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A caddy to store all your kitchen cleaning supplies
Then when you're done, store that basket full of all your supplies under the sink! That'll make future speed cleans MUCH easier, because you can instantly pull everything out. You can do the same thing for bathroom and around-the-house supplies, too!
Dawn's foaming Powerwash soap to wash dishes
I mean, you're still washing dishes and there's no real shortcut for that, but seeing what it did in the above during and after, I don't think that you'll find much that anything requires too
much scrubbing when you soak it in this for a second. In fact, Elizabeth Lilly
, an editor at BuzzFeed, swears by this stuff! She says: "I live without a dishwasher, and I honestly use that as an excuse to order takeout. But, as soon as I got my hands on a bottle of this stuff (regular Dawn is my go-to dish soap, BTW), I put it to use on both a saucepan I used to make homemade enchilada sauce *and* the casserole dish I baked those enchiladas, which had a ton of caked-on food. It really does work like I say it does! Like, scary well."
Foaming cleaner for your garbage disposal
This gets rid of any odor, although it won't unclog your garbage disposal — for that, you'll have to call a plumber. Promising review:
"Holy cow I didn't realize how easy and quick it was to clean a garbage disposal. I stumbled across this through a BuzzFeed article. Very simple instructions, literally takes five minutes and some hot water and VOILA! You have a clean, no-longer-stinky garbage disposal." — VadersGirl
A mineral cleaner to banish hard water stains on your faucet
I first heard about this from blogger Two Twenty One
, who uses CLR (aka Calcium, Lime, Rust).
A degreaser to clean your oven
In the last three minutes before it's time to wipe down your microwave, spritz your counters, backsplash, fridge, appliance doors, and stove and stove hood with a degreaser spray. Start with the greasiest surfaces first, so it has one to two minutes to break all the grime down!
The key to speed here is the degreasing component — food oils and oils from your hands are a big part of what make dirt and dust accumulate in a kitchen, and this zaps those fast, minimal scrubbing required. Goo Gone makes a well-reviewed degreaser. It's perfectly safe for all kinds of surfaces, including stainless steel and sealed stone and granite, but it's not recommended for anything that's painted or varnished — although one reviewer
did have success with their greasy kitchen cabinets. (And no, you don't need to clean your oven on a speed clean day. But that pic shows you just how effective it is!) You could use an all-purpose cleaner, a more natural vinegar and water dilution, or even just dish soap and your sponge instead, but those are all going to take both more elbow grease and more time to be just as effective as a degreaser spray would be. Because the degreaser's just a spray and wipe for most things! You just follow with a quick rinse of any food-contact surfaces.
A cleaner and polish for stainless steel surfaces
If your appliance is particularly gross, you could use the degreaser *first*, then finish up with a spray designed especially for stainless. But for a regular amount of dirt and grime, stainless sprays work wonders. Just remember to wipe with the grain of your stainless to really shine it up!
A rag or a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe everything down
Then, starting with the inside of your now-steamed microwave, use a rag or a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe everything down! Microfiber cleaning cloths are nice because they don't leave fuzz behind.
A box of dishwasher cleaning tablets
Water spotting and funky smells in the dishwasher can be solved by simply running a cycle (either with or without dishes) with a cleaner designed exactly for those purposes, while you go focus on cleaning the rest of your home.
Cleaning pods for your Keurig coffee machine
You can use it up to once a week or so; basically it cleans all the built-up coffee residue and oils from the brew chamber and the pour spout, which will keep your coffee tasting more like it's supposed to (especially if you switch between different coffees on a regular basis). It's also good to use right before a tea or hot chocolate K-Cup so you don't have any coffee flavor contaminating it. Note that you'll still have to occasionally do the vinegar descaling process — these don't touch the water chamber or the other inner parts that get the mineral buildup from water — but you can use this along with that for for a truly deep clean.
A pack of drainer clearers
You just insert it down your drain, twist it a few times via the handle, let the grabby micro-hooks on the tip (similar to Velcro) do their work to grab all the stuck, clogging hair and debris. Then pull up the whole mess, and your sink will drain like it's new!
A toilet brush
The canister this brush comes with opens automatically when you lift up the brush, then closes when you set the brush back down. Use it with a toilet cleaner
and after you're done scrubbing, trap the brush under the seat so it can drip-dry into the toilet, before you put it back in the canister. I've had one of these brushes for almost five years now and haven't looked back! It functions flawlessly, and has enough air circulation that you don't even have to wait for the brush to be *completely* dry before plopping it back in the canister. The brush is very sturdy, has held up well to monthly-ish scrubbings, and TBH still looks brand new.
A cleaning gel to keep your toilet sparkling for weeks
Basically it cleans just a little every time your toilet gets flushed. I used this all the time in college and it really does help prevent mildew and toilet rings. Once there's only a teensy bit of the gel left, you can use that to scrub things down, then add another dab. (Although if you have particularly hard or rusty water, you might need something stronger, like these drop-in tabs
Cleaning wipes for multiple surfaces
Shine up every surface with some cleaning wipes or a basic all-purpose cleaner and a rag or microfiber cloth. Stash 'em under the sink when you're done, so it's easy to quickly swab things down once a week or so. That way, you never have to deal with a buildup of dust or mildew.
A spray-and-wipe glass cleaner
No shame in using classic Windex if that's what suits you best.
A pack of spray-on stain-removing spray gel for rust stains
It'll also remove any rust stains from color-safe fabrics, among many other surfaces. (Some reviewers use it with a Magic Eraser
, for extra oomph).
A mold and mildew stain remover spray
Bleach out any mold or mildew stains, because TBH that's the only way to quickly get rid of them without spending forever and a day scrubbing your heart out.
