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14 Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time (And Money!)

14 Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time (And Money!)

If you’re anything like me, you find cleaning to be a bit of a drag.

I mean, sure, sometimes it’s super-satisfying to see the rewards of a clean home after a deep clean — and it can even be therapeutic after a particularly stressful day — but the majority of the time, cleaning is a never-ending pain.

I live with two guys (feel sorry for me), and seriously, there’s always something that needs cleaning.

That’s why I love a good cleaning hack, and why I’m going to share some of my discoveries with you in this post. With the help of these hacks, hopefully one day no one will ever have to suffer through endless hours of cleaning again (that’s my dream!).

1. Buy Baking Soda

Bicarbonate in a wooden spoon

    Seriously, I don’t think there’s anything baking soda can’t do! If you are looking for a magical solution to your cleaning woes, baking soda is the closest you’re going to get.

    Available from your supermarket, baking soda is a degreaser, deodoriser, cleaner, and more (seriously, here’s another 37 baking soda hacks for your home).

    My all-time top 3 cleaning hacks with baking soda are:

    1.  Bin deodoriser: Next time you empty your bin, sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom — it will absorb those nasty odours!
    2. Cleaning the cooker-hood filters: Be honest, when was the last time you cleaned yours? The only way to get rid of that sticky layer of grease is to soak it with boiling water and baking soda (trust me).
    3. Cleaning grout: Not only is baking soda an abrasive, it’s also a natural whitener — perfect for the grout in my bathroom!

    2. Remove Water Rings With Your Hair Dryer

    Removing water marks with hair dryer

      Fed up with water marks on your wooden furniture? These can seem impossible to remove, but you can actually use a hair dryer (or alternatively, an iron) to finally get rid of those unsightly water rings.

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      Water rings are caused by trapped moisture in the wood, so using a hair dryer on low heat directed at the affected area causes the moisture to evaporate, removing the stain.

      3. Put Everything in the Dishwasher

      toys-in-dishwasher

        Okay, maybe not everything, but you’d be surprised by how much you can actually clean in your dishwasher, including:

        • Vases
        • Toothbrushes
        • Makeup brushes
        • Plastic toys
        • Dish racks

        4. Use Flour to Clean Spills Easily

        Cleaning spilt sauce with flour

          To clean up a large spill quickly, instead of using rolls of paper towels, grab some flour and sprinkle it over the mess.

          The flour will absorb and control the spill quickly, making it much easier to clean up.

          5. Steam Clean Your Microwave

          Water + Lemons for Clean Microwave

            Hate cleaning your microwave? Well there’s a much easier method — cut a lemon into two halves and place them in a (microwaveable) bowl/jug of water.

            Place the bowel in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Leave the bowl to stand for around 5 minutes.

            Heating water in your microwave generates steam, which, along with the lemon (a natural de-greaser), helps to loosen the dried-on food and stains inside your microwave.

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            When you remove the bowl, your microwave shouldn’t need anything more than a quick wipe to clean!

            6. DIY Overnight Mould Remover

            Mould in the shower

              Soak cotton wool balls in bleach (be sure to use rubber gloves!) and lay them on those annoying mould and mildew stains that form on the grout/sealant in your bathroom.

              Leave them to work overnight (while you catch up on some well-deserved sleep) and simply remove them the next day — the mould will be gone!

              7. Use a Lint Roller on Lampshades

              Lint roller to clean lampshade

                Lampshades are a magnet for dust and gunk and a nightmare to clean.

                But there’s an easier way — use a lint roller! After all, lint rollers were designed to pick up the dust and debris from your clothes, and they work perfectly on lampshades.

                You can also use lint rollers to quickly clean curtains, rugs, and glitter (it gets everywhere!). You can also use it to safely pick up broken glass.

                8. Buy a Steamer!

                Steam cleaner

                  Literally everything will be easier to clean. Things like your:

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                  • Bathroom
                  • Oven
                  • Windows
                  • Sofa
                  • Carpets and rugs
                  • Tiles
                  • Outdoor furniture
                  • Upholstery

                  The list goes on! This is an investment buy that may cost a lot initially, but will definitely save you money in the future.

                  9. Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions

                  Homemade-cleaning-solutions

                    Save money (and the environment) by making your own home cleaning solutions with stuff that you probably already have in your cupboards.

                    This can also be beneficial for your health, as some commercial cleaning products have been found to contain toxic chemicals.

                    As to whether homemade cleaning solutions are as effective as store-bought cleaners, the answer may surprise you. Check out this infographic for more information.

                    10. Stop Smelly Bins

                    Put baking soda at the bottom of the bin

                      There’s nothing worse than a smelly bin, but there’s a seriously quick and easy way to prevent your waste from smelling out your kitchen — baking soda (I seriously love this stuff).

                      Simply sprinkle a handful of baking soda at the bottom of your bin before you insert the bin-bag. Baking soda is a natural deodoriser, and will absorb any bad odours generated from your kitchen waste.

                      Bonus Tip: Try cleaning your bin in the shower. You can use the shower hose to effectively clean the inside, and leave it upturned to dry naturally.

                      11. Dry Your Clothes Quicker

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                      Towel in Dryer

                        Put one dry towel in your tumble dryer with your wet clothes to dry them faster. The dry towel will absorb the excess moisture, reducing the drying time and using less energy (a money-saving bonus!).

                        However, you need to ensure you remove the towel 15 minutes into the cycle, otherwise the towel will continue to absorb moisture and extend the drying time.

                        12. Vacuum Up Vomit

                        Vacuuming

                          Okay, this seems kinda gross. But apparently, if you make a paste of baking soda and water and generously spread it over the affected area, and then leave it overnight to dry, it’ll absorb the odour and allow you to easily vacuum the mess up the next day.

                          I can’t say I’ve tried this myself, but it could potentially be one of the best cleaning hacks!

                          14. Use Foil and Cling-Film to Prevent Mess

                          Foil in baking tray

                            If things don’t get dirty, they don’t need to be cleaned! Line your baking trays with foil when cooking, and place cling-film on the shelves of your fridge.

                            Simply remove and replace when needed — cleaning without the elbow grease!

                            Image Credits: Livestrong, Homemade Mamas, Flickr, WonderHowTo,  The Kitchn, Our Home From Scratch, Be Young Be Green, Steam Smart,  Pamela SalzmanHelping, About Home, Flickr, David Lebovitz

                            Featured photo credit: PhotoPin via photopin.com

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                            Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                            1. Exercise Daily

                            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                            The basic nutritional advice includes:

                            • Eat unprocessed foods
                            • Eat more veggies
                            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                              5. Watch Out for Travel

                              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                              6. Start Slow

                              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                              More Tips on Getting in Shape

                              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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