How to Clean Your House Faster: Secrets and Fast Cleaning Hacks

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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

A large clock mounted to the side

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.

Woman wearing rubber gloves and using sponge to clean kitchen cabinet door

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.

Hand in rubber glove wiping baseboard with a cleaning cloth

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.

Cleaning supplies ready for use on kitchen counter

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.

Overhead view of woman using a dust mop to clean wood stairs

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.

Dusting Faster

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.

Person wearing rubber glove using squeegee to clean mirror faster

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.)

Woman using cordless vacuum to clean curtains fast

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.

Hand in rubber glove holding sponge using a fast cleaning hack to clean grout

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.

Woman wearing gloves and using a cloth to wipe bathtub faucet

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.

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2 Comments

  1. What do you do when you’re overwhelmed and you don’t know where to begin? You need to clean, organize and declutter. My other issue is papers overwhelm me. I get so much junk mail and so many things to read. I think I’m going to get to them to read or decide on and I never do. I don’t know what to do with all the papers, I tend to just shuffle them around and it’s really hard for me to decide what to do with them. I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you! It seems I work at this house all day long and don’t accomplish much!!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Cyndi,
      Dealing with incoming mail feels like a never-ending chore, doesn’t it? I’ve found that I have to be very tough with myself as soon as I bring it into the house. So, I toss anything sales-related, because I don’t need temptations to spend money these days. Then I open all incoming bills and immediately use my banking app on my phone to schedule payments, even if it’ll be a could of weeks before the money goes out. (That way I know they’re paid and can either shred the bill or stick it in the box where I store tax-deductible stuff.) That tends to leave just things I might want to read, like the half-dozen magazines I still get. I keep one or two in my purse, so I can read them if I’m waiting somewhere, and the rest go to the coffee table in my living room. When I’m done on Cleaning Day, I reward myself with a nice long sit (or soak in the tub) and go through the magazines then chuck them into the recycling bin.

      I hope that helps! Oh, and you might also want to check out the Daily Cleaning Checklist. It feels like a lot of work at first, but it’ll get your home looking nice after you’ve gone through it a few times. Then it’ll only take 15-20 minutes each day!

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