This product has over 6,000 five-star reviews for a reason: it does exactly what it says it does! But you should be prepared to put on your grown-up pants to use it. Wear clothes you don't care about and open a window or run the fan so there's some ventilation — and let the room vent for a while even after you're done. Some reviewers
recommend wearing (disposable) masks, gloves, and even protective eyewear, depending on how big of an area you want to treat. Avoid letting it come into contact with ammonia (the ingredient in many glass cleaners), because the combo is very toxic. Once it's done its job, remember to rinse it all away down the drain before you shower, and re-cap with the included screw cap so the chemicals don't degrade the sprayer. Don't let all that scare you away though, if it's something you need — you just want to be safe about it, that's all! Plus just imagine how nice it'll be to have a mold-free bathroom again.
A glass cooktop cleaner for shower doors
Erase any trace of mineral and soap scum buildup from your glass shower doors with soft cleanser, so they sparkle like they've never seen even a single speck of water. There's *no* super fast, no-scrub way to do this, but this is definitely the fastest I've seen — one reviewer says it takes about 10 minutes.
This is a tip that blogger Ask Anna Moseley
(who pairs the cleanser with scouring pads, like these, $2.73
for a pack of 3 on Amazon).
A pack of daily shower cleaner sprays
If you want a sparkling shower WITHOUT having to really clean it, regularly mist the walls, curtain/door, tub, fixtures, and floor with a daily shower cleaner after you turn off the water. Then you can skip the shower scrubbing entirely on speed clean days.
Bedrooms and Around the House
An odor neutralizing soy wax candle
Make pet or lingering food smells vanish without lifting a finger: Just light this candle designed specifically to eliminate those sorts of scents. It's 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!
A strong stain and odor eliminator
If you're a pet owner or parent and have one or two choice ~organic~ carpet or couch stains you'd like to tackle (think pee, poop, and vomit), choose an enzyme-based stain and odor-eliminating spray because for those sorts of stains, you need those enzymes — a type of bacteria — to feed on the ammonia to completely eliminate the smell. Other stain removers might help some, but without the enzymes, that not-so-lovely stench will stick around.
Spray it NOW — or even as a very first thing when you start cleaning — because it does have to sit for 30 minutes then be blotted up. You can use it pretty much anywhere except
fabrics marked with an "S" only: it's safe on all carpets and floors, plus works well on furniture, clothes, litter boxes, carriers, strollers, kennels, hardwood floors, concrete, and more. Reviewers say
that it works on both old, dried messes and fresher ones.
Throw Blanket Wall Art / Etsy
A rug to cover old carpet stains
Wine stain? What wine stain? All I see is a nice blanket. This beaut of a botanical blanket's made by Throw Blanket Wall Art
on Etsy, a small business based in New York that sells illustrated 100% cotton throw blankets like this one in 40 different designs, including customizable ones.
An extendable microfiber duster for hard-to-reach spots
It comes with two duster options that you can either use with a handle or the extending pole (which starts at 29 inches and telescopes up to 49 inches — potentially saving time if you're like me and would need a step stool for the higher bookshelves).
A pack of lint rollers for your lampshades
A squeegee to easily clean pet hair off anything that's upholstered with fabri
Just spritz with water once or twice, squeegee, and watch it clump up. Then — when you get your vacuum out in a second — you can use that to suck up the clumps. This is a tip from from CareaBearaSara
A reusable pet hair roller or handheld vacuum
My in-laws and sister both have dogs who shed everywhere all the time, so I have extensive experience using both of these products at their homes. Here's a bit about each to help you decide which one might be right for you! The roller is super quick, cheaper, and more compact than the vacuum (so, good if you have a small space), and easily picks up mountains of hair from couches, chairs, and other upholstered furniture! It does require a little bit of elbow grease in the form of semi-rigorous rolling up and down, as the gif above shows. You open up the back to empty the hair out when you're done, and it's ready to reuse, and literally lasts for years, even with daily use. I'd say it takes about four minutes total to pick up all the hair from a regular size couch.
The handheld vacuum is like a turbo-charged upgrade to the roller: all you do is pick it up, turn it on, and run it over the piles of hair to make every last bit vanish! Since it's a vacuum, it's bigger and heavier than the roller, but I'm a five-foot-three thirty-something and have no issues using it with just one hand. You'll probably want a convenient but hidden spot to store it on its charger, which keeps it ready to suck up pet hair at any moment. It has three specialized attachments but the motorized brush head is the key for most upholstery! And like most handheld vacuums, no bags are required; you simply press a button to open the dust compartment and empty it. I can vacuum my in-laws large sectional with this in about two minutes!
A powerful vacuum
Finally, vacuum all your floors! Yes this includes the kitchen and bathrooms too. Unless your floors are gross and sticky like your favorite club's at 3 a.m., you can probably get by without mopping for now. But even a fast-and-furious vacuuming goes a long way to pick up hair, dirt, crumbs, and other mystery gunk.
If you don't already own one, this vacuum cleaner is powerful, inexpensive, and excellent for carpet or area rugs. There probably isn't a perfect vacuum, but this one has lots of great reviews (over 7k with five stars), passes ReviewMeta, and is just over $100, so I bet it's pretty good! Plus it'll do an even better job on wood, tile, and other hard floors than a broom or dust mop would — and with less effort, because it's designed to prevent dirt and crumbs from scattering as you vacuum. It comes with a pet hair TurboEraser cleaning brush for the stairs, a crevice tool and extension wand that stores onboard (so doing the stairs or drapes is simple), and a washable filter so you never have to worry about sending the dust back out into the air.
A splurge-worthy robot vacuum
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.