No one likes cleaning the house, but we can make the chore take a lot less time. We asked cleaning pros for their favorite cleaning tips and cleaning products to keep your house sparkling and save you several hours of cleaning per week. You won't have to spend a lot of money either—some of these products that help you work smarter cost less than $5.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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Use a doormat
Leave dirt at the door
Eighty-five percent of the dirt that comes into the home is from shoes! So nag your family members to take them off. Place shoes on doormats to contain the dirt. A 20 x 30-in. mat costs about $20 at discount stores.
Use a multipurpose cleaner
Use one cleaner that cleans everything
Stop using four to six products to clean your bathroom. The pros use one multipurpose cleaner that does it all. Our pros recommend Mr. Clean Multi- Surfaces Cleaner with Febreze ($3 for 28 ozs.). With a multipurpose cleaner, bathroom cleaning takes five minutes.
Use Tide with Dawn StainScrubbers
Treat stains during the wash cycle
Don’t worry about tough stains like makeup or chocolate ruining your clothes. Our pros are fans of Tide with Dawn Stain- Scrubbers ($6.50 for 50 ozs.), a new detergent that can handle stains in the wash cycle, saving you valuable time.
Use a Swiffer Duster
Trap dust, don’t move it around
Lose the feather duster. Our pros use a Swiffer Duster with Febreze ($23), which traps and locks dust in the duster’s fibers. It doesn’t just move the dust elsewhere like traditional feather dusters—it removes the dust.
Use a stain remover
Use cleaners that target problem stains
Stain removers like Super Iron Out ($10 for 5 lbs.) make quick work of rust stains in sinks, tubs and toilets. Pour it onto a sponge or add it to the water in the toilet bowl, then scrub with the sponge or a nylon-bristle brush. You can get rid of most stains in less than five minutes.
Use a Magic Eraser
Erase scuff and grease marks
Our cleaning pros use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($3 for a two-pack) to easily rub scuff and grease marks off the wall.
Use Dishwasher Magic
Clean the inside of your dishwasher
Dishwasher cleaning takes about five seconds with this method. Just put a bottle of Dishwasher Magic ($5) in the silverware basket and run an empty cycle.
Use a HEPA vacuum filter
Keep dirt and dust out of the air
Stop blowing dust all over with an old vacuum. A HEPA vacuum filter (starting at $8) captures microscopic airborne particulates. Old-fashioned paper or conventional vacuum bags pick up only about 30 percent of dust and allergens, and blow the rest back into the air.
Use a Swiffer Sweeper Vac
Ditch the broom and dust pan
Sweeping the floor with a broom takes too long. The Swiffer Sweeper Vac ($29) does a better job than a broom and dustpan. Clean up the kids’ crumbs and other messes without even bending over. You can clean a floor in four minutes or less!
Use a disposer cleaner
Keep your disposer smelling fresh
Forget lemons—clean and deodorize your garbage disposer with a disposer cleaner in about 15 seconds. One brand is called Disposer Care ($4). Turn on the hot water, pour a packet of Disposer Care into the disposer and turn it on. Do it once a week.