My working title for this post was: DIY Cleaning Hacks for Lazy People. It’s catchy, but I’d be selling some of us short; not everyone who hates to clean is lazy. Even if you love cleaning, doesn’t everyone appreciate a good shortcut? Plus, these tricks are cheap – most can be done with baking soda, vinegar, and rags! I have personally tested each of these cleaning hacks and am only sharing the ones that actually work.
Supplies Needed for these DIY Cleaning Hacks
Gather these items to tackle everything in this post. Just add them to your next grocery order!
If you’re not opposed to cleaning with Dawn dish detergent, I hope the miracle of “Dawnegar” is already in your life. If not, try this and thank me later. (You can try a different dish detergent, but Dawn is a super degreaser.)
- Mix together a 50/50 ratio of original Dawn and distilled white vinegar. I just shake it up in an old travel-sized Dawn bottle. It’s even better in a spray bottle.
“Walk Away” Bathroom Cleaning Hacks
It doesn’t get much better than “set it and forget it” cleaning hacks that actually require you to walk away.
1. Remove mineral deposit build-up from your sink faucet by soaking a rag in vinegar, wrapping it around the base, and forgetting about it for an hour (or more, let’s be honest). When you return, you’ll be able to easily wipe the gunk away. If not, repeat steps.
2. Spray Dawnegar all over tiled shower walls and glass doors 30 minutes before you plan to shower. Scrub everything down with a scrubby sponge to easily remove soap scum. Enjoy your shower!
3. Same idea with soap scum in bathtubs, but I usually sprinkle some baking soda around the tub first. Then spray with vinegar or use your Dawnegar mix and scrub together lightly. Let it sit for 10+ minutes and then scrub clean.
4. Toss a grimy shower curtain liner in the washing machine with a couple of towels. Wash on hot with regular detergent (or vinegar if you prefer). Voila! Hang the liner back up in the shower to air dry as usual. This works for both plastic and fabric liners – I’ve been washing them this way for years.
5. Pour a few cups of vinegar in the toilet tank and let it sit overnight. Flush a few times the next morning to remove mineral buildup in the tank and deodorize a bit. If you need a more serious cleaning, drain the water from the tank and fill with a few gallons of vinegar overnight instead.
Kitchen Cleaning Hacks
1. Try the same vinegar trick for faucet grime build up.
2. Easily clean the microwave by zapping a small bowl of white vinegar for 1 minute. The steam will loosen stuck-on bits and you can just wipe everything clean.
3. Line the bottom of your toaster oven and stovetop drip pans with aluminum foil. When they get too grimy, just toss and replace!
4. My new favorite trick: clean oven and toaster oven glass doors with just baking soda and tin foil. Yes – it works! Sprinkle some baking soda all over the glass. Let the baking soda absorb the grease for 15 minutes and then scrub lightly with the foil. It should all come off! You can use hot water to wipe the glass clean at the end.
Microfiber Cleaning Hacks
These cleaning cloths are the best microfiber I’ve tried. I read tons of reviews on Amazon before buying the Polyte brand, and they have not let me down! They clean sawdust off wood projects and fingerprints off glass, without lint. Just wash them separately from other towels, to avoid lint, and then air dry. You can designate certain colors for particular rooms, like bathrooms and kitchens. Here are more ways to use microfiber:
1. Clean blinds by wrapping a pair of tongs with microfiber cloths.
2. Wrap a broom head with microfiber to easily wipe down baseboards without bending over.
3. Wrap a cloth around the end of a Swiffer dusting tool, when you run out of the disposable covers. It still works to dust surfaces and window tracks. (I love these duster things, but I feel guilty tossing them so quickly.)
Best Cleaning Tools for Lazy (But Eco-Conscious) People
Now that cleaning is a daily chore, due to life with kids, I need workhorse tools that make it easier. I also try to reduce my environmental footprint by reusing microfiber cloths and rags and buying bagless vacuums. Here are my favorite tools.
Best Glass Cloths
This cloth is fantastic for cleaning windows and other glass – with just water. It’s a large, thin cloth and it came in this E-Cloth starter set that I bought years ago and still use all the time. (Well, not all the time – remember the theme of this post?)
We buy big packs of these cotton bar mops every 5-10 years to clean bathrooms, cars, and other grimy jobs around the house. They make the best rags! If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, I bet you’ll recognize them.
This beast is a new addition to our house and I can’t believe I ever spent a day without it. The best part is that the kids love to use it, which makes this $30 dustbuster WORTH IT. Our baseboards have never been so clean. It even comes in fun colors (I really missed the boat there… red! cobalt! aqua!).
Cordless Stick Vacuum
The lazy cleaner’s best friend is a cordless stick vacuum. Well, second to a robot vacuum, which is up next. I’ve been dreaming of a cordless stick vacuum for years, so we waited for a great sale and splurged on this Dyson Cyclone v10 Absolute. It’s a new addition to the limited cleaning arsenal and worth its weight in gold because you don’t need to bend over or plug anything in. Game changer. There are attachments for wood floors and carpet, everything easily pops on and off, and it’s super powerful. Plus it’s light enough to easily carry up and downstairs.
The canister can also be attached to a short wand and used like a dustbuster on steroids. The kids could probably handle it, but this beauty likely costs more than their first car will – so I’m not sharing it.
Here are a range of highly-rated cordless vacuums at different price points. Based on reviews, I would try the Eureka RapidClean if you’re looking for a more affordable option. If your heart is set on a Dyson, look for sales on the Dyson website and great deals at Costco.
Here’s the ultimate pick for lazy cleaners: a robot vacuum. If you keep your floors clear, these vacuums are fantastic for getting the work done on their own! My friends recommend this Eufy and Roomba (iRobot); both will alert you if they get stuck and the Roomba can send text alerts. Talk about set it and forget it!
Tips to Make Cleaning More Manageable
1. Start with the worst task on your list. If you put it off, you’ll probably skip it as you lose energy on other chores. For example, I intended to clean the oven door with the baking soda trick, so I tried it out on the toaster oven first. Guess which chore didn’t happen? (Good thing you can’t tell from the outside!)
2. Include your kids! Do you assign chores to your children? Mine earn an allowance if they fold and put away their laundry. This works for us because I hate folding laundry and they love buying themselves Legos. Win-win.
3. Set a schedule if you like to feel organized; or set a challenge if you need more spontaneous inspiration. I have been following this 30-day cleaning schedule, although really only checking off tasks as the mood strikes.
4. Make a cleaning caddy to carry to each bathroom, or just stock supplies in each room. Include an old toothbrush, rubber gloves, sponge, cleaning cloths, vinegar in spray bottle, shaker of baking soda, and disinfectant spray or wipes. Or whatever makes the job easier for you.
Send Me Your Tips!
What are your best time-saving cleaning hacks? I would love to hear them. Drop a comment below!