30+ tips, tricks and hacks to clean your house fast.


By Nicki Escudero

There’s not much that beats the look and feel of a clean house. But let’s face it: getting a house thoroughly clean takes time. If you haven't cleaned in a while, we're talking several hours to do it all at once.

If you need a clean house fast – say, you have guests coming over unexpectedly – no worries. We’ve got you covered with quick house cleaning tips that can get your home sparkling in less time. Also, learn about little actions you can do each day to help you keep a clean house with less effort. 

General house cleaning tips to speed up the process.

When you’re cleaning the whole house, you can make the process more efficient every time by using these guidelines.

Collect cleaning supplies in a caddy.

house cleaning supplies caddyA simple cleaning caddy is one of our favorite tools for fast house cleaning throughout every bedroom, living room, dining area, kitchen and bathroom. You can store and organize all your cleaning items in one single place and take it with you from room to room. That will save you time.

You can save even more time by storing a separate cleaning caddy in various rooms. Keep one under your kitchen sink, in your bathroom closet, etc., for faster cleaning.

What should you put in your cleaning caddy? Consider basics like:

  • Duster
  • Glass cleaner
  • Bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions
  • Rags, sponges, microfiber cloths and paper towels

Splurge on a few high-quality tools.

high end vacuum cleanerSpeaking of tools, the more high-quality the item, the more time you can save. A bargain brand toilet cleaner might not be as effective as one that costs a couple of bucks more, for example.

The same goes for cleaning tools like a vacuum and mop. Instead of settling for a cheap vacuum cleaner, get one that has a few bells and whistles like an upholstery tool, a crevice tool and swivel steering. That way, cleaning hard-to-reach areas and eliminating stubborn dirt, dust or hair in your flooring and furniture will be a tad bit easier and faster. 

Paying a little extra can save you more time. Cheap items may be more likely to break or not work, which will cost you more money and time long term. 

Pull double-duty.

cleaning floors while laundry is runningFor cleaning tasks that can be automated, get those started before you begin your manual cleaning tasks. For example, before you begin sweeping or wiping down the counters, you can:

  • Start a load of laundry.
  • Run the dishwasher.
  • Set the oven to self-clean.

Pay attention to the progress of these automated tasks to keep them moving as you clean. You don’t want wet clothes to sit unattended, for example, so make sure you continue to cycle through new loads as you clean. 

If you’re using sprays or cleaners that require a few minutes to set in so that they’re more effective, apply those to a clean surface, then tackle another task in the meantime.

Clean top to bottom and left to right.

cleaning ceiling fansYou don’t want to have to re-clean what you’ve already cleaned. When you use a top-to-bottom cleaning method, that means dust and other debris will continue to fall, until you vacuum everything up in one fell swoop at the end. If you clean bottom to top, you’ll likely need to sweep and vacuum twice.

Cleaning top to bottom makes things go more quickly, too, since you can move from room to room with the same type of cleaning tool. Try this order for a quick clean:

  • Remove clutter and put items back in their respective homes.
  • Take out things that need to be washed, like used bath and kitchen towels and rugs, bed sheets, etc. Get them washed in their respective machines. 
  • Dust all surfaces and items on top of surfaces, like ceiling fans, bookshelves and tall dressers.
  • Spray and scrub surfaces.
  • Vacuum.
  • Mop and clean floors.

You can also focus on cleaning left to right, so you’re not stuck trying to remember if you cleaned something and waste time re-cleaning things.

Block out time to clean on your calendar.

house cleaning on calendarLike any work task, you can complete a cleaning job faster when you focus. Block out a cleaning time on your calendar. Stick to the time, so you focus on cleaning — and only cleaning — during that time frame. Adopt a professional cleaner's mindset, like you've been hired to clean your house. 

When you have a schedule to stick to, that can help you stay on track and not waste time. Some people find it easier to clean one room on a certain day each week. For others, it might be easiest to clean for a block of hours once a week.

Choose what works for you. Block out cleaning in your calendar. Then make your cleaning appointment every week.

As we cover later on, one way to have a cleaner house more regularly, in less time, is to make cleaning a habit. When you make cleaning a regular part of your routine, your house will look cleaner more often, with less effort.

Fast house cleaning tips for every room.

Here’s a room-by-room look at how you can apply speed cleaning techniques to various parts of your house.


cleaning the bathroom toilet

  • Always clear the space first. For the first step, remove all your toiletries, shampoo and conditioner bottles, trash cans and bath rugs from counters and floors before you work on a clean bathroom. After that’s done, you can spray a bathroom cleaner on surfaces like your shower, bath mat (both sides), sink and countertop, toilet and bathtub. Apply toilet bowl cleaner inside the toilet. Let it sit and tackle other tasks. 
  • Complete other tasks as the cleaners sit. As the cleaning solutions do their magic on the counters and in the toilet and bath, take this time to toss your bath linens in the washing machine and throw away old or unused products in your bathroom drawers and cabinets.
  • Do the floors last. If you don’t want to clean your bathroom floors twice, save this step for the end. Remember: always clean top to bottom.
  • Use an electric bathroom scrubber. Instead of scrubbing with a sponge or brush by hand, consider getting an electric shower or toilet scrubber to speed up the cleaning process.


cleaning kitchen stove

  • Clean while the dishwasher is running. Get dirty dishes sparkling clean while you work on the rest of your kitchen. 
  • Clean as the dishes soak. If you don’t have a dishwasher, put your dishes in the sink. And let the dishes with caked-on food and liquids soak in hot water with soap as you clean other parts of your kitchen.
  • Turn on the self-cleaning oven. As you’re running the dishwasher, you could also turn on a self-cleaning oven at this point.
  • Wipe counters and appliances near the end. After you’re done clearing your countertops and putting all the food away, you can tackle your appliances and counters. Do this close to the end to avoid adding a new set of fingerprints and smudges on surfaces you’ve already wiped clean.
  • Shake out kitchen mats. Before you start cleaning your floors, make sure all crumbs and dirt from the kitchen mats are on the floor so you can easily sweep them up.
  • Vacuum, sweep and mop the floors last. Get rid of any debris that hit the kitchen floor. Mop the surface, too.

