Cleaning hacks?

Does anyone have any cleaning hacks? It averages me about 3-3.5 hours to turn over my tiny little rental, not including the laundry time. I have kept soft furnishings to a minimum and reduced the dishware to four sets (two guest limit at my place).

Any tips or tricks to get it done faster?

Maybe sharing what you are cleaning and how you clean it would help?


Wear a headlamp. Be systematic, I start with getting towels in the wash after I use them to wipe up water in shower and polish up the chrome, then strip beds. I make the beds the same way every time. Don’t waste steps, have a bucket with everything you need go room to room, save one bathroom for last so you are not cleaning it after yourself. I am sure other hosts will have more tips I am interested to see how this thread unfolds. That being said there is no one size fits all take the best and leave the rest.

Edit to add: Have a housekeeper as well, train this person work side by side because there will be times you need a hand.

Edit 2: A vacuum with a hose is your friend, use it in the bathroom to suck up hair. Use it in every room, look up since you are wearing a headlamp and suck up any cobwebs starting to form.

Edit 3: Ask guests to wash their dishes and take out the trash in your house manual.



Start by stripping beds and vacuuming the floors, then move to in the kitchen, clean counters, wash all cutlery/dishes/pots/etc, wipe down all inside of cupboards and drawers, wipe off spices and oil vinegar bottles, fridge, oven, microwave, wipe down the fronts of all cabinets and appliances, clean garbage pail…

Deep clean bathroom, the usual stuff sink, toilet, shower, etc.

Living room, brush or vacuum sofa, flip cushions, dust.

Bedroom, clean off shelves and closets, wipe down fronts and off top of closets

Clean mirrors and windows, clean off any wall smudges or light switches

Vacuum again and mop, move the couch/bed/fridge to clean behind.

While the floor is drying I sweep the deck and clean off outdoor furniture (chairs and tables), bbq, water the plants.

When the floor is dry I make the bed and hang the clean towels then I dry swifter the floor to catch any stray hair or dust.


Excellent tips, especially the headlamp. I have one that I will pull out to use. I love the hose attachment on my vacuum, I have one with long soft bristles which is excellent for getting in the grooves of the sliding doors.

My guests do wash the plates and take the garbage out, but they still leave fingerprints or eyelashes or grease spots on the glasses. :joy::joy::joy: I have to wipe down/wash everything again anyway and so many crumbs. Crumbs everywhere!

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You wash everything in the cupboards every single time? Of course you may have more than a 1 or 2 night stay. I do check my cupboards, spices etc but they aren’t always used. A lot of wasted time doing things that don’t need to be done IMHO. Does anyone else wash their windows after every guest? I certainly don’t move the fridge after every guest does anyone else? I do a regular move and clean of appliances on a quarterly basis or sooner if it appears it needs done.


Washing windows every guest is over kill. Get nice blinds and you can go quite awhile


Reduce your dishware by half. Two people – two sets of things, not four; plus 1 skillet, 2 pots, tongs, spatula, large & small chef knives. Leave the spice shelf and insides of cupboards alone unless there are spills. WHY wipe down spice bottles etc.? “Clean garbage pail”??? Just replace the trash bag!

Wash windows “if as, and when” they absolutely need it – once a month, if that often.

Only wipe down closet tops and fronts if there are spills on them.

Vaccuum only once!! Move things to clean behind only once a month or less.


I always wash specific windows. The sliding patio doors are always covered with hand prints, and the kitchen window above the sink tends to get splatters, and the window right beside the front door is a “first impression” item.



Yes. (Just the insides. We have a bloke to do the outside - I don’t do ladders).


Don’t I sound awful?


Nope… not at all. But since I am restricted by weather as to when I wash the windows…winter I can not touch them…all it does it make a frozen mess. So we do it when we can which is a challenge at times.

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Absolutely, front doors are especially bothersome and I am always cleaning it.

I don’t feel it’s unreasonable to ask guests to wash their own dishes. Then you only have to check them and wash anything that’s not spotlessly clean.

These are probably things you want to do only as-needed. I admit that I have stainless-steel appliances and they almost always need it.

Use a toilet cleaner and shower/bathtub cleaner that requires minimal scrubbing.

More as-needed items.

If you’re doing something twice, that’s a hint.

I do move my couch because it always has food crumbs under it and I want to prevent problems with ants and such.

If the bed has space underneath it, get a tool that will let you clean under it without moving it, and you probably still don’t need to do it as often as you do.

