Home & Garden

13 Time-Saving Cleaning Tips From The Housekeeping Pros

How clean is your house? Could it be cleaner? If you don’t hire a maid, don’t you wish one could give you some cleaning tips? According to housekeeping experts, there are tricks of the trade that maids use when cleaning. Here are thirteen of our favorite tips from the professionals.

1. Cut The Clutter

Anytime we clean or organize (or reorganize) our desks or kitchens, we remove the obvious first, like the biggest messes.

“This removes the temptation of just wiping around these items or picking them up and immediately placing them back down on a wet surface, which can leave ring marks,” said Maria Stickney, the Housekeeping Manager at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, to Good Housekeeping.

2. Bring A Toothbrush… For Cleaning, Of Course

We all know that a cloth or sponge or other cleaning instrument cannot reach little areas we need to get clean, so a toothbrush is a handy and inexpensive cleaning tool.

3. Use Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber is the best,” said Agustin Canongo, the Director of Housekeeping at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Something 100 percent cotton will work, too, she said, or an old pillowcase or tee-shirt. But NOT polyester or terrycloth.

4. Do The Bathrooms Last

I like to do these first, to get them over with, but Stickney said to do them first, to avoid cross-contamination. Although, if you use different rags in the bathroom like I do, I think this is irrelevant and I’d still opt to do it first!

5. Use Cleaners… They Work!

I love using lemon juice and/or vinegar to clean, but you may like a store-bought solution. No matter what you use, Good Housekeeping says to spray… then let that spray set. You can go clean something else in the meantime – and I’m sure there are other things to be done. By letting the spray soak in, it should be easier to clean said surface. Makes sense!

6. Clean The Drapes… But Not The Way You Think

Have you ever heard of people vacuuming drapes? I have! If you hit them with a towel, it’s far easier to vacuum their dust from the floor instead.

7. Vacuum, Then Mop

Just like we sweep before we mop, vacuuming before mopping is key, too.

8. Vacuum *Against* The Way Your Mother Showed You

Do you start in the corners or furthest part of the room? Emma Anderson, Best Western’s 2014 Housekeeper of the Year, disagrees. “Vacuum into the room over the high-traffic areas and then vacuum yourself out, so you hit the most walked-on spots twice,” she said.

9. Don’t Forget The Electronics

Samara Lane, operations manager of April Lane’s Home Cleaning in Seattle, said, “Turn off the TV or monitor, then use a dry microfiber cloth and gently wipe the screen.

If necessary, dampen the cloth with distilled water or with an equal ratio of distilled water to white vinegar.” You may already know this, but don’t spray the screen directly.

10. Remember The Showerhead

I tend to wash my showerhead with shampoo, but Lane, above, has another idea. “To get built-up residue off a showerhead, tie a baggie of vinegar around it and leave it to dissolve overnight. In the morning, rinse the showerhead.” I tried this and the result was amazing!

11. Read The Tags On Those Sheets

Don’t you hate when you think you’re putting on a fitted sheet correctly… and then you realize you are not? Anderson says that the tags belong on the bottom (on the left side for a king, and the right side for a queen).

Who knew? She also advised to mark inside seams with a fabric marker in order to keep the corners straight. Genius!

12. Be Organized

Just like the pencil holder on your desk, it’s important to have a cleaning caddie, too. “A caddie keeps everything together, cutting down the amount of time it takes to get the job done,” said Anderson.

13. Get That “New House” Smell

You know how, when we get our cars washed, some places add an air freshener or at least give our cars back to us smelling wonderful?

If you use all-natural cleaning products like I do, your place shouldn’t smell like chemicals, post-cleaning, and Debra Longfellow, owner of Gaia Home Services LLC in Tacoma, Washington, agrees.

She makes her own cleaning agents using Borax, washing soda, vinegar and baking soda… and then she adds some drops of essential oils (which are also therapeutic!) such as like lemon, lavender, and grapefruit. I LOVE this idea. So easy, too!