Use this one-hour plan to clean your entire house faster. You’ll cover all the basics and pick up a few cleaning hacks to help you stay ahead of the mess.
Would you rather spend all weekend cleaning your home, or do it in one hour so you can spend your weekend having fun instead? Okay, it’s a trick question: just about everyone would rather learn to clean house fast while still doing a good job. To do that, you need to understand the basics of speed cleaning, then use my one-hour house cleaning plan and a few cleaning hacks to get the job done.
The Basics of Cleaning Quickly
Before you start, it’s important to understand that speed cleaning is not the same as deep cleaning. If your goal is to deal with the mess before guests arrive or just bring your home to a state you can tolerate for a few days, then this is the way to go. But don’t expect it to look like you’ve been Spring Cleaning — there’s no substitute for that kind of thoroughness.
Tidying is Not Cleaning
Cleaning an untidy home will always take longer, so it’s essential to tidy first and then clean. Tidying deals with objects—tossing trash, purging clutter, and organizing what’s left. Cleaning is about getting rid of dirt, dust, germs, and grime. It deals with surfaces like counters, bathtubs and toilets, and floors. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside an entire day to tidy up. A nightly routine involving ten minutes of putting things away and picking up trash makes it easier to clean surfaces as needed.
Ordinarily, cleaning routines are room-based because that approach efficiently produces clear, noticeable results. But when cleaning house fast is your goal, it’s best to focus on single tasks. So, you’ll work your way through your entire home doing one task — picking up trash, for example — then switch tasks and do that throughout your home.
Use the Right Tools
You need lint-free cloths for dusting and polishing mirrors. They won’t leave bits behind. You could use those same cloths to clean windows, but a good squeegee works even better. As for floor cleaning, use a vacuum instead, and save the broom for outdoor work. Here is the list of the cleaning tools I use and have for years — they’re all affordable, durable, and multitasking.
A One-Hour House Cleaning Plan
Whether you’ve got guests coming or can’t stand looking at the mess one more minute, here’s how to speed clean your home in one hour. Now, understand that you’ll need to hustle if you want to get it done in one hour, especially if your home is on the messy side to start. So, put on some bouncy music or call up your best friend and bust a move to get it done.
Step 1. Clutter Grab (10 minutes)
Cleaning always takes longer if you have to move things out of the way before you can clean a surface. That’s why one of the best ways to make cleaning faster is by quickly decluttering, picking up trash in a trash bag, and collecting things that belong elsewhere in another bag or box. Do not get distracted putting things away at this point — your focus is gathering them so they’re not in your way.
Step 2. Kitchen (10 minutes)
Start in your kitchen by either loading the dishwasher or washing dishes by hand so your sink is empty. Put away things on your counters, then spray and wipe the countertops and appliance fronts. Once that’s done, scour your sink with some homemade soft scrub or even a little baking soda on a damp rag and rinse it well.
Step 3. Bathrooms (5 minutes each)
Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe counters, faucets and sinks, the tub surround, and shower floor, then the toilet tank, lid, seat, and base. This step removes surface debris. Now, spray those same surfaces in that order with bathroom cleaner. Move to the next bathroom and repeat the process. Rinse surfaces in the same order, then apply toilet bowl cleaner. (Never mix cleaning products, especially bleach, or use them at the same time.) Rinse the next bathroom. Return to the first one, scrub the toilet, and flush. Repeat until each bathroom is done.
Step 4. Furniture (10 minutes)
The easiest way to reduce dust in your home is by getting it out of your home entirely. Feather dusters don’t do this. Swiffers and even electrostatic dusters don’t do it, either. A damp microfiber cloth picks up dust without shedding it, and when you rinse that cloth in a sink or bucket, you’re literally washing the dust out of your home. Later, when you’re done cleaning, you can always go back and polish your furniture if you want it shiny.
Step 5. Vacuum (10 minutes)
There is rarely a good reason to use a broom indoors — sweeping stirs up more dust than it removes. Vacuuming hard floors and carpeting ensures you get the dirt out of your home. This is one task you don’t want to rush, or you’ll miss more dirt than you pick up. Proper vacuuming involves slow, overlapping strokes going wall to wall.
