The Best 43 House Cleaning Tips From Housekeepers
These house cleaning secrets will make your home sparkle.
From stinky shoes to dusty screen doors, every home has its unique cleaning challenges. We've talked with amazing housekeepers across the country to find some of the best house cleaning tips to get your home super clean.
Need more help? Hire a house cleaning pro near you.
The Top House Cleaning Tips from Housekeepers
Declutter First: Organizing your home before you clean it will only save you time and stress. Have the kids put all of their toys and clothes away while you do the same with your magazines, books, tablets, etc.
Make a Cleaning Caddy: Once you've started to clean you'll save time by having all of your top supplies in one place. A cheap shower caddy is easy to carry from room to room and will hold all your necessary supplies.
Use Multi-Tasking Products: Save space in your cleaning caddy and under the sink by using all-purpose products instead of specialty items. Look for a disinfecting all-purpose cleaner that also cleans glass, a disinfecting cleaner that works on tough spots in the kitchen and bathroom, and a floor cleaner that works on wood and tile.
Buy the Right Tools: Again, you don't need a specialty tool for every house cleaning task. Use microfiber cleaning cloths, sponges, a handle and detail scrub brush, a vacuum that works on floor and carpets, a duster, and a mop.
Clean Sponges: Sponges can hold a ton of bacteria, but you can disinfect it by squeezing it out and microwaving it for a minute.
Dust Everything: It's amazing where you'll find dust and cobwebs. Make sure to look up and around when you're cleaning the house so you don't miss ceiling fans, light fixtures, the tops of shelves, and electronics, especially the backs of TVs and computers. If you clean your house every week or even every other week, you don't need to dust every single time. For items that are rarely touched, cleaning them every other time is plenty.
Vacuum Everything: We bought a Dyson years ago, and our lives were changed forever. Use a vacuum that works on floors and carpets and your house will be twice as clean and you won't have to switch products half way through cleaning. Plus, it makes mopping a breeze because you've already picked up several layers of dirt.
Use Extension Cords: A longer extension cord, say 50-feet, allows you to cover most of the house without having to unplug and plug in every room.
Make the Windows Shine: The old newspaper trick still runs true. It's especially true for smaller windows and mirrors. If you're lucky enough to have huge windows in your home consider a squeegee with a handle, which will save you time.
Use Your System: It doesn't really matter which room you start with just that you have a system and stick with it. Doing so means you'll avoid backtracking and won't get distracted mid-task.
Multitasking Is Key: Doing an additional task while I'm cleaning makes me feel like productivity master. Put your phone's headset on and catch up with an old friend while folding laundry. Or listen to an audiobook while you vacuum the floors or check out a new playlist while you dust.
House Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen
Work in a Circle: Clean top to bottom and pick a spot then move clockwise around the room, so you don't miss anything. Experts suggest ending at the stove, which is typically the dirtiest part of the kitchen.
Don't Miss Extra Grease: When my husband cooks he spreads grease everywhere. Don't miss the extra spots like fridge doors, light switches and cabinet handles when you're cleaning.
Soaking is Key: Some items are just going to be harder to wash than others. Soaking them in the sink while you clean the rest of the kitchen will make them easier to clean later.
Prep the Oven: To avoid messy spills inside your oven consider a nonstick liner that is dishwasher safer. Or just put a baking sheet on the bottom rack under the food in the middle rack.
Clean the Coils: Once you've cleaned your fridge, pull it out and work on getting the coils decluttered. Vacuuming the dust that builds up on a fridge's coils will help it run more efficiently.
Don't Skip the Sink: We use it to clean so much that we can forget to clean the sink itself. Use a disinfecting product and, if you have a stainless steel one, use some mineral oil and a microfiber cloth to make it shine after you've cleaned it. The mineral oil will reduce water buildup and mold.
Disinfect the Dishwasher: Most of the time the dishwasher looks pretty clean, but food can build up on the edges. Once you've cleaned those tiny crevices, fill the machine with Dishwasher Magic and run it on empty. This will help reduce the bacteria inside the dishwasher.
House Cleaning Tips for the Bathroom
Soak the Showerhead: To remove the grime that gathers on your showerhead, tie a Ziploc bag filled with vinegar to it and let it soak overnight.
