Inside: Find out fifteen of the best cleaning tips from a professional house cleaner that you can use in your home.
A guest post by Jessalynn Jones of Doable Simplicity
I’ve been a professional house cleaner for over 17 years. I’ve worked in small homes and in large homes and I’ve been privileged to work with a variety of great clients.
While there are some specifics that are unique to the home, throughout the years I’ve also learned various cleaning hacks to make the process simpler, faster, and more efficient in any sized space.
In this post, I want to share some tricks of the trade from my years of experience. Read on for fifteen of the best cleaning tips from a professional house cleaner that you can use in your home.
What Makes Cleaning a House Challenging
So right now some of you are wishing I would come to your house. And who wouldn’t want someone to come to clean so that they don’t have to?
But what makes cleaning so hard to do?
There are a few reasons it can be hard to clean your own house. One is a lack of motivation to clean.
Another thing that can make cleaning challenging is not knowing what the best cleaning tools or processes are.
And for others it is the time it takes to get the job done.
The good news is: we can work through these challenges. I am going to share my best cleaning tips so that you can clean the house faster and maybe even enjoy it.
Let’s get started!
15 Best Cleaning Tips From a Professional House Cleaner
Here are my fifteen best cleaning tips to help you get your home spotless in no time.
1: Use Vinegar for Hard Water Deposits
Do you ever get those nasty rings of crusty junk around your faucets, in your sink near the drain, or on your shower heads?
It seems really hard to get off but it isn’t. Simply spray it with vinegar. Give it a couple of minutes and take your scrubby sponge to it. It should come right off.
If it’s really bad, put the vinegar in a plastic food storage bag and rubber band it onto the fixture, ensuring it is submerged. Give it an hour or two and it should be ready to scrub clean.
2: Scrub Scum With Paste
What about the soap scum and oils that build up in the shower? Easy peasy. Just grab some Comet or Dawn dish soap.
Sprinkle or squeeze it out and scrub it. If you use Comet the powder will help you scrub the grime away. If you use dish soap it will cut through oils and waxes that are found in your shampoo and soap.
I also recommend Comet or dish soap for burnt-on food on stoves.
3: Microwave a Sponge
How do you clean your microwave?
Simply soak a sponge and throw it in the microwave for 2 minutes. I let it sit in there steaming everything up for a minute and then I use a potholder to pull out the microwave plate with the hot sponge on it.
Run some cold water on the sponge to cool it down so you can touch it. Then clean your microwave plate and wipe out your microwave before you replace it.
Not only does this make cleaning hardened food bits easier, but it also sterilizes your sponge.
4: Make Everything SHINE with Vinegar
When cleaning mirrors, glass, and fixtures do you use Windex?
That’s fine but if you want a less expensive and less toxic solution you can use your white vinegar again. Just put it in a spray bottle and use a paper towel for a streak-free shine on all your surfaces.
I know some people don’t like the smell of vinegar but here is a helpful fact for you. The smell of vinegar dissipates very quickly and it actually deodorizes the room at the same time. If you can stand it for 5 minutes you will be glad you used it in the long run.
By the way, never ever mix bleach and Windex with ammonia. It’s toxic. You can Google it.
5: For Extra Shine Use Oil
Now I prefer vinegar because it’s easy and fast BUT if you want an extra shine on your stainless steel here is a cool trick.
Put a little bit of cooking oil on a paper towel and rub back and forth with the grain. It takes a little more work but it will make your stainless steel look amazing and it’s much less than specialty stainless steel cleaners.
6: Use Soapy Water
While we are talking about cleaning supplies I must warn you about something. You will find a thousand cleaning supplies that say they will do the work for you.
Aside from bleach which actually whitens, cleaning supplies do not just do the work for you. They can help. Dish soap can cut grease and vinegar can get rid of scum. Some products also sanitize.
But for the most part, the cleaning supplies cannot be sprayed on to do the work while you watch. Some elbow grease is required to get the job done properly.
And that’s why my main multipurpose cleaner is a squirt of dish soap in a bottle of water. Add some hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. Add some essential oils for scent if desired.
Having an easy multipurpose spray and the willingness to do some scrubbing will make cleaning fast and easy.
