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Open House: Your House-Cleaning Shortcuts

I have mixed feelings about this list of 10 things you can stop cleaning right now. Some of the solutions are smart, but others focus on disposing of things rather than washing them, creating waste. But since I can always use more easy homemaking ideas, I decided to devote an Open House to your house-cleaning shortcuts.

What tips do you have for quicker house-cleaning with little waste? Share yours in the comments section below, and next week, I'll compile our own CasaSugar list of house-cleaning hints. Let the open house begin!

total total 10 years
Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but: When I do a good cleanup I like to do a dishwasher load of random stuff, such as: dogfood and dogwater bowls, soap dishes, steel wool, toothbrush holders, some dog/kid toys mom has even put chandelier pieces in her dishwasher once (though I'm not sure I'd recommend that!) If it's not delicate and can be immersed in hot water, just dishwash it and save yourself some scrubbing.
blackjade blackjade 10 years
I'm definitely getting the magic eraser. One thing I'm surprised that no one mentioned as an all purpose cleaner - Simple Green. That stuff is amazing, non-toxic, can be use on or for just about anything. Just keep spray bottles of different concentrations and you're good to go. Lara16-great tip about the microfiber cloths - I hate using the swiffers because of all the waste.
mdbzmom mdbzmom 10 years
I line my oven with foil rather than buy the oven liners.
cocoa cocoa 10 years
slice up a lemon and put it in a microwave safe bowl. add water and microwave for about 5 minutes. all the mess will come off with ease and smells great afterwards, be careful though the water will be super hot.
Candybee Candybee 10 years
vintagesugar...that is soooo smart! I will definitely try putting peroxide on my electric toothbrush. It gets sooooo gross inside! I clean it w/ a qtip, but it still has little yucky parts!
kitchenfloor kitchenfloor 10 years
This a really helpful thread. I am one of those "messy" women who hate to clean because I find it really boring. I just can't get motivated.
lovelybabydoll lovelybabydoll 10 years
I discovered the magic eraser about two weeks ago and it has been FABULOUS! The best thing since I got a swiffer.
megafie megafie 10 years
I too love the magic eraser! I also like using baking soda to get grime off my oven top and around drains. It's a fine grain but won't scratch your porcelain tub or sink. Plus no toxic fumes. I have white couches, which was probably not the greatest idea bc I live in the city and I have a cat and a dog! I just keep a sheet thrown over them and tucked in. If you do it right it looks like a slipcover. Then when company comes I take it off and I have clean white couches! Plus my swiffer mop and duster make life easier!
ella1978 ella1978 10 years
LOVE the tips ladies. I also keep an aresnal of cleaning products in each bathroom and kitchen seperately, it makes cleaning more often less daunting. Esp. Glass cleaner for the mirrors, those get dirty so often. I use the Clorox/Lysol wipes EVERYWHERE. Also, something I love... if you have a stain on your floor (not wood) or your counter that you can NOT get out. Clorox makes this product. It's a Liquid Gel Cleaner. It's blue-ish green, clear bottle... let it sit on a wine stain or Kool-Aid stain on your counter for a few minutes, wipe, it's gone! It's great. I am an orginazational freak... Quick fix for keys all over.. magnetic hooks on the side of the fridge. You can hang up your keys & get them off the counter/table, etc. I agree with wicker/cotton/fabric baskets. They look great & really hold a bunch of stuff & make things look tidy. Swiffer is great for your floor. I have new wet wipes that made my kitchen smell great for hours! Never underestimate the power of plants. Even small, easy to take care of greeneries.. they make any room look "finished". Try a phiadendron, Ivy, Draceanas (lemon lime plant, lucky bamboo stalks, ribbon plants, etc). You only have to water once a week, even in the summer & they make a room look cheerful and great.
