Cleaning Hacks to Add to Your Bag of Tricks

Be a better and faster cleaner with these clever ideas that use why-didn't-I-think-of-that tools and creative techniques that help take the work out of your chore list. So tuck these ideas into your bag of tricks and consider your home cleaning done.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • 1 of 21

    Clean Your Cabinets ...

    ... with your vacuum.

    Use your vacuum's brush attachment to pick up dust and crumbs inside. Outside, concentrate on the area around the hardware using a cloth dampened with warm water and Murphy Oil Soap.

    -- Debra Johnson,



  • 2 of 21

    Use Your Dishwasher... clean light fixtures.

    Run removable glass pieces, such as domes, through the dishwasher. Run a drying cycle, too, to reduce spotting.

    -- Amanda Thomas,

  • 3 of 21

    Stop Doing That ...

    ... and start doing this.

    Believe it or not, there's a wrong way to clean; doing things the right way could save you time. And who wouldn't want to shave a few minutes off their cleaning routine? 

  • 4 of 21

    Use a pillowcase ...

    ... to clean a ceiling fan.

    Slip a pillowcase over ceiling fan blades, one at a time, then wipe. Dust falls into the pillowcase, not on your furniture and floors. 

    -- Leslie Reichert,

  • 5 of 21

    Skip Buying ...

    ... and look at what you have.

    The things you need to clean might already be lying around your house. Watch and see how to clean with what you already have.

  • 6 of 21

    Use old socks ...

    ... to clean blinds.

    Put an old sock on one hand and spritz it with water. Grip each panel of the blind and slide sock-covered hand from one end to the other, removing dust from both sides of the slat at once.

    -- Melissa Maker,

  • 7 of 21

    The Trick to Cleaning Faster...

    ... is cleaning more often.

    Now, hear us out. It's not in the way you might expect. Watch on for cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper's trick. 

  • 8 of 21

    Use a Paint Roller...

    ... to clean popcorn ceilings.

    Roll a damp high-nap paint roller over the ceiling to pick up dust and cobwebs without knocking down pieces of the ceiling the way sweeping would. 

  • 9 of 21

    Spot-Clean Fabrics ...

    ... with baby wipes.

    Baby wipes are surprisingly effective because they contain very little moisture, have gentle cleaning agents, and dry quickly. Just don't confuse them with cleaning wipes, which might contain bleach or other harmful chemicals.

    -- Derek Christian,

  • 10 of 21

    You CAN Tackle Red Wine Stains ...

    ... by doing this.

    Red wine stains are notoriously tough. Give this method a go to remove telltale signs of a pinot noir spill.

  • 11 of 21

    Use Tennis Balls ...

    ... to launder comforters.

    You can machine-wash most comforters in front-loaders, as long as the comforter fills only half the washer. Dry with tennis balls to keep the stuffing from collecting in one corner. 

    -- Amanda Thomas,

  • 12 of 21

    Clean Window Treatments Faster By ...

    ... not taking them down.

    Instead of taking them down, just shake them out to remove loose dust. Then vacuum from top to bottom using the upholstery attachment. 

  • 13 of 21

    Have Your Kids ...

    ... clean your mattress for you.

    Have your kids jump 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.)

    -- Mary Findley,

  • 14 of 21

    Use Lemon Oil and Vinegar... get woodwork that shine.

    To remove dust and dirt buildup from woodwork and leave it looking shiny, wipe down using a mix of 1 part lemon oil to 1 part white vinegar. 

  • 15 of 21

    Must-Know Dusting Tricks

    Try these clever tricks and tips that make dusting a breeze.

  • 16 of 21

    Clean Your Dishwasher...

    ... with little effort.

    Add 1 cup baking soda to the bottom of your empty dishwasher and let it sit overnight. Run the hottest possible cycle using vinegar instead of detergent to clean and deodorize your dishwasher. Remember to remove debris from the filter. Bye-bye, dirt and odors.

    -- Melissa Maker,

  • 17 of 21

    Remove Hard Water Stains...

    ... by walking away. 

    But first, soak paper towels in undiluted vinegar and place on the buildup. Leave overnight, then scrub and rinse.

  • 18 of 21

    Clean Faster ...

    ... with these four things:

    A 50-foot, 16-gauge extension cord 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 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 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 make short work of soap scum, scuff marks, wayward crayon scribbles, and lots more. 

  • 19 of 21

    Must-Try Homemade Cleaners

    Go all-natural and get a squeaky-clean space with our favorite homemade cleaning solutions.

  • 20 of 21

    Secret Weapons ...

    ... you'll definitely want to add to your shopping list.

    Our experts swear by these cleaning products, which you might not have heard of:

    ZEP Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser cleans cooking oil from cabinets near the stove. Look for it in the paint section at your home center. 

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

    I Can See Clearly, Wow! Natural Glass Cleaner is solvent free, so you can clean the window trim, sill, sash, and tray without damaging painted or vinyl surfaces.

  • Next Slideshow Spring Cleaning: The Ultimate Guide

    Spring Cleaning: The Ultimate Guide

    Welcome spring by giving your home a good deep clean. Our handy guide breaks down the must-do chores by: Spring Cleaning Checklist and To-Dos (once-a-year tasks perfectly suited for spring), Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips (fix-ups and repairs for the outside of your home), and Room-by-Room Cleaning Tips (decluttering and cleaning tips for specific rooms).
    Begin Slideshow »

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close