A Cleaner, Healthier Home in 30 Minutes or Less
The “Healthy Housekeeper’s” quick tips for minimizing dust and grime in your home
By Laura Dellutri
Parents are so busy with work, carpools, homework, cooking, grocery shopping, and more that it can seem impossible to find the time to give the home a deep clean. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. Healthy Housekeeper Laura Dellutri says creating a cleaner, healthier home for your family is not about spending hours scrubbing the toilets and floorboards with a toothbrush! Instead, she suggests some key cleanups your family can do in 30 minutes or less. Even more importantly, she says you only have to do some of them once a season or even once a year!
Do These Once a Year
- Empty out your pantry, wipe down shelves and check expiration dates, tossing any food that’s past its prime. Have a huge, overstocked pantry? Clean a shelf a day, rather than tackling it all at once. Remember to start at the top and work your way down so any dust lands on a shelf that has yet to be cleaned.
- If you have an unfinished basement, give it a good sweep in the corners and by the baseboards to remove any cobwebs.
- At the start of spring, spray down your patio furniture with all-purpose cleaner and rinse with a hose. If you have a spray nozzle, this will go even faster.
Do These Once a Season
- Freshen and clean your garbage disposal by turning it on and dropping a few ice cubes down the sink. Grinding up the ice cubes can actually help remove food particles from the blades.
- If your oven has a self-cleaning function, use it! If not, use a spray oven cleaner to clean the oven. Also, this one’s obvious, but if you clean up little oven messes and spills as they happen, your seasonal cleaning will go much faster.
- Change your furnace or air filter at the start of every season. If you’re not already using a high-performance filter, such as the Filtrete Elite Allergen Reduction Filter from 3M, then upgrade to one. These high-performance filters capture more than 90 percent of large airborne allergens, such as household dust, pollen and mold spores.
Do These Once a Month
- Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of an empty dishwasher and run the dishwasher through one cycle using hot water. This will help sanitize your machine and remove grime and odor. Technically, the dishwasher might be doing more than 30 minutes worth of work, but you’re not!
- Pop the glass plate out of the microwave and give it a good scrub. Then clean the inside of the microwave before putting the plate back in.
- Wipe down windowsills with a damp cloth—this is a quick, easy one to do during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show.
Do These Once a Week
- Spray disinfectant on the handle, sides, lid, base and seat of each of your toilets. Then, put bowl cleaner in the toilet and scrub with the toilet brush. If you do this every week, it really will only take a few minutes per toilet.
- Dust ceiling fans with a cloth duster. The tops of your ceiling fan blades are out of sight, but they should not be out of mind. If you forget to dust them, you’ll be sending dust particles into the air every time you turn on a fan.
Dust the bedroom dressers and night stands with a microfiber cloth. This task, in particular, is a great one for younger children to help tackle