Cleaning Shortcuts

Posted on Friday, November 3, 2023
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
cleaning supplies in living room

These useful cleaning shortcuts are designed to cut down on housework. Since they make cleaning more efficient, they will likely provide you with more time to do the things you love best! Enjoy ten of our favorite cleaning tips that will also save you energy. Apply these techniques to achieve the ultimate in cleaning success:

  • Set a timer when cleaning. This provides motivation to get cleaning done quickly and keeps you on task. Set aside a specific amount of time for cleaning each room and challenge yourself to beat the clock. Be sure to reward yourself when you’re done – enjoy a treat or simply relax.
  • Listen to upbeat happy music while cleaning. Not only is it uplifting, but it’s another way to stay motivated and speed up cleaning time. Let the music beat set your pace. This is also a fun way to get kids involved in picking up toys and more!
  • Keep a squeegee in the shower. After each shower, simply wipe all the water down the drain to prevent streaks and water stains from building up on glass and other surfaces. Per Architectural Digest, one may also mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle (add a few drops of essential oils if desired). This mixture may be used to clean glass shower doors as well as bathroom mirrors. Or, alternatively, use commercially made window cleaners designed for glass surfaces. Always test new products in small unnoticeable spaces before using them in large areas.
  • Invest in the right dusting tools. Microfiber cloths are excellent as they grab dust rather than push it around. Plus, they can be washed and reused. Consider also investing in a good feather duster that can grab fine particles. Always clean from top to bottom and dust before vacuuming. Your vacuum will pick up any remaining dust that has fallen due to gravity, so promptly follow up with your vacuum.
  • Wipe down the microwave frequently with dish soap and water. Do this after each use – that way you’ll never have to deep clean it! To tackle smells and film, fill a microwave safe bowl halfway with water and half a lemon. Heat it on high for about 3 minutes or slightly longer until it boils. Then let the steam set in. Once cool, wipe out the interior of the microwave with a cleaning cloth. This helps the microwave to sparkle and shine.
  • Clean the inside of the oven regularly. Use a commercially made product recommended by the manufacturer. Or use your oven’s self-cleaning cycle. Do racks separately. Per, several methods were tested on oven racks, and the following worked best. To clean the racks, make a paste using Bar Keepers Friend (an American brand cleaning agent) and water. Simply brush it onto the racks. Let the racks sit for 45 minutes. Then rinse clean with a scrubby sponge and soapy water.
  • Prevent stinky odors from building up inside the fridge. Always keep an open container of dry baking soda on the shelf. Per The Spruce, “The unique characteristics of sodium bicarbonate make it very attractive to both acidic and base particles, and once these particles bond wit the baking soda, the odor is neutralized.” And, regularly discard food that is spent to avoid odor buildup.
  • Decalcify and clean your coffee maker monthly. One may use a commercial cleaner designed for this purpose or create your own cleaner with equal parts vinegar and water. Pour the liquid into the reservoir and let stand for 30 minutes. Then run the liquid through a brewing cycle. Immediately after, repeat the brewing cycle up to four times using fresh water until the vinegar smell and coffee stains are entirely gone.
  • Practice regular cleaning of floors. Frequent cleaning is the best way to keep them clean. Vacuum weekly, or more depending upon foot traffic and crumbs, and use a wet mop in high-traffic areas once a week as well. A Swiffer is easier to use and is less messy than mops and buckets. It is also great for quick cleanups between mopping. Do consider asking people to remove their shoes when entering the home to make your work easier.
  • Vacuum in an efficient pattern. Start in the far corners of a room and vacuum in rows so that no spot is missed. Use a back-and-forth motion. This is the most effective way to get the job done. Be sure to vacuum under small pieces of furniture that are easy to move. Also occasionally, with help, vacuum under larger pieces. Do not attempt to move heavy pieces of furniture yourself. Also clean your vacuum and filters regularly to keep them fully operational and working optimally. When a vacuum is in good working order, it will pick up particles quickly and efficiently.

Cleaning shortcuts don’t eliminate cleaning, but they help speed up the process. These techniques and tips can also help save you energy, too. To learn more about cleaning, click here

This article is purely informational and is not intended as a substitute for professional cleaning advice.

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

The AMAC Foundation Logo

Support the AMAC Foundation. Our 501(c)(3) powers the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory Services. This team of nationally accredited advisors offers on-time, on-the-mark guidance for those approaching or receiving Social Security – at no cost.

Donate Now