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The lazy person's guide to spring cleaning

CHOICE staff share their fun and inventive hacks for doing the bare minimum.

lazy persons spring cleaning guide
Last updated: 24 September 2020

Are you the kind of cleaner whose vacuum rarely sees the light of day? Or do you have a dusting regime and colour-coded cleaning cloths? Wherever you sit on the spectrum, we can all use help to make our cleaning routines (or lack of them) more efficient. 

The laziest way to get your house clean is, of course, to pay someone else to do it. But if there's no room in your budget for a cleaner, you'll need some shortcuts in your arsenal to minimise the amount of work you'll actually have to do. 

We can all use help to make our cleaning routines (or lack of them) more efficient

Here's what some CHOICE staff have admitted to trying in their quest to spring clean with as little effort as possible. 

Please note: some tips are obviously tongue-in-cheek and may not be suitable for your home. For some more sensible advice, check out our comprehensive spring cleaning guide.

Bathroom blitz

"I clean the shower while taking one – it's an efficient use of time and water." – Simon, Data & Technology

"Denture cleaning tablets are a great (and easy) way to clean a filthy toilet. Just chuck one in, leave it for 20 mins, give it a quick once-over with the toilet brush and you're done!" – Alice, Content Experience

"I got rid of mould stains on the silicone in my shower by rolling up toilet paper tightly, laying it against the stain then soaking the toilet paper overnight in bleach gel." – Kim, Reviews & Testing

Cleaning the floor

"Got a small child who's a messy eater? Get a dog – they'll sit under the high chair at meal times and dispose of any spilled foods quickly and efficiently. Note that you may need to watch your dog's weight, and make sure it's allowed to eat said foods!" – Ashley, Reviews & Testing

"I pin baby wipes under my shoe and 'mop' the kitchen floor by waving my foot around." – Simon

Had a big party? Why sweep the floor when you've got a leaf blower?

Ashley, Reviews & Testing

"To cut down on the time it takes to mop your house, buy a mop with the biggest head you can find – you'll cover more surface area in fewer strokes. Note, you may also need to buy a bigger mop bucket." – Ashley

kids feeding dog under dinner table

Man's best friend... and cleaning assistant.

"Wrap damp cloths to your feet to clean the floor, like an ice skater." – Daniel, Editorial

"Had a big party? Why sweep the floor when you've got a leaf blower? More power to you if it's one of those ones that sucks and mulches everything into a bag for you. It's also good for cleaning under the fridge without having to move the fridge (and yes, I have done this)." – Ashley

Use cleaning products that work

If you're a lazy cleaner, you can save yourself even more time and money if you avoid buying products that don't work. Sounds obvious, we know, but our lab experts see shockers all the time. 

In our lab test, every floor cleaner scored below 50%, with several cleaning worse than using water alone. When we tested carpet stain removers, we found that a homemade mixture of dishwashing liquid, vinegar and water outperformed every single commercial product. You can whip this up in no time and won't have to bother leaving the house to go to the shop!

Every floor cleaner scored below 50%, with several cleaning worse than using water alone

Conquering the kitchen

"Stick the filter from the rangehood fan and the metal frame things from the stovetop in the dishwasher. I found this hack life-changing myself (just check it won't damage them first)." – Rachel, Editorial

"Tired of cleaning your oven? Buy a secondhand convection microwave and use that exclusively. Then get rid of it when it gets too grotty and you'll never need to clean your 'proper' oven again." – Ashley

CHOICE tip: If you've got the cash, a pyrolytic oven (or one with catalytic liners) will actually help clean itself. Check our freestanding oven reviews and wall oven reviews to find yourself an easy-clean option. 

"A bread knife can be wiped clean with your shirt at least twenty times before actually needing to be washed." – Simon 

"Keep your kitchen spotless by ordering takeaway instead, or visiting family and friends around meal times. Warning: they may stop answering the door." – Jason, Content Experience

child crawling across messy floor

Crawling kids + dust cloths = great cleaners.

Vac hacks

"Got a small child at crawling age? Sew microfibre dusters to the knees, bum and stomach of their onesie and you've got yourself a human Roomba." – Ashley

"My lazy hack kills two birds with one stone: getting the vacuuming done while getting a workout. I secretly vacuum the entire house using my Dyson handheld dustbuster, just to avoid dragging out the corded barrel vac. Bonus is you have to do squats the entire time. Don't tell my diligent cleaner girlfriend!" – Jacinta, Design (real name changed to protect her from her girlfriend's wrath)

"Get a robot vacuum. Sure, they don't clean as well as a stick or barrel vac, but it'll distract the kids long enough for you to enjoy a cuppa by yourself. You can turn it into a game too where they have to move toys and stray Lego pieces before they get 'eaten'." – Jason

Cleaning windows, blinds and fans

"Instead of cleaning between open blinds, just shut them and clean the entire continuous surface – then shut them the other way and do the same on that side." – Daniel

"Put pillow slips over the blades of your ceiling fan, then switch it on to high setting to easily remove accumulated dust. I've tried it and not only is it effective, it's also quite entertaining to watch the pillow slip fly off the fan." – Marg, Editorial

Glass cleaners are for losers. Grab a bucket and fill it with car wash and a little rinse aid.

"Sometimes it's impossible to get spots off a window or mirror, no matter how hard you scrub. So instead, use a razor blade or scalpel to gently scrape them from the surface." – Daniel

"Windows dirty? Glass cleaners are for losers. Grab a bucket and fill it with car wash and a little rinse aid. Use a big sponge to wash, and a squeegee to dry – you'll have spotless, streak-free windows for a fraction of the time and effort. Bonus points if you get one of those magnetic squeegees that does both sides of the glass at once." – Ashley

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.