Cleaning shortcuts – 8 ways to speed up the most tedious of cleaning tasks

These eight cleaning shortcuts come expert-approved – and don’t waste your time

Metal bucket with sponges, ECO-friendly hygienic supplies and organic cleaning items, wooden reusable brushes of coconut bristles.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cleaning a house is time-consuming – there are no two ways about it. So anything that can help us shave off chore time and spend more time doing other things is worth giving a go. 

Given that a professional cleaner spends all day every day tending to their own homes and clients, it makes sense that they have perfected some time-saving cleaning tips so that they can find some downtime in their day. 

We asked them to spill their best cleaning shortcuts for you to try around your home to help clean a house fast without compromising on cleanliness.  

Professional cleaners reveal their cleaning shortcuts

Although it is important to take your time on some cleaning tasks to ensure that they are done correctly and are not rushed (such as cleaning an oven to fully remove grease, or removing stains to prevent them from getting worse), there are some great shortcuts that will help you have a chore-free weekend without compromising on hygiene.  

1. Harness natural cleaning

A glass bottle with a stainless steel funnel in the opening with a sliced lemon and teaspoon of baking soda around it

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Chemical cleaners can be great, but if you are low on time and don’t want to take safety and waiting times into consideration, then you might be better off harnessing the power of green cleaning instead, suggests Yessica Bello, a professional cleaner at Bello’s Cleaning. From cleaning with vinegar to cleaning with lemon juice, cleaning with natural ingredients is often more effective, she says. One instance of this is getting rid of limescale and getting rid of hard water stains – two of the most tedious cleaning tasks in any home:

‘One of the simplest hacks that saves a lot of time is using lemons to remove faucet stains. Instead of scrubbing with multiple products, just rub a fresh-cut lemon on the stains and they come off easily, leaving a shiny finish. This method has drastically reduced the time we spend on cleaning bathrooms and kitchens.’

2. Use dryer sheets to dust

Someone dusting the back of a bed

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Removing dust in a home is a never-ending battle. If you are tired of dusting every few days, try swapping to dusting with dryer sheets, such as Bounce from Walmart, suggests Lina DaSilva, cleaning professional and owner of Toronto Shine Cleaning. ‘They work wonders on baseboards and blinds, picking up dust effectively and leaving a fresh scent, and the anti-static properties help keep dust away longer,’ she explains. 

Don’t forget that using the best air purifier will also help to collect dust from the air and stop it from settling, making cleaning quicker and easier too.  

3. Set up a schedule

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(Image credit: Martha Brook)

Setting up a schedule that breaks cleaning chores down into different days might not sound like it will save you a lot of time, but establishing clear cleaning times will ensure every task is done regularly enough that it doesn't become overwhelming. Staying on top of a task ultimately takes less time overall than having to spend a whole day deep cleaning, says Yessica Bello, professional cleaner:

‘For example, assigning daily tasks like dusting, vacuuming, and dishwashing to different family members ensures a cleaner home without much effort. This helps us maintain cleanliness effortlessly.’ 

You can also try something such as the ‘different day, different room’ housekeeping schedule to tackle tidying, cleaning, and decluttering all in one go.  

4. Keep cleaning supplies on hand

Cleaning supplies

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You wouldn’t try a DIY project without having all the right tools first, so don’t try cleaning without all the right cleaning supplies either, says Shari Cedar, CEO of AK Building Services, a leading commercial cleaning company:

‘Have your cleaning supplies and equipment ready to go. You will need a neutral cleaner, a disinfectant, a toilet bowl cleaner, a glass cleaner, and a stainless-steel cleaner for a thorough job. Use microfiber cloths, they are far superior to rags and paper towels.

‘It can also help to make a checklist or a cleaning card system,’ she adds. ‘This helps take the guesswork out of cleaning. With a routine, you ensure everything gets done.’  

5. Use baking tray and air fryer liners

A white air fryer on a white countertop with kitchen utensils and red lentils beside it

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A big time-consuming task when cleaning a kitchen is washing dishes by hand. If you do not have a dishwasher or have non-stick items such as baking trays and air fryer baskets that need to be hand washed, quick cleaning hacks are essential. Will Cotter, cleaning expert and owner of HappyCleans suggests investing in liners for your trays and baskets to cut down on cleaning time significantly:

‘Get disposable thick paper liners to toss after use. Silicone liners are good, too, if you want to be more eco-friendly. Of course, you still need to wash your baskets every now and then, but it won’t take much time and elbow grease since it’s got less grease and food build-up.’

6. Clean greasy items overnight

White kitchen, brick floor, rug

(Image credit: Madeline Harper Photography)

Another great way to clean kitchen grease is to harness the cleaning power of dishwasher tablets no matter what it is you are cleaning, Will Cotter, cleaning expert continues. For instance to clean burnt stainless steel pans or deep clean oven racks:

‘Get a big container (even the bathtub or big sink works!) and fill it with hot water. Toss in a couple of dishwasher tablets, depending on how dirty your racks are, and let them soak overnight. 

‘After the soak, scrub gently to remove any remaining bits, and rinse well. No harsh chemicals, no elbow grease required.’ 

7. Focus on high-touch paints

light and bright entryway with a pale blue front door and bench seat

(Image credit: BHDM Design / Photography Reid Rolls)

If you are in a real rush and don't have much time to clean in a given week, you can cut a few corners and focus on the high touch points – also known as target hygiene, suggests Shari Cedar, commercial cleaning specialist:

‘High touch points and vertical surfaces, like counter tops, faucets, toilet seats are must clean areas. Think about what parts of your home are most likely to accumulate germs and dust. Those areas are a priority. Floors are critical as well, especially if you have pets or don’t remove your shoes inside your home. Think about where you walk each day. Whatever germs or funk you stepped on are now in your home.’

Make sure you still give your home a full clean every so often to avoid dirt building up elsewhere, but this approach can help to stay on top of the most important bits while saving time for rest and relaxation. 

8. Let smart appliances do the work

A finger switching on a robot vacuum to clean a kitchen floor.

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When trying to save your time when cleaning a house, it pays to invest in smart tech that can do most of the work for you. Picking out the best robot vacuum cleaner, for instance, or using the best washing machines and dryers with timer functions and programmable cycle settings will take a lot of the tedious manual aspects out of your chores.  


What is the most efficient order to clean a house?  

When trying to clean a house efficiently, start in the most used spots such as the kitchen and bathroom, and work around these rooms from top to bottom. This will get the hardest tasks out of the way so you can focus on easier areas when your energy is depleted – such as the living room or bedroom. Be sure to always tidy the area first before cleaning so you do not have to clean around items for the best results.  

Of course, if you really want to save time and energy and have the funds, it always helps to hire a professional cleaner to help take some of the load. We took the time to answer some of the most common questions about hiring a cleaner, too, so you can take the guesswork out of such an important investment.  

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.