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How to Fake Clean, Cook and Iron


Women have been fake cleaning for ages. Now you can too. Learn how to fake clean your house.Women have been fake cleaning, fake cooking and even fake ironing for years! I just had to share some of my favorite tips that my readers shared with me last week.

Fake Cooking

If you happen to have a husband who likes dinner ready, or nearly ready, when he gets home and you haven’t even started – fry up some bacon and onions. Makes the house smell like you’ve been cooking for hours while you quickly throw something together. I realize my age is against me here…..you probably don’t have a husband who expects dinner on time…..but back in MY day… (imklvr)

Fake Cleaning

I regularly sprinkle Carpet Fresh around and pretend I’ve just spent hours cleaning. Occasionally I DO actually break out the vacuum and sweep it up. Sometimes some of the powder hits the dogs and that takes care of their monthly bath. (Shelly)

I put Pine-sol in hot water in the sink! My girlfriend hides bounce sheets in inconspicuous spots so it smell fresh! We all have our tricks! (Danielle – Piperloo)

Erma Bombeck said if she got word people were stopping by, she would drag out the vacuum and when her company arrived, she would apologize because they had caught her in the middle of cleaning. She said the vacuum had been sitting out so long she was starting to use it for a coffee table. (Robbie)

Sometimes I  wet a little towel with cleaner and put it in the garbage can. The smell lasts longer and my hubs really thinks I did something all day. (Rachel – Holy-Craft)

Fake Ironing?

THANK GOODNESS! I thought I was the ONLY one who used some of those lil’ tricks! I’ve used MOST of those (remember – I’m 61 – been around awhile!) and here’s another one I used when ironing was done on a regular basis back in the dark ages of MY young mommy days:

Set the ironing board up, hang a number of things (straight from the closet) on a rack in clear view, and lay a half-ironed ANYTHING on the board. Just before your hubby gets home, heat the iron & let a few strands of your hair be TOTALLY out of place as though you’ve been slaving.

When he walks in, look up from ‘ironing’ & say, “Oh, no! I can’t BELIEVE it’s so late! I need to get dinner started!” He will be so sorry for you because you’ve done so much he MAY take you OUT to dinner or at LEAST order a pizza!

Either that or you’ll have to put all that crap back in the closet after you dragged it all out. (Kai – Celebrating Christmas Year Round)

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  1. This made me giggle sooooo hard! I have done the same thing! I have used the dryer sheet idea, sprayed cleaner in the air when guests were headed over and certainly the carpet powder once and awhile. I sooo need a maid!

  2. You really are a CRACK UP. I’m not using LOL lightly here. Bacon and onions. I’ll have to try that. I have a candle that smells like apple pie. Does that count for something. I’ll slide a table talk pie on a dish.

  3. These are excellent tips in so many areas. I once read to swipe a paper towel with a swig of straight rubbing alcohol on it around the bathroom quickly before hub gets home, to make it look like you real cleaned. I did this occasionally, until he informed me that he hated the smell of rubbing alcohol and it wasn’t a “clean” smell to him. All those seconds of fake cleaning wasted!

  4. I have done the dryer sheet trick before. If anyone ever found one I would just say it must have fallen out of the laundry basket (because, ya know, I do laundry every day). I love this list!

  5. My husband’s first question when he walks thru the door is, “What’s for dinner?” Sadly, for him, half the time I answer with, “Whatever you want to make.” But, I do like to have dinner on the go or almost done when he gets home. Great idea to fry up some onions! For cheat cleaning, I love those Clorox wipes. I like to get the lemon or orange and wipe down all the counters. Makes it smell clean -and bonus, I am cleaning a little bit by doing that. I like the dryer sheets idea! I need to put some in the linen closet. Just to seal my 50’s housewife thing, I like to put on a little lipstick and brush my hair right before Big Daddy gets home. 🙂

  6. My kids are my best kept secret! Five minutes before Dad walks in the door I yell to them….”HURRY UP!!! Dad’s almost home….let’s pick things up quick so he thinks we’ve been busy all day!! A & I you two do the living room floor, E you grab you get the pillows, while I unload the dishwasher.” Hey, at least I don’t lie to THEM…and I’m teaching my daughter valuable lessons for her own home someday! I wonder if my hubby thinks we go through several loads of dishes a day because I realized the other day I load the dishwasher either the night before or first thing in the morning (when I’m lazy) and then unload it right as he’s walking in the door. I’m going to pretend I’ve got him fooled although he’s probably thinking…there she goes again, waiting until I’m walking in the door to start doing something. When he actually catches me not unloading the dishwasher I seem to get the Office Space quote…”What — What would you say…you do here?”