7: Dust the Fan with a Mask
How often do you dust your ceiling fan? It is one of the cleaning areas that is often forgotten in the home.
In order to make the job less overwhelming (and less dusty!) make sure to dust it regularly. If you haven’t cleaned yours recently, here are two helpful tips to make it easier.
Use an extending handle Swiffer and dust the fans every week or two. That way they never have tons of dust accumulate on them.
It’s also helpful to wear a mask when you dust the fan (especially if it has been a while) to prevent breathing in all of the dust and causing a sneezing fit.
8: Don’t Just Dust Your Furniture and Decor
A lot of things about house cleaning can be made easier just by doing small things regularly. That is definitely true of dusting.
If you do nothing else at least grab your Swiffer and dust everything once a week. And don’t just dust the tops of dressers, shelves, your TV, and decorations.
Dust the tops of doors, the baseboards, the tops of pictures, and the corners of your rooms. Also, turn the blinds to fully closed in each direction and dust them.
If you do this you will stay on top of cobwebs and that sticky dust that accumulates on everything that is much harder to dust and requires a wet rag.
Move stuff as you dust too.
I promise the simple act of dusting these things every week will help you avoid much bigger projects that you will have if you don’t do it.
9: Use a Good Old Fashioned Broom
There are all sorts of vacuums and they all say they do great on hard floors but here’s the thing. They don’t work as well as your broom for two reasons.
On hard floors, your vacuum’s airflow will always blow away some fine hairs and dust. Vacuums also don’t always fit under stuff, between stuff, and in corners.
Do yourself a favor and take a little time to sweep your hard floors.
A broom will get in every nook and cranny, under and between your furniture, and in the grooves of your grout so much better.
And it’s just more pleasant too. No loud vacuum.
When you’re done use a dust pan or opt to vacuum up the dirt pile at the end.
10: Forget the Cordless Vacuuming
They are sleek, skinny, and lightweight. Cordless vacuums are so popular and I was excited the first time one of my cleaning clients bought one.
But now I’m 8 models in and 16 batteries down. My clients are disappointed in their purchases and I have been put through the wringer too many times.
Just give up the cordless vac.
It may be amazing at first and if you live in a smaller home it might just do the whole house. But before very long that battery will weaken and you will get half the house and then none of it.
Save yourself time and money.
I really like the Shark stick vacuums with cords because they are strong, have great attachments, really long cords, and will keep working for you for a long time.
11: Spray as You Go Mop
Mopping can be tricky. Do you have wood floors or tile? Do you need to carry a bucket up and down stairs? Is the mop head clean? What about the water?
While you might prefer a classic rope mop for a huge expanse of floor that is not wood, my favorite mop is the spray-as-you-go kind.
Don’t get one of those Swiffer mops that need the special fluids and the special mop head pads that fall apart.
Get a spray-as-you-go mop that has fabric pads for the mop head that you can wash and a liquid bottle that you can put your own fluid in.
I love the spray-as-you-go mops because they eliminate the heavy bucket of dirty water, you can wash the pads easily, and you can better control the amount of water that gets on the floor which is important with wood floors that can be damaged by too much water.
12: Move Things as You Go
People seem to go to one extreme or the other with cleaning. Either they move everything or they move nothing. If you move everything it will take a long time and if you move nothing you will not have a very clean house.
Instead, I favor the move-as-you-go approach.
For example, I pick one part of the counter I am going to clean and move everything off of it. I clean and wipe dry that area and move everything back. Then I move the things on the next part of the counter over and clean it.
This helps me move quickly and remember where things go since I am cleaning for other people.
I recommend that you do this too because it will make the whole process feel less overwhelming if you are just taking it in small sections at a time.
Also, in order to clean like a pro you are going to need to focus on cleaning when you are cleaning and not tidying, organizing, making important calls, or anything else. Distractions will really slow you down.
Stay focused on the task at hang by pretending you are a professional cleaner. Move the items of your way and move them back once you’re done cleaning. You can always come back around and complete additional tasks later.
If you want to save more time, opt to store fewer items on countertops and on the tops of your furniture. It not only will make you space feel more calm, but it makes cleaning so much easier!