BloodyFuFu BloodyFuFu 10 years
I've recently started using a solution of dish soap, water, and a very small amount of bleach to clean just about everything. I have a spray bottle full of it and I use is on the tubs, the counter, the stove, even the carpet for little spots. It does away with having a ton of specialized cleaners and depending on the soap you use can smell pretty good too. Just be careful of the amount of bleach, keep it low, the solution should be mostly water.
phoebitz phoebitz 10 years
Terriann -- GREAT tips! Anyone have suggestions on non-toxic cleaners that work as well as the "kill everything it touches" kind? Also, any tips on keeping the house under control with a sloppy preschooler and husband? Thx
Green Green 10 years
great tips everyone- I use the Method shower spray daily and agree with the liquid soaps versus bar soaps. I also noticed that Bath & Body Works soaps tend to leave a little residue also...hate to say it!
Lara16 Lara16 10 years
I buy cheap washcloths at Target and use them during the week to clean up counters, floors, dry my hands, etc. I use them for everything. I then throw them in the washer along with my regular towels and they are ready to be used again. I use Caldrea's all purpose cleaner around the house - it is made of all natural ingredients yet packs a punch when cleaning any kind of mess. This way I feel comfortable washing my cleaning towels along with my bath towels. I also use microfiber cloths from Williams Sonoma to dust the house. They pick up everything and can be machine washed and reused.
terriann terriann 10 years
I'm a neat freak and I hate to spend a lot of time cleaning. I have lots of cool tips to help cut keep the place sparkling with minimal time and effort. Swiffer dusters- the kind wih the handle. The longer telescoping angled handle is best but the short freebie that comes in the package is just fine too. SO easy to quickly dust the furniture, under & around electronics, light shades, ceiling corners and light fixtures. The dust sticks, no chemicals and less itching & sneezing. Your shower will stay MUCH cleaner with less frequent scrubbing needed if you use liquid soap and shower washes. If your bf or hubby uses bar soap get him hooked on liquid too- Axe, Old Spice and Irish Spring smell fab and leave NO yucky soap scum. A "pouf" or nylon washcloth will make your liquid go a long way. If you don't have one, get a shower massage. Give the shower a quick spray rinse after you rinse off. Put together a little "cleaning kit" for EACH bathroom and one the kitchen- Softscrub, Clorox/Lysol/or Costco sanitizing wipes, Windex wipes, a scubby sponge and a glove. In the bathrooms add a can or bottle of spray cleaner for the shower. You can wipe down the mirror or counters & toilet with a disposable wipe any time they need it; giving the sink, tub or toilet a quick scrub is easy if you have the cleansers there and don't have to schlep them all over the house. Clean out your fridge before you go grocery shopping. Use up or toss leftovers, check to see what you're running low on and add them to your list, clean up spills with a sanitizing wipe, organize containers and condiments. When you bring your groceries home your fridge is all tidy and ready to be refilled with fresh food. If you have a pet, get a Dustbuster! They are great for quickly picking up cat litter, kibble crumbs, pet hair and all the little stray pieces of stuff on the carpet between vacummings. Swiffer mop- wet and dry kitchen, other bare floors and bathrooms. If you have older vinyl floors that have seen better days, give them a good scrubbing then use your Swiffer wet mop to put down 2 or 3 coats of Future. It's quick and it makes your floors sparkle PLUS it lasts a while and makes damp-mopping easy. Make your bed every morning, it just takes a minute and makes your bedroom look great. Get an empty spray bottle, pour in 1/4 cup of scented liquid fabric softener then fill with purified water and shake well. Give your sheets and pillows a good spray every morning before making the bed. Your bed will smell wonderful, your sheets and pillowcases will be crisper and less wrinkled and your room will smell fresh too. When you wash the sheets you won't need fabric softener or dryer sheets. Try to get into the habit of cleaning the kitchen each nite, it'll easier to keep clean and it's such a treat to get up and make coffee in a tidy kitchen in the morning. Do a load of clothes each day instead of a marathon of laundry on weekends. De-clutter! Get rid of all that junk you don't need anymore, clean out closets, cupboards, spare rooms. Use your storage space for the stuff you LIKE and USE all the time, not for useless junk you don't need any more. It's easier to keep your house clean if you have plenty of storage to put things away. Goodwill, Freecycle, ebay, & Craigslist are super places to get rid of your old stuff. Low lighting and candles will make your place look fabulous in the evening even if it's not immaculate. Tealight holders and plain unscented tealight candles are cheap and when placed all over the room the really make your home twinkle. Line them up on the dining room table for a simple elegant centerpiece too. Fresh flowers- don't forget your bedroom and bathroom. Even on a tight budget you can have flowers. Get a small bunch of gerber daisies, roses or orchids and put each flower into a separate bud vase or small bottle- group them together or put one in each room. Or buy live garden flowers in 4" pots (usually $1-2 each) and pot them in cute containers. They'll last a couple of weeks inside then replant them outside. Hope that helps!
