You give your home a thorough cleaning, it looks good for a week or two. Then, you get caught up with work, the kids’ exams, or a commitment you’d forgotten about, and poof! The home is a mess again! You don’t even know how the kitchen counter has gotten greasy or the faucets in the bathroom have mineral stains or the window pane have a layer of dust on them. So if you’re wondering “how to clean your house quickly and get it back in shape real quick”, here’s how!
When faced with a not so exciting task at hand, the first thing you need to do is – find motivation! Turn up some upbeat music, choose a good playlist or listen to a book on audio so you’ll feel like you’re achieving two things at once. Now, it’s time to dress for the job. Put on something comfortable and you can get started. Keep a pair of gloves and goggles handy, so that you don’t expose your skin to any harsh chemicals while cleaning.
What you could do in advance: Give yourself a head start. Clean clutter off the flat countertops and give yourself room to be able to clean thoroughly.
Set a specific schedule and stick to it. That’s what the professional speed-cleaning services do, and they get the job done. Create a sequence and follow it every time you have to clean the house. Work on cleaning one room at a time, begin and end at the same spot in the room. Don’t waste time moving back and forth.
The key to cutting down the time taken to clean up is getting a system in place and following it every time you’re cleaning up. You got to work one room at a time, starting and ending at the same place. Being consistent and doing the same thing creates a routine which is the better way to clean. In a routine, the speed comes from the method instead of being catalyzed by the rush to get the job done quickly.
You’ve got to start from the top and proceed to the bottom. If you first clean the coffee table and then go to dust the ceiling fan or the blinds, your clean coffee table is going to collect dust again. You don’t want to clean the same thing twice. Start dusting from the highest/tallest furniture and work your way down to the short furniture.
When it comes to cleaning, start from one side and go to the other side. It saves you time when compared to darting from one spot to another trying to get the whole place cleaned up. People usually tend to clean one thing and then move to the next object that they see. If you do this, dirt could fall again on the object that you just cleaned. Following the right pattern helps save a lot of time.
Having all your cleaning equipment within your arm’s reach saves you time. This means that you won’t have to parade up and down to the cabinet under sink each time you need something. If you find it inconvenient to carry large bottles, pour small portions of the cleaning agent into small spray bottles and carry them with you. You could also place all these small bottles in a bucket to save time and avoid leaving something behind.
To make it simple, don’t try to carry separate products to clean different things. Narrow it down to the basics, this way you save time searching for the right bottle or opening and closing different bottles. Most professional cleaners just use 4 products:
Or if you’re someone who uses homemade cleaning agents, you could carry those basic cleaning agents around with you. You don’t need a special counter spray, or an individual product to clean only blinds, fans or walls.
Few small preventive measures can save you a whole lot of time in the future. Buy a trigger bottle of shower cleaner, it’ll cost you less than $4. You can pick it up at Target or Walmart. This prevents grime and scum buildup in the shower. All you have to do is, spray it on the showerhead and any the shower door knob, rinse and you’re done. It doesn’t need to be wiped off or anything. Keep your showers clean and shiny, and also save a whole lot of time from scrubbing it when cleaning your bathroom.
Feather dusters work well for cleaning light dust deposited on furniture, windows, blinds, pictures, nooks, and other areas. If there’s a heavy buildup of dust, you’ll need to use a cloth or vacuum. You can use the feather duster to dust every two-weeks.
Grease inevitably ends up in most places in the kitchen, especially the areas that surround the cooking range. Use a cleaner that contains orange oil to wipe off grease or you can use a standard grease-cutting dishwashing detergent. The detergent cuts through the grease on the cabinets in the same way that it cleanses the dishes.
Before you start using the detergent, it’s best to test it. Mix one tablespoon of liquid detergent in a gallon of warm water. Dip a sponge in the solution and wipe an area that hardly visible. This is to make sure that the solution doesn’t damage or discolor the finish of the cabinets. Then dip a different sponge in warm water to rinse off the solution. For stubborn stains or buildup that doesn’t come off with the solution, use a mix of baking soda with water on the area and gently scrub it with a cloth.
Rust stains can be eyesores, whether they are on the porch, garage floor, patio or the driveway. You don’t need acid to remove them, you can use a lemon instead. Lemon contains acid that dissolves rust. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze its juice on a patch that has a rust stain. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse it off with clean water. If you want to get rid of rust stain that has been on concrete for a long time, months or longer, scrub the stains with a hard bristle brush after letting it soak in lemon juice for a while.
Bathrooms that aren’t well ventilated usually tend to face problems of mold. This happens because water remains on the walls after bathing. Hydrogen peroxide helps clean mold. Pour hydrogen in a trigger-spray bottle and spray it on the walls. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes and it will kill the mildew and mold. As usual, preventive measures are always advisable. To keep mold from coming back, use an exhaust fan while showering and leave it on for a few minutes longer after you’re done. Squeegeeing water off the tile walls and shower door also helps.
