8 Cleaning Tricks and Tips That Actually Work

This isn’t a gimmicky, buzzfeed cleaning tricks and tips list. It’s WAY better for one simple reason: these cleaning tips actually work well.  

5 start reviews for baycrest lodge


We’ve been in the lodging business for a while so we know how to clean up some messes!

At Baycrest Lodge, we’ve spent years perfecting our cleaning regiment and judging by our guests’ reviews, it has paid off. We believe in our cleaning standards so much that we’ll happily claim the title of cleanest lodging in Alaska any day.

Our cleaning tricks and tips are not meant to be kept a secret though! We won't run through our entire regiment in this post but we WILL give you some pointers that will help you take your home's cleanliness to the next level.

We used many of these tips to train our awesome housekeeping staff. They have really helped us keep our units as clean as possible and we think they will help you too. Next time you're hosting a dinner party or getting started on spring cleaning in your home, reference this list! 

So here it is...our list of cleaning tips that have helped make Baycrest Lodge’s great clean reputation what it is today!


1) The most noteworthy cleaning tip we have is ditch paper towels and invest in a set of rags.

We stopped using paper towels a long time ago. It started as a way to save money and not have to bother with as much trash - crumpled paper towels and their plastic wrapping will fill up a trash can pretty quick! We quickly realized that using rags came with even more benefits than being low waste!

These benefits include actually scrubbing better, leaving less spots on surfaces and not soaking your hands with cleaning solution as easily as paper towels. No one likes pruney fingers after all...

What do we mean by “rags”? 

We typically buy 24 packs of white wash cloths from Costco. But really anything similar will do! We like to go with white because it’s easy to know when it’s time to retire your rag. Plus, if you’re comfortable using bleach, they clean up well in the wash too!

We’ve tried microfiber cloths too and, although they work well on most surfaces, they tend to leave fuzzy remnants behind on others. If you decide to invest in microfiber cloths, we suggest also grabbing a couple rags that have some kind of bath-towel-like texture for when the microfiber isn’t cutting it. 

When your rags start to look dirty enough that you decide it’s time to get rid of them, first think about whether there are any really nasty jobs they can help with. For example, cleaning up after changing your car’s oil! 

Once you’ve stocked up on rags, this next cleaning tip will really help take your home’s cleanliness to the next level…


2) Always wipe with a damp, then dry rag.

It’s amazing how many people will try to clean a food-stained table or stovetop with a bone-dry rag or paper towel. Then they just shrug their shoulders and hope no one sees the residual wipe marks that show up when the sunlight hits that surface just right.

Well, lucky for you, this cleaning tip will leave your surfaces streak-free if you do it correctly... 

First, spray the surface in question with your desired cleaning solution. Then, take a damp rag and wipe down the surface. 

This next step is VERY important…

Follow up with a dry rag immediately! You have to use a dry rag right away so that the water spots from the damp rag don’t leave a mark. Sometimes when we’re cleaning guest homes at the lodge, we’ll even hold a dry rag in our hands while we’re wiping something down with the damp one - just so we’re ready to make that quick transition.

This cleaning tip applies to mirrors too! You’ll love how this technique allows you to finally get those spotless mirrors that will impress your dinner party guests.


3) When cleaning stainless steel, wipe in the direction of the grain.

This cleaning tip is pretty simple! If you want your stainless steel to look nice and shiny, wipe it down in the direction of the grain and you’re less likely to leave any residual marks. 

Stainless steel cleaner will help too, but if you don’t have any, a multi-purpose cleaner will work too!

Don't forget to use your stainless steel or multi-purpose cleaner along with the damp/dry rag method described in the previous cleaning tip!

cleaning tips for stainless steel appliances

4) When dealing with tough stains or bathrooms, let your cleaning solution sit for a couple minutes before you wipe it off.

When we walk into an extra dirty kitchen or any bathroom, the first thing we do is spray down all of the surfaces with a multi-purpose cleaner. Then, we switch to another task for a couple minutes and let the cleaner do its thing. 

This gives the solution more time to really break apart the mess we need to clean up. 

For example, let’s say you have a dried pasta sauce stain on your stovetop. If you spray it down but don’t let any time pass before wiping, it’s going to take some serious elbow grease to get that stain to go away. But if you let it soak in cleaning solution for two minutes, it’ll be way easier to wipe off.

a sponge cut in half in a kitchen

5) Cut your sponges in half.

At the risk of sounding highly controversial, here is the hard truth we think you need to know: no one needs a whole sponge to do the dishes. 

Okay sarcasm aside, we really do believe cutting sponges in half is an awesome cleaning tip; they’re easier to handle and they can get into smaller spaces for deep cleaning. 

The best thing about cutting your sponges in half is that you don’t feel as bad about throwing them away early.

Too many people don’t want to throw out their sponges because it feels wasteful or they want to save money - sponges are kind of pricey after all!

But we all know how gross an old sponge is...seriously, you can smell an old sponge from the other room!

When you cut your sponges in half, you’ll feel less guilt about throwing them away before they wreak. Or - this is our favorite thing to do - retire your old sponge to a bin that’s reserved for extra nasty jobs like scrubbing baseboards or cleaning out window tracks. Just because it’s a little too grimy for dishes doesn’t mean it won’t work for the really hardcore cleaning projects!

After using half sponges for a month or so, you’ll have a hard time doing dishes at a friend’s house because a whole sponge will just start to feel awkward and clunky. 

6) Keep a small utility razor blade on hand when cleaning glass.

Sometimes glass cleaner just isn’t enough to get all the scum off of your windows. If you have an extra pesky spot, streak or build up on a glass surface, you can usually get it off with a small razor blade

We love this cleaning tip because the blades are cheap and extremely effective! 


7) Use your phone’s flashlight to ensure you don’t miss anything after cleaning bathrooms.

This one is an especially helpful cleaning tip if your bathroom doesn’t have very much natural light. It may seem over-the-top, but we often pull out our phone flashlights to inspect toilets, bathtubs and showers before we determine that they’re ready for guests. 

When you scan your bathrooms with a flashlight, you'll be surprised by how many little dust particles, cleaning solution spots and other unwanted specs you’ll find! 

Speaking of bathrooms, we’re willing to bet you haven’t heard of this next cleaning tip…

iPhone SE flashlight

8) Use a pumice stone on tough toilet stains.

Toilet brushes are great for everyday cleaning but more often than not, you’ll notice a small yellowish ring that starts to develop around the water line in your toilet.

These rings used to be SO frustrating for our housekeeping staff because no matter how hard we scrubbed with that dang toilet brush, we couldn’t get them to go away completely.

That is, until we discovered the pumice stone. Pumice is best known for its ability to help you exfoliate your skin and soften tough calluses. But we prefer to use them on toilets :) 

Getting rid of an ugly toilet stain is as simple as putting on a rubber glove and scrubbing away at it with a pumice stone. Pumice will naturally wear down over time as it gets wet so don’t worry if you see your stone shrinking! 

This cleaning tip works on porcelain toilets (pretty much any run-of-the-mill white toilet) but you may want to double check with your toilet's manufacturer if you’re unsure of whether a pumice stone would leave unwanted marks.


If you want to experience these cleaning tricks and tips first-hand, come stay with us at Baycrest Lodge!

Next time you’re planning a trip to Alaska, give us a call. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your guest home will be sparkling clean when you arrive. With private hot tubs, full kitchens and the best view around, you won’t regret booking your getaway with Baycrest Lodge.

For more cleaning tips and Alaska travel inspiration, you can also follow us on Instagram or Facebook!

To read more about how we excel beyond your average Alaska lodge, click here.


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