When I left home and went to university, my knowledge of cleaning was close to nothing. At first, I lived in a dorm, so I didn’t have to bother with cleaning that much.
However, later I started living in an apartment. That’s when I realized that I need to develop some domestic skills. Over the course of years, I read dozens of magazine articles and watched many videos on YouTube so now I know how to clean like a professional.
For this article, I’ve chosen ten simple and effective cleaning hacks that will make your home shine.
Cleaning hacks you can’t live without
Get rid of carpet stains
I have two pre-teenage kids. They have the ability to make stains on our carpets with literally anything. From Coke and pizza to watercolors and juice stains, you can find a wide palette of colors on our carpets.
We often have them cleaned by a professional service (the carpets, not the kids) but sometimes I have to clean them myself. First I mix vinegar and water (ratio 1:3) and apply the mixture on the stain.
Polish the baseboards
When my girlfriends and I share our home cleaning tips with one another, they all say that they pay special attention to the flooring. Indeed, when the parquet or laminated tiles are shiny and dust-free, the entire home looks fresh. You can make your flooring look like new for just $20.
However, none of has ever mentioned the baseboards. These are my two cents in addition to the floor: if you clean the baseboards, you’ll add to the perfect looks of your living space.
So, prepare tepid water, add some soap to it, dip a cleaning cloth in it and start polishing the baseboards. Make sure not to smear the walls, though.
In the end, wipe all the cleaned boards with a dry cloth.
Free window tracks from dirt stacks
The apartment in which I lived during the final years of my studies was in a dusty part of the town. Hence, every morning I’d be greeted by greasy and filthy window tracks.
The remedy for this sort of dirt is the following: apply some baking soda on the tracks and then add some vinegar to the same surface. After a few minutes, take a toothbrush and scrub the tracks. Finally, wipe all the cleaned tracks with a dry cloth.
Wipe your blinds clean as well. Just like dirty window racks, filthy blinds look bad, and they can emit additional dust into your home.
So, mix some vinegar with water (ratio 1:1), take a clean sock – ideally a single one – and keep dipping it into the mixture and cleaning the blinds until you’re through with all of them.
Do the same thing once or twice a week, and your blinds will always be nice and clean.
Brush the sink area
Water leaves it marks on every sink. When these mineral deposits are accompanied by grime and food stains, you have a pretty dirty sink area at the end of the day.
Still, it doesn’t mean that your hopes for a clean kitchen have to sink, as well.
What you need is a pinch of baking soda, some lukewarm water, and a toothbrush. Put the soda on the toothbrush and clean the faucet and the sink. Also, if there’s a dish rack on the sink area, remove all the crockery and cutlery from it and give it a proper clean.
You can also try Bars Keepers Friend. This is great for porcelain sinks.
Disinfect the shower curtain
There are four of us in my family, and we have only one bath. Each of us has a shower at least once a day. That’s a lot of soap and foam on the shower curtain. I can’t stand the mildew on the bottom of the curtain, so I wash it in the washing machine once a week.
I also put the links from the liner into the washing machine, usually with a few towels. Then I add my regular detergent and some baking soda and switch on the machine. In the end, I hang the curtain on the liner and that’s about it.
This tip has saved me money, shower curtain liners are expensive and over time that adds up.
Mind the countertop
It’s challenging to keep my kitchen meticulously clean because I cook every day. I know some women whose kitchen look like they’ve never been used. The bare truth is that they simply don’t cook.
One thing that I realized after so many meals and time spent in the kitchen: kitchen cleaning is easier without clutter on the countertop. For instance, I always remove the dishes as soon as the meal is over, plus I don’t keep any of the appliances on the countertop.
Finally, I don’t like flower arrangements and similar decorations on the counter.
Clean greasy dishes on the spot
I left a greasy pan in the sink after lunch a few times. I was too tired or simply wanted to take a nap immediately. That sweet nap becomes bitter when you get back to the kitchen to wash off that hardened grease.
If you ever have to put up with a greasy dish, fill it up with water and pour a cup of vinegar into the water. When the mixture boils, remove the dish from the stove and add a tablespoon or two of baking soda and leave it aside.
After a minute or so, wipe the dish with a sponge and rinse it with hot water.
If possible, do this immediately after the meal and you’ll waste less time on this chore.
Tidy up the kids’ room in less than 15 minutes
Since my kids share one room – as pre-teenagers, they can still stand each other – I have a special routine for tidying it up (check out my printable cleaning kids room checklist).
Firstly, I collect the dirty clothes. I try to teach them to put the clothing they wore to school to the laundry basket as soon as they come back home. They don’t always follow that rule, though.
Secondly, I take the rubbish out or the kids do that. They don’t refuse to take part in those chores so that’s nice. Finally, we put away the toys and arrange them the way my kids like to keep them.
For more details on a fast tidy-up session in the kids’ room, read the guide on Thespruce.com.
Scrub the fridge
When I lived on my own, I wasn’t too meticulous with my fridge. However, when I got kids, I started to pay attention to the fridge. I always double check all the products we store there to check if any of them is close to the expiration date.
What’s more, I scrub the fridge at least once a week. By this, I mean taking out all the groceries, from veggies and dairy products to pickles and meat.
After I’ve unplugged the fridge from the power supply, I mix tepid water and soap, take a sponge and apply the mixture throughout the fridge. Then I use a mild brush and gently scrub any spills or food leftovers.
Finally, I take a dry cloth, wipe the entire fridge, and put the food back in it.
I try to stick as much as possible to these golden rules of my home cleaning routine. The more you clean your house applying my tips, the more efficient you’ll get. After a while, your cleaning efficiency will be comparable to that of professional cleaners.
Although I’m not one, I’ve managed to master those techniques, which in turn helps me a lot in keeping my house tidy and clean.
About Author: Anita Edwards is a professional writer and editor. She works as blog editor at Spekless, where she shares her own and her colleagues’ tips for cleaning. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and going on day trips with her children.