Breathe fresh air into your home in less time with expert ideas to streamline carpet cleaning, window washing, baseboard swiping, chandelier dusting, and more.
Some parts of your home can go months without a deep clean: window treatments and even the oven can get by with regular light cleaning from week to week. But when spring rolls around, remove months of dust and grime from these forgone spots (without blowing the entire weekend doing it) by following three rules of efficient cleaning.
Your Plan of Attack
1. Get multi-function supplies: Microfiber cloths (in both regular and eye-glass grade), microfiber mop, non-abrasive cleanser (like Bon Ami or Soft Scrub with bleach), baking soda, white vinegar, vacuum with long-bristle and edger attachment, steam cleaner.
2. Start simple: Tackle a low-traffic space like a dining or living room first—your speed and success will motivate you to keep going.
3. Go top-to-bottom, back-to-front: Avoid backtracking by working with gravity—when you dust high surfaces like ceilings and furniture, it falls to the floor. Likewise, start mopping or vacuuming opposite the entrance to the room, so you don’t track dirt over clean areas.
Ceilings and Walls
Swipe ceilings and walls with a clean, dry microfiber mop. The wide, flat mop head makes quick work of removing cobwebs and dust, and the long pole helps you reach every corner and behind furniture, says Boston-based housecleaning veteran Leslie Reichert, “The Cleaning Coach.”This speedy technique is ideal for painted or wallpapered surfaces; for textured ceilings or stucco walls, use a feather duster instead.
Windows and Curtains
Give your windows a one-two punch of sparkle with this multitasking trick: Strip fabric treatments from every window in the room and tumble them in a cool dryer for 15 minutes. While the dryer shakes the dust from your curtains, dampen an eyeglass-grade microfiber cloth with water and use it to clean windows, streak-free. Swipe a water-dampened regular microfiber rag over the woodwork trim, then remove window treatments from the dryer and hang immediately to avoid wrinkling.