Quick Tricks for a Cleaner Home

I may have given the impression that I love to clean. I don’t. I love a clean home which means I have to clean but I’d give anything to have a self-cleaning house…and a self-cleaning oven. Today’s post is some of the little tricks I use to cut down on the amount of cleaning I have to do so I can spend more time cooking, baking, gardening, and having deep, philosophical discussions with the dogs.

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  • We live in the country. This means that most people don’t have paved driveways or even paved roads. When folks come over they’re probably dragging in a lot of dirt and sometimes mud or snow on their shoes. I keep rough textured welcome mats made for outside use at every entry door. Most people will instinctively wipe their feet if there’s a mat on which to do it. And those who don’t I can gently remind. It cuts down on mopping the entry floor and keeps a lot of dirt off my carpets. Quick tip #1: Use welcome mats.

 

  • I keep most of the items that could spill and make a big mess in my refrigerator in a plastic box. That way if anything does tip and spill it’s not running down the walls and pooling in the bottom of the fridge. Another thing I do, which may seem silly to even mention, is wiping up spills the minute they happen. It keeps things clean but it also saves time because it’s always harder to clean up something that’s had time to harden or stain. Quick tip #2: clean up spills immediately.

 

  • We live in a state that is known for humidity. “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” could be our state motto. This means that mold and mildew can become a really big problem. One way I keep mold and mildew from getting a foothold in the bathroom is turning on the ventilation fan whenever we shower or bathe. It draws the moisture out, which mold and mildew need to grow. Quick tip #3: Use the ventilation fan whenever you shower or bathe.
  • A chore I find particularly difficult, due to my disability, is cleaning the bathtub. The shower stall is no great joy either. Bar soap contains fat which is the reason for soap scum. Liquid soap doesn’t contain fat. Quick tip #4: Use liquid soap in the shower and bathtub for easier cleaning.

 

  • So many recipes call for browning something prior to cooking. And there are the everyday foods, like fried eggs, that also contribute to a major cleaning headache; grease. Not only can grease cause extra cleaning for the stove top and the walls around the stove but it can quickly build up on the cupboards above the stove. Quick tip #5: Always use the vent fan over the stove when cooking.

 

  • I hate using paper towels for little spills because the cost can add up quickly. But I develop a facial tic if I see someone using a dishtowel to do the job. I worry that the dishtowel may accidentally be used on dishes or a countertop after cleaning up a spill. If that spill happened on the floor I really start to twitch. Cross-contamination is a real health issue. Instead of wasting paper towels or using dishtowels I have a stack of inexpensive white facecloths that I use exclusively for wiping up spills. As soon as one is used it goes in a little basket in the laundry room so I can launder them all together. Quick Tip #6: Use cloths that are kept exclusively for spills to save money and avoid cross-contamination.
  • I vacuum a lot. Between the pups and the general country dirt it’s absolutely necessary. But this tip isn’t about vacuuming. It’s about cleaning the vacuum. Dirt, hair (human or pet), and other debris can clog the vacuum filter and the brushes. This prevents the vacuum from working efficiently and also means that the odor of dirt lingers after vacuuming. Quick tip #7: Wash your vacuum cleaner parts regularly. Remove the filter and wash it, if it can be washed, or replace it. Take off the roller brushes and get off all hair, threads, and other things that have wound themselves around the roller. Wash the brush to remove dirt trapped in the bristles. Clean every cleanable part of the vacuum for a more reliable, efficient vacuum and a fresher smell.
  • Although I don’t have a dishwasher now, when I did I always had it ready to load. Dirty dishes weren’t sitting in the sink or on the counter next to the sink because I could put them right in the dishwasher. Quick tip #8 Unload the dishwasher before breakfast so dirty dishes can be loaded starting with breakfast dishes.
  • I hate getting up to any kind of mess. In the morning I practically need a coffee I.V. until I show signs of breathing on my own. Anything out of place in the kitchen or living room makes me itch. Quick tip #9: Take a few minutes in the evening to straighten the living room and do any touch-ups on the kitchen.
  • Cleaning the bathroom is physically tough for me. Even the slight bending required to clean the sinks can cause me to have to take to my bed. So I really don’t want dirt to build up making the regular bathroom cleaning more difficult. Quick tip #10: Keep a cleaning cloth or sponge near the sink(s) so you can give them a quick wipe down after washing your face, brushing your teeth, or applying makeup. On your regular bathroom cleaning day things will be much easier and your bathroom will look better every day of the week.
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