It seems like cleaning house when you have kids is kind of like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. I’ll probably never have a completely organized house, either. However, I can live with clutter better than I can live with dirt. I’ve put together this list of the tips I’ve found that make cleaning less of a hassle.
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Get the Right Vacuum
Using an excellent quality vacuum makes an enormous difference in how well and how quickly you can clean. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a top-of-the-line model, though. I use a vacuum cleaner similar to this one, and it does a bang-up job of sucking up the debris from a family of four humans and two cats.
It’s also super helpful to know how to use all of those vacuum cleaner attachments. It seems pointless to have them if you don’t know what they’re used for.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Don’t forget your trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It’s great for cleaning old or new stains from walls, floors, counters, bathtubs, showers and toilets. Plus, Magic Erasers now come in larger sizes for bigger jobs.
Bar Keeper’s Friend
An old standby, Bar Keeper’s Friend is a scrubbing powerhouse to shine your sink and demolish all sorts of cleaning jobs.
I use disposable gloves frequently for cleaning and other purposes, including handling slimy food such as bacon. They’re great for messy jobs like changing the cat litter and a must-have for protecting your hands when using cleaning products, especially those containing bleach or ammonia.
Electric Pressure Washer
Don’t forget to clean the outside of your house. A whole lot more people see the exterior of your house than see the interior.
If you’ve got vinyl siding like mine, at least one side of your house will likely become grimy over time. If your house has only one story or you don’t mind getting up on a stepladder, you can probably power wash your house on your own so you don’t have to pay someone a few hundred dollars to do the job.
I bought my AR Blue Clean AR112 1,600 PSI electric hand-carry pressure washer a few years ago, mainly to power wash my deck and porch before painting them. My neighbor borrowed my power washer last year for his house, and it did a fantastic job.
He shared a tip with me as well. Fill the power washer’s included cleaning fluid bottle with Fabuloso cleaner (available at Dollar Tree or Walmart) and spray it on. Wait a few minutes, and spray with water. The grime, mold and mildew washes away easily.
You can find over-the-door organizers for storing just about any type of relatively small item. I’m hooked on over-the-door shoe organizer. Until I bought one of these babies, I had trouble keeping my shoes organized and paired. I never could find the right place for them, so they often ended up on the floor of my closet, which was definitely not the best place to keep them.
I now have over-the-door shoe organizers in my closet as well as in my girls’ bedrooms for keeping shoe storage and retrieval super simple. The one drawback is that both of the brands of shoe organizers that I’ve purchased are a little tight for wider shoes like Crocs.
For cleaning vents, mini-blinds and ceiling fans, you can hardly beat extendable dusters. For wiping down walls, though, I generally use my handy Swiffer mop, going over it once with a dry pad and again with a wet pad.
Baking Soda, Peroxide and an Old Toothbrush
Save an empty liquid dish detergent squeeze bottle with a few drops left in the bottom. In it, mix together one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide is that first aid liquid that usually comes in a dark brown bottle and bubbles when you put it on your skin.
Squeeze the baking soda and peroxide mixture onto your dirty caulking and/or grout and leave it sit for an hour or two, then scrub it off with an old toothbrush. Be sure to use gloves and wear old clothing.
Make Bathroom Cleaning a Breeze
I’ve just added one of these to my wish list on Amazon – a RotoScrub Bathroom Cleaning Drill Accessory Kit. Its many satisfied reviewers say it’ll help you clean much faster by attaching one of these cleaning pads to your drill and letting the drill do the work for you.
The kit includes six non-scratch nylon scrub pads to make short work of cleaning your showers, bathtubs, sinks and more.
Clean Between Oven Glass
I had no idea how to clean between the glass panes of my oven door until I read this post. It worked like a charm, and I need to go ahead and follow these steps again soon, since the glass is dirty again.