Ten Household Items You Can Clean in One Minute (And Probably Should)

What do I love about cleaning? When it's done! Usually the dirtiest things in my home are the ones I forget about completely and, thus, never clean. Luckily, that's easy to fix; if you have ten minutes, you can get these ten chores done today. 1. Sponge -- Although you should be regularly replacing your kitchen sponge (right?), you can increase its mileage by nuking your damp sponge in the microwave to kill bacteria.

2. Ceiling fan -- If you switched on your fan this summer only to have dust fly everywhere, then spend a minute here. Make your life infinitely easier by cleaning each blade inside an old pillowcase to trap falling dust.

3. Kitchen towel -- Even though I regularly wash my bathroom towels, I tend to forget to throw the kitchen towel in the wash. Now, I have four or five so I can rotate more often and quit wiping my clean hands on a greasy towel.

4. Cell phone -- Turn off your phone and let it cool down. Clean the casing with a slightly damp cloth and straight alcohol (which evaporates quickly). For the screen, polish with a plain microfiber cloth, because alcohol could damage the protective coating.

5. Pillow -- You spend more time with your pillow than with most of your friends. Freshen it by tossing it into a hot dryer or out in the sun every so often.

6. Lint trap -- Checking it after every load is a good habit, but let's be realistic! Go clear it out right now so your next load will dry faster and save energy.

7. TV Remote -- Snacking and channel surfing don't mix. Wipe down the remote with a damp cloth and a 50:50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol. Careful with the buttons! If you're feeling ambitious, use a Q-tip to get in between them.

8. Silverware organizer -- I don't know about you, but those little trays in my silverware drawer collect gunk like nothing else. I'm eating off those forks! Take out the silver and give it a soapy wash.

9. Makeup brushes -- Your brushes touch your face every day, clean 'em often. Just swirl in a cup of mild, soapy water, rinse, reshape and air dry. Easy!

10. Showerhead -- If your shower is losing power, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, put it over the shower head and secure it with a rubber band. Leaving it on overnight should soak away the deposits that block your pressure.

What have I missed? Please share your easy cleaning tips in the comments.

(Images: clockwise, from top left: Shutterstock, Shutterstock, Flickr member Slightlynorth licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member taberandrew licensed for use by Creative Commons )