Cleaning Can be a Snoozefest
According to a survey from the American Cleaning Institute, Americans spend about six hours every week cleaning the house—whether it’s tackling the laundry, clearing the dishes after dinner, or continually vacuuming dog hair off the couch. This same study also found that about 34 percent of Americans worry that they're not cleaning enough, which is not surprising considering people are more stretched for time than ever before. But if you’re looking for some extra minutes to dedicate to your cleaning routine, why not fit in some tasks while you’re asleep?
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Use the Self-Clean Function on Your Washing Machine
We often don’t think to clean the machines that help us do our daily chores, but appliances like washing machines get dingy with detergent buildup or mildew odors that can make them run less efficiently or cause clothes to smell sour. Luckily, many newer models have self-clean functions that will disinfect the tub. This cycle will take anywhere from one to four hours—a perfect task to take on while you’re snuggling under the sheets.
Clear Your Showerhead of Gunk and Grime
Showerheads can get seriously gross with buildup of bacteria and calcium deposits, but unfortunately, they are one bathroom feature that rarely gets any cleaning attention. Remedy this with a simple overnight solution: Fill a plastic ziplock bag with vinegar and place it over your showerhead, then secure with a zip tie or piece of string. When you wake up in the morning, remove the bag, scrub away any remaining debris, and then turn on the hot water for a clean finish.
Soak the Burner Plates Overnight
If you’re an avid home chef, it’s likely that your burner plates are caked with remnants of old dinners that are incredibly difficult to scrub off. Make this cleaning task easier on yourself by soaking them in a sink full of hot water overnight. Add a couple dryer sheets to the hot water for best results. In the morning, you should be able to gently remove any debris and pop the burner plates back on the stove.
Freshen Your Garbage Disposal
Even if your garbage disposal is top of the line, it can occasionally trap bits of food particles in its mechanism, causing it to stink up the rest of your kitchen. The fix, however, is easy. Before you go to bed, pour a half cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar down the sink. In the morning, turn on the cold water and run the disposal briefly to finish the job.
Related: The Top 10 Germiest Spots in Your Home, According to Science
Air Out Your Garbage Can
The garbage can is one of the dirtiest, stinkiest spots in your home, but you can squelch some of the smell with just baking soda and a few hours of passive cleaning time, all while you’re in bed snoozing away. To freshen up the can, remove the bag, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom of the bin and be prepared to wake up to a fresher smelling home.
Clean Your Coffee Pot
If coffee is sacred to your morning routine, it’s important to keep your carafes and coffee pot parts clean to remove mold and yeast that make coffee less tasty—and more germ-laden. To clean your coffee pot overnight, fill your reservoir to the maximum fill line with half vinegar and half water. Flip the switch to brew, then hit the hay. Before making your morning pot of coffee, rinse the pot with sudsy water to remove residual germs—and the taste of vinegar.
Steam the Splatter in Your Microwave
Be honest: How embarrassed are you right now at the state of your microwave? Get those splatters spic and span with some simple steam cleaning. Grab a bowl of water, a lemon, and pop them in the microwave for three to five minutes, which should loosen things up enough for you to simply wipe down in the morning.
Degrime the Dishwasher
The dishwasher is one of the grimiest appliances in your house thanks to food particles and soap scum buildup, which can end up on your dishes after running a cycle. But cleaning this large appliance is a breeze and can easily be done while you’re sleeping: Fill the bottom of the dishwasher with 1 cup of white vinegar and run it empty on a heavy cycle to reveal a freshly disinfected appliance.
Disinfect the Sink
We’re sorry to inform you that your kitchen sink is likely dirtier than a toilet seat and is a breeding ground of harmful bacteria. To kill the bacteria and sanitize your sink, fill the basin with hot water and one tablespoon of bleach, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, wipe out the sink with a clean sponge. A word of caution to owners of curious kitties, however: Make sure your fur baby isn’t allowed to roam freely at night when you have a sink full of this harsh chemical.
Freeze Off Plush-y Germs
Your kiddo’s favorite lovies go through a lot during the day—from sneezes to accidental dips in the toilet to being smeared with peanut butter. In addition to tossing them in the washer and dryer, you can also eliminate dust mites by sticking your child’s favorite stuffed animal in the freezer overnight.
Related: 15 Home Cleaners to Borrow from the Pantry
Tune up Your Tools
All you need to refresh your rusty old toolset is a can of Coca-Cola and a good night’s sleep. To clean, place your metal tools on a tray or basin and fill with soda, which will loosen the grime overnight thanks to the acid in the liquid.
Related: 20 Chores You Only Have to Tackle Once This Year
Wake up to a cleaner home.
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