Keep Shower Doors Clean: If you use a squeegee daily you can avoid buildup, but there are other ways to keep your glass doors clean. Use Rain-X Original Glass Treatment twice a year to make the water bead up and roll off. For an all natural option, rub a teaspoon of lemon oil on the glass twice a month for the same effect.
Wash a Cleaner Liner: Instead of replacing your shower curtain liner try cleaning it first. If you put in the washing machine with some towels and it'll come out good as new.
Declutter Drawers: Go through your bathroom cabinets and drawers at least once a year to get rid of old products, unused supplies and any empty containers.
Clear Drains: Drano works miracles but if you're looking for something homemade, pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain then 1/2 cup of vinegar. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes then flush the system with hot water.
Housecleaning Tips for Living Rooms
Fake it: If you don't have enough time to give your living room a full cleaning do these few things to clean up clutter quickly: fluff pillows, use a lint roller on hairy parts of the couch, store shoes in the closet, and stack magazines in a neat pile.
Collect Lost Items: Use a storage container to make a lost and found spot for household items like lost game pieces, socks without pairs and stray hardware pieces.
Spruce Up Plants: Florists recommend a drop of mayo on the leaves of potted plants if you're looking for some shine.
Erase Art: If your kiddos happen to draw on the walls try cleaning their doodles with baking soda and a damp sponge or a Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.
Velcro to the Rescue: For items that seem to disappear constantly you can create a particular home for them using velcro. Stick a piece on the PlayStation controller and another on the remote.
Reduce Clutter: If you have a closet in your entryway utilize a shoe rack to reduce clutter. If you opt for a hanging one, you can store hats, gloves and umbrellas in it. Consider a coat rack near the front door, too, for the items your family is wearing currently, so your entryway closet has room for all of your other coats.
House Cleaning Secrets for Bedrooms
Bed First: Once you've made your bed the room is half-way cleaned. Plus, the bed works as a great place to fold laundry, sort socks and finish any other organizing tasks.
Cleaning Your Bed: Experts say your pillows and comforters only need a good wash two to three times a year. Mark the time on your calendar or wash them with the seasons change.
Donate: Take time to go through each item in your closet and drawers at least once a year and make a pile of donation items you haven't worn in years.
Just the Necessities: Our nightstands can easily become bedroom junk drawers. If you keep just the essentials, you won't end up searching for stuff, and you'll have less to clean. Necessities could include your alarm clock, tissues, a lamp, and a book.
Sanitize Purses: Before you put your favorite purse, baby bag, or gym bag back in your closet wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe.
House Cleaning Tips for Laundry
One Basket Per Person: Too many laundry baskets can give family members an excuse to not put their clean clothes away. If each person only has one laundry basket for dirty items only they'll be forced to do their laundry promptly and put it all away when it's clean.
Reduce Static: Lots of people don't like fabric softener or dryer sheets, but they're not the only way to get rid of static. Toss two new tennis balls in your dryer to get rid of static electricity and soften fabrics. Or add 1/4 cup of white vinegar in during the rinse cycle.
Salvage Sweaters: To remove pills from your worn sweaters, take the textured side of a sponge and lightly rub it across the piece of clothing to get rid of the extra fuzz.
Cold is Okay: Use cold water for almost everything you wash for three reasons: it's cheaper, better for stains, and helps the environment. Use hot water for bedding items, towels and undergarments.
Make Sneakers Shine: Take an old toothbrush and some toothpaste to your old tennis shoes to remove stubborn stains.
Housekeeper Tips for Eliminating Odors
So Fresh and so Clean: If you hate the harsh smell some chemicals have, whip up your own cleaning solution. Put a few drops of essential oils (lavender, grapefruit, lemon) into a mixture of washing soda, vinegar, baking soda and Borax.
Save the Sneakers: Get rid of funky smells from your sneaks by putting a bit of baking soda in them then letting them sit for a day. Tap out the extra before you wear your sneakers again.
Citrus Over Garbage: We'd all rather smell lemons over trash. Drop a few lemon rinds in your garbage disposal and voilà.
Banish Pet Smells: If you've battled some odors from the family pet try this method: spray white vinegar on the area, cover with baking soda and let dry. Then vacuum up the excess baking soda.
Updated March 20, 2018 by Jerriann Sullivan.