10 Best-Kept Secrets From Cleaning Pros

No wonder you need a spa day: Research shows that women spend approximately six hours each week doing housework. That’s a lot of sweeping, scrubbing, and sanitizing! Parents Latina is helping you win back your time and get rid of the grime with these tips from Latino cleaning pros across the country.

Cleaning Pro Secrets Woman Using Dishwasher in Kitchen Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

1. Bakeware

If last night’s lasagna is caked onto your bakeware, pour a can of Coca-Cola into the dish, leave for a few hours or overnight, then rinse and clean as usual. Ingredients in the fizzy drink break up the baked-on grease. Michael Silva-Nash, house cleaner at Molly Maid of Greater Little Rock, Arkansas

2. Laundry Stains

To get marker stains out of your kid’s clothes, squirt a few drops of dish soap into a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Then shake the bottle, spritz onto the blotch, and gently rub in before tossing into the washing machine. The soap helps lift oil-based coloring stains as well as grease splatters from cooking. —Damian Sanchez, director of operations at Mulberrys Garment Care in St. Paul 

3. Water Rings

Give your coffee table some TLC and say so long to water rings, with the help of a hair dryer. Simply set the device to high and move it back and forth over the ring until the blemish disappears. The heat helps the trapped moisture evaporate. Follow up with a dab of olive or mineral oil to recondition the table’s wooden surface. —Jonathan Tavarez, CEO of PRO Housekeepers in Miami, Tampa, and West Palm Beach

4. Odors

Skip the aerosol room sprays and instead freshen as you clean by squirting a few drops of lemon essential oil into your vacuum’s filter to release the scent as you go around. Alternatively, use the essential oil to remove grease stains from the stovetop, backsplash, or kitchen counters (put a few drops onto a wet microfiber cloth, and rub). Your kitchen will smell like spring. —Aziza Hana, office manager at 10BucksARoom.com professional cleaning company in East Brunswick, New Jersey

5. Mildew

Waste no more time scrubbing mildew off your plastic shower curtains. Instead, run them through a warm laundry cycle with a few old towels. The scrubbing action of the towels helps remove buildup from the curtains so that they come out as good as new. —Luis Pino, president of Natura Clean cleaning service in Middleton, Wisconsin

6. Nooks and Crannies

If your vacuum attachments are MIA but you don’t want to clean out dusty corners with a brush and dustpan, then stick an empty toilet-paper roll onto the end of the vacuum hose. The flexible cardboard roll easily gets into those hard-to-reach spaces. —Sisters Paola and Karla Celis, YouTube vloggers and lifestyle experts for Scott Brand, in San Diego

7. Vanity Sinks

Keep a washcloth at the bathroom vanity to quickly wipe away sink splatters after washing your hands and brushing your teeth. This will prevent the drips from turning into unsightly water spots. (Make sure to get the mirror too.) It takes only a few seconds and cuts down on cleaning time in the long run. Just make sure the rest of the family knows the cloth is not for hands or faces. —Yamilette Platero, lifestyle blogger at  TheLatinaNextDoor.com, in Atlanta 

8. Fan Blades

For spotless ceiling fans, spray the interior of a pillowcase with a multisurface cleaner. Slip the pillowcase onto one of the fan’s blades and wipe, trapping the grime in the case. Repeat with the other blades. The simple technique stops dust from falling onto the floor or furniture so that you don’t end up with one more task on your to-do list. —Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company, maker of the new Honest Cleaning Collection, in Los Angeles

9. Microwave

To erase stubborn, stuck-on microwave messes, wet a dishcloth thoroughly and zap it for 30 seconds. The released steam helps dislodge food, and a wipe with the warmed towel afterward removes it completely. Be sure to handle the hot cloth carefully to prevent burns! —Armando Ascencion, franchise owner of an Office Pride commercial-cleaning location in Indianapolis

10. Blinds

Plastic and vinyl kitchen blinds can get sticky from buildup, but cleaning them blind-byblind isn’t efficient. Instead, fill the bathtub with hot water and add a few squirts of a cleaning product that cuts through grease. Then soak the blinds for an hour. The chemicals remove the gunk, no wiping needed. To dry, simply drape over the shower-curtain rod. —Limarys Ortiz, director of housekeeping at the Omni Parker House in Boston

TIp: Carry a tote bag to collect misplaced clutter while cleaning. As you move from room to room, drop off books, clothes, and toys in their proper places.