7 underrated cleaning tools that will cut your cleaning time in half

A mop and bucket filled with cleaning products on the floor of a living room with a couch and table in the background
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

When it comes to our weekly chores, we all love a routine. We clean our rooms in the same order, stick to the usual cleaning products and follow consistent methods. We do this because it’s familiar and trusted. However, did you know there are all sorts of cleaning tools available which can help speed up the process? You can even combine these with 9 tips and tricks to cut your cleaning time in half.

Whether you spend the majority of your cleaning time dusting, vacuuming or wiping out the shower, there are tools available which can make life a little easier. Take advantage and not only will you save time — you could get better results for your efforts too. If you’re keen to learn more, we’ve rounded up 7 underrated cleaning tools which will make your chores a breeze. And with the majority costing less than $15, there’s little reason not to try them out. 

Should time be tight, here are 7 quick cleaning jobs to make your home look better

1. Squeegee

Someone cleaning glass with a squeegee while wearing rubber gloves

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

First of all, a manual squeegee is a lifesaver when it comes to wiping out the shower. An example of this would be the OXO Good Grips All-Purpose Squeegee ($9.95, Amazon). With one of these, you can swipe the water away from the walls in seconds, leaving streak-free results on glass. It’s much faster than using a window vacuum, or drying out the surfaces with a towel directly.    

All you need to do is work your way from the top to the bottom of the sections in rows — that way the excess water doesn’t run over where you’ve just swiped. Then buff any residual water away with a towel for the finishing touches. It’s essential that you dry any residual water from your shower once you’ve finished using it. This is one of the 7 ways to prevent limescale in your shower.   

2. Blinds duster

SetSail Blind Duster

(Image credit: SetSail)

If you’ve got blinds, you will no doubt know the frustration of dusting them. You have to gradually dust each layer with a microfiber cloth, working your way from top to bottom. And because you’re in such a rush, there always seems to be areas you miss or sections where you can’t quite reach, such as up to the cords. If you’ve got metal blinds and you don’t take care, you can easily bend them out of shape as well. 

There are specific tools you can buy to make this chore a little easier. These tend to dust multiple blinds at once and give you greater reach in the process too. An example of this would be the SetSail Blind Duster ($7.49, Amazon). With one of these, you could technically clean the blinds twice as fast, with better results to show for it. If you’d rather stick to hand-dusting, you could also opt for microfiber gloves, such as MIG4U Microfiber Dusting Gloves ($8.50, Amazon). With these you’ve got increased dexterity and control. 

3. Robot vacuums 

Best Cheap Robot Vacuums: iLife V3s Pro

(Image credit: iLife)

Want to save yourself some vacuuming time — why not treat yourself to one of the best robot vacuums? These clever little bots will independently clean your floors, leaving them spick and span in no time. If you opt for one with a self-emptying base, you won’t have to empty the dustbin so often either. Of course, these aren’t powerful enough to replace your full-blown vacuum cleaner yet, but it can keep on top of light, everyday debris. 

If you want a hand with mopping, you can also get one of the best robot mops. These can work in tandem with your robot vacuum to provide the finishing touches to your floors. Hybrid designs that sit between the two are also available, but these tend not to perform as well as dedicated robots in our experience. Again, this won’t fully replace your mop and bucket, but it can help you keep on top of light stains and spills.   

4. Dishwand 

Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Advanced Soap Control Dishwand Kit

(Image credit: Scotch-Brite)

If you tend to wash your dishes by hand, a dishwand can save you some time. The premise behind this design is simple — a sponge is attached to a handle which is filled with dish soap. You control when you want the soap to flow through to the sponge and scrub to apply it to your washing up. Because of the handle and the abrasiveness of the sponge, it’s great for shifting stubborn stains. Plus, you can use it all over your home.

An example of this would be the Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Advanced Soap Control Dishwand Kit ($12.49, Amazon). It’s great because it saves you from gradually applying dish soap by hand, plus you can keep refilling the handle whenever more is needed. Make sure you have spare replacement sponges to hand though — you won’t be able to fit any sponge onto the handle. Squeezing these sponges dry can be tricky too, but try your best by pressing it flat to a surface, otherwise it will soon smell musty.  

5. Dryer balls 

A rubber yellow dryer ball being added to a clothes dryer filled with green towels

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Dryer balls make for a brilliant addition to your clothes dryer. These balls essentially bounce around the load as it rotates, separating the items as well as softening them in the process. As a result, your clothes will dry more quickly and feel softer too, so they’re useful in more ways than one. Dryer balls can be made of wool, rubber or plastic, and are widely available online. An example of these would be the Handy Laundry Store Wool Dryer Balls ($13.99, Amazon).

We recommend swapping out your dryer sheets for dryer balls, because they’re much more environmentally friendly. Dryer sheets generally aren’t reusable or biodegradable, meaning they create a lot of waste. They can release a lot of VOCs into the atmosphere as well. Dryer balls are reusable and will still soften your clothes as they work, so it’s worth making the switch where possible. If you’re worried about static electricity, try adding ½ cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your washer. 

This is also one of 7 ways to prevent your clothes from tangling in the clothes dryer.  

6. Spin mop and bucket 

O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop & Bucket Floor Cleaning System

(Image credit: O-Cedar)

When the time comes to mop your floors, it can be quite an arduous task — particularly when you have to use all your strength to wring out the excess water. A spin mop and bucket can make things a little easier here. With one of these, you can wring the mop head dry at the press (or step) of a button. The bucket essentially spins the mop dry to save you from wringing it by hand. This might not sound like a big deal, but considering how many times you have to wring and refresh your mop head during one session, it can make all the difference to your energy. 

Getting your mop head effectively wrung is essential when mopping your floors as well. Not only will an overly wet floor take much longer to dry, you could be doing your floors some damage as well. Excess water can distort and warp hardwood floors, so keep your mop head damp, rather than sopping wet. If you think such a mop and bucket could revolutionize your mopping habits, an example would be the O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop & Bucket Floor Cleaning System ($57.54, Amazon). 

7. Extendable duster 

Woman dusting with feather duster

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Are you climbing on top of furniture to dust those awkward top shelves? You shouldn’t have to — in fact, we wouldn’t recommend it as it’s not exactly safe. Instead, invest in an extendable duster, such as the Newliton Microfiber Feather Duster ($12.99, Amazon). These can help you reach those awkward-to-dust spaces, such as top shelves and ceiling fans. They tend to come with a telescopic handle, and a flexible, microfiber head. You never need worry about hidden dust again.

Be sure to check out what makes baking soda and vinegar so good at cleaning, and 10 cleaning mistakes that will ruin your home. Plus, here's 9 things you’re hoarding, which you should throw away right now.   

Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be air purifiers, as the information provided and the difference between performances is extensive.