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    Mar 8, 2020

    24 Low-Effort Ways To Keep Your Home, Like, 95% Clean

    Lazy neat freaks, this one's for you.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    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 $15.90.

    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.

    Method

    This daily shower cleaner uses non-toxic, biodegradable 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. Some reviewers even say it slowly cleaned the soap scum and calcium buildup already in their shower, besides just preventing more! Get some from Amazon: two 28-oz bottles for $14.24, or one 68-oz refill for $21.98.

    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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    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. Stamp some gel into your clean toilet to actually keep it that way for weeks at a time, no scrubbing required.

    Scrubbing Bubbles / youtube.com, Amazon

    All you have to do is re-stamp as needed. If you can't imagine not using your toilet brush, you can use the small remaining bit of gel to scrub down the bowl before applying more. I used this in college and can personally attest it really does work!

    Get enough to keep your toilet clean for up to eight(!!) months on Amazon for $10.47.

    6. Banish years of rusty buildup all over your bathroom with some spray-on cleaning gel — all you do is spray, wait a minute or two, then rinse to reveal your bathroom's ~sparkle~.

    amazon.com

    It really is like magic: it can also remove rust stains from color safe fabrics, among many other surfaces. Get a bottle on Amazon for $4.98.

    (And if you struggle with rust stains in your toilet, try the same brand's automatic toilet tank tablets, $4.99 for two. Although one reviewer notes that you may not see real results until your second tablet, because it takes a little time for the first tablet to eat through all the stains in the tank.)

    7. 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, $18.77 for two bottles on Amazon.) Read my full review of Pinterest Hacks for more.

    8. Wear sweeper slippers to pick up hair, dust, and fuzzies as you cook, do your makeup, pace while talking on the phone, or just generally hang out on your wood or tile floors.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    No, they're definitely not even close to as effective as a broom or even a focused dust mopping would be, but their microfiber bottoms will still pick up *some* dust and grime. When I wore them for a week, I ended up using my feet as little brooms, sweeping everything into one pile that was easier to pick up. So my floors were actually a little cleaner! If you want to try a pair for yourself, you can get them on Amazon in purple or black for $13 or in pink for $18.99.

    9. Or 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $219.99 (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 22 Dirt-Destroying Vacuums That People Actually Swear By.

    10. 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 encourage people to wipe their feet.

    NinetoWineDesign / Etsy

    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 $31.20.

    11. 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.

    Amazon

    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 ($1199.99 on Amazon), smaller shoe ottomans for tiny apartments ($72 on Amazon), or basic racks that could sit just inside the back door ($29.81 on Amazon).

    12. 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.com, amazon.com

    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 $12.54+ (available in three sizes and six colors).

    13. 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.

    amazon.com

    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 $15.49.

    14. 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).

    onecrazyhouse.com

    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.

    15. Coat your oven in a fume-free cleaner and literally go to bed, leaving it to cut through years of built-up grease and grime overnight.

    amazon.com

    Technically, you can let this sit anywhere from two hours to overnight to get results. And while you might have to do *some* light scrubbing, it should be much easier than it would've been without this cleaner! Don't forget to spray it on the racks too (unless your racks have a special coating on 'em). Get a can on Amazon for $6.44.

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

    Amazon

    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 this oven liner on Amazon (safe up to 500 degrees) for $11.99.

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    amazon.com

    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 $14.97.

    19. 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.

    20. 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.

    Amazon

    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. Get a set of six on Amazon for $10.50.

    21. 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.

    mythirtyspot.com

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

    22. 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.

    creeklinehouse.com

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

    Get a pack of five lint rollers on Amazon for $19.70.

    23. 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.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $9.99.

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

    Amazon

    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 $21.95+ (available in 20 scents).

    You, enjoying all the extra time you have in your life because you don't have to spend the weekend cleaning:

    20th Century Fox / giphy.com

    Make your life even tidier! Check out some of the best home organization products on Amazon, the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.

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