Cleaning Shortcuts for the Kitchen & Bathroom

It’s no secret that doing a little bit of cleaning each day can save you hours of hassle and extra cleaning work on the weekend. But some of us are cleaning-challenged, or cleaning-averse, or cleaning-allergic and this concept of daily chores can get a bit daunting.

If you can set aside just 20 minutes a day, you can shine a bathroom and tidy a kitchen. It’s true, just 20 minutes (maybe even less once it becomes routine). Try multi-tasking and brush your teeth while wiping down the countertops. Put on some music and clean out one shelf in your pantry in the time it takes to listen to one song. Invest in an electric broom and watch how quickly you can clean up after the sloppy eaters in your house. 

By taking on just a few chores a day, you can have a neat, clean home with little effort. The two rooms in the house that tend to be the highest maintenance are the bathroom and kitchen. Check out these tips for busting through those rooms in no time.


Do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes each day swishing the toilet bowl and wiping down toilet seats, countertops  and sink bowls. Depending on the number of bathrooms you have, this should take you about 15 minutes every day (if you have your kids do it, it’ll take you 0 minutes every day). A little bit of effort each day will make your heavy duty cleaning day go much faster.

A few more time-savers in the bathroom:

  • Spray your shower and curtain daily with a shower spray that prevents soap scum buildup.
  • Toss your vinyl shower curtain liner in the washing machine on cold for a thorough cleaning.
  • Keep a stash of inexpensive washcloths on hand for quick cleaning.
  • Keep a bucket with cleaning items under the sink, ready to go at all times. (Don’t forget those child-proof locks if there are youngsters in the home)
  • Use wipes on toilet seats, counters and sink bowls in-between heavy cleaning days.
  • Use disposable toilet cleaners every day to keep the bowl clean. Just a quick swish a day keeps the stains away!
  • An old toothbrush makes a great cleaning tool for scrubbing small spaces (especially around sink faucets and drains).
  • Microfiber cloths are ideal for removing spots on mirrors and faucets, because they don’t leave behind lint. Best of all, no cleaner is required; simply use water then toss them in the washing machine when done.


Keep your kitchen tidy by cleaning up spills and messes as soon as they happen, doing a daily quick sweep of the floor at the end of the day, and making a habit of tossing out leftovers and expired food. In fact, Good Housekeeping has a manageable solution for this problem, “Go through just one refrigerator or pantry shelf and toss anything that's past the expiration date, that you'll never use again or that's less than a single serving.”

More cleaning shortcuts in the kitchen:

  • Wipe out the microwave after every use. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
  • If there are people in your house who are incapable of wiping out the microwave, then every few days heat several wet paper towels inside on High for 3-5 minutes. The steam will loosen any exploded, left-behind food.
  • Clean countertops every day with hot, soapy water. Use wipes for small spills in between cleanings.
  • Hot, soapy water is also your best bet for cleaning refrigerator shelves.
  • Baking soda on a damp sponge is a quick fix for removing scuffs and marks on the kitchen floor and appliances.
  • Put 2 extra trash bags at the bottom of your trash can. When you take a full bag of trash out of the can, there’s always a new bag ready to go.
  • For pots and pans with stuck-on food, place a dryer sheet and some water in the bottom. The dryer sheet will loosen any food particles.
  • Use crockpot liners for easier cleanup. You’ll wonder where they’ve been all your life.