Before you roll your eyes at adding more to your already overflowing to-do list, consider this: taking a few beats each day to check off cleaning tasks, says Carolyn Forte, director of the cleaning lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, can actually save you time in the long run, not to mention the reduction of harmful germs and bacteria lurking in your home. (An absolute must these days!)
Clean these important spots as you go with the right tools – soap and water, a broom or a quality disinfectant like 3M TB Quat Disinfectant ready to use disinfectant cleaner – before hitting the hay, each day will reduce the weekend workload accordingly.
Tidy up the entrance
There’s a reason this area of your home is a hotspot for clutter, dirt, and germs: it’s an area of traffic by every person who walks through your door. You don’t have to take the mop out every day to make it cleaner – just do a quick touch-up. Make sure dirty shoes and muddy boots are in their place, and dispose of any stray items in a designated tote. While you’re at it, quickly spray and wipe down any surface, like the console table. And don’t forget the doorknob, which is probably one of the hardest hit places in the house. For best results, spray with a product specifically labeled as a disinfectant, let sit for the length of time recommended on the package, then wipe off.
Wipe down kitchen counters
When you think of everything touching your counters – food, mail, car keys, backpacks, you name it – it makes sense that they are also prone to a buildup of germs. To keep your kitchen cleaner, quickly wipe down counters every day. Just like the handles, you just need to wipe them down with soap and water, let them dry, and then hit them with a disinfectant spray. If you opt for wipes, use as many as needed to keep the surface moist for the time needed for disinfection.
Squeegee shower walls
Regular maintenance is the easiest way to combat hard water buildup and grout, says Forte, who recommends running a raclette on tiles and glass doors after each use. This will help dry the wall in record time, which will prevent mold stains and reduce cleaning time later.
Lighten your laundry load
You don’t have to do a load of laundry every day – or even every other day – but by tackling some laundry-related chores every night, you can make your laundry day a little easier. Have each family member pick up clothes before bed, throw dirty clothes in the basket (pro tip: invest in a trash can that has two compartments, one for lights and one for dark), and replace clean ones on hangers or in drawers. Don’t forget to throw dishes and towels into the dirty pile. Even though they don’t look dirty, a USDA-funded study found dish towels to be the most contaminated place in the kitchen. And those little hand towels in your bathroom are also dirty, because often several people use them more than once a day, says Forte.
Clean dirty dishes
It’s tempting to leave your plate after you’ve spent all your energy on making dinner, but leaving the leftover sauce and crumbs not only makes it harder to wash the dishes the next day (just think of all that stuck-on dirt!), But it can. also attract insects and other critters. If you really can’t lift another finger, rinse the plates and utensils and before you stop calling. This way you won’t end up with dried lumps, but you can lather (or run a dishwash cycle) later.
Give once to the stove
Since most of us cook more, you can save a lot of time and elbow grease – in addition to eliminating germs and bacteria caused by food spills and splashes – by quickly wiping off the burners and / or the grates after they have cooled. Like dirty dishes, the longer the mess, the more it cooks and the harder it is to remove, says Forte. In some cases, this type of dirt can even affect the performance of your stove. The good news? As long as you have a quality cooktop cleaner, getting the job done is as easy as spraying, waiting, then wiping off.
Sweep the kitchen floor
Before you retire for the day (you deserve it!), Give the floor a quick scan or hit it with a stick vacuum. You don’t have to do the whole house – only the busiest room, like the kitchen, will do to keep unwanted creatures out. Just take out your broom or something that picks up dust and dirt, and you’ll be done in no time.
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