Top 20 Cleaning Tips From HGTV Stars

Plus, read on for their LOL cleaning confessions. HGTV stars, they're just like us!

By: Megan Daley

With fall just around the corner, it’s time for Clean Freak Week on I Heart HGTV. (Follow along using #HGTVcleanfreak.) From time-saving tricks to incredible cleaning hacks, we have your back. So, if you’re ready to embrace your inner clean freak, we’ve rounded up the very best tips from our experts to share with you, below.

The Experts

Tina Rodriguez from Vintage Flip, Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak from Good Bones, JD Scott from Brother Vs. Brother, Chip Wade from Elbow Room, Josh Temple from House Crashers and Egypt Sherrod from Property Virgins.

Photo by: Megan Daley

Megan Daley

Tina Rodriguez from Vintage Flip, Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak from Good Bones, JD Scott from Brother Vs. Brother, Chip Wade from Elbow Room, Josh Temple from House Crashers and Egypt Sherrod from Property Virgins.

Clean As You Go

Dishware on shelves


Dishware on shelves

Photo by: Jupiterimages


Instead of leaving those dirty dishes in the sink or dust pile up in the corner of your kitchen, tackle the mess as it happens. “Getting to it next week” sounds like a good idea in the moment, but you’ll thank yourself later for taking the initiative. And having your cleaning supplies within arms-reach goes a long way to speeding up the process.

 “Keep wipes under the bathroom sink so they're there when you need to do a quick tidy up,” Karen says. “You can make your own if you don't want to use store-bought.”

And like Josh suggests, it’s those little changes to your routine that will keep clean-up time to a minimum.

“In the garage/workshop, I always have two big fans blowing towards the open space to keep sawdust moving outside,” Josh says. “In the kitchen, when I’m cooking something with a pan, the quicker I get the hot pan in water, the easier it is to clean. In the bathroom, I squeegee down the glass after every shower, which keeps the glass clean and clear longer.”

Learn to Manage Your Time

Man cleaning table in home with cloth


Man cleaning table in home with cloth

Photo by: kzenon


But if you’re short on time, Tina says coming up with a game plan of how to tackle your biggest cleaning obstacles is the way to go. Even if it’s as simple as promising yourself that on Saturday you’ll finally clean out all that junk in the garage — “stick to the plan and follow it through.”

“Or if you’re dusting the living room,” Tina says, “start on one side and methodically make your way through the room from, say, right to left.”

Whatever your method, once you start a project, make a point of finishing it before you move onto the next thing.

Organization is Key

“The biggest battle in cleaning for us is just keeping things straight and organized,” Chip says. “That's why I create custom storage solutions rather than generic storage.  Everything has one (and only one) specific spot.”

Cleaning Hacks, FTW

Woman opening kitchen cupboard


Woman opening kitchen cupboard

When in you’re in a bind, there could be a solution to those hard-to-get-out stains and other big headaches right in your cupboard or medicine cabinet. Grab your pen and paper, you’ll want to try these out: 

“I once used a large wooden cuticle pusher to scrape soap out of a soap dish. Worked like a charm!” – Tina

“I got my best cleaning hack working with Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Spills on carpet, rugs and sofas? Pour club soda on it, then salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. The episode is aptly called “Club Soda & Salt” — and it works!” – Josh

“The secret weapon in my house is definitely vinegar. It works wonders on laundry for removing difficult smells like strong scented dyes. It's also great for pulling out stains on porcelain surfaces that have absorbed a stubborn color.” – JD

“One of our children got silly putty stuck in the carpet. We were able to get it out with a sequence of WD-40 and rubbing alcohol.​” – Chip

“I do love magic erasers! I use them on everything: walls, trim and even painted wood furniture.” – Mina

“Everything gets a second life in my house! I call it object reincarnation. Terry-cloth baby bibs are amazing for drying the dishes; advertising circulars and newspapers work better than paper towels for cleaning the windows; and my hubby's V-neck undershirts are perfect for waxing the cars. I used a little apple cider vinegar and baking soda to scrub the tubs when I ran out of cleaner once.” – Egypt

Rid Your Space of Unused Items

stainless steel refrigerator handles

Clean Your Refrigerator Handle

Use mild dish soap on a damp microfiber cloth to clean a refrigerator handle.

Photo by: Carley Knobloch

Carley Knobloch

Make a point of going through your refrigerator and cupboards on a regular basis, Tina says, tossing out anything that’s expired. And if you haven’t used it in three months —

“Get rid of it!” Mina says.

While you’re in tidy-up mode, Tina suggests donating items you might not use anymore but that are still in good shape. “If you notice that you’re never using certain pots, pans or dishes, go ahead and donate them to someone who has use for them. That gets rid of clutter and makes room for things you actually do use.”

