Chances are, you’ve dreamed of a way to make your house self-cleaning. Maybe you grew up watching the Jetsons, or maybe you looked at your self-cleaning oven and wondered why the rest of your house can’t take care of itself–minus the extreme heat, of course.
Here’s some good news! With these 13 tips you can have an almost self-cleaning house — or at least one that does a much better job staying tidy.
Make Your House Self-Cleaning (Almost)
1. Use Mats at All Outside Doors
Think it’s hard keeping the contents of your home dust-free? Imagine what it would be like dusting all of the cans in a grocery store or the goods in a shop! Commercial buildings use large, unavoidable floor mats at their entrances for that reason and so should you.
Keep welcome mats on both sides of your home’s exterior doors and shake or sweep them regularly to reduce up to 80% of the dust in your home.
2. Switch to HEPA Air Filters
Your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system doesn’t just cycle air. It can also clean it by removing dust, pollen, and other allergens, even pet hair. Every time your system kicks in, it can help make your house self-cleaning.
Cheap, disposable filters do nothing to catch tiny allergens, but an HEPA-grade filter will eliminate all of these plus pet dander and smoke particles. Change it regularly or buy a washable one and you’ll be cleaning your home’s air
3. Use Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners
No one likes getting on their hands and knees to deal with toilet odors. Scrubbing the bowl isn’t a pleasant task, either. Installing deodorizing toilet bowl cleaners will eliminate odors every time you flush.
There are many types available: some involve gels you fit in the bowl under the rim, while others go into the tank. Skip them if you have pets that occasionally slurp out of the bowl, though.
4. Eat Only at the Table
Tired of finding crumbs everywhere? Kids seem to strew messes everywhere they go. (In fairness, so do some adults.) Chocolate-covered fingerprints on the doorknob, anyone? Crushed Cheerios in the sofa cushions?
Adopt a rule that eating happens only at the table — maybe with an exception for popcorn on Family Movie Night. You’ll immediately reduce the number of messes you need to clean, and might even have fewer dishes to wash. It reduces the risk of household pests like cockroaches and mice, too!
5. Update Your Home Decor
Midcentury Modern and Scandinavian Minimalist decorating styles are going strong and with good reason. Both feature clean, simple looks without a lot of layered of accessories and knickknacks.
The result? Dusting your home is as easy as running a microfiber cloth over horizontal surfaces without a lot of stuff
6. Don’t Wear Shoes Indoors
You can dramatically reduce dirt and debris by banning shoes in the house. Most shoes have almost a half-million bacteria on their soles. Keep that stuff from being tracked through your home by having your family wear slippers at home.
Wearing dust-mop slippers inside will clean your hard floors with every step.
7. Put Your Dishwasher to Work More
Let your dishwasher do the work of cleaning bathroom vanity accessories, glass light fixtures, and other waterproof knickknacks.
Just pop them in the top rack while you’re running a load and make sure to turn off the heat for the drying cycle. Give them a quick swipe with a dry cloth afterward.
8. Line Your Refrigerator Shelves
Scrubbing spills on refrigerator shelves is a thing of the past when you line them. You can use plastic cling wrap for this, but it’s far more economical to cut washable refrigerator shelf liners to fit.
Next time someone spills, rinse the liner by hand or pop it into your washing machine. Easy!
9. Stop Using Soap
Soap scum is the product of hard water interacting with the fatty solids in bar soap. It clings to shower surfaces and breeds bacteria. Plus, it’s a pain to clean! So, keep your showers and tubs scum-free by switching to liquid body wash.
You’ll still want to give those tiles a good scrub once you’ve made the switch to get rid of any buildup. (Try my homemade soap scum remover — it’s the best!) Once you make the switch, you won’t have to worry about new scum growing.
10. Steam Clean These Two Together
Sponges get nasty. Microwaves get nasty. A quick way to clean both is by washing your kitchen sponge with soap and water then popping it, dripping wet, into your microwave. Run the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes then let the sponge sit and release steam.
Once it’s cool, grab a cloth and wipe loosened grime from the microwave walls. It’ll slide right off. Squeeze your sponge, so it’s almost dry. Don’t forget to replace it every two weeks. (Here are some great ideas for what to do with old sponges.)
11. Brush Away Pet Hair
Dogs and cats can make a house feel like home, but the hair they shed can make your place look dirty even when it’s not. Giving your pets a quick daily brushing significantly reduces the hair you’ll find on your furniture and floors. You’ll have less dander floating in your home’s air, too.
If you can’t take your pets outdoors to do this, lay a towel on the floor (or your lap) to collect falling hair. Use a brush you can easily wash or something like these pet grooming gloves. (My cats adore them!)
Prevention Makes Your House Self-Cleaning (Almost)
While it may not be possible to make a house self-cleaning entirely, preventing messes from happening in the first place is almost as good.
Wondering about other ways to stay on top of things? Try following this daily cleaning routine and watch how 20 minutes every day leaves your home looking spotless.
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