How to clean quickly and effectively: Handy tips and tricks
Let’s face it: No one likes to spend hours a day cleaning their home. From dusting and vacuuming to laundry sorting and chasing cockroaches around the kitchen – cleaning is a must. Most of us have to do a bunch more than just that once-a-year spring clean, too! So we’ve gathered together some of our best cleaning tips and tricks to help you save some precious hours for more enjoyable things.
Our top 7 cleaning tips:
1. Get organised
The best place to start with our cleaning guide is to create a cleaning plan. You can get everyone in the house involved in this and draw up a simple routine: The kitchen on Wednesdays, the lounge room on Sundays. Change tasks around each week to make sure everybody gets to have a go at the bathroom once a month. A quick cleaning tip for the forgetful types: Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you of upcoming tasks!
2. Have the right equipment and products at hand
It’s difficult to know how to clean if you don’t have the right products at your disposal. That doesn’t mean you should stockpile tons of different cleaning products for every imaginable surface type. Instead, opt for a good multi-purpose cleaner to save some of your hard-earned cash! The same applies to equipment – you don’t necessarily have to buy all the fanciest gadgets! The most essential cleaning products and equipment include:
- Liquid detergent for dishes
- Washing powder
- Multi-purpose cleaning spray
- Toilet cleaner
- Micro-fibre dusting cloth
- Vacuum cleaner
3. Clean after use
We get it, cleaning the dishes after dinner is the last thing anyone wants to do after a nice meal! But before leaving that tomato saucepan on the counter to get all crusty, it’s worth getting into the habit of washing any kitchen items and appliances the same evening. Not only will the utensils be easier to clean when food remains are still fresh, but things won’t pile up over time and leave you facing a mountain of dishes the next day. Try cleaning step by step: The counter, microwave, and oven. A quick wipe-down after usage means leaves a lot less work for “future you” to do!
4. Identify clutter areas
This is an important house cleaning basic: Find out where your household items regularly pile up. From clothes to magazines – there will be certain hot spots in every home where single items quickly turn into mountains. Decide which clothes you’re going to wear again and which should go into the wash. And remember to take that magazine with you after you’ve finished reading it.
5. Start gentle and safe
If your idea of how to clean involves reaching straight for the strongest bleach, hold on a second! Instead, it’s best to begin with gentle cleaning products. If you can wipe away a stain just using water – that’s perfect. If not, homemade, products are often sufficient for getting rid of dirt and freshening up surface areas. Mixing 1/3 cup of vinegar with 2/3 cups of water makes for an effective cleaning solution – whether you’re pre-treating stains or cleaning the dishwasher. No cleaning instructions would be complete either without mentioning bicarbonate of soda – this household staple is a great option to keep things sparkling naturally.
6. Hoover or sweep and then mop
The order makes all the difference. At least when it comes to keeping your floors in shape. Start by sweeping or vacuuming the floors to get rid of large bits of dirt, hair, food or mud. Then use a wet mop to address dried stains and finer dust particles. Remember, the area behind the fridge or toilet will need a good wipe too.
7. Clean those cleaning appliances
Dishwashers and washing machines are a godsend, saving us plenty of work. But they also need a little TLC from time to time! Around once a month is a good rule of thumb. It’s well worth learning how to clean them deeply. For example, you can use a vinegar and bicarbonate of soda solution to help freshen them up. We have articles on cleaning washing machines as well as one specifically for front load washing machines.
Bonus tip to blitz the Creepie-Crawlies
Your kitchen has a magical ability to attract every kind of cockroach and insect imaginable. It’s all the crumbs, nooks and crannies that they can hide and feed in. Keeping your kitchen clean will help but that doesn’t always do the trick they still seem to arrive by the thousands. There is one step further that you can take and that’s to lay bait traps.
Bait traps beat sprays because they get to the nest, it means that you don’t have to chase cockroaches around your kitchen in the middle of the night only to find another one has taken its place the day after!
Look for Combat gels and baits in your local supermarket. Add a little blob into the places where the cockroaches scurry off to and before you know it they’ll have been sent packing. They take the bait back to their nest and this gets rid of your problem at source - the nest. So your nest is happy, clean and cockroach free!