18 Time-Saving Cleaning Tips and Hacks

According to a 2013 survey, people spend an average of 2.3 hours PER DAY on household activities including cleaning.

While you could save 730 hours (or 30 days) per year by hiring a professional cleaning service, some things you still just have to clean yourself.  We’ve put together this list of quick cleaning tips and hacks to help you save time cleaning some of the pesky areas around your home. Know one one we’ve missed? Post your comment below and we’ll add it!

1. Clean Out Your Shower Heads

Your water pressure in your shower suffering from hard water build-up? Fill a plastic bag with 50/50 white vinegar and water. Tie the bag around the shower head to immerse it; use a twist tie to secure it. Let the shower head soak this way for about an hour and then wipe it clean. 

You can also remove hard water deposits on your faucets and other plumbing fixtures by soaking a clean rag in vinegar and draping it over the fixture for about 30 minutes. Remove the rag and scrub the faucet with a non-scratch sponge. Repeat as necessary until your faucet looks good as new.  

2. Freshen Your Garbage Disposal

Put some cut lemons down your drain and instantly freshen up your garbage disposal. Not a fan of lemons? Just about any citrus fruit works great.  Or give your disposal a deep clean using this guide

3. Disinfect Your Household Sponges

Sponges, especially those used daily in the kitchen sink, can be a repository for all sorts of bacteria. Did you know you can disinfect your household sponges in the microwave? Just zap your sponges for 90 seconds and they will be 99% bacteria free.

4. Cleaning Your Tennis Shoes

A toothbrush and toothpaste will clean all the white parts of your tennis shoes. To clean the fabric, place your tennis shoes on a rack in your washer (if your washer has such a setting), or hand wash them in a sink with a bit of liquid detergent. We recommend you allow your shoes to dry in the sun as a dryer may shrink them or otherwise affect the fabric and inside soles of the shoes.  

5. Cleaning the Glass on Your Fireplace

Clean the glass on your fireplace by dipping a wet paper towel in the ashes and then wipe your glass with it. Gently rinse with a clean paper towel. 

6. Remove Mold and Mildew From Front-Load Washing Machines

  1. CLEAN GASKET with rag or towel and hot soapy water
  2. CLEAN DISPENSERS by removing and scrubbing them 
  3. RUN WASHER on hottest setting cycle

7. Remove Permanent Marker From a Wall

We all know it’s inevitable that the ink will end up on an unintended surface. Cover the permanent markings with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (PRO-TIP: Test first on the surface in a small, unseen area to make sure the hand sanitizer doesn’t otherwise affect your surface). Make sure the liquid is covering all parts of the marker. Allow it to sit for 30 seconds; then wipe with a paper towel. Repeat as needed until it’s gone.

8. Save Time Making Beds

You likely know that your car has a little arrow near the fuel gauge indicating which side the tank is on. Did you know most sheets have pretty much the same thing? Most of us don’t which is why no matter which corner you start with, you almost always realize you put the long end of a fitted sheet on the short end of the mattress! Never fumble around with the wrong corners again. HINT: Tags on then bottom of your sheet always go on the bottom of your bed. With king sheets, the tags are on the bottom left. With queen sheets, they’re on the bottom right. It’s also helpful to mark the inside seams with a fabric marker to denote right or left corners. Oh, but go ahead and remove those mattress tags that do say “DO NOT REMOVE”. We’ll never tell.  

9. Clean the Microwave

Steam clean your microwave by heating a bowl of water for 5 minutes. Then wipe it out. Then buy one of those little plastic plate covers so your microwave stays a bit cleaner moving forward.  

10. Clean a Glass Stove-Top

Glass stove-tops are hard to keep clean! To clean up after a burned on mess, let it cool, cover it with shaving cream and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then wipe it right up! 

11. Clean Your Baseboards

Re-purpose your used dryer sheets to wipe down your baseboards. The material and static charge make cleaning a breeze.

12. Freshen Your Pillows

While you’re busy re-purposing your dryer sheets as baseboard cleaners, put another one in the pillow case with each pillow when you make your bed. Your pillow will never smell as fresh.

13. Clean Your Dishwasher

Pour some baking soda around the bottom of your dishwasher, especially on the spray arm. Run a full cleaning cycle with your dishwasher empty.  Your dishwasher will not only smell better, but it will clean better too.

14. Clean Your Cookie Sheets

If you haven’t been lining your cookie sheets with aluminum foil each time you use them, they likely look a bit rough. Give this cleaning a method a try:

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the grimy areas
  2. Spray hydrogen peroxide over the baking soda
  3. Sprinkle a bit more baking soda over the same area
  4. Let the pan sit for at least 2 hours
  5. Wipe clean

15. Save Money While Using Your Swiffer

While not terribly expensive, Swiffer pads aren’t free and they are disposable. Try using a fuzzy sock instead of a pad and you’ll be amazed by the performance and the cost savings.

16. Clean Up Concrete Stains in Your Driveway or Garage

If there is still gunk and other liquids in addition to the stain, use cat litter to absorb and clean that up before tackling the stain. Then to remove the actual stain itself, pour a little household drain cleaner over the spot and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Use a brush or mop to scrub the harder stains and rinse clean.

17. Freshen Up Your Bath Towels

Do your bath towels smell a bit funky even after they’ve been washed? Mildew and soap residue can build up in a towel to such a level than you want to stop drying your face. Here’s an easy fix: Wash your towels on the hottest setting adding nothing but one cup of white vinegar. Wash on a second cycle — again on the hottest setting — adding nothing but 1/2 cup of baking soda. Finally, dry your towels thoroughly before folding.

18. Eliminate Water Stains On Your Shower Glass

Apply shaving cream to your shower glass and wait 15 minutes before wiping clean. It also works to help keep diving masks or eyeglasses from fogging up. (Remember that the next time you’re wearing your anti-COVID mask!)

Enjoy Your Newly Discovered Free Time

We hope these cleaning tips and hacks help you save time and perhaps make cleaning up around the house a little more interesting. And remember to get your instant free cleaning quote before you leave.  Professional house cleaning from Buckets & Bows Maid Service might just save you 30 days a year! What would you do with the extra time?