Even before I had a chronic illness, cleaning was necessary evil. If I had just kept up and done a little cleaning here and there, then it would not be such a massive task. But, I put cleaning my house off, so when I finally committed to doing it, it took a ton of time and energy. Now that I live with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Pain, I simply don’t have much energy left over for cleaning. I need some heavy duty chronic illness cleaning hacks. If you need some helpful cleaning tips too that take into account our chronic illness limitations and challenges, then you are in the right place.
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The Most Helpful Cleaning Hacks for People Living with a Chronic Illness. These will make you life easier.
Kitchen cleaning hacks
1. Use a Soap Dispensing Dish Brush
I use this one. I find that if I give the dish or pot a quick scrub under running water and a little soap right after I am done cooking, the food comes of easier and it takes less time to clean than if I wait until later.
2. USE YOUR STOVETOP AND DISH SOAP FOR CLEANING POTS & PANS
But, sometimes you can’t clean your pots & pans right away. Then by the time you get to cleaning it, the food really hard to clean off. So the trick my mom taught me, is to fill the pot with water and dish soap then put it on the stovetop and heat the pot up almost high enough to boil the water. The leftover food particles soften up. TYou then dump out the water and it can be easily cleaned.
3. Use Select-A-Size Paper Towels
We use Bounty Select-A-Size. It is easier to clean up after small spills and I don’t waste a whole paper towel. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times I need a lot of paper towels with 4 kids running around;)
4. Line pans with heavy-duty aluminum Foil before you bake
I bake a lot of chicken and I use my jelly roll pans (like this one.) For seriously easy clean up, I line the pan with foil and when I am done cooking, I just throw the foil away. It saves a ton of scrubbing!
5. Use Clorox Wipes
In the kitchen, I use Clorox Wipes to keep my counter tops clean and disinfected. The thought of raw meats and egg remnants lurking on my kitchen surfaces makes my skin crawl. I also use this cleaning hack to wipe down my stove top, refrigerator (insides and out), small floor spills, and kitchen table.
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Bathroom cleaning hacks
6. Use disposable toilet wand scrubbers
Cleaning toilets has to be my most hated task when it comes to cleaning. So when I found this toilet wand that Mr. Clean makes, I was so excited. (It looks like the reviews for the Clorox Toilet Wand are much better). I don’t have to touch anything except the clean toilet wand handle. I just stick a new scrubbing pad on it, clean the inside of the toilet bowl, and click the release button straight into my garbage can. The scrubbing pad drops right in and my hands are germ free and my toilet bowl is clean. Boom.
7. Use Clorox Wipes to clean the Toilet seat
I know I may sound like an infomercial, but yes I LOVE my Clorox wipes. Using a wipe to quickly clean the toilet seat is quick, easy, and effective in killing germs.
8. Use Rainex after you clean your shower
The hardest part about keeping a shower clean, is scrubbing those hard water stain buildups. I use Bio Clean to get my shower glass clean, but then I use Rainex to make the most of my cleaning efforts. It coats the glass to repel the water and so you end up having to clean your shower less often.
9. Use a drill brush to clean bathroom surfaces like bathtubs
When I first heard about this, I had to chuckle. Really?!? A drill to clean your bathroom. But it makes so much sense and it saves your energy because it does the scrubbing for you. Amen! You can also get a long handle drill so you don’t have to get on your knees or bend over and stretch to reach the furthest parts of the bathtub (I have one of those big bathtubs.)
10. Use compressed Air Cans to clean bathroom vent fans
There are so many uses for compressed air cans beyond just cleaning the keyboard on your computer. You can use it to clean the dust and gunk buildup on the bathroom vent fans. Just make sure you’re careful with whatever you use to get up high enough to reach it. While your there, why not just clean the light bulbs and fixtures too.
General household cleaning hacks
11. Use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean walls, Doors, and so much more.
This is one of my favorite cleaning hacks. I love Mr. Clean Magic Erasers almost as much as I love Clorox Wipes. In their toddler years, my kids are graffiti artists in training. So we go through A LOT of these magic erasers. I can’t tell you how many different types of marks we have cleaned off our walls, furniture, cabinets, and doors through the years. (I have 4 kiddos but my girls seem to be the most interested in graffiti).
12. Use Baby wipes to clean, Like everything.
I saw this awesome quote once, “Baby wipes are the Swiss knife of parenting.” So true! Especially to clean marker ink off of furniture (non-fabric), cabinets, floors, and kids. There are a ton more ways to use baby wipes to clean. Even after all of my kids are out of diapers and potty trained, I will still ALWAYS have baby wipes on hand.
13. Use Windex electronic wipes for quick screen clean-up
Our TV screens never stay hand-print free for long. We use these awesome Windex Electronic Wipes for everything including laptops, phones, iPads, TVs. This is so quick to do and you just throw the wipes away when you are done. We usually have so much grime and buildup that using microfiber cloths makes me nervous. I don’t want to clean off Cheetoh fingerprints on one screen only to smear it onto another screen. You get what I’m saying?
14. Use Long-Handle Swiffer Dusters
You probably already know about these Swiffer Dusters. They have been around a while and the company has continued to improve on the original designs. Now there is a 360 degree dusters and flexible long handled ones, floor dusters both dry and wet. I use these to easily dust my blinds, furniture, shelves, and picture frames.
15. Use Hot Water and an old towel to clean up spills on carpet and furniture
I have to give a shout-out to my mother-in-law for this one. This cleaning hack may seem counterintuitive, but I promise it works. It certainly doesn’t cost you anything to try it. When you have a spill that needs to be cleaned up, you automatically think “What cleaner should I use?” Right? But the truth is that cleaners will leave residue. It may seem like you are “cleaning” that spot on your rug, but the residue left behind by the cleaner will attract dirt in the future. So you are better off just soaking up what you can with a dry towel, then going back over it with hot water and a towel and scrubbing the heck out of it. (I usually leave this up to my hubby because his hands are stronger.)
*Note: Some spills and stains need to be treated like red wine, paint and such. In those cases you may have to use a special cleaner.
I have to finish this post with a funny story (not funny at the time) and a request. My oldest daughter went through a much more destructive graffiti phase. We broke her of the habit and encouraged her to become an artist who uses paper, canvases, and other appropriate media to express her talent. She is actually quite the artist today and I suspect she will grow up and that will be a major focus in her career path.
But, back to my story. Several years ago, we bought a new couch for our family room. Just a few months went by until my daughter decided to use a Sharpie marker to draw a landscape scene on the back of our couch. (Insert expletive). Luckily, the best place for the couch in our family room is up against a wall. But still . . .
So here is my request. Do you know a cleaning hack that removes black Sharpie marker from fabric?
*Note: When I was a new wife and mom, I remember hearing about The “Flylady.” She had some great ideas on keeping up with cleaning in little chunks of time. Check out her Babysteps program to get started with some easy and simple ideas for keeping your house clean and organized.