gossipslut gossipslut 10 years
In a jam when you have unexpected guests comming in an hour? I make sure to swifer dry and wet the floors (I have hard wood and marble), clean the counters, straighten up everything, throw clutter in a closet they won't open, and when you are at the store picking up last minute merlot and your favorite cheese, grab some fresh flowers, split them in two and put one in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen. Fresh flowers spruce up most ANYTHING!!
bitesize bitesize 10 years
BettyG53, I totally agree with you, and do this all the time. It's wonderful because I have a lemon tree on my property! Lemon is great for taking out weird smells, too, like those that can build up in the garbage disposal.
bettyg53 bettyg53 10 years
I use lemons and salt to clean cutting boards then do the same to scrub down the kitchen sink. Slice up leftover lemon and throw down the garbage disposal.
Nan-Einhart Nan-Einhart 10 years
Here is a good tip for cleaning out tiny yucky spaces, like that place inside your electric toothbrush where nothing fits: pour in a little hydrogen peroxide which you certainly have on hand for first aid purposes. The bubbling bleach cleans out any gook and can be rinsed out.
tee0206 tee0206 10 years
I also love my Method daily shower cleaner spray. I just have to train my roommate to use it...
ljcadv ljcadv 10 years
i totally agree with the magic eraser!
saruuh saruuh 10 years
whenever i have leftover soda or beer, i pour it in the toilet. the carbonation keeps the bowl clean between cleanings. and i too love the magic eraser. you can even use it to do the dishes (a clean, unused one of course.) it works wonders.
nlw nlw 10 years
My mom told me about this cleaner called Awesome, from the Dollar Store and it's name is appropriate. It can be used anywhere, is strong enough to get tar off of my husband's truck, and can be diluted for more sensitive things. The cool thing is that the bottle actually tells you how many parts cleaner to how many parts water for what you want to clean. And the bonus is that it's a buck a bottle!
rothchild rothchild 10 years
my secret weapon lately is the magic eraser. it cleans most surfaces so well (just don't use it on hardwood or painted surfaces). i never thought i would be able to wipe down the brown gunk buildup on my range but it worked.
pargie pargie 10 years
1) I use Method daily shower spray after each shower to prevent scum buildup and spray everything including the curtains and shower walls. It make such a difference. Although I still regularly wash everything down. 2) I throw my clear heavy duty vinyl shower curtain in the washing machine and it works..just make sure it's on cold. My top shower curtain is cloth so I just throw that in the wash whenever it gets dirty. 3) I have cute woven storage cubes all around for convenient junk stashing. 4) I use a dirt devil mop vac for my tile so much better than a mop and bucket!
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 10 years
This is one that my mom does. Instead of buying a lot of different household cleaners, she uses pinesol for everything! She dilutes it to mop floors and clean counters in the kitchen. Then, she'll use it in the bathroom for counters and tubs. She'll even leave it in the toilet for a few hours, then swish it around with a brush and flush. Unlike me - I have a separate cleaner for everything which gets uber expensive and generates a lot of waste. I guess I need to go back to what I learned from her... Hope this is what you were looking for Casa! :)
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