Spring cleaning is one of those things that everyone sort of dreads starting but once you get started, it feels so refreshing and gives you a completely new outlook for the year ahead. Cleaning hacks sometimes are a little bit questionable when you read them, like pouring a bottle of Coca-Cola or a packet of Kool-Aid in your toilet. They may work, but it is better to make sure you’re using tried and true hacks when you’re trying to whip your house into shape. In this list, you’ll read ten great cleaning hacks that you may not have thought of (and we’ve left out the soft drinks).

Don’t Wash Your Windows if It’s Sunny

Don't Wash Your Windows if It's Sunny

Windows get dirty, and cleaning them is the perfect way to make your house look instantly cleaner and let some sunshine through. However, you should try not to clean them when the sunshine is out, or when it is too warm. Reserve this task for the early days of Spring. This is better because the warm weather and sunlight can make your windows dry too fast as you’re cleaning and leave them streaky. You can also use something absorbent like newspaper rather than a cloth, to make sure that the oils that were making them dirty in the first place get absorbed.

Stop Sofa Stains

Stop Sofa Stains

Cleaning the cushions on your sofa is another common thing you’ll want to tick off the Spring cleaning to do list, but how about making it a little easier throughout the year? Put plastic garbage bags over the cushions before you put the covers back on. That way you will only have surface stains to deal with and no smells or stains can actually get down into the foam part of the cushion. You will also have less of a problem with dust in the house because it won’t be able to penetrate down into the cushion and get stirred up every time someone sits down.

Use a Timer

Use a Timer

This isn’t actually a hack to make your house cleaner, but it is one that will make cleaning much easier. Set a timer as you’re cleaning. Set it for just 30 or 45 minutes and confine yourself to one room and just see how much you can get done. Challenge yourself to get as much as possible done in that span of time and see how much faster it makes everything go by when you are focused and know that you have a break coming after the time is up.

Keep Your Sponges Clean

Keep Your Sponges Clean

Sponges get dirty and gross. Many people avoid using them precisely for that reason, but you can just sanitize your sponges to make them last longer. The hack is, you can get them a little damp and put them on a (microwave safe!) dish and pop them in for 30 or 40 seconds. Studies show that this will kill almost all of the bacteria that may be hiding in there. You can also make sure to rinse your sponge clean and wring it out thoroughly after every use.

Make Use of the Dishwasher

Make Use of the Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is a great tool to use for more than just dishes! You can use it to clean pet dishes, plastic toys, hair brushes, makeup brushes, your soap dish, toothbrush holder, contact lens cases, and more. Just be sure to pay attention to what materials it is made out of so that it won’t melt. You can also use your dishwasher to clean your dish drying rack, shelves from the refrigerator or freezer, ice trays, plastic egg holders, your butter dish. It is an incredibly versatile tool for cleaning odds and ends around the house and making sure they’re sanitized.

Remove Hard Water with Vinegar

Remove Hard Water with Vinegar

Hard water leaves ugly spots on your sink fixtures, can block your faucets and decrease water pressure, and it can even reduce the flushing power of your toilet. But, there are plenty of ways to remove this buildup and bring everything back to its natural pristine state. You can use lemon juice or vinegar. For the shower head or sink faucet, fill a ziplock with your liquid of choice and rubber band it there for a few hours. For your toilet, pour some in the overflow and wait about thirty minutes before flushing. For taking hard water spots off surfaces, you can dampen a rag with lemon juice or vinegar and wipe them away. They will also buff out with dryer sheets.

Wax Your Air Vents

Wax Your Air Vents

This might sound just as crazy as pouring Kool-Aid in your toilet, but it really does work. After you dust off all your air vents or give them a good scrubbing depending on how they look before you get started, you can buff them with car wax to keep them cleaner longer. Car wax will create a slippery surface that will help keep dirt and dust from being able to stick. This way, it would build up as badly and your airflow will not suffer the consequences. Additionally, this could help you save on heating and cooling since all the air is able to pass through.

Dust Your Blinds with Tongs

Dust Your Blinds with Tongs

Your blinds are another spot in your house where dust seems to just accumulate. But, you can easily dust them off with cloth, sponges, or even dryer sheets wrapped around the end of a pair of tongs. Just clamp the tongs around each slat and wipe the dust away. If there’s a little too much pesky buildup on there, you can spray your favorite cleaner over them and then go back over them again. The best part about this is that the cloths (or whatever you use) are removable so you won’t have to retire your favorite tongs from the kitchen to the cleaning cabinet.

Use a Pillowcase to Dust Your Ceiling Fan

Use a Pillowcase to Dust Your Ceiling Fan

Dusting the ceiling fan is one of those things that instantly freshens up a room, and it can lead to less dust getting all over the surfaces underneath. But, mastering how to dust it off without getting it everywhere is something that a lot of people struggle with. Not anymore! You can take an old pillowcase, or pick one up at a thrift store for a dollar or less, and cover the blade of the fan with it after spraying it with some multi-surface cleaner. Pull all the dust off as you pull the case off, and it will all go into the pillowcase instead of on the floor, or worse, the bed.

Try a Lint Roller

Try a Lint Roller

Lint rollers are just as versatile as your dishwasher when it comes to cleaning. You can use it on your couches to pick up pet hair, you probably already knew that. But it is also great for dusting your curtains between washes, cleaning your throw pillows that aren’t safe for the washing machine, and cleaning off lampshades. It can also be used in other unexpected places like your handbag or suitcase, the seats of your car, or even to clean up broken glass without wasting a piece of bread.