Mineral deposits from hard water tend to leave stains on your plumbing fixtures. Don’t battle these with bristle brushes or pads as they tend to leave scratches on the metal. Use white vinegar instead. Wet a soft clean cloth with white vinegar and wipe faucets. You’ll have your faucets shining with minimal effort.
The one thing standing in the way of you getting a shiny stainless sink is fingerprints, watermarks, and smudges. Mineral oil can help you battle this problem. Once a week, pour a little mineral oil on a cloth and wipe down your sink. The oil repels water and helps keep items from sticking to the sink. This helps prevent items from sticking to the sink and also makes it easier to wipe clean after using it.
Keep a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser handy. These cost around $4 for a pack of 4. They can take off most stains that otherwise don’t come off. These work well on almost all floor types including wood, laminate, and tile. Keeping a couple of these handy while cleaning will help you save time that you would otherwise spend on attempting to scrub off stubborn stains.
If you have stubborn stains on the carpet or the floor which are giving you a hard time, you can try one of these homemade carpet cleaner recipes to help yourself out.
The microwave is frequently used to heat up and cook food, and it’s a necessity to keep it clean. The insides of a microwave usually have a lot of food spills that get hardened over time and are hard to take out. Here’s what you can do: heat a coffee mug full of water in the microwave until the water is piping hot. This creates moisture inside the microwave that softens any food that is on the sides, top or the bottom of the microwave. Then wipe the insides of it with a moist cloth.
When vacuuming, you need to go in rows starting from the front of the room.Once you’re done, go back and vacuum again in long rows and then slowly back out of the room. Here’s a tip that can help you – put the cord over your shoulder so it doesn’t keep coming in your way. Vacuum the high-traffic areas of your home once a week to prevent dust from collecting.
Glass cleaning solution and paper towels not giving your windows that shine? Get yourself a window squeegee. It’s a one-time investment and also is an eco-friendly option. Most of us try to get professional results by using our everyday equipment. Add a drop of dish soap in a gallon of water. Liberally wipe the solution on the window panes with a cloth, then squeegee it off. Start from the top and work your way downward. Wipe the blade after every squeegee. You’ll have streak-free windows.
You could also opt for glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Wipe the glass in horizontal strokes and move from the top to the bottom. Never wipe in circles, it leaves streaks. Also, avoid using newspaper or paper towels to clean glass as it leaves a residue.
The best and most substantial way to clean your house quickly is to clean more often. Once you give your home a thorough cleaning, clean it once in every two weeks. It’ll keep the pace looking fine and save you from a long, painful job of deep-cleaning it anytime in the near future. Start maintenance cleaning instead of trying to fix your home to be nice and clean every few months.
You may not find a good couple of hours to clean the entire home every couple of weeks, so here’s what you can do. If you have 15 mins to spare on your hands, give the living room clings a quick dusting or maybe wipe the coffee table and one or two other pieces of furniture. Go one little step further by spraying shower cleaner on your shower every time you bathe if not at least twice a week.
A fun way to go about cleaning up is to get the family involved. That way, everyone knows that they are going to have to help clean up at some point and that’s incentive enough to push them to take a little extra effort to do their part in keeping the home clean.
Now that you know how to clean up your home and the importance of maintaining your home clean (which is why you began, I’m sure). Let me tell you that it is equally important to maintain the systems and appliances in your home. Yes, having to live with a malfunctioning HVAC or a refrigerator that isn’t cooling is definitely not in any homeowner’s list of wishes. System and appliance maintenance is highly essential to give your appliances a long life. The thought of replacing a washer or dryer is enough to put a frown on your face and give your day an evil twist. But here’s some good news! A home warranty policy covers the cost of repairs and replacements of home systems and appliances that happen due to regular wear and tear. Say your covered washer or dryer breaks down and it cannot be repaired, the home warranty company would replace the appliance. However, there are certain caps, so it’s essential to know some things before you invest in a home warranty policy.
Apart from the cost of the policy, you are also required to pay a service call fee or the deductible every time you request for a repair. The deductible varies from $50 to $125 depending on the cost of the policy. If the premium paid is high, then the cost of the deductible is low and vice versa. There are good home warranty policies that cost $350+ a year. However, your bathroom countertop is not something that’s covered by a home warranty policy. If you aren’t sure whether it is worth investing in a home warranty policy for your home, you can use the home maintenance calculator to help you with the decision. The home maintenance calculator requires you to enter some information like the age of the home, the age of the appliances, and the number of repairs per year. On the basis of this, it estimates the cost of repairs and maintenance of the home and accordingly suggests home warranty policies to match your expenses.