16 Genius Cleaning Hacks You’ll Want to Steal from Professional House Cleaners

Updated: Nov. 03, 2023

You'll have your house spick-and-span in no time by following these tips.

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Shoes by doormat

Don’t Forget the Doormat

Doormats are your best friend when it comes to trapping dirt, so make sure you have two—one outside the house and one inside. This tip is especially helpful in the winter when you have salty and snowy boots going in and out of the house. Just be sure to clean the mats regularly as dirty mats contribute to the mess. Keep your hardwood floors clean with these tips.

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cleaning supplies in a bucket on a countertop
Ekaterina Iatcenko/Shutterstock

Combine Tasks

Kill two birds with one stone by doing similar cleaning tasks at the same time. “Clean your baseboards when you are vacuuming or washing floors, clean blinds when you are cleaning windows, etc.,” suggests Becky Rapinchuk, owner of CleanMama.net. Here’s how often you should be cleaning everything in your home.

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Close-up Of Young Woman Wearing Blue Glove And Cleaning Refrigerator

Skip the Bucket

Sometimes moving around the mop bucket only makes more of a mess thanks to the dirty water splashing out. Leslie Reichert, founder of The Green Cleaning Coach and author of The Joy Of Green Cleaning, has a bucket-less mopping technique that works wonders: a spray bottle filled with diluted cleaning solution and a microfiber mop.

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Cleaning products

Stock Up on Products

No, a bathroom tile cleaner shouldn’t be used to wipe down your mirrors. “The right products that actually clean go a long way to getting the job done more effectively and efficiently for you,” says McGee. Scared to clean your house because of all the chemicals in cleaning products? Try these alternative cleaning solutions to keep your home chemical-free.

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Child hands washing a plate in the kitchen sink - scrubbing with a brush under the water jet - top view

Use a Soap Dispenser Dish Brush

According to Dana White, founder of A Slob Comes Clean, you can use a soap dispenser dish brush in your shower. “Mark it for the bathroom only with a permanent marker, and fill it with your favorite dish soap,” she says. “Hang it in the shower, and you can scrub the shower while you’re in it anyway. Dish soap does a great job cleaning the bathroom!” Be sure to read up on the other ways you might be cleaning your bathroom wrong.

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cleaning the sofa

Vacuum the Right Way

Rapinchuk recommends first vacuuming a room horizontally and then vertically to get all of the trapped dirt. Most cleaning experts agree that vacuuming slowly is also very important to ensure that vacuum picks up all the dirt particles. Bonus: Take a look at this three-in-one mini vacuum that keeps kitchen drawers and cabinets spotless.

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Washing machine

Define “Clean”

Everyone has a different idea of what “clean” actually means. Some think a sparkling floor is clean, while others are happy with just doing a load of laundry. Beth McGee, author of Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master, suggests asking yourself questions like “how much stuff do I have, and what type of home do I have,” to determine what clean and organized really means to you.

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young man introducing a pillow into a pillowcase as he is making the bed

Dust With a Pillowcase

Obviously, you don’t want to use the pillowcase you sleep on every night, but using a pillowcase to clean your ceiling fans is a hack that you need to try ASAP. “The pillowcase holds the dust so it doesn’t fall on a table or bed,” says Reichert. Here are helpful cleaning shortcuts to help you get done faster.

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Young woman preparing to clean the kitchen. Standing back

Create a Plan

We all have those random cleaning bursts, but having a plan beforehand will make your cleaning process smoother. “Cleaning is really like a dance. You start high, work down and around, and carefully observe anything that needs attention,” says McGee. “As you move around, wipe light switches, door frames, baseboards, walls, working in a circle around a room and not back and forth from one thing across the room to another. Don’t get distracted, keep a smooth motion around your home.”

Also, check out these must-know cleaning hacks trending on TikTok.

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Man loading dishes into a very full dishwasher

Use your Dishwasher

Dishwashers are for so much more than just washing dishes. Reichert recommends using yours to dust off knickknacks like mason jars and glass candle globes. Pretty much anything glass or ceramic should be fine going in the dishwasher. But you do want to stay away from putting meltable plastics in there.

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DIY cleaning solution

DIY Cleaning Solutions

Want to know the secret to streak-free mirrors and windows? Well, it’s an easy at-home solution you can make yourself. According to Rapinchuk, all you need is:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
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Toilet brush

Clean the Toilet Daily

If you swish your toilet every day with your cleaning brush, you’ll keep it relatively clean without a ton of hard labor. Use the water already in the toilet to swish the entire toilet bowl. Your bathroom probably gets dirtiest the fastest and is the hardest to clean. Avoid making these cleaning mistakes that are actually making your home dirtier.

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Using yellow sponge for cleaning dusty wood

Skip the Polish

Of course, you need to polish your wooden furniture and hardwood floors every once in a while (once or twice a year, or when they begin to look foggy), but all you really need to keep them shiny is a dry microfiber cloth. “Your furniture will actually get less dusty without using furniture polish,” says Reichert.

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Simple Soft Scrub clean white sink
Paul Biryukov/Shutterstock

Prioritize Problem Areas

“[Start] with scrubbing areas such as kitchens and baths, then moving on to de-cluttering, dusting, bedding, and finally floors,” McGee advises. “Look at your home carefully to determine what needs most attention to bring it to your idea of clean.” Avoid buying these items if you want to have a clutter-free home. 

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Woman cleaning kitchen counter with cloth at home

Speed Clean

Maybe you just found out your in-laws are coming over and you need to quickly tidy up the place—knowing how to speed clean will be your savior. Make sure you hit the places that are most visible first like kitchen countertops and the bathroom. You can skimp on things like the top of the fridge and behind the coffee maker. Here’s how to clean up in five minutes or less.

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Paint brushes
Zadorozhnyi Viktor/Shutterstock

Purchase a Paintbrush

Reichert uses a stiff paintbrush around her furniture to pull the dirt out without having to move all the furniture around. “You are brushing it out away from the furniture so the vacuum can suck it up,” she says.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest