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    21 Cleaning Tips For Anyone Who's Both Neat *And* Lazy

    High-reward ideas that require very little effort.

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    1. Make your bed first thing in the morning so your bedroom instantly looks neat and tidy, no matter how messy the rest of the room happens to be.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    I live in a tiny studio, and nothing makes my entire space look more neat and put together than quickly straightening my sheets out a bit and throwing the quilt over them. It's the first thing I notice when I come home in the evenings, and helps me ignore whatever other little mess I have going on elsewhere in the room.

    2. Stash a pack of biodegradable cleaning wipes under your bathroom sink, then swab things down once a day so you never have to deal with a buildup of dust or mildew.

    Amazon, Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Try to go in order of least-germy to germiest surface. Maybe: counter, faucet, toilet tank, top of toilet lid, toilet handle, sink, toilet seat. They won't disinfect (which — disinfecting wipes won't either, unless you consistently wipe down the surface so it stays wet for four minutes or so), but they will eliminate dirt and grime with just a few seconds of work.

    Get a pack of three containers of naturally-derived, compostable cleaning wipes on Amazon for $19.99. Or if you want to go the waste-free route, mix up your own all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle from this eucalyptus-scented concentrate bar, $9.49 on Amazon, and cut up a t-shirt you haven't worn in years into a few cleaning rags!

    3. Mist your shower walls, curtain/door, tub, fixtures and floor after you turn off the water and you'll (almost) never need to deep clean your shower ever again.

    bottle of ecos shower cleaner on bathroom counter next to towels

    This daily shower cleaner uses non-toxic ingredients to lift soap scum and other oils off your shower walls, so they actually get rinsed down the drain, instead of drying where they landed. It's sustainably produced in the USA in carbon-neutral, water-neutral and zero-waste facilities, and is EPA Safer Choice certified. Reviewers say that it's a solid replacement for the hard-to-find (and often marked up, or only available in bulk) Method Daily Shower cleaner, and that it really does keep their shower clean with regular use.

    Get a bottle from Amazon for $10.07.

    4. Catch all the hair you and the people you live with shed in the shower using a silicone drain cover, so you can stop spending so much $$ on chemical de-cloggers, and never have to call the plumber for help.,

    This fits over pretty much any drain, whether it pops up, sinks in, or is flat and flush with the rest of the tub. It's made of silicone, which means even if it gets a little mildew-y you'll be able to easily wipe the gross stuff off. The weighted top holds it in place, and your hair stays trapped while the water flows through. Get one on Amazon for $9.99.

    5. Soak your clogged and mildew-y shower head in a plastic bag filled with vinegar for a couple of hours, and it should dissolve every bit of the buildup.

    Natalie Brown

    I've tried this, it 100% works. (Unless you have incredibly hard water — then you may need to use something stronger than vinegar, like CLR, $21.86 for two bottles on Amazon.) Simply guide the bag over the shower head, bunch it on the pipe at the back fo the head, and loop a rubber band around that bunches spot a few times until it seems like it'll hold. Read my full review of Pinterest Hacks for more.

    6. Drop a hydrogen peroxide-infused toilet bomb into your toilet bowl on a regular basis (like, once a week, depending on how hard your water is) to eliminate the need to scrape with a pumice stone. Swish once or twice, let it fizz for about five minutes, then scrub for a minute or so with a toilet brush.

    the five white spherical toilet bombs
    Juniperseed Mercantile / Etsy

    All you have to do? Drop one in the bowl, swish once or twice, let it fizz for about five minutes, then scrub for a minute or so with a toilet brush. Juniperseed Mercantile is a Littleton, Colorado–based small business that focuses on earth-friendly skin care and home care products. 

    Get the pack of five from Juniperseed Mercantile for $10.

    7. To really keep your floors cleaner than you ever thought possible, splurge a little on a robo vac. Idk about you, but there's no way I'm ever going to vacuum or sweep every day without one of these little buddies doing it for me.


    This vac moves between hard floors and low-pile carpets/rugs without a glitch and can pick up all the accumulated dust, dirt, and hair left strewn about your home while you go do literally anything else. Get it on Amazon for $197.99 (available in two colors).

    And if you're in the market for a good vacuum of any kind — full-size, stick vacs, robo vacs, and more — check out 15 Of The Best Vacuums That You Can Get On Amazon.

    8. Prevent all the people you love from tracking outside dirt and grime into your home in the first place: set out a doormat that will (playfully!) encourage people to wipe their feet.

    beige coir doormat with black text that says "don't just stand there, bust a move"
    NinetoWineDesign / Etsy

    Nine to Wine Design is an Oklahoma-based small business that makes all kinds of cute and custom doormats like this one!

    Promising review: "Great item, well done. The mat appears to be high quality and brings a smile to my face every time I see it! Makes life fun." —Heather Barnes

    Get it from Nine to Wine Design on Etsy for $32.19.

    9. You could even take it one step further and create a designated spot for everyone to take their shoes off at (or right inside) the door.


    Keeping your floors clean without having to actually clean them constantly starts with eliminating sources of dirt! Set it up wherever you enter and exit your home the most.

    There are lots of options out there: big cubbie benches that could be the start to a DIY mudroom ($138.67+ on Amazon), smaller shoe ottomans for tiny apartments ($74.99+ on Amazon), or basic racks that could sit just inside the back door ($33.99 on Amazon).

    10. And if you have dogs who constantly bring dirt in from the yard, wipe down their paws with an old towel — or if a towel just doesn't cut it, a paw washer — before they come back inside., Amazon

    Enlisting an old beach towel really can work wonders to keep your floors cleaner, especially if you're consistent about giving them a quick wipe-down.

