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13 Clever Cleaning Hacks from Professional Housecleaners

You'll have your house spick-and-span in no time by following these tips.

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Don’t forget the doormat

Doormats are your best friend when it comes to trapping dirt, so make sure you have two—one outside the house and one inside. This tip is especially helpful in the winter when you have salty and snowy boots going in and out of the house. Just be sure to clean the mats regularly as dirty mats contribute to the mess. Keep your hardwood floors clean with these eight tips.

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Combine tasks

Kill two birds with one stone by doing similar cleaning tasks at the same time. “Clean your baseboards when you are vacuuming or washing floors, clean blinds when you are cleaning windows, etc.,” suggests Becky Rapinchuk, owner of CleanMama.net. Here’s how often you should be cleaning everything in your home.

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Skip the bucket

Sometimes moving around the mop bucket only makes more of a mess thanks to the dirty water splashing around. Leslie Reichert, founder of The Green Cleaning Coach and author of The Joy Of Green Cleaning, has a bucket-less mopping technique that works wonders: a spray bottle filled with diluted cleaning solution and a microfiber mop.

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Buy a soap dispenser dish brush

According to Dana White, founder of A Slob Comes Clean, you can use a soap dispenser dish brush in your shower. “Mark it for the bathroom only with a permanent marker, and fill it with your favorite dish soap,” she says. “Hang it in the shower, and you can scrub the shower while you’re in it anyway. Dish soap does a great job cleaning the bathroom!” Be sure to read up on the ways you might be cleaning your bathroom wrong, too.

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Vacuum the right way

Rapinchuk recommends first vacuuming a room horizontally and then vertically to get all of the trapped dirt. Most cleaning experts agree that vacuuming slowly is also very important to ensure that the vacuum picks up all the dirt particles.

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A pillowcase can be a cleaner

Obviously, you don’t want to use the pillowcase you sleep on every night, but using a pillowcase to clean your ceiling fans is a hack that you need to try ASAP. “The pillowcase holds the dust so it doesn’t fall on a table or bed,” says Reichert. “A very clean way to dust a fan.” Here are 11 brilliant cleaning shortcuts lazy people will appreciate.

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Create a cleaning plan

We all have those random cleaning bursts, but having a plan beforehand will make your cleaning process smoother. “Cleaning is really like a dance. You start high, work down and around, and carefully observe anything that needs attention,” says McGee. “As you move around, wipe light switches, door frames, baseboards, walls, working in a circle around a room and not back and forth from one thing across the room to another. Don’t get distracted, keep a smooth motion around your home.”

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Use your dishwasher

Dishwashers are for so much more than just washing dishes. Reichert recommends using yours to dust off knickknacks like mason jars and glass candle globes. Pretty much anything glass or ceramic should be fine going in the dishwasher, but you do want to stay away from putting meltable plastics, and these eight objects in your dishwasher at all costs.

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DIY cleaning solutions

Want to know the secret to streak-free mirrors and windows? Well, it’s an easy at-home solution you can make yourself. According to Rapinchuk, all you need is:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

Washing windows and mirrors is probably the least favorite cleaning tasks. These clever solutions will work for even the most annoying cleaning problems.

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Clean the toilet daily

If you swish your toilet every day with your cleaning brush, you’ll keep it relatively clean without a ton of hard labor. Use the water already in the toilet to swish the entire toilet bowl. Your bathroom probably gets dirtiest the fastest and is the hardest to clean. By the way, these everyday items are dirtier than your toilet seat!

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Skip the polish

Of course, you need to polish your wooden furniture and hardwood floors every once in a while (once or twice a year, or when they begin to look foggy), but all you really need to keep them shiny is a dry microfiber cloth. “Your furniture will actually get less dusty without using furniture polish,” says Reichert.

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Prioritize

“[Start] with scrubbing areas such as kitchens and baths, then moving on to de-cluttering, dusting, bedding, and finally floors,” McGee advises. “Look at your home carefully to determine what needs most attention to bring it to your idea of clean.”

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Purchase a paintbrush

Reichert uses a stiff paintbrush around her furniture to pull the dirt out without having to move all the furniture around. “You are brushing it out away from the furniture so the vacuum can suck it up,” she says.