7 No-Sweat Cleaning Secrets

Power through your chores using these easy, quick cleaning tips and tricks

1. Shine on. Make mirrors and windows gleam: Wipe them with crumpled sheets of newspaper dampened with white vinegar. Not only is this the best method for avoiding streaks, it's low-cost and earth-friendly.

2. Trash paper daily. Throw out junk mail immediately, and put bills in a dedicated box. Mark your calendar with important dates from school notices and invitations, and toss the cards and fliers. At the end of the day, pitch used newspapers and magazines into the recycling bin.

3. Prevent scummy buildup. Hang a squeegee in your bath and wipe down the shower stall after each use. The walls will stay shiny without a lot of extra scouring.

4. Repurpose place mats. Line kitchen drawers with washable place mats that are too worn to use on the table. Cleanup is a snap―just toss the mats in with your laundry.

5. Skip ironing. Put on a wrinkled blouse, spray the problem areas with water and pull smooth until taut. As the blouse dries, the wrinkles relax. For tablecloths, just spread the cloth over the table, spray until damp, smooth until taut and let dry.

6. Deodorize with dryer sheets. Drop dirty sneakers into a plastic bag with a dryer sheet; seal overnight. Place one or two in the bottom of trash cans and the laundry hamper or under the dog's bed.

7. End polishing. Add a couple of pieces of chalk to your silverware drawer to absorb moisture and hinder tarnishing. Keeping a few sticks in the toolbox will stop rusting.