Make cleaning easier with these housecleaning hacks. (Stock Photo)
Make cleaning easier with these housecleaning hacks. (Stock Photo)

Need to find some extra time in the day? Before you cut back any more of those precious sleep hours, think about shortening the time you spend cleaning and doing laundry. (Sold, right?) These easy and inexpensive “hacks” will free you up to have more time doing what you love.

1. Double-duty dishwasher

You can sanitize toothbrushes, clips, combs and hairbrushes by running them through the dishwasher in the silverware holder. You can also sanitize scrubbing brushes and sponges this way. At the very least, put the brush you use to scrub dishes in the dishwasher every time you run it.

2. Quick-dry laundry

To cut down on drying time, throw a dry towel in with a wet load of laundry. The towel will absorb some of the moisture from the wet clothes, shortening the drying cycle.

3. All hail the dryer sheet

Sure, they make your clothes soft and touchable, but dryer sheets can be used for so much more. Have a used one pull double duty by using it to remove lint and dust from baseboards. And rub a new dryer sheet directly on deodorant stains to remove them quickly and easily.

4. Blender gunk be gone

For all you green-smoothie makers out there, here’s a simple way to clean the blender. After use, fill the blender with water and a couple drops of dish soap. Replace lid and blend mixture for a few seconds. Then dump the mixture, rinse blender with clean water and dry as usual.

5. Sock it to dust

Clean shutters and blinds by placing a (clean!) sock on your hand and using it to wipe down surfaces. You can either use commercial dusting spray or make your own using equal parts water and vinegar.

6. Match made in heaven

Who doesn’t hate sorting socks? Prior to washing them, pin matching pairs together with a safety pin. That way, they’ll go in and out of the laundry together.

7. Sink sparkle

Cut a lemon in half and cover its flesh heavily with salt. Use this as a natural “scrub brush” to make your stainless steel sink sparkle. When finished, cut the lemon into smaller pieces and place in garbage disposal. Grind it up while running hot water through the disposal. Your kitchen will smell heavenly. To remove a ring around the bathtub, halve a grapefruit and sprinkle cut end heavily with salt for another natural scrub brush.

8. No-scrub showerheads

Let vinegar do the cleaning work for you. Fill a sandwich bag with vinegar and tie it around the showerhead so that the showerhead is fully submerged. Leave the bag in place overnight, then remove and easily wipe away leftover buildup.

9. Doggie and the window

Love your furry friends but not the messes they leave behind when they shed? Run a window squeegee across your carpet to pull up stray pet hairs.

10. Magical coolers and toilet bowls

Make a dirty cooler shine like new by cleaning the exterior and interior with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. And to remove the ring around a toilet without scrubbing, cut off a piece of the Magic Eraser and leave in the toilet bowl overnight. (Just make sure to remove the eraser before flushing the toilet.)

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