I hate finding cleaning tips on the web only to be told I have to go purchase some exotic ingredient–home made laundry soap, I’m looking at you. All the following cleaning hacks can save you time AND only use items you’re bound to have around the house anyway. And if you don’t have a big jug of white vinegar, go get some!
I couldn’t help myself when I found this stock photo. Seriously, what mom gets into housework like this?
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It’s so Fluffy!
Feather dusters are not just for French Maid costumes. When used regularly, they’re great for a quick tidy.
The Hack: Dust first, THEN vacuum. Let’s face it, the duster is quick, but anything that doesn’t stick to the feathers is floating down to your floor.
Daydreaming while cleaning? You need more of these hacks so you can get some quality me time in.
A great smelling house just seems cleaner–even if you’re hiding a basket of toys in your bathtub.
The Hack: Put a fabric soften sheet, dryer scent boosters or even potpourri in your vacuum’s dust bag. The air blasted out of your vacuum will smell great and freshen up your house as you clean the floors.Maybe the real trick to a clean house is getting your kids to clean it for you.
Time is on Your Side
Feel pulled in 5 directions at once? Believe it or not, you can use that distraction to your advantage! Here’s tip for cleaning really dirty spots, like the stove top or that spot of weird sticky stuff on the tile.
The Hack: Let your cleaner do the work by giving it time to SOAK in. For example: spritz the stove top and walk away (or clean something else) for about ten minutes. You’ll be surprised how easily it wipes up!
Ironing is so fun…said no mom ever.
Icy No Iron Hack
Nobody likes to iron, and quiet frankly I’m pretty terrible at it. After my hubs office switched to casual business attire we gave all his button down shirts to Goodwill! But sometimes clothes get wrinkly, especially if (ah-hem) someone doesn’t empty the dryer immediately.
The Hack: place 2-3 ice cubes in the dryer with your wrinkled (but dry) clothes. Run the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes and presto! Unwrinkled clothes! Take the clothes out and hang them to preserve your handy work.
DIY Wrinkle Release Spray
I’m a big fan of Downy’s wrinkle release spray, especially since I can never get a load of laundry from hamper to hanger in one day. But what if you run out? Or don’t want to buy one more laundry chemical??
The Hack: Pour 1 teaspoon hair conditioner, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 2 cups of water into a recycled spray bottle. Close the bottle and shake to mix. Spritz wrinkled clothes with your concoction (make it damp, not wet), pull the fabric to nudge those wrinkles out and hang.
Foil Static Cling with these Balls
Have you heard of dryer balls? You can buy plastic balls at the store or Amazon (and personally, these cactus shaped dryer “balls” are pretty cute) and they’re meant to speed up your drying time and reduce static. Wool ones even promise to replace fabric softener! But did you know you can make your own dryer balls from aluminum foil? They don’t make your close as soft as a chemical fabric softener, but they’ll only cost you a few pennies to try!
The Hack: take 3-4 feet of heavy foil and crumple into a ball about the size of an orange. Squish it as tightly as you can to remove edges that could snag your clothes. Make three balls. Toss them into the dryer with a load of towels or jeans for your first run to smooth out the balls–avoid using them on delicate clothes until they are smooth!
Ok, one more ridiculously happy mom doing laundry…
Keep Socks Together
Hate sorting socks? Me too. If you have a mesh bag for washing your delicates, try it out on socks! This is especially handy for little kid socks that seem to be gobbled up by the washing machine.
The Hack: Hang a mesh bag on your hamper for socks–when the bag is full, toss in the wash.
Fold Shirts with Cardboard
Folding shirts neatly is a pain! You could buy a shirt folding board–but why when you can make one out of cardboard? Save up those Amazon boxes and make a custom sized shirt folding board. This is a really good tool for teaching kids how to fold their clothes–and they can help make it, too.
The Hack: Cut six pieces of cardboard into 9×12 rectangles. Tape together. Presto! Here‘s directions from Make on creating a cardboard shirt folding board.
Remove Musty Smell from Towels
We’ve all forgotten about a load of laundry in the washer…right? Leave it too long and you’re bound to get a musty smell that refuses to wash out.
The Hack: Give towels a vinegar and baking soda treatment. This will remove laundry soap build up, make your towels more absorbant AND smell great. First, wash the towels on a HOT cycle with a cup of vinegar (no soap). Then run a 2nd time with HOT water and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Dry as normal and enjoy!
Steam your Microwave Clean
I don’t know how the inside of my microwave gets so gross, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s exploded a bowl of soup in there. Who has time to scrub that nastiness out?
The Hack: Use the power of steam and vinegar to clean the inside of your microwave. Grab a microwave safe bowl and fill with equal parts white vinegar and water. Nuke for five minutes (add a wooden spoon to prevent accidental explosions). Let the water cool down for 15 minutes and then easily wipe all the gunk off with a paper towel. Can’t stand the smell of vinegar? Use a chopped up lemon!
Clean your Kitchen Sponges
Your kitchen cleaning tools need to be cleaned too. You COULD soak them in bleach water…or try this quick fix.
The Hack: Once a week toss your kitchen sponges, bottle brush, veggie brush (whatever you have hanging around the sink) into your dishwasher. It’ll clean off 99% percent of the germs according to Good Housekeeping.
Did you jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon? One of the biggest complaints in their Facebook Group is that smelly O-Ring after cooking something savory.
The Hack: Fill your Instant Pot with 2 cups of white vinegar, OR water and lemon. Run a steam cycle for 2 minutes and ta da! (Also, never store your pot with the lid sealed. That’s just asking for stink.)
DIY Vinegar Cleaner
Since white vinegar and baking soda keep popping up in these hacks it looks like the best cleaners are the simplest (and cheapest)! Why not make that vinegar smell really great?
The Hack: Next time you peel an orange for your kid, save it in a mason jar! Fill a jar with orange peels and white vinegar, then let it sit for a week to allow the peel’s oils to mix with the vinegar. Dilute the citrus vinegar 50% with water and use in a spray bottle on any surface except marble.