I’m not lazy when it comes to cleaning. I’m just into cleaning smarter, not harder.

I was thinking the other day about how I do things differently from many people and decided to share “my dirty little secrets.” Here are just some of the ways that I save time and effort by cleaning less.

1. I hide dirty dishes under the sink. Yeah, that’s right. If you stop by unannounced, chances are good that you will find dirty dishes – but only if you go looking. If we have only a few dirty dishes, I rinse them and put them in a dishpan that is under the sink. When the dishpan gets full, I wash dishes. (I don’t have a dishwasher.)

2. I don’t use antibacterial soap. Turns out that the active ingredient in antibacterial soap (Triclosan) has been banned in Minnesota and other states are following suit. Apparently, this chemical has long-term effects on human health as well as the environment. That’s okay. Good old-fashioned soap and water is all you need to kill 99% of germs. So that’s what I stick with.

3. I don’t fold underwear. I used to, but then I decided that life is too short to fold underwear! I also don’t fold exercise clothing – I have one drawer for tops and one drawer for bottoms. They don’t wrinkle, so why fold them? And I don’t bother to fold sheets. I just wash them and put them back on the bed.

4. I wear clothes multiple times before washing. Over-washing clothing shortens its life. So unless I get sweaty or spill something on whatever I’m wearing, I hang it to air overnight. Then I put it away.

5. I avoid washing my dark wash jeans.  See #4 above. When the jeans look like they need a little refreshing, just fold them and insert into a large zippered plastic bag – and put them in the freezer for a week. Freezing will kill any living organisms that might be hiding out. (If you can’t resist washing jeans, turn them inside out and wash in cold water.)

6. I haven’t ironed anything in 2 1/2 years. But that doesn’t mean I wear wrinkled clothing! I make a point of buying clothing that doesn’t require ironing. If something does get wrinkled, I spray it with wrinkle releaser that I make by mixing one tablespoon of fabric softener with 16 ounces of water in a laundry spray bottle.

7. I only wash my hair once or twice a week. I have naturally curly hair and curly hair specialists say that too much washing can damage curly hair. So I just wet it every day in the shower and condition it. When I do wash my hair, I use a sulfate-free shampoo. Works for me!

8. I do most of my cleaning with water only. Water is proven to clean as well, if not better than commercial cleaners. In a University of California-Davis study, it was concluded that cleaning with a microfiber cloth and water alone was 99% effective at removing not only soil and grime, but also germs.

9. I don’t polish silver. I store sterling silver jewelry in little plastic zip baggies. Silver tarnishes through oxidation which results from prolonged exposure to air. So if you store it properly, you never have to clean or polish it.

Okay, enough about me. What are some things you do to clean smarter, not harder? Or is this all just crazy talk to you?