The easiest way to tackle the cleaning jobs you hate, according to the experts who've cracked it

Stop avoiding those tricky chores, leaving them only makes the cleaning job harder

Open shelf used to store cleaning supplies and a cleaning caddy
(Image credit: Future PLC/Phil Barker)

When the weekend comes around the last thing on your mind is cleaning the oven or descaling your shower. But putting off the jobs you hate will only make them harder to complete when you finally muster up the motivation.

To rouse you into rolling up your sleeves we’ve asked the experts to share the quickest ways to tackle cleaning jobs you’d rather avoid. 

But before you spring into action (or more likely drag yourself to the cleaning caddy), start with a cleaning calendar so you don't leave those worst jobs until it is too late. Now all that's left is to get started.

1. Always have a system

Whether you follow the latest TikTok trends for the ‘Sunday reset’, leaving your cleaning to the weekend, or the ‘clockwise clean’, moving clockwise around each room, you must find a system that fits into your routine to achieve quick results says Sabrina Tretyakova, cleaning technician for steam cleaning company Fortador.

‘The secret of speed cleaning is maintaining order and cleanliness,’ she says. ‘Even on the busiest of weekends, you must not miss any opportunity to speed-clean your home. Form a routine that makes cleaning comfortable, enjoyable and quick.’

Tretyakova says almost any room can be cleaned in 15 minutes if you break down the tasks that need to be done and prepare in advance the tools you will need to complete them. We’ll get to those later. 

Kitchen with stainless steel ovens and green cabinetry

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

2. Devise a cleaning schedule

One of the quickest ways to tackle cleaning jobs is not to neglect them for too long.

Holly Gardner, founder of byMATTER, producers of cleaning and home products, recommends drawing up a cleaning checklist or cleaning schedule of what needs to be done daily and weekly.

Daily de-cluttering will allow you to get to your tough cleaning tasks quickly before running out of steam after tidying up surface mess. 

Wipe down surfaces in heavy traffic areas such as your kitchen and bathroom at least once a day and leave the heavy-duty tasks like mopping floors for the weekend.

‘Wipe down light fixtures and fans,’ she adds. ‘And add hoovering and mopping under the sofa to your checklist as a weekly task. These spaces often get forgotten.’

To draw up your own checklist, break down which rooms or areas you should tackle each day, and which tasks you'd like to do on the weekend. Sticking to this routine will ensure your home remains clean and tidy. 

3. Diarise your deep cleans

Put your deep cleaning jobs on the calendar, and link them to your phone to remind you when they’re due. 

Cleaning influencer and professional organiser Nicola Rodriguez, aka @essexhousedolly, recommends the following timescales: 

Blue home office with wall mounted storage

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

4. Have the right products in your kit

Purchase all the best cleaning products, clothes and tools you need before you tackle your cleaning and store them in a handy caddie to carry with you from room to room. 

Sue Caldwell, managing director of Clean Living International, makers of eco-friendly cleaning solutions, says keen home cleaners can overbuy products when in fact good quality basic environmentally friendly products give effective results. 

Her cleaning must-haves include: 

  • Kitchen cleaner and degreaser
  • Glass cleaner
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Dry carpet cleaner that absorbs stains and odours, vacuum up after use
  • Floor cleaner
  • Multi-purpose surface cleaner

Open shelf used to store cleaning supplies and a cleaning caddy

(Image credit: Future PLC/Phil Barker)

Mike Harris, owner of oven cleaning company, Oven Rescue Group, says bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar should have a spot in your kit not only is cleaning with vinegar great for all kinds of jobs but it can be used to clean an oven glass door too.  ‘These ingredients are powerhouses when it comes to cleaning and when mixed together can help to lift off a myriad of stains.

‘Wait until your oven is completely cool before cleaning,’ he says. ‘Mix the bicarbonate of soda with water until it turns into a thick paste that you can spread.

‘Apply the bicarb’ mixture to the inside of the glass and let it sit for 20 minutes before using a clean damp clean cloth to wipe it away in circular motions to loosen dirt and grease.’ 

