Need to speed clean? We've all been there. Your in-laws or friends declare they're just popping over to yours as they're 'in the area' but your home looks like a complete bomb site. You quickly think of an excuse as to why you can't have them over and send them on their merry way.
But what if you could blitz your home and have them visit? After all, spontaneous catch ups are always the best! We've set a 30-minute routine and included our best cleaning tips to help you speed clean your house in those times of emergency...
1. Collect your cleaning arsenal
You will need:
- Feather duster
- 2 cloths - 1 for cleaning and 1 for shine
- Cleaning wipes or baby wipes
- Multi-purpose cleaning spray
- Broom, dustpan & brush and hoover
- Black bin bag
- Laundry basket
- Lint roller
Don't fret if you don't have all of these items, just work with what you have. If you're opting for a more eco-friendly clean, you can switch out the wipes for reusable cloths. Now, onto the cleaning checklist...
2. Prioritise your rooms
Where will your guests mainly be? The kitchen around the dining table? The living room or conservatory? Focus on the room you'll be in the most, the bathroom and the entrance area. The other rooms can be left alone.
Don't forget to give the bathroom a quick clean too - guests are bound to want to use the facilities!
3. Set up a timer
Just an ordinary kitchen one or your watch will do. You need to divide the 30 minutes into three 10 minute slots. Giving yourself a deadline will give you the motivation to get everything done and help you prioritise so you don't get stuck on the small stuff.
If you prefer, you could also play one of your favourite playlists or pop some upbeat music on to help spur you on.
4. Tidy and declutter in 10 minutes
Before you start - open the windows and let some fresh air in.
The first 10 minutes is your tidying and decluttering time. Quickly go around and remove any rubbish from your priority rooms, whether that is the kitchen or living room, the hallway and bathroom. Forget about the bedrooms or rooms that aren't likely to be seen.
Put any rubbish into a black bin bag and dump any clutter into a large laundry basket. Once you've removed clutter from all of the surfaces, stash your basket away in a laundry cupboard. You can move any larger items to your bedroom.
Stack papers, magazine and newspapers, fold blankets, straighten out pillows and cushions.
Take this time to also empty any visible bins. I find a full bin always makes the bathroom look messy even if it's spotless!
You should also make sure that your bathroom is looking tidy. Try to hide any clutter away in cupboards, and make sure there is a fresh loo roll in the holder.
5. Dust and wipe surfaces for 10 minutes
Next, wipe down any obvious surfaces with a cleaning cloth. Spray with multi-purpose cleaner then go over with the second cloth.
To really save time, wipe surfaces with cleaning or baby wipes - they're an amazing multitasker. This is a great cleaning hack because they pick up grime and give nearly all surfaces a temporary shine creating the illusion of a spotless surface.
If you have any mirrors, give them a quick wipe. A shiny mirror makes any room look instantly cleaner! In fact, anything that has a shiny surface will help your room look good if you give it a quick buff.
Then take a lint roller or a baby wipe - and quickly go over your sofa and cushions collecting any dust or hair. You can also use a lint roller to clean dusty lampshades if time allows for it.
Just before you go onto the last 10 minutes, close the windows and light some scented candles in your bathroom and priority rooms to disguise any lingering smells. By the time your guests come around your home will be nice and warm, and smell lovely.
For a quick clean, dusting before vacuuming is essential. Check out our other article to find out why.
6. For the final 10 minutes give your home a sweep or vacuum
You're on the home stretch now!
Use your final 10 minutes to sweep and/or hoover your priority room(s). Don't neglect the hallway just in front of your front door as a clean entrance will create the illusion of a clean home and your guests will be hit with that all important good first impression.
Then take a cleaning wipe or baby wipe and go over any areas on the floor that have any visible gunk or grime. They give a sparkling shine for when there isn't time to mop. If you're skirting boards are particularly dusty then give them a quick wipe too, you'll be surprised what a difference it'll make.
My final tip: if you have any snacks to hand, leave them out on the table and distract your guests. While you're off making the tea, they will be busy tucking into them, instead of looking around your home - and noticing any dusty spots!
Thanks for reading! Do you have any tips on how to speed clean your home?
Please let us know in the comments section below!
Do not use wipes of any kind as they are causing problems further down the line- ie at the sewage works or dump. They do not rot and are being used in their millions. i save any old bits of fabric to use like wipes and then throw away(eg cleaning toilet)- old socks, ripped up old clothes etc.
Sounds good Alison, thanks for sharing. I know you can launder and re-use a lot of baby wipe brands. I tend to save them and use them as cleaning cloths.
As the guests are at the front door, give a quick spray of air freshener into the room, not on furniture, away from food/nibbles etc. make sure the kettle or coffee pots are full.
Great tips Sandra.
I use stardrops bleach in it its marvellous for wiping things down xx
Thanks Janice. I am yet to try this product I will have to check it out!
Spray Lavender Air Freshener- smells like polish and gives the impression of a clean polished home x
That is a fab tip Annette. I absolutely love lavender!