Get the Kids Involved

Living Room Toy Box

Multi-functional Ottoman

Need a clever way to have toys around but also keep them out of sight when guest are around? Try this diy project. Built with basic pine wood this ottoman was given a fashionable cushion top with chain hinges so the inside could be used as toy storage.

Cleaning when you have kids requires a whole different set of skills, and sometimes you need extra creativity to get the job done, like working around the kids’ schedules rather than your own.

While the little ones are down for a nap, Tina says, it might be the perfect time to catch up on your dusting or laundry — but nothing too loud like vacuuming, of course. And there’s always the option of turning clean-up time into something fun the kids can get in on, too.

“Helping around the house doesn’t have to be a chore,” Tina says. “Turn cleaning into a game, or offer rewards for a job well done. You can give them gold stars for every task they accomplish. As they get more stars, they can ‘buy’ rewards that you set up in advance.”

If it feels “impossible to control the chaos” at times like it does for Chip, you might consider giving your kids one designated place in the house where they can go wild.

“We have a playroom off the kitchen that is the designated kid zone,” Chip says. “They are allowed to go crazy in that room whenever, but that's the only toy-friendly spot on the first floor.”

But above all, take action before a major mess happens.

“I also have a very busy and curious 4–year-old daughter,” Egypt says, “so Scotchgard-ing EVERYTHING has proven to be helpful and time-saving.”

When All Else Fails, Look to Technology

“Get a Roomba as a wedding gift!” Mina says. “Best present ever!”

Now, it’s time to channel your inner clean freak. Grab your broom and let’s get to work!


House cleaning product on wood table

Cleaning Supplies

House cleaning product on wood table

Photo by: ©


What's the Dirtiest Spot in Your House?

“The bathroom! When you have little boys, they can get into all sorts of messes and that’s where they go to clean up.” – Tina

“The dirtiest spot in our house is the kids' bathroom. Nobody in my family likes to clean the bathroom, and kids are animals! It’s like cleaning a pet cage.” – Josh

“Neither of us seem to be fond of dishes and have been known to let them pile up in the sink. However, that's ultimately just laziness on our part, as the dishwasher is right there. Perhaps that will be my next resolution: 'Be more diligent about dishes'.” – JD

“The cellar. It still has a dirt floor.” – Karen 

“Around my dogs’ beds! I actually have an IKEA toddler bed for my girls and the area around it is always covered in dog hair and remnants of chew toys.” – Mina

“The kids’ explained above!​” – Chip

“I place my bets on the basement. We are forbidden to touch my husband's man cave. I am almost certain he has a beanstalk growing down there or something. As I mentioned, I really like to clean as I go, but he won't let me touch or organize his man cave. So it's anybody's guess what is really happening down there.” – Egypt

What's the Cleanest Spot in Your House?

“The kitchen. Because I cook and prepare food there, I try to keep it as clean as possible. I also try to clean as I go when I’m cooking. That way there isn’t a huge mess to clean up after a meal. It’s less work in the long run and makes it so much easier to keep it clean!” – Tina

“The kitchen is the cleanest spot. I’m a neat freak, and my wife is a clean freak. It’s where we spend most of our time, so we combine powers like the Wonder Twins and keep the kitchen in top shape. Plus, we have an open floor plan so we can’t hide anything behind doors.” – Josh

“The living room is the hub of my house. That is where we spend the majority of our time, and I'm a little fanatical about maintaining that clean, crisp feel to the area. I want to feel happy, satisfied and relaxed in this room meant for kicking back.” – JD

“The kitchen counter. It gets cleaned at least twice a day.” – Karen

“Anywhere my husband has touched.” – Mina

“My workshop. I'm a little OCD about knowing where everything in my shop is. I have it all labeled with specific storage for every tool.”  – Chip

“My library is the cleanest room in the house by default. It has become more of a sitting room and is the least used of all our spaces. It houses antiques and artwork, so the kids know it’s off limits.” – Egypt

Next Up

14 Cleaning Confessions That Prove We All Take the Easy Way Out Sometimes

We're all just human. Dirty, messy, kind-of-gross humans. 

5 Dryer Sheet Hacks That Actually Work

Take the sheet beyond the laundry room.

Follow HGTV's Clean Freak Week + Take Our Clean House Quiz

Could your home pass the white glove test?

6 Things People With Super Clean Homes Do Every Day

We all have that friend. Get their secrets.

5 Tricks to Make Spring Cleaning Fun

Yes, you read that right. We've got tips to get the whole family motivated to join in on the seasonal cleaning spree.

18 Surprising Things You Can Clean in the Washing Machine

Sit back, relax and let the spin cycle do all the work.

Top 10 Ultimate Decorating Tips From a Magazine Stylist

A professional photo stylist shares her best decorating tips that work for every home.

Game-Changing Life Hacks You Didn't Know You Needed

These tips just might blow your mind.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.