Never in my wildest dreams or nightmares did I ever think I would be considered a cleaning expert. But over the past 11 years, I have operated a successful cleaning company, written a book about cleaning, created over 500 cleaning videos and created my own line of microfiber cleaning cloths. In short, this means I know a lot of cleaning shortcuts and pro tips. So, I’m going to share with you 5 unique cleaning tips that you can use when you’re looking to clean like a pro.

Know Your Baseline

Even though I have this title of ‘cleaning expert’, most of you know by now that I don’t go for perfect. Frankly, I don’t advocate for it unless there’s a need for it, and there’s time for it. For this reason, it’s important to come up with your baseline. This means knowing what you need to feel good in your space and work toward that each day. We all know what perfect looks like and if you have the time or there’s a need for it, go for it. Get it done. Make it perfect. But on a daily basis, reduce your stress, go for the baseline and feel good in your home.

kitchen cleaning

Kitchen Clean-Up

One of the places that people find the most challenging to clean is the kitchen and they’ll often ask, “How can I save time?”. Well, I have one word for you: pre-treating! Pre-treating helps with whatever it is you’re cleaning, be it a pot, a pan, a dirty plate, a greasy backsplash, an overhead exhaust or even a countertop with some spills on it. By using a product, applying it to the surface and letting it sit there for a period of 3 to 5 minutes (or a little bit more than 5 minutes if it’s supposed to disinfect), will not only get rid of bacteria but it will also help lift any of that grimy, greasy stuff to the surface. After letting it rest all you’ll have to do is walk around your kitchen and wipe away the product, or take those dishes and gently scrub instead of burning your arm with elbow grease.

Break It Down

When you talk to successful people about being efficient, they’ll often tell you to take a big task and break it down into chunks. The same thing goes for cleaning. Whenever I’m tackling an area, I don’t look at the area as a whole,  I look at it in smaller chunks. I figure out exactly what needs to be done in each little area, then I get to it. This allows me to be very efficient because I can be laser-focused. I don’t get distracted by a larger space with lots of needs, so it feels less overwhelming. Whenever you’re cleaning a space, divide your room into a clock, start at 12:00 and work your way around. Those little chunks make a big difference and help you clean more efficiently.

bathroom shower curtain

Dry It Out

Wherever there is moisture, there’s the potential for bacteria. Whether it’s a cleaning tool like a microfiber cloth, a sponge, or even something in your bathroom like a shower curtain or a bath liner. You want to make sure that you’re giving everything the opportunity to dry out completely. Once the moisture is gone, no bacteria will form. What can bacteria do? It might lead to mold and mildew growth, which you’ll see most often in your bathroom. It can also lead to bad odors when it comes to cleaning tools (that’s why you get smelly sponges). The same thing goes for your washing machine; after a wash leave the door open. Remember, when in doubt, dry it out.

kitchen spill

Remove The Excess

Here’s a lesson I did not enjoy learning in cleaning, but if I can save you the blood, sweat, tears and cleaning products—I will! The lesson is to remove anything you can before you start treating it or cleaning it. For example, if you’re cleaning a non-self-cleaning oven, try to remove as much debris as possible manually. Scrape it up, wipe it out, whatever it is that you can do. If there’s a stain, blot it up, remove all of the chunky material before you actually tackle the stain. If you remove as much of the dirt or debris ahead of time manually, you’re going to save yourself time when you’re actually tackling the mess or stain because there’s much less to clean. This tip has made a big difference for me, especially when it comes to things like dirty windowsills, stains, and grimy areas in the kitchen.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. What do you use to clean the oven walls? Is it environmentally friendly? I was thinking maybe ammonia soaked towel overnight would loosen grease.

  2. Great cleaning hacks! I definitely spend the better part of my weekend cleaning the kitchen…I’m definitely going to implement these strategies ASAP so I can spend more time with my family.

    Thanks again for the great post! 🙂


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