Rodriguez recommends adding a limescale remover to your kit.

‘Where limescale turns to a rocklike substance, common around shower heads and taps, it is harder to break down,’ she says. ‘Products like Viakil and white vinegar sprayed on the area and left to soak can combat this. 

Use a combination of microfibre cloths for polishing and sponges with a rough edge for a more abrasive clean.

5. Save time with gadgets

One of the quickest ways to tackle cleaning jobs is to use a gadget that promises to cut down the time it takes to clean.

Tretyakova keeps the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber, available on Amazon, close to hand for getting into hard-to-reach places such as shower door fittings where soap grime builds up or for scrubbing tile grout. It looks like an electric toothbrush so don’t get the two mixed up. She is also a fan of the Casabella Blinds Cleaner, available on Amazon, a dual-ended brush that makes it quick to clean your blinds.

To make oven glass cleaning quicker, Harris says you can swap the natural ingredients for a specialist solution which includes Sodium Hydroxide (be careful of fumes) and use a non-scratch oven and hob glass scraper, which you can pick up for £9 at Amazon. This requires more elbow grease than the bicarbonate of soda/vinegar mix but gives quicker results.

It is also worth looking into investing in the best steam cleaners. These handy machines are great multi-taskers and can make quick work of floors, windows, cleaning grout and even carpets.

Cleaning equipment against a green wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

6. Repurpose everyday items

Many of the cleaning kit you already have probably has multiple uses you didn't know about. For example, you can use an extendable mop to clean hard-to-reach tiles, ceilings, walls and high-up windows. 

Hand-held window vacuums are growing in popularity for tackling window condensation, but they are also handy for sucking up the water on shower screens and induction hobs after cleaning and rinsing to leave them streak-free.

‘Old toothbrushes are amazing for getting into tricky nooks and crannies,’ says Caldwell. ‘I also recommend saving your old newspapers. Spray them with vinegar to clean your windows.’

Kitchen with wooden countertops overlooking into large open windows

(Image credit: Future PLC/Darren Chung)

7. Don’t neglect outdoor spaces

As we head into spring we’re starting to think about getting our gardens into shape after a wet winter. 

Wet weather provides the perfect breeding ground for organic growth, algae and moss which can dislodge your render and damage your patio or walls. Replacing these can be expensive but with regular maintenance, and learning how to clean a patio properly you can protect the surfaces for longer.

Martin Beaumont of Monty Miracle Outdoor Cleaner says: ‘A wire brush is the main tool you need to tidy areas combined with an effective cleaning solution that will clean any surface.’

Garden patio ideas

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Using thorn-proof gloves to protect your hands from cleaning liquid and light cuts, clean away debris. He recommends Nicky Picky gardening gloves which are tough and breathable.

Sweep away the leaves using an adjustable lightweight rust-proof rake that can be stored away between seasons. Use a sturdy brush with firmer bristles to clean patios, decking, walls and driveways in your shed.

If your patio needs a deeper cleaner you can use one of the best patio cleaners for a quick and effective clean.


 How do professionals clean so fast? 

Rodriguez says it boils down to how you well you know your products and tasks you need to complete. When booked for a three-hour cleaning job she immediately splits her time by the number of rooms and judges which room may need more attention. Then she sprays down problem areas to come back to later. ‘Product wise, you need to let your solutions settle in order for them to work, particularly limescale remover.’ 

Never start to clean an untidy house it will slow you down. Tidy up the day before.

 How can I make my cleaning job easier? 

Have all products and cleaning essentials with you. Rodriguez  adds: ‘I always carry extra items such as bin bags too, you can guarantee you’ll need them along the way.’

She adds: ‘Always have snacks and drinks in your kit so when your energy dips you can boost yourself up again.’

Now get to work, no excuses!

Samantha Partington is a personal finance journalist specialising in mortgages and the property market.

Over the past nine years, Samantha has worked for the Daily Mail, trade website Mortgage Solutions and business title Property Week. She regularly writes for national money pages including Money Mail and Sun Money and supports prop tech firms with content writing.