    But if you deal with lots of mud or sand that gets embedded between their toes, a paw washer could help. Its silicone bristles are super gentle so many dogs don't mind them, and they help rinse off most dirt and mud with just a quick dip or two (for particularly muddy days, you may have to change the water once or twice, but that will still be easier than pulling out the hose). Just imagine how much cleaner your floors would stay if your dogs stopped bringing dirt inside with them, period!

    Get one on Amazon for $14.17+ (available in three sizes and six colors).

    11. Keep a bottle of all-purpose stain remover around for those inevitable occasions where you don't want to deal with a professional carpet cleaner — or pick it up to tackle those set-in stains you got tired of looking at years ago.

    Left: a hot pink stain on a beige carpet; Middle: the same carpet, no stain in sight; Right: the pile of tissues used to blot up the stain

    All you have to do is spritz it on the stain (fresh or old), gently massage it into the carpet, wait a couple of minutes, then blot it up. The stain pictured above is liquid lipstick (an oil-based stain), but the product also removes food, coffee, ink, wine, ketchup, and pet/child stains. Get a 32-ounce bottle on Amazon for $12.39.

    12. You can clean all kinds of things in the dishwasher instead of spending time washing each thing individually, as long as they're glass, non-rusting metal, or plastic (assuming you skip the heat cycle).

    glass light fixture shades, screwdrivers and wrenches, oven vent filters, and small vent covers all in a dishwasher

    You can put kids toys, hair brushes, and dish sponges in the top rack; with glass light covers, some tools, air vent covers, range hood filters, and more in the bottom. One wash later, everything will look sparkling clean, and all you did was load up the dishwasher. From One Crazy House.

    13. Put a shallow cookie sheet on the bottom rack of your oven (or a reusable liner) to catch any future spills before they start.

    pie in oven; beneath, the mat on a rack, catching the sugary drips from the edges of the pie

    You shouldn't put foil on the bottom of your oven (that surface gets incredibly hot, and it could very well melt the foil) or, according to GE, even line your bottom rack with foil (it would disrupt airflow and heat, because the heat reflects off of it). But a shallow pan or cookie sheet (or heat-safe liner!) would be okay, if it sits on your lowest rack and doesn't touch the back or either edge.

    Get a pack of three of this oven liner on Amazon for $12.99.

    14. Microwave a bowl filled with water + lemon for three to five minutes — then leave the door closed for a few minutes so everything can steam — and you'll be able to wipe off every single dried-on food bit with one swipe of a paper towel.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed, Facebook: watch

    This also works with water + vinegar, or honestly just plain water. And of course you can wipe off with a sponge, instead. I've been doing this for years, and have yet to find a gross microwave where this doesn't work wonders. Read my full review or watch the Nifty video.

    15. Eliminate the smears and fingerprints on your stainless-steel appliances by treating them with a two-in-one cleaner and polish once a month or so.

    before: a reviewer's dirty, messy stainless steel sink and after: the same sink, now polished, shiny and clean

    Because this product also includes a polish, besides cleaning off the current fingerprints and smudges, it also protects the surface of your stainless from future messiness. The 16-oz bottle comes with a large microfiber cleaning cloth — the key is to spritz the cleaner on the cloth, so you don't end up with too much product on your appliance (which can cause fingerprints) *or* a slippery residue on your floor. One reviewer does note that it did need to be left to dry for a bit after buffing before it was actually fingerprint resistant.

    Get a bottle and the included cloth on Amazon for $16.95.

    16. Lay down a layer of wax paper or paper bags on the tops of cabinets and furniture — especially in the kitchen — to catch greasy dust, then simply swap it out months later when it gets grimy.

    17. Line your refrigerator shelves with absorbent, machine-washable mats to prevent small spills from drying to a sticky mess you have to painstakingly scrape off a little at a time.

    the shelf liners in green in a fridge, on inner shelves, doors shelves, and in drawers

    Instead, you just toss the dirty liner in with that week's towels. You could also totally cut cheap placemats to fit! These just might make it a little easier: they come in a convenient 12"x24" size, so they'll probably fit on your main shelves, and all you have to customize = the liners for the door shelves. Oh, and they're machine washable! Get a set of six on Amazon for $13.51+ (available in 12 colors).

    18. Shine up your cooktop or stove in five minutes: Drizzle on some Dawn and hydrogen peroxide, sprinkle with baking soda, and scrub in circles with a dish brush.

    Then wipe clean, and enjoy your sparkling stove! From My Thirty Spot. Get a dish brush on Amazon for $5.99.

    19. Pull out a lint roller to quickly pick up all the dust that's built up on your lampshades... well, since the last time you cleaned your lampshades.

    blogger using lint roller on lampshade

    I do this, and y'all, it is soooo satisfying. From Creekline House.

    Get a pack of five lint rollers on Amazon for $29.26.

    20. And wipe down all your other surfaces with a microfiber duster, which attracts and holds onto dust like a magnet, instead of brushing it into the air just to settle again later.


    Actually getting rid of the dust is THE key to a home that needs less dusting. This one from OXO is very thin so it can squeeze into tight crevices. To clean it you just run it through a gentle cycle in the washer, and air dry.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.93.

    21. Make pet or lingering food smells vanish without lifting a finger: just light a candle designed specifically to eliminate those sorts of scents.

    lavender green tea candle sitting on coffee table

    They're made with 100% soy wax and an odor neutralizer, and will stop your house from smelling like wet dog or cat litter, no cleaning required. Phew! Get one on Amazon for $21.99+ (available in 29 scents).

    Reviews may have been edited for length and clarity. 

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