Dishes, mopping, laundry, not exactly the funnest activities around (unless you’re Monica Gellar). We asked some contributors and readers to tell us their least favorite chore and we can up with a few house cleaning tips that will make them go by a little bit faster!
House Cleaning Tips & Shortcuts
Not only do I hate trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, now I have to wash dishes! – Jamie
Dish Tips and Shortcuts:
- Don’t wash what you can wipe. If you used a measuring cup to measure out dry rice, you’re probably good with a wipe and back in the drawer it goes!
- Run a sink full of hot water as soon as you start cooking and wash as you go! By the time dinner is ready to serve the kitchen is already clean! Also, start with an empty dishwasher so you can fill as you go.
- Sprinkle baking soda on a dish that needs some extra attention. Let it sit in some hot water for a bit and it should be easy to clean.
- Adding a tablespoon of coarse salt while washing pots and pans will help remove grease.
- Keep a supply of paper plates, plastic utensils and cups on hand for when times are extra busy. Easiest clean up ever!
- Before putting on dish gloves add some hand lotion or a hand mask. You might as well take advantage of the time!
Dusting. You’re the worst – Anna Jane
Dusting, everything is dusty again before I even finish. – Dara
Dusting Tips and Shortcuts:
- Use entrance mats, one for outside the door and one for just inside the door. You’ll cut down on the amount of dirt that makes it into the house.
- Keep your windows closed. Also check to make sure the seals around doors and windows are still intact and make any repairs as necessary.
- Change your air filters every 1-3 months. (This will also help reduce your energy bills!)
- Dust from top to bottom. This will prevent you from having to go over surfaces more than once. You can then vacuum the dust that settles on the floor.
- Use fabric softener sheets in place of more expensive dusting cloths.
- A cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol will clean dusty candles. A toothpick dipped in rubbing alcohol will get in hard to reach crevices.
- Try dusting a cloth lampshade with a lint roller, tape or an old sock.
- For surfaces that aren’t smooth (chipped paint or splintered) a dust cloth can snag, try using a soft paintbrush instead.
- Use some white vinegar mixed with water when cleaning ceiling fan blades.
Sweeping and Mopping Tips and Shortcuts:
- Choose a broom with an angled edge that will fit under cabinets and tight spaces
- Start in a far corner and sweep your way out.
- A steam cleaner can be a secret weapon to fast, clean floors
- Daily mopping and sweeping aren’t always necessary. Spot clean as you go and save mopping for more of a weekly (or monthly!) task.
- Forget the old bucket and mop. Invest in a mop that allows you to treat as you go (like a Swiffer WetJet) and toss the pad when you’re done!
- Vacuum instead! (Amanda had the right idea!)
Putting away the clean laundry. I’ve already washed and dried and folded them. That’s where I draw the line. – Annie
Folding laundry; not getting it washed, but getting it from basket to drawer. – Bonnie
Laundry Tips and Shortcuts:
- Don’t do laundry as often! Many clothing items can be worn multiple times before washing (excluding items with spills, etc., of course) so take advantage of it!
- Get stains out immediately. Carry a Tide pen, Shout wipes, etc. and attack a stain right when it happens.
- Eliminate sorting by having a divided hamper or multiple hampers.
- Start with drawers that aren’t crammed. It’s unlikely you’ll be putting up that folded laundry quickly if you know there’s not even room to begin with! Start with a usable space and you’re more likely to put the laundry up.
- Fill your dresser drawers from front to back (like a filing cabinet). You can see everything when you open the drawer and you’re more likely to keep things some-what organized.
- If a huge pile of laundry that needs to be folded and put away makes you cringe, consider doing daily smaller loads that don’t look so daunting! 5 minutes to fold and put away sounds more appealing than an entire afternoon!
- After you’ve folded clothes, place them into a laundry basket. If you aren’t going to put the clothes up immediately, at least you can move the basket if you have unexpected company!
- Like a few more laundry tips? Head here.
What’s your least favorite chore? Have some house cleaning tips to share? Let us know!
Originally published March 31, 2016