13: Start the Sheets First
If you want to make washing the sheets part of your weekly cleaning routine I recommend that you throw them in before you start anything else.
About the time you are done cleaning the bathrooms, you should be able to move the sheets to the dryer.
Also, I don’t recommend washing your sheets with your towels or your bathrobe or your pajamas, or anything else.
Those heavier fabrics tend to get tied up in your sheets and cause a big ball of never drying mess to happen. Sheets on their own will dry much faster so you can get them back on the bed right away.
14: Play Music or an Audiobook
So now we have talked about all the great cleaning tips and tools. We have even talked about staying on task and cleaning without getting distracted.
But what can you do to make cleaning less boring?
Just grab some headphones and throw on some great tunes! Or you can get the online library app and an audiobook to make time fly by.
I’ve been a professional house cleaner for over 17 years and I still can’t stand cleaning without music or a book.
With music or a great audiobook I actually look forward to cleaning and my fitness watch says it’s the least stressful thing I do.
Last but not least, I have cleaned for people with lots of stuff and I have cleaned for people who live a minimalist lifestyle.
The difference is amazing.
Even if the minimalist has a large house it will take less time to clean than someone who has a lot of clutter in a small home.
If you want to make cleaning a lot easier and faster the key is to declutter first.
Decluttering items that aren’t used means less moving stuff around. Having more room in your storage solutions cause you got rid of stuff that you don’t need means less moving stuff around. And having less furniture and stuff on the floor makes vacuuming and mopping easier.
When you start feeling like your house is just too exhausting to clean, start by learning how to declutter your home better and see how much simpler cleaning becomes.
Bonus Tip: Make Cleaning a Habit
The more you can incorporate daily cleaning habits into your routine, the easier it will be to keep your home clean.
Once cleaning becomes a habit you don’t have to give it as much thought and it feels significantly less overwhelming.
Combining cleaning habits with decluttering habits will help you to maintain a calmer clutter-free space that is much easier to keep clean too!
Helpful cleaning tips from a professional house cleaner
So there you have it! All the best cleaning tips from a professional house cleaner. I hope that it makes cleaning your home a lot easier.
But if you still hate it and can swing it, hire someone to clean is a great option too. Rates will depend on your area, but you may be surprised to find how affordable and worth it it is to hire a cleaning service to help you out.
There should be no guilt or shame in hiring help if you want to go that route. It not only can be helpful for the health and well-being of you and your household but it also gives people like me the opportunity to do what I love.
Either way, a clean house is a helpful component of a happy simple life in which your home is a comfortable haven and a functional springboard that supports your goals.
Jessalynn Jones writes her blog, Doable Simplicity, with the goal of helping you find the version of minimalism that is just right for you. She wants minimalism and simple living to make your life more enjoyable as it helps you reach your big-picture goals!
What’s your favorite one of the cleaning tips from a professional house cleaner? Let us know in the comments!
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I also like the spray and mop. I have engineered hardwood. I’m having a hard time with what to use for cleaner. I have tried several and still get streaks??
I have engineered hardwoods and love using my steam cleaner. Works great and has multiple uses.
Orange Glow 4-in-1 polish and cleaner is amazing. Dilute in a basin of warm water and mop with micro fiber towel (squeezed tightly) removed film snd shines. Try it. You’ll see a difference immediately. Good luck. Happy cleaning.
Hey there Mary!
In my experience you probably just need a little less water to avoid streaks. There are some nice hard wood solutions put out by Bona and Method though.
Thanks for the tips. you make it so easy.
I use vinegar and hot water on my hardwood floors and never have streaks. The trick is to mop with a clean damp water. If the floor is dirty, you’ll need to mop 2x. Once to clean it and the 2nd time, to damp mop it. The floor will dry fast and you shouldn’t have streaks.
