So you’ve made breakfast in bed. You’ve gifted Mum a new book. You’re taking her out to lunch. Great. Amazing. Well done. Now it’s time to get to the real work: cleaning the house, so she can enjoy a sparkling home without doing any of the actual work involved. Here are eight of our favourite speed-cleaning tips that will leave your place looking sensational without too much effort. Bonus points if you keep doing them week in and week out — not just on Mother’s Day.

  1. Clean the dishwasher by running a hot cycle when it’s empty. You can also spike a lemon (a whole one or a wedge) on the dishwasher rack while the cycle is on to get rid of any lingering smells — you’ll love the lemon-scented result!
  2. Grab a microfibre mop. Turn it upside down. Look up to the ceiling. Clean away the cobwebs that you can now see with the mop. Put mop down. Pat self on back.
  3. That same microfibre mop is also dandy for cleaning your shower wall tiles. Spritz a little of your normal all-purpose cleaning spray, and go to town mopping the wall tiles.
  4. Get rid of nasty toilet ring stains by snipping off a small piece of Magic Eraser and flushing it down the loo.
  5. Clean the microwave and dirty dish sponges at the same time by zapping wet sponges in the microwave on high for two minutes. Remove sponges (use tongs, as they will be hot) and then wipe down the microwave with your normal spray. The steam from the sponges helps release caked-on gunk, and the heat from the microwave kills bacteria in your sponges. Win-win.
  6. Remember: oil removes dirt. Sounds crazy, but it works. You know how cleansing oils help get rid of dirt on your skin? It’s the same principle with your stovetop and rangehood: a little vegetable oil on a piece of paper towel will remove nasty build-up easily. To make cleaning faster next time, you can also apply a thin layer of car wax to the stovetop and then wipe off with a paper towel — this creates a barrier between the metal and future food spills, making it easier to clean.
  7. Rub a cut lemon over stainless steel taps and sink drains to make them sparkly clean and, best of all, citrus-scented. This is especially fantastic for hard water build-up.
  8. Clean the shower head (yes, really, it does need cleaning) by popping a bag full of white vinegar over the face of it overnight (you can secure it with cable ties). In the morning, take the bag off and run cold water for a few minutes — it will release any remaining grossness from the holes.