20 Genius House Cleaning Hacks for a Tidier Space in No Time

Cleaning supplies on rug
Photo: Jay Wilde

Clean better and faster with our clever ideas that use unexpected tools and creative tidying techniques. These cleaning hacks help take the work out of your chore list by saving time and energy. So tuck these ideas into your bag of tricks and consider your home cleaning complete.

01 of 20

Clean Your Cabinets with a Vacuum

small kitchen with small table alongside wall
Alise O'Brien

Your vacuum can be a helpful tool for cleaning hard-to-reach cabinet areas. Use your vacuum's brush attachment to pick up dust and crumbs inside. For the outside of the cabinets, Debra Johnson from Merry Maids suggests cleaning the area around the hardware with a cloth dampened with warm water and Murphy Oil Soap ($4, Walmart).

02 of 20

Use Your Dishwasher to Clean Light Fixtures

glass pendant lights above muted blue kitchen island
Michael Partenio Productions

Did you know some light fixture pieces are dishwasher-safe? Amanda Thomas of Moxie Girl suggests running removable glass pieces, such as domes, through the dishwasher for this cleaning hack. Run a drying cycle to reduce spots on your light fixtures.

03 of 20

Correct Common Cleaning Mistakes

Believe it or not, there is a wrong way to clean. But, by doing things the right way, you could save time—and the hassle of re-cleaning. Check out these house cleaning hacks to perfect your technique and shave minutes off your cleaning routine.

04 of 20

Use a Pillowcase to Clean a Ceiling Fan

bamboo shades above kitchen counter
Edmund Barr Photography

Leslie Reichert of Green Cleaning Coach shares one of her favorite cleaning hacks for dusting a ceiling fan quickly and efficiently. Slip a pillowcase over ceiling fan blades, one at a time, then wipe. This way, dust falls into the pillowcase, not on your furniture and floors.

05 of 20

Clean with What You Have

Skip buying new items for cleaning and look at what you already have. The things you need to clean might be lying around your house. Watch and see how to tidy up using everyday items you wouldn't immediately think of as cleaning tools.

06 of 20

Use Socks to Clean Blinds

Dining area in front of window
Jay Wilde

This cleaning hack from Melissa Maker of Clean My Space uses socks as a duster. First, put an old sock on one of your hands and spritz it with water. Then, grip each blind panel and slide your sock-covered hand from one end to the other, removing dust from both sides of the slat.

07 of 20

Learn the Trick to Cleaning Faster

The key to cleaning more quickly might actually be cleaning more often. You'll spend less time overall when you stick to a regular schedule. Watch this video from cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper to learn her best tips for a quicker clean.

08 of 20

Use a Paint Roller to Clean Ceilings

Wooden ceiling table white desk
John Gruen

Ceilings, especially textured ones, can be a pain to clean. Sweeping them with a broom can knock down pieces if you're not careful. For a more effective cleaning technique, roll a damp high-nap paint roller over the ceiling to pick up dust and cobwebs.

09 of 20

Spot-Clean Fabrics with Baby Wipes

Living room with couches and patterned rug
Robert Brinson

Baby wipes are surprisingly effective because they contain very little moisture, have gentle cleaning agents, and dry quickly. That's why Derek Christian from Cleaning Business Today suggests using them for spots and stains on fabrics. However, don't confuse baby wipes with cleaning wipes, which might contain bleach or other harmful chemicals.

10 of 20

Remove Red Wine Stains with This Cleaning Trick

Red wine stains are notoriously challenging. Tackle that pinot noir spill with our step-by-step process that works even on white fabrics. With this method, you can remove red wine stains once and for all.

11 of 20

Use Tennis Balls to Launder Comforters

bedroom furniture arrangement with chandelier and wall mirror
Paul Dyer

Washing a bulky comforter can be a tricky business. Amanda Thomas of Moxie Girl says you can machine-wash most comforters in front-loaders, as long as the comforter fills only half the washer. Then, add tennis balls to the dryer to keep the comforter's stuffing from collecting in one corner.

12 of 20

Clean Window Treatments Faster

blue bench in front of window with throw and geometric curtains
Steven McDonald

Keep window treatments on the rod to save time as you clean. Instead of taking them down, just shake them out to remove loose dust. Then vacuum drapes or curtains from top to bottom using the upholstery attachment. Finally, vacuum floors after cleaning window treatments to pick up any fallen dust.

13 of 20

Have Your Kids Clean Your Mattress

Bedroom with white and blue comforter and artwork on wall
Edward Everett (Rett) Peek Jr

umping on the bed can help freshen up your mattress. Mary Findley of Go Clean suggests a fun house cleaning hack: Have your kids bounce around on the bed to bring up dust from inside. Then vacuum the mattress top. (If your vacuum has a beater bar, turn the bar off first.)

14 of 20

Use Lemon Oil and Vinegar for Shine

Living room with collection of photos and artwork hanging
Ed Gohlich

Woodwork and wood furnishings can gather dust and dirt buildup over time. To keep wood looking shiny, regular wipe-downs are necessary. For extra sheen, mix 1 part lemon oil and 1 part white vinegar for an environmentally-friendly shine.

15 of 20

Must-Know Dusting Tricks

Dusting can feel like a losing battle without the proper technique. Luckily, cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper has the tips you need to get dust under control. Try these clever cleaning hacks that make dusting a breeze.

16 of 20

Clean Your Dishwasher with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Dark blue cabinets with dishwasher
Erik Johnson

Melissa Maker of Clean My Space shares her cleaning hack to banish a dishwasher's dirt and odors. First, add 1 cup baking soda to the bottom of your empty dishwasher and let it sit overnight. Then run the hottest possible cycle using vinegar instead of detergent to clean and deodorize your dishwasher. Remember to remove debris from the filter.

17 of 20

Remove Hard Water Stains

Bathroom with two large sinks
Kim Cornelison

The house cleaning hack for removing hard water stains is simple:

  1. Walk away.
  2. Soak paper towels in undiluted vinegar and place them on the buildup.
  3. Leave overnight, then scrub and rinse.
18 of 20

Clean Faster with These Products

Cleaning supplies stored under shelf
Kritsada Panichgul

A 50-foot, 16-gauge extension cord ($17, Home Depot) lets you plug in your vacuum at a central location so you can clean a whole level without stopping to find another outlet.

A microfiber mop ($17, Walmart) with an extension pole dusts ceilings and walls quickly and easily. When you're done, just remove the cover and toss it in the wash.

A double-sided squeegee($21, The Home Depot) is the best tool for cleaning windows. Dip it in your cleaning solution of choice and work in a tight S-pattern from top to bottom.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers ($4, Target) make short work of soap scum, scuff marks, wayward crayon scribbles, and lots more.

19 of 20

Must-Try Homemade Cleaners

Homemade cleaning solutions can be just as effective as store-bought cleaners. Go all-natural with these cleaning hacks that use items you already have around your home. Get a squeaky-clean space with these must-try homemade cleaners.

20 of 20

Secret Weapons to Add to Your Shopping List

Cleaning supplies on rug
Jay Wilde

Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Cleanser and Degreaser ($15, Walmart)cleans cooking oil from cabinets near the stove. Look for it in the paint section at your home center.

Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser ($2, Walmart) has a combo of mild abrasives and oxalic acid that removes baked-on food, tea and coffee stains, and rust.

Better Life Naturally Smudge-Smacking Glass Cleaner ($6, Bed Bath and Beyond) is solvent-free, so you can clean the window trim, sill, sash, and tray without damaging painted or vinyl surfaces.

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