Fake a clean house in just 20 minutes

Who has the energy to keep a spotless home? Not us! Here’s how you can ‘fake clean’ a house… just don’t open the cupboards after!

Fake a clean house in just 20 minutes Photo Gallery

Short on time? Between the demands of work, the kids, and a partner, there’s little chance you’ll want to spend your free time cleaning. And nobody’s home is immaculate 100% of the time, right? If you have unexpected guests, all you need is 20 minutes to give the illusion of a clean and tidy home. Shhhh… they’ll never know!


The loo is probably the one room in your house where your guests are left unsupervised – eek!

Everyone knows how tempting it can be to go through someone’s vanity cabinet. If yours is a tip, take everything but the bare essentials and shove it into the laundry basket – nobody’s going to look in there!

Shower curtain? You’ve bought yourself an extra storage area.

Shake the bath mat into the tub or shower, then rinse away – it will look freshly vacuumed.

Forget scrubbing taps; slice your prep time in half by giving them a once-over with a lemon wedge, then simply wipe with a damp cloth.

Give your mirrors a quick wipe with vinegar and a damp cloth.

Living room

This is where your guests are likely to spend most of their time, so concentrate your faux-cleaning efforts here.

Flipping your cushions is an instant way to make a couch look brand new – simply reserve the clean side for when you have people over! If both sides have seen better days, a strategically placed throw will do the trick.

A large wicker basket is a busy mom’s secret weapon – it will go with just about any decor and you’ll be able to clear table tops in one fell swoop! Fold an old throw on top and it’ll look like everything below is tidy.

Pet hair all over the place? Don’t bother with pulling out the vacuum, just slip on a damp rubber glove and run it over the couch or curtains.

Everything looks better in candlelight; choose a scented candle and it’ll give your a home a cosy feel that says, ‘What? My house always looks like this – doesn’t yours?’


It’s the busiest (and often the messiest) room in the house, but nobody needs to know you haven’t done dishes in days…

For a speedy wipe-down, just grab your cleanest-smelling kitchen spray and spritz and wipe like there’s no tomorrow. To the naked nose it will be like your house is sparkling clean.

Cover any lingering aromas by baking sliced orange peels in the oven at 200°C for 15 to 20 minutes, then crack open the oven to let the smell travel.

Simply shove a pile of dirty dishes in the oven or dishwasher (no need to even pack it properly) and close the door. And don’t fret, we know it’s not a permanent solution.


It’s safe to assume that no one will go into the bedrooms, so use them to store all the random stuff lying around the house – but make sure you lock the doors!

The laundry basket comes in handy here, once again – shove in any old magazines, hair clips, receipts and stray socks. It’s a great hidey-hole and nobody will ever know. And next time you’re at the shops, you might like to buy a new basket… the one filled with all that stuff will stay like that for at least a week!

If you think your guests may venture into bedrooms, take a minute to half-make the bed. If the duvet is straight and the pillows are where they should be, no one needs to know the sheets are a rumpled mess.

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