These pros know cleaning. It's their business to take a home from dingy to dazzling as quickly and easily as possible. Check out these tips, direct from the cleaning experts, and you'll feel confident bringing their job home with you.


Super Fan

surprising cleaning secrets from the pros

Moxie Girl Household Assistants founder and Domestic CEO podcast host Amanda Thomas shows all new staff members a trick for cleaning very dirty ceiling-fan blades. "Put an old pillow case on each fan blade, then wipe the top with one hand while catching the dust chunks inside the pillow case," she says. "You won't make a mess of your furniture or floors."

Pick a Pattern

"All professional cleaners work through each room using a cleaning pattern," says president of Better Life Maids Matthew Ricketts. Generally, that means working from top to bottom, starting on the left side of the room and heading clockwise. "It can save tons of time -- no wasted steps or backtracking," Ricketts says.

Steam Clean

Moist heat works to loosen dirt and ease cleaning. Using this principle, let your microwave do the work for you. "Put a cup of water in a glass container, and set the microwave for one minute on high," Molly Maid president Meg Roberts says. "The steam will loosen the baked-on food and make cleaning much easier."

Divide to Conquer

"Divide the work, whether you are the only one cleaning or if you can assign tasks to others," Merry Maids training specialist Debra Johnson says. Assign rooms or a few general tasks, such as dusting or vacuuming, to separate days or people. Cleaning is easier when broken into manageable chunks.

Practice Patience

"Don't just spray and wipe," says Derek Christian, owner of My Maid Service and coauthor of The House Cleaning Technician's Manual. Spray a surface, then work on a different part of the room while the product sinks in. "Give the chemicals the time they need to make your life easier," he says.

Microfiber Magic

"If you're not already using microfiber cloths to clean, you're working too hard," Merry Maids' Johnson says. "They don't just push dust around, they grab it and remove it." They're also reusable -- and therefore green. Score!

Tool Take-Along

"Get a small bucket or caddy to organize your cleaning tools and keep them with you while you clean, like the pros," Better Life Maids' Ricketts says. "Think of it as your cleaning toolbox." You'll never squander time or momentum searching for tools or products mid-job.

Skimp Smart

"The perception with cleaning products seems to be that if a little is good, then more will be better. This is untrue," Merry Maids' Johnson says. "You'll just end up spending your time removing excess product before the cleaning even happens." Save time and money by using products sparingly.

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