The refrigerator is a tough call. If it’s easy to move. Clean under it. Otherwise, I’d say do it less often but try to inspect for spills and food crumbs so you avoid the problems that come with them.

I do this too, and I always see stuff on it.

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To clarify, all the windows are glassfronted doors and sliding glass doors, they always have handprints, always!

Speed Cleaning

Get this book. Learn it, live it, love it. The highlights (emphasis mine):

Rule One: Make Every Move Count
That means work around the room once. Don’t backtrack. It also means you must carry your equipment and supplies with you, so you don’t make dozens of aggravating trips back and forth across the room. Walk around the room once and you’re done, except for the floor.

Rule Two: Use the Right Tools
Ah! Here’s probably the major time-saver of this list: give your specialized gadgets to your enemies. You need real tools that cut time to shreds. Most of all, you need a Cleaning Apron to hang tools on and store cleaning supplies in as you move around the room. The speed cleaning method depends on it, and soon you’ll feel lost without yours.

Rule Three: Work from Top to Bottom
Dirt follows the laws of gravity just like everything else. When you start at the top and work to the bottom, you won’t be constantly re-cleaning surfaces that have become sullied with dirt from above.

Rule Four: If it isn’t Dirty, Don’t Clean It
For example, vertical surfaces are almost never as dirty as horizontal surfaces. Upper shelves and molding have less dust than lower ones. Often all that’s dirty about a surface is a few fingerprints, so don’t clean the whole area.

Rule Five: Don’t Rinse or Wipe a Surface Before It’s Clean
You’ll just have to start over. In other words, when you’re cleaning a surface, don’t rinse or wipe just to see if you’re done. If you were wrong, you’ll have to start all over again. Learn to check as you’re cleaning by seeing/feeling through the gunk to the surface below, then you can tell when it’s dislodged and ready to be wiped or rinsed – once!

Rule Six: Don’t Keep Working After It’s Clean
Once you’ve reached the clean surface below, STOP! You’re cutting into your VLT (that’s Valuable Leisure Time). Rinse or wipe and move on.

Rule Seven: If what You’re Doing isn’t Going to Work, then Shift to a Heavier-Duty Cleaner or Tool
You’re going to get very good at knowing what tool or product to use without having to throw everything in the book at it. You’ll be learning to anticipate what to reach for before you start a task, so you won’t have to shift.

Rule Eight: Keep Your Tools in Impeccable Shape
Dull razors scratch – they don’t clean. Clogged spray bottles puff up and make funny noises – they don’t spray.

Rule Nine: Repetition Makes for Smoother Moves
Always put your tools back in the same spot in your apron. You can’t spare the time to fumble around for them. And you can’t afford to leave them lying around in alien places for the dog to carry away. You’ll quickly get so expert that you’ll become aggravated if the tool you expected isn’t in the right spot when you reach for it. Progress, progress.

Rule Ten: Pay Attention
Almost everything else will fall into place if you do. Don’t think about the revisions in the tax code. Or anything else. In Latin: Age quod aegis: Do what you are doing.

Rule Eleven: Keep Track of Your Time
Get a little faster every time.

Rule Twelve: Use Both Hands
Your work force is half idle if one hand is doing all the work. Finish one step with one hand and start the next step with the other. Or, wipe with one hand while the other steadies the object.

Rule Thirteen: If There Are More than One of You, Work as a Team


My absolute favorite. In the kitchen and bathroom, clean them well. Let them dry. Apply car polish (not talking wax here… follow directions) to all surfaces except the floor and where people stand in the bathtub or shower (slippery). Also not on surfaces that heat up. Appliances, walls, fixtures.

This will make it easier to clean those surfaces every time. NEVER use scouring powder or it will ruin this. Every few months, you will probably need to re-apply the car polish.
If something is not visibly dirty, don’t clean it.


Ta da!! I love this for under beds, sofas, corners, the entire floor surface:


Me too but I have the Ecovacs Deebot robot vacuum cleaner instead. Its very convenient for the hardwood and tile floors and it does a great job!

Other cleaning hacks; use detachable shower heads so you can spray down the tile or walls of your shower/bath. Its a lot quicker than using a bucket!

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I was thinking about getting a little robot vacuum.

Yes mine does an amazing job on hardwood, tile and area rugs, the debris container is inevitably partly filled with little pieces of grit and pet fur from either deep behind the bed or in the cracks between the planks.