Related: Here’s how to clean and mop every type of floor in your home. 

Living room.

dusting living room table3

  • Start at the ceiling and work your way down. If you have a ceiling fan or lights, dust those areas first. You should also remove the cobwebs and dust in ceiling corners and along your trim or molding. Then, wipe down your shelves and tabletops. 
  • Check underneath the cushions and furniture. Remove all dirt, dust, crumbs and perhaps even food wrappers from these areas before you start vacuuming and cleaning your upholstery.
  • Clean as stain removal products are working. Many stain removal products require you to wait a few minutes. As you’re waiting for the cleaning solution to remove the wine stain on the couch, focus on cleaning other areas in the room (like the TV and electronics).
  • Clean your baseboards before your floors. Always remove dust from your baseboards before you start vacuuming, sweeping or mopping your living room floors.

Kids’ bedrooms.

child vacuuming his bedroom

  • Make cleaning a game. Get your kiddo(s) involved in the cleaning fun. Ask them to help you clean and put things away to cut down on cleaning time.
  • Add some labels. Help your kids (and yourself) remember where every book, doll, game and action figure goes by adding labels to cubbies, toy boxes or baskets. This can make cleaning their rooms a faster process. 
  • Toss dirty clothes in a hamper. If there are clean clothes lying around, put them back in the closet or drawer.
  • Look for hidden messes. Before you start vacuuming or wiping down surfaces, check underneath and behind the bed, inside any cushions, closet corners, etc., for any hidden messes. There’s nothing worse than cleaning a child’s bedroom, thinking you’re done — and then finding spilled drinks or crumbs or food wrappers in a hidden spot. Make sure you’ve identified all of the messy areas before you start getting your hands dirty.

Habits and tools that will make it easier to clean next time. 

robot vacuum cleanerWhen a large portion of your house is dirty, cleaning it all at once can seem overwhelming. That’s why we encourage you to tackle small actions that can make cleaning more manageable and faster.

You may be surprised at how integrating small cleaning habits into your lifestyle can alleviate stress and make your home fresher and cleaner long-term. The Cleveland Clinic reports a clean home can boost mental health and decrease stress. Clutter and mess, on the other hand, could increase tension and contribute to depression.

While it does take a little time to clean each day, doing so can provide you with a better quality of life. Make cleaning a part of what characterizes your household and its inhabitants. Talk about its importance to your kids. Come up with cleaning routines and agreements with your spouse, partner or roommate(s). 

Agree to do the following quick actions as part of your regular routine:

  • Make the bed every morning. Your bed’s probably the largest item in your room and, thus, a focal point. Simply making the bed and smoothing out the sheets and comforter can instantly make a room look a whole lot cleaner and organized.
  • Toss expired items. Every week, throw away food from your kitchen, refrigerator, freezer and pantry that’s expired into a trash bag and remove it.
  • Clean as you go. If you notice a surface is dusty or dirty, clean it on the spot. Wipe down the kitchen after cooking and scrub off toothpaste you spilled in the bathroom immediately. When the laundry basket or dishwasher is full, run a load. Put the contents away when they’re clean.
  • Make organizers your friend. Organizers and shelves can make cleaning a whole lot easier. You can add them to drawers and closets to give you more surface area to work with. Organizers make it easier to put things away and keep everything clean.
  • Embrace spring – and fall, winter and summer – cleaning. Every season, take a day or a weekend to go through your belongings. Choose which ones to keep, throw away, donate or recycle.
  • Decrease clutter by only purchasing things you need. Having fewer things means you have fewer things to organize and clean. Try setting a 24-hour rule, where you wait a day before purchasing something you’re interested in.
  • Convert physical items to digital. Another way to eliminate excess items in your home is to convert physical items like paper, photos and video tapes into digital files. Use a scanner to store photography. Upload videos to your computer. Opt for the paperless option with bills and communications whenever possible.
  • Designate a “home” for every item you have. Put things back in their homes every day. Perhaps scissors go in a junk drawer divider, and toys go in a chest. Before bed, pick up any item that’s been left out, and put it away.
  • Split up chores. If you have a spouse, partner, roommate and/or kids, divide weekly cleaning responsibilities throughout the household. If you have kids, reward cleaning with a weekly allowance or turn it into a fun game.
  • Schedule big cleaning tasks. There are some bigger cleaning tasks you don’t need to do weekly, like emptying out and cleaning your whole fridge, moving furniture for cleaning, organizing and cleaning your kitchen cabinets, etc. Divide and schedule these tasks throughout the year to make them more manageable, so you’re tackling them over time, instead of all at once.
  • Automate cleaning. Another way to speed up your cleaning routine is to use a robot or self-cleaning device. For example, invest in a robot vacuum and mop that will clean for you.
  • Delight your sense of smell. Part of a clean home is how it smells, too. Take out garbage and recycling bins when they’re full. Clean dirty dishes instead of leaving them in the sink. You can use a room spray or furniture spray to make rooms smell nicer, too.

Hire a house cleaning service when you’re short on time.

Sometimes, you need to hire a professional cleaning service to target all the nooks and crannies in your home. Whether you’re expecting company, short on time or just want to live in a home that’s sparkling clean every week, use Thumbtack to hire a house cleaning service in your area today.

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