Step 6. Mop (5 minutes)
Always vacuum before you mop, so you actually clean the floor instead of turning dirt into muddy streaks. If you have hard flooring throughout your home, a two-bucket method that keeps clean and rinse water separate is worth the trouble. Otherwise, make up a spray bottle of no-rinse homemade floor cleaner and work in 3-foot sections. Change mop pads or rinse your mop head after each room.
Step 7. Sheets and Towels (10 minutes)
Once you’ve dusted, vacuumed, and mopped, you’ve removed much of the dust in your home’s air. Now it’s time for clean sheets on the beds and fresh towels in the bathrooms and kitchen. Take the used linens to your laundry room and start a load of wash, so you aren’t leaving the used linens gathering dust and growing mildew.
Fast Cleaning Hacks to Use
You know the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” It applies to housework, too. Here are some easy cleaning hacks, so you don’t have to work so hard.
Use a Cleaning Caddy
A cleaning caddy lets you keep everything together that you need to clean a room, so you don’t have to go searching for a particular brush or homemade cleaner. Stock yours with a lint roller, cleaning gloves, microfiber cloths, and a squeegee, plus your favorite cleaning supplies like an all-purpose cleaner, glass spray, bathroom disinfectant, and furniture polish.
Treat Spills Before They’re Stains
Most food spills and other household masses are easiest to clean when fresh. Many times, all you need is soapy water and a rag or paper towels. Use cool water to treat bodily waste (blood, faeces, urine) and warm water to treat food spills (except red wine). Avoid using hot water to clean masses on fabric, or you may cause the spill to become a permanent stain.
Simplify Your Decor
In these busy times, there’s a reason why minimalism is in style: the more knickknacks you have, the longer it takes to dust and clean your home. If you struggle to find time to clean house, consider reducing how many decorative items you have on display or confine your abundance to one spot, like the living room, so it’s easier to keep the rest of your home clean.
Let Your Vacuum Do More
Your vacuum can clean much more than carpets. Use the soft bristle attachment on curtains, baseboards, and cobwebs in corners. The upholstery attachment (the flat head without bristles) cleans sturdy fabrics. Use it on sofas, chairs, throw pillows, mats, area rugs, and mattresses. The long, narrow crevice tool fits into tight spaces well. Use it around the base of walls, heavy furniture, down air registers, and between sofa cushions. (There are several things your mop can clean besides floors, too.)
Put Your Dishwasher to Work
Your dishwasher can clean many things besides dishes. Instead of scrubbing bathroom accessories, for example, you can pop grimy soap dishes or toothbrush holders in the top rack along with your dirty dishes.
Make Empty Minutes Count
Cleaning the house doesn’t always need to be a big, drawn-out process. Try doing a few one-minute chores or wiping appliances and counters while waiting for your coffee to brew or on the phone. If you watch TV shows with commercial interruptions, use that time to put the kids’ toys in baskets or dust the TV screen and picture frames in your living room.
Get Your Family Involved
There is no reason to be solely responsible for cleaning your home. As I point out in my TikTok, it’s important for kids — especially boys — to get involved in cleaning house and to see husbands and father figures doing it, too. That’s how we break gender stereotypes and help our children grow into independent adults who can take care of themselves. So, teach your kids age-appropriate chores—even toddlers can help by wiping door handles and putting dirty clothes in a laundry basket.
Clean Your Cleaning Equipment
Don’t just toss your cleaning supplies back in the closet: take a moment to ensure they’re ready for the next time. Refill bottles of homemade cleaners, launder microfiber cloths, and wash or rinse mop heads, then let them dry in a sunny spot. Empty and wipe your vacuum cleaner’s dust container, wipe the outside of your vacuum, and wipe the wheels since they also pick up a lot of dirt. Be sure you also check your vacuum’s brush head and remove any threads or hairs that could interfere with its rotation.
The Real Key to Cleaning Faster
This one-hour plan to clean your house fast is excellent when you just want it to look better, but it’s not a substitute for proper cleaning. It doesn’t tackle common problems like mold or stubborn masses that require elbow grease. You need to know how often to clean everything and be proactive. See, that’s the real key to cleaning your house faster: doing it before it starts looking messy.
Think about it: wiping a fresh coffee spill on the counter or a few bits of dried soap suds on the shower walls is easier than scrubbing dried spills or soap scum. That’s why it’s good to have a cleaning routine — one you do regularly and in the same order. If you’re consistent, cleaning the house becomes faster because there’s not much mess to clean.