wash it.
A Quick Stain Scouring Powder
For most stains on household surfaces, the first thing you should reach for is baking soda. (Bicarbonate for UK readers.) Dab a little on a damp cloth and scour away the mess. Try it on sinks, crusty cooktops, and dirty bathtubs — it works.
Clean Grout Fast
Use oxygenated bleach and water to get bathroom and kitchen grout clean. (Oxiclean is one brand, but there are plenty of store-label ones, too.) Add 2 tablespoons to a quart of water and apply it to the surface. Wait 10-20 minutes, then scour with a sponge or scrub brush and rinse.
Get Stainless Steel Spotless
Use a dab of mineral oil on a lint-free cloth to clean stainless steel appliances and surfaces. The oil dissolves existing greasy fingerprints and food spills and prevents new ones.
Speed Up Bathroom Cleaning
Toilets, tub surrounds, sinks, and bathroom counters collect a lot of debris. If you wipe first with a dry cloth to remove dust and hair first, you’ll find cleaning them goes much faster. You also need to do this to help disinfectants work right since too much dirt makes them less effective. (Related: 13 Places You Should Clean and Disinfect Daily.)
Kill Bathroom Mold and Mildew Fast
Use straight 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill mold and mildew on bathroom surfaces. Spray it on and wait 15 minutes, then scrub. (Related: Daily Shower Spray to Prevent Mold and Mildew.)
The Short Version of How to Clean House Faster
There’s no need to set aside an entire day to clean the house. Use these fast cleaning hacks and methods to get your home clean in less time.
- Keep tidying and cleaning separate. Tidying deals with picking up stuff. Cleaning focuses on removing grime. Make tidying a daily habit and you’ll find everything’s easier to clean.
- Always clean your kitchen and bathrooms first. These areas are essential to your family’s health. Do bedrooms next for the same reason, then work on the rest of the house as time and energy permit.
- Clean from the top of the room to the bottom, so you’re moving dirt down then out. Use the right tools, keep them handy, and clean them when you’re done.
- Rely on the fast cleaning hacks above to work smarter, not harder.