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5 Speed-Cleaning Hacks From Hotel Housekeepers

Spiff up your home in minutes!


We asked the pros for their 5-star speed-cleaning secrets to help you get your home gleaming fast!

Make beds in a flash with a tag technique.

Argh! Wrestling a fitted sheet onto your mattress can quickly turn into a game of frustrating Twister. No matter which corner you start with, you almost always realize you put the long end of the sheet on the short end of the mattress. The solution: “Just locate the tag — it’s always on the short side of the sheet and belongs at the foot of the bed,” says Rosa Nogales- Hernandez, head home cleaning valet at Valet Living ( Simply use a fabric marker to indicate the correct corner on the tag itself and the next time you go to make your bed, it’ll be a no-brainer.

Polish wood furniture with lemons.

Many furniture polishes contain harsh solvents that can damage wood surfaces. Luckily, you can get dull wood looking new with an all-natural cleaner popular with boutique hotel housekeepers. Simply add two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice to a jar and shake to combine. Dip a dry cloth in the solution and rub into the furniture, going with the grain. The olive oil moisturizes wood while the lemon lifts dirt. Then just buff with a clean cloth.

Clean toilets easily with a timing trick.

Spray toilet cleaner inside the bowl and just let it sit, says Nazan Pamir, head of housekeeping at Ciragan Palace Kempinski, a five-star hotel in Istanbul. The “rest time” lets the cleaner fully penetrate stains. Most disinfectants need five minutes to work.

Speed-clean your home with a clockwise circuit.

Take a cue from hotel housekeepers who often have to dust an entire room in minutes: Start at the door and move clockwise around the room. This ensures you won’t miss any spots or waste time wondering if you’ve already dusted that end table. “And grab a microfiber cloth,” advises Nogales-Hernandez. “When I use them, I know I won’t leave any tiny particles behind.”

Lift window smudges with a simple spritz solution.

For clear windows without the toxic scent of commercial cleaners, combine 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1 cup of water and 1 Tbs. of vinegar in a spray bottle, suggests Nogales-Hernandez. Spritz the glass and wipe with a rag. The vinegar’s acetic acid cuts through smudges, and the alcohol ensures the spray evaporates quickly.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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