I am blind and therefore I must use specialized screen reading software in order to use the PC, Yes I have a cleaner but she only comes twice a week, She comes Tuesday and Saturday so have you any tips for getting the house clean when I have unexpected visitors on Thursday or Friday?
Hi Bob, is the software you are using able to read out the article? There are a lots of tips in there that can be used on any day of the week. My go to product for quick cleaning is baby wipes or cleaning wipes - they can clean pretty much any surface quickly. I also suggest a 'clutter basket' where you pop in anything that's been left out in the basket and stash it away in a cupboard while your guests are around. Leaving windows open and burning scented candles will also get out any whiffs and create a nice warm scent.
If there is something just too big or too difficult to move, covering it with a tablecloth, a throw or even a blanket will instantly make that area look much tidier. This is something I have used to good effect! : )
Nice tip Irene. if in doubt, cover it up! Haha, like it.
to make satin steel clean use baby oil get rid of finger marks and dust
Spray a couple of duster with Polish and place on a warm radiator, your guests will think you have been very busy.
Hi Brenda. I do this a lot - makes the place smell divine! :)
Dilute fabric conditioner in a spray bottle spray on bedding cushion around the house makes it smell lovely
As this isn't the intended use for fabric softener, we wouldn't recommend it. It could be dangerous, as fabric softeners are usually flammable.
Spray couple of dusters with Polish and put on warm radiator, it gives the impression that you have been very busy!
Moderation ? What does this mean?
Great tip, Brenda! I do this often right before my guests come round :)
Any one know a good tip for cleaning glass windows on ovens.
Hi Alfred. We have lots of tips on oven cleaning in our article, 'How to clean your oven the easy way'. You can read it here: https://experthometips.com/how-to-clean-your-oven-the-easy-way
A bunch of flowers always gives the room a lift, go out in your garden and see what you can find, even a bunch of bluebells is good. Bring them in, vase, water, s minutes!
Hi Sally. Great suggestion - I actually often prefer garden flowers to some of the fancier florist bunches. Thanks for sharing :)
It takes my wife and myself more than 30 minutes to de-hair dog and cats (2), one big very black German Shepherd and two cats one grey, longish hair and one black shortish hair. Any tips for this problem? Oh, should have said main carpets hoovered every other day.
Hi Chas, Could you clarify exactly what yo mean by de-hairing ? The dogs, or the house? Thanks, Steph
I have three cats, pet hair is a nightmare! Hoover's take ages and don't pick it all up. One great way of de-hairing vertical blinds is to put a dry, textured rubber glove on your preferred hand and wipe down the blinds, brings the hair right off. Lint rollers work well on lampshades. And fabric furniture (sofa's, seat cushions etc) just wet your hand with water and rub in a circular motion, lifts the pet hair right off.
Frozen Locks. Whether it be on the car on your Front door, what I do is to put a piece of Sellotape over the lock to stop the cold/frozen air coming through and therefore freezing the lock so your keys will not move. Another tip for the car is: when it's all frosted up DO NOT use hot water and poor over the bonnet as it will freeze up even more quickly. Use Cold water because it's less of a shock to the metal.
Hi Laura. I've never tried the lock tip - thanks a lot for sharing that, we'll definitely give it a go. :)
I have twice asked to have the 101cleaning tips but no luck? The 30 minute last minute cleanup was really inspiring so thank you and perhaps this will be third time lucky for the 101 cleaning tips. Best Wishes - Rose
Thanks for the kind feedback, Rose! Please do get in touch with us through email regarding the problem with the 101 tips.
A laundry cupboard? Some of us live in very small flats. I don't even know what a laundry cupboard might be.
Living in a small space can be a struggle! I don't have a traditional washing basket, because there wouldn't be anywhere to put it! Instead, I use a collapsible plastic crate, and it neatly stashes away.
I always keep old toothbrushes there handy for round the taps and there good to get limescale of use limescale remover to get it of the and toothbrushes r also good for round the rim of the toilet where the brush doesn’t reach it all
That's a good idea, Sarah!
I find a well wrung out microfibre cloth picks up dust and pet hair best. If it's rinsed in Zoflora it smells nice, too.
That's true! Polishes can leave a buildup, but a damp cloth will pick up dust without depositing any product or chemicals.
Sorry but there is no way possable ANYONE can clean more than one room in 30 minutes. Please stop giving people advice like this as it just does not work unless you are literally "WonderWoman".
Hi Ellen! It depends on your idea of clean. We've all been there when we've had an unexpected visitor, and it's amazing what you can achieve in those 30 minutes when you put your mind to it. Obviously, it's not perfect - a spare room will end up filled with clutter, which is probably counter-productive.
Hi just a question? I have been looking for blitz buddies. The was a room on Yahoo dedicated to just blitzers. Sometimes we would get 40 people sometimes just 3 or 4. We would set our timers clean and report back to what we got done in the 10 or 15 minutes we were gone. It helped so much to know most of us were all in the same boat. Well time has passed and I can't find a blitz group anymore. Any ideas or do u know of anybody who still does this. Thank you. Melody
Hi Melody! We have a Facebook group for cleaning enthusiasts. You're welcome to join and start something similar with other members: https://www.facebook.com/groups/641539392883868
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