Cleaning Shortcuts: Five Time-Saving Tips for the Kitchen

Keeping a tidy house is a constant struggle for me.  I do my best, but I’m always looking for shortcuts like these to make life a little bit easier.   Here are a few quick and easy tips I’ve learned that help keep your looking great with very minimal effort.

cleaning shortcuts 1Keeping the Refrigerator Shelves Clean

When you’ve got kids reaching into your refrigerator every day, you’re bound to get some spills here and there.  To make cleanup fast and easy, line the shelves with Glad Press ‘n Seal wrap.  When spills happen, just remove the wrap and add a new layer.

kitchen cleaning shortcuts ovenClean Your Oven While You Sleep

I really wish I had a personal cleaning fairy, but this trick may be as close as I’ll ever get.  Fill a bowl with 1/2 cup ammonia and place inside your oven overnight (make sure your oven is completely cool when you do this).  The gasses will do their work so that you can wipe your oven clean in the morning with minimal elbow grease.

cleaning kitchenKeeping the Oven (and Other Things) Clean

Use a reusable oven liner to catch spills in the oven.  You can also use an old toothbrush to clean that groove on flat top oven surfaces where grime accumulates.

kitchen cleaning shortcutsMicrowave Cleaning Shortcuts

Thoroughly soak a washcloth or sponge.  Place it in the middle of your microwave and turn on for two minutes on high.   The steamy vapors will work wonders on that icky, stuck-on gunk.  Using an oven mitt grab the sponge (it will be REALLY hot) and use it to wipe the sides of the microwave clean.

cleaning shortcuts

Get Your Kids to Help with Cleaning

When it comes to chores, delegate!  I am a big believer in having the kids pitch in with their fair share of household chores.  Not only will it lessen your load and free up more of your time to have fun with the family, you’ll be teaching them responsibility at the same time.  To avoid nagging, I created chore charts for my kids and laminated them.  That way, they know what is expected of them and can check their tasks off when they’ve been completed.

If you’ve got cleaning shortcuts of your own to share, let me know!  Visit our Cleaning Products Reviews to leave feedback on the products you love or would never use again.


  1. Nancy Rapp says

    I placed my coffee maker next to my sink, so when I need to fill it with water to make coffee, I use the hose from my sink! This is also helpful when I’m cleaning it. I fill it mostly with water & then add ¼ cup of white vinegar & run it, turn it off, empty the pot into my sink (which helps to clean the sink) & then run water through a couple more times. Sparkly clean!

  2. petersmom3 says

    I used to use tin foil on the bottom of my oven, but then I burned out the element twice on one stove and the repair man said it was the tinfoil. Now I bought a reusable liner from Lillian Vernon and when there are spills, take it out, clean it and put it back in

  3. Sarah says

    I fill a microwave safe bowl with 2 cups of got water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. I put it in my dirty microwave for two minutes and let it sit for 5 after it beeps and the food and grime wipe right off with a paper towel. No chemicals and no hard scrubbing. Doesn’t get any easier than that. 🙂

  4. Alison-sunshine mom says

    Great idea for the fride shelves-I love press n seal and buy it anyway, so this is another great use for it! Appreciate the idea! I do use aluminum foil to line my baking sheets for easy clean up and use them also as spill catchers for casseroles, pies, etc. Place the casserole on top of the lined pan, then just throw the foil away, quick wipe of the pan and helps the oven stay clean. One idea I had read in a magazine once was to start your cleaning routine by spraying your product of choice first, then walk away for 10 minutes or so and get something else done. This gives the product time to work and you only have to do a wipe down-love microfiber cloths for this-no scrubbing or elbow grease needed!

  5. Sharon says

    Another great idea to line refrigerator shelves is plastic or vinyl placemats. When they get dirty, wash and replace. The press n seal idea is great too, but the placemats are reusable. You buy them once and keep using. Press n seal runs out and you have to buy more.

  6. Nan Torres says

    Can you use the ammonia on a gas stove oven cause I would think it would be flammable from the pilot

  7. says

    I tried the ammonia in the oven & it didnt work. I had cooked bacon in my new oven & it had splatters in my oven..I was so unhappy to see my new oven dirty & saw this tip so thought I’d try it. Sorry to say it didnt work!1

  8. Jade says

    I tried the ammonia in the oven trick but it didn’t do a thing. Was my oven not messy enough? It has grease spatter on it. After the first time, I let the bowl of ammonia sit another day and still nothing. Did this trick work for anyone else?

  9. Lisa says

    You need to use boiling water with the cloudy ammonium. I don’t do this anymore. I simply fill a large bowl with boiling water, let it steam up my cold oven for an hour or two then wipe it over with an Enjo kitchen glove. Very easy and no harmful chemicals. Too easy.


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