8 Cleaning Hacks I Picked Up During Quarantine

As someone who works from home and is used to having my space to myself for most of the day, quarantine rocked my world. Suddenly it wasn’t my quiet work sanctuary anymore. My 6’5 tornado of a husband was home all day trying to entertain himself while he wasn’t able to work, along with my equally tornado-esque 4-year-old who suddenly found himself without a social outlet. Needless to say, shit got messy, and fast. I’m not someone who does well with messy surroundings. I am very much a creature of habit and thrive on routines, which includes daily cleaning.

cleaning hacks

But during quarantine it started to feel like a snowball that I couldn’t stay on top of. But like most things, we learned to adapt. I picked up quite a few cleaning hacks during quarantine that I’ve carried over into “normal” life now that things are opening back up.

Robot vacuum = new bff

For Valentine’s Day this year, I convinced my husband I needed a robot vacuum. I know, this is a bit of a pricey cleaning hack, but trust me when I say it’s the best money ever spent. Especially if you have pets! We have two dogs who shed constantly, and being able to start that little robot every other day to do the heavy lifting made such a difference. If you’re going to invest in any big cleaning product, I can’t recommend a robot vacuum enough. This is the one I have, but they are available in a variety of price points.


P.S. I named my robot vacuum Elliot Stabler. :) 

Make it a daily “fitness” goal

If you’re someone who is extrinsically motivated like me, you’d be amazed how much cleaning you get done when you turn it into a goal. I use my daily cleanups as part of my daily step goal with my Fitbit. I’m all about batching and time management, and knowing I can get at least 1,000 steps in a day while knocking out my cleaning tasks is super motivating. It also encourages me to not take shortcuts and to go back and forth as many times as I need to get my house back in order at the end of the day. It might sound a bit silly, but trust me on this one.


The difference between “cleaning” and “disinfecting”

Like most people, I was pretty obsessed with sanitizing everything around me for the first several months of quarantine. In my quest to keep my home not just “clean” but actually germ-free, I had to learn how to properly disinfect. In order to fully disinfect a surface, you first have to clean it. That’s right, it’s a two-step process. Start by wiping away dust and crumbs before spritzing the surface with disinfecting spray, otherwise, the debris will act as a barrier. It’s a good tactic to keep in mind as we enter cold and flu season!

Use the dishwasher as much as possible

No, not just for dishes. You can actually wash a ton of household items in the dishwasher. Here are just a few you might not have thought of:

  • Bathroom trashcans
  • Soap dishes, toothbrush holders and other bathroom items
  • Metal fixtures like gunky showerheads and faucets
  • Light fixture globes made of glass and acrylic
  • Fridge shelves
  • Cabinet and drawer hardware
  • Switch plates and outlet covers
  • Exhaust fan covers

Boom. You just cleaned so many things with the push of a button!

Give your houseplants a shower

Houseplants can develop layers of dust, just like any other resting object. Skip the painstaking process of cleaning them by hand. Like you, houseplants can benefit from a refreshing shower, so just pop those plants in the tub and let the cool shower run over them for a few minutes. Bonus, you’ve just watered them, too.

Focus on windows

When your windows, blinds and drapes are dirty, the entire space can have a grimy overtone. Combine white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use a microfiber cloth rather than a paper towel to wipe away the vinegar and water. And don’t forget your screens!

Also, timing is everything. You may think that the best time to clean your windows is when the sun is bright. But warm sun can cause your window cleaner to dry more quickly, and this makes smudges more problematic. Choose an overcast day to clean your windows, or if you have to do it on a sunny day, choose a time of day when the windows do not receive direct sunlight.

Put curtains and throw pillows in the dryer

Toss these textiles in the dryer on a cool or air setting to remove the dust and other debris. After 15 minutes, pull the curtains out and hang them up immediately. Your pillows will instantly be refreshed and re-fluffed. It’s all about the little things.

Laundry stripping

My friend Ashlee put this process up on her IG stories at the beginning of quarantine, and I was immediately mortified and fascinated with the results. The process involves soaking your dirty clothes and linens for a long period of time to remove dirt, grime and product buildup. It even works on towels, rugs and furniture fabric. It’s so gross, but so rewarding. Check out the entire process here.


Main + featured image via our home tour with Amanda Watters.

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram