Spring cleaning time is here, and although the many, many chores that come with it can be a pain at the time, the pay-off is huge (a shiny, clean apartment to kick start the new season? Yes, please!).

We wondered if there were ways to make spring cleaning a little less tedious and a little more expeditious. Here are our favourite five:

Clean Oil with....Oil? 

It may seem counter-productive, but it actually works. When you have an oil-spattered cooking surface that you just can't seem to get clean, drop a little vegetable oil on a paper towel and wipe clean. It will help to remove the stubborn stuck-on oil marks. When you're done, wipe it once more with a dry paper towel.

Hard Water, Meet Vinegar

It's true that vinegar can do almost anything, and combating hard water stains is no exception. Soak a paper towel in white vinegar and place over your sink faucets or tub drains where stubborn hard water stains like to take up residence. Come back 1 hour later and wipe clean. Another option? Lemon.

Steam Your Microwave

Cleaning microwaves is one of THE worst chores, especially when food is hardened in place. Thankfully, the power of steam can really pack a punch. Fill a microwave safe bowl with 2 cups of water, a few tablespoons of white vinegar, and maybe a drop or two of your favourite essential oil. Run the mixture in the microwave for 5 minutes and voila! Your microwave messes are now much easier to clean (and your kitchen will smell pretty yummy, too).

Fabric Softener Sheets Pull Double Duty

Kill two chores with one stone thanks to dryer sheets. Instead of spending money on two products, use these sheets after they've come out of the dryer to dust around the house. 

Dishwashers Clean More Than Just Dishes

If you've got a dishwasher, use it to deep clean other items: plastic kids toys, makeup and hair brushes, refrigerator shelves....the options are (almost) endless. Just make sure you don't throw in smaller items that could end up clogging the drains.