Great Cleaning Tips I will definitely will put them to use, especially “the one about
I’m going take it with me when I go do my next cleaning job. Thanks so much again!!!! God Blessed You❤️
Good day and thanks very much for the ideas. Very much helpful and will be implemented. God bless you 🙏🏾 ❤️
I totally agree and have these same cleaning tips never thought to post them.I clean houses also for over 24 years.The best vacuums are the shark stick vacuum with led headlights and I have the libman spray as u go mop also I’ve used the bona but it is more expensive. I also have a vac ,mop by tineco that I use too.Anything that makes it easier the saying work smarter not harder 😉
Thanks for all the useful tips
I love them all – I’m a housekeeper too my first year I and love it 🙂 thank you for the audiobook suggestion it’s the 2nd time I have heard to do so while cleaning and also love the simple ingredients of vinegar and dish soap with also hydrogen peroxide:) may God bless your journey into the Heavens and also on Earth 🙂
I love all of the cleaning tips! Anything to make life easier is fine by me! Thank you so much!
After I lost my cleaning lady….she was the best….I found I was able to keep up my work using her techniques and I no longer take one day and clean the whole apartment but if I do some daily it’s no longer a chore and that is the secret and having the proper tools…..I make my own cleaning supplies….use a lot of vinegar
In between vacuuming my furniture I use a lint roller.
The Bissell Crosswave is the “bomb”! You get to see the actual dirt you had on your floors.I use vinegar and hot water.
Thank you so much for these tips! I’m always looking for an easier, less cumbersome yet efficient way to clean for my clients. You’ve provided a few good ones!
What is the best way to clean a granite sink?
Never heard of a granite sink but dish soap and water to wash countertop then granite countertop spray. Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth in circular motions.
It’s probably a composite material and can look dull after being cleaned, especially if it’s a dark color. After cleaning with Dawn, I have always conditioned those sinks by sprinkling a little mineral oil (baby oil works) onto the clean, dry sink and rubbing it down with an old diaper or microfiber cloth till it shines. It lasts for a few days, but is good for conditioning the sink after every good scrubbing. My countertop installer confirmed this tip.
I really liked your ideas and will use them. some of them I use now but the vinegar and dish soap will definitely be a part of the cleaning ritual. thank you.
steamers are the best and replaced mopping I very much h dislike mopping
I vacuum, then mop or spray equal ratio of vinegar and water directly on tile as I steam mop tile floors. Or vacuum then mop
I recommend the Kenmore Intuition vacuum and Shark steam mop
I always have my favorite rock songs on when I clean. Find myself “dancing like no one is watching.” Any tips for cleaning the screen of my TV would be appreciated. Keep up the good work.
These cleaning tips are general helpful. But microwaving a sponge is no bueno. Studies have shown that by microwaving the sponge you are killing the easy to kill germs while leaving the very difficult and more dangerous germs alive to spread. Stop using sponges. Try something like the scrub pads made by Euro scrubby instead.
I enjoyed reading this article and all the comments too. Everyone shared great tips!
Question: when and what is the best way to clean windows and sliding doors and in between the grooves? What is the best solution to use? Thank you
What about cleaning your granite counter tops. Can you use vinegar and water
As a former professional cleaner, I totally agree with all these except the vinegar it makes my gag reflexes go. I can’t even use it while cooking unless I measure it arms length away.
In my home my knickknacks get cleaned with soup and water, not all can be put in water but I use a child’s toothbrush and dip it in water shake it off and clean the object then pat dry with a soft cloth.
I also deep clean once a year everything gets moved, in each room nothing goes undisturbed, this is when everything gets cleaned, sorted,decluttered, that may have not been touched or was overlooked.
I use a shop vac several times a year and go in between furniture, blinds, attachments for ceilings, walls. I use sponge mop on kitchen tile floors, and an old school duster that can go into intricate places without knocking stuff over.
Spray mop is wonderful item for my floors and I can refill it on my own , however any ideas on what I can create to use as a cleaner to avoid purchasing the refill bottle since on occasion I can’t find the refill cleaner at my store. BONA is what I use.
To prevent your sheets to roll up like a ball in the dryer, put in one or two tennis balls. Adding a dry towel to your wet load of washing in your dryer, will shorten the time it takes to dry.
What’s the best way to keep fabric shower curtain liners clean. I tried washing them every week, wiping them down with a dry towel after every shower. They stay clean for about a month or so, then gradually get the brown marks on the bottom. I would appreciate any advise, Thank you.