We hate to be total downers, but here's the thing: If you didn't feel motivated to clean out the fridge this week, it's only going to get harder next week. Daylight Saving Time is coming up, which means we're all about to have one less hour (gasp!) to keep our kitchens looking their best. But never fear — what you can't make up for in lost time, you can make up for in sheer brilliance.
To help you out, we've rounded up a few of our most ingenious, time-saving cleaning hacks. They might not do the work for you, but they'll certainly help you get it done faster.
1. Stop washing everything.
You do have to wash the cutting board (and the knife!) that you used to cut up raw chicken. But that measuring cup you used to dole out a cup of rice? Nope! Ditto for that teaspoon you stuck into the sugar canister. Just rinse 'em under the sink and let time do its thing on the dish rack.
More ways to make dinner faster: 10 Time-Saving Secrets of Laid-Back Cooks
2. Clean your microwave using a lemon.
Nope, you don't need to head to the store for any extra cleaning supplies. You don't have time for that! Instead clean your microwave by throwing in some lemon wedges and water. You don't really need to do much more than that.
Here's how: Pour a half-cup of water into a bowl, then squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl and drop the lemon halves in there as well. Microwave the bowl for three minutes, let it stand for five minutes with the door closed, then remove the bowl and wipe the inside of your microwave clean.
3. Use a dryer sheet to clean your faucet.
Don't toss those dryer sheets when you're folding that load of whites. (You do still have time for laundry, right?) Used dryer sheets can actually be used to clean up your chrome faucet. You'll be amazed at how quickly it starts shining.
Even more uses: 20 Household Uses for Used (Yes, Used) Dryer Sheets at Apartment Therapy
4. Invest in a bench scraper.
Even if you're not a frequent dough maker, you still need a bench scraper. Why? You can use it to collect crumbs and cooking debris into one neat pile. And you can use it to scrape off the gross things no one likes to talk about. The width of the scraper will help you clean up your countertops in just a few quick sweeps.
More on bench scrapers: Save Time by Bench Scraping First
5. Help your dishwasher run better.
You know what's a big time suck? Running the dishwasher, only to find that some items didn't clean and now need to be washed by hand. The easiest thing you can do to keep that from happening: Before you start the cycle, turn on the sink's faucet and run it until the water is hot, hot, hot. This means your dishwasher's first fill will be with hot water instead of cold. In turn, your dishes will get cleaner.
Get more tips: 10 Tips to Help the Dishwasher Run Better
How will you make up for that lost hour on Sunday?