Spring cleaning shortcuts
1. Wax on, wax off
It's amazing, and frustrating, how quickly showers get dirty after you've cleaned them -- especially if you live in an area with hard water. Allan Gourlie, owner of Quick'n Brite Inc., the Mountlake Terrace, Wash.-based maker of cleaning products, says using wax keeps it cleaner longer. Once you get your shower clean, wax your wall tiles with car wax, and the water won't stick to it so it will stay cleaner longer.
2. Drop denture cleaner into your toilet
The folks at Molly Maid have discovered that denture cleaners like Polident can work wonders on stained toilet bowls. Since they are made to clean porcelain, it makes sense. So rather than scrubbing stains like crazy, drop in a dissolving denture-cleaning tablet, and let it go to work. After a bit, flush.
3. Employ a robot
Get a robot like the Dirt Devil's Whiskers or Mint Cleaner to dust, sweep and vacuum your floors while you put up your feet or tackle another, more interesting task.
4. Install antimicrobial doormats
Most of the harmful toxins, allergens, pesticides and pollutants in our homes enter on the bottom of our shoes. Reduce the amount of. tracked-in dirt you have to deal with along with all the other nasty stuff by placing an antimicrobial doormat, like a Dr. Doormat or Amazing Mat, at the most-trafficked entrance to your home.
5. Use microfibers and skip the bucket and water
You can ditch those buckets and stepladders to clean the walls this spring because technology has finally caught up with the cleaning industry. Massachusetts blogger Leslie Reichert, The Cleaning Coach, suggests using one of the new microfiber mops that can clean walls with just a spritz of water.
6. Host a virtual yard sale
If you have a lot of stuff lying around and want to get rid of it but just don't have it in you to host a yard sale, try a virtual one. Online services like Gazelle or Guzu will buy old electronics at a fair price. And a new online service, Tradepal, lets you sell and trade items like books, jewelry and accessories with your Facebook friends (and friends of friends) because the best people to trade with are people you know.
7. Turn on your microwave
Sabrina Soto, host of HGTV's "The High/Low Project" and author of "Sabrina Soto Home Design," has a simple fix for dirty microwaves. Put two cups of water and half a cup of white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl and pop it in for about 3 1/2 minutes on full power. After it's done, let it sit for a few minutes so the steam can penetrate the grime. Remove the bowl carefully and wipe the microwave clean.
8. Do an all-hands-on-deck clutter zap
It's amazing how much more you can get done when everybody pitches in. If you have roommates or live with family members, set an egg timer for 10 minutes and mandate that everyone pick up and put away at least 10 items. The more people you have on deck, the faster your house will go from messy to marvelous.