  7. Ha ha, pretty sure I was laughing the entire time I was reading these. These are brilliant! I especially enjoyed the one about ironing…pretty sure I’m going to have to try that one! 🙂 Thanks for the ideas and laughs, ladies!

  8. These areI would LOVE it if you’d link this up at Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL going on right now!


    Hope to see you soon!

    P.S. I’m a new follower. : )

    ~Abbie hilarious! Honestly, it’s never occurred to me to do any of these (except maybe the “scurry around unloading and putting stuff up” bit right before he get home), and now I’m wondering why.

    But for the last 5 years my husband has worked from home, so there’s no fooling him. : )

  9. This is so funny! I will have to try some of these tips. I have not ironed in a LONG time. I used Downey Wrinkle Release and it gets out most wrinkles. I am convinced it’s just water though so I need to figure out how to make my own. Visiting from thirty handmade days. Vicky from Mess For Less

  10. Am I totally lame? What am I missing? LOL…I don’t have time to fake clean, let alone really clean…I don’t think my hubby would know what to do with himself if I tried to impress him with the smell of pine sol, or bacon and onions…I am dying of laughter…

  11. These ladies are really teaching me something! In my 1 1/2 years of being a wife so far I have learned that arranging the pillows on the couch DOES count as cleaning. Stuffing everything in a closet and lighting a good candle helps too.

  12. I read both this and the Pledge post to my hubby (sorry ladies! but he does all my housework while I’m on bedrest right now anyway… so he really needed the tips!) We laughed so hard.

    Anna I am still SO glad I found your blog; you have risen to the tippety top of my list in 3 posts or less! 😉 Oh. Sorry, couldn’t help the headline… I’m taking a writing course. Haha! But seriously, you have! You are hilarious and an incredibly good writer; especially to create a post out of comments and make it flow so well. LOVE that you concluded w/Kai’s sweet ending too! So funny!!!

  13. I love the carpet fresh idea!! Luckily my husband doesn’t really notice when things are clean or dirty but in a pinch with someone coming over…! Very funny, too.

  14. Hi Anna,
    Love,love love your blog….as a working mom I learned how to Fake Dinner a long time ago. Drive through Wendy’s on your way home from work and buy 4 baked potatoes. When you get home put them in a nice serving dish to go with the store bought and cooked rotisserie chicken that you also transferred into a nice serving dish. A bag of microwaved steamed veggies and dinner is elegant and done in a flash….
    My husband still hasn’t caught onto the baked potatoes after 18 years….the key is to use this Fake sparingly!

  15. I abolutely looooove this posting. I don’t know if I’m alone in the age range or not but I’m a 24 year old new housewife and after tons of nudging and hints I finally got it that my job is now at home. Once that kicked I started figuring out cheats! Lol. I definitely use the dryer sheet one. They are all over my house, under the sofa cushions, in the dresser drawers, in between books on the book shelf and a few other places. My hubby likes for me to iron his pants for work the next day so when he’s in bed I lay them out spritz on some water and smooth away the wrinkles! Before he gets home I turn on the washing machine, sometimes empty, lol. When company is coming over I boil vanilla extract and cinnamon or whatever dried herb and garlic 🙂 For the bathroom I use Clorox wipes on the toilet and sink and just shake the rugs out over the balcony!

  16. LOL I have done the carpet cleaner thing. I also have sprayed Febreeze on the sheets so they smell “clean”.

  17. True genius, that’s all I have to say!

  18. Oh wait, I just remembered one that I used to do. When I was pregnant with my son, I had really bad all day sickness and would often forget to do my husbands laundry. In the morning I would grab one of his work shirts out of the dirty hamper and re-iron it. He worked in an air-conditioned office all day so his shirts were never truly dirty. He would have killed me if he found out!

  19. I love these ideas so much, I’m going to add them to my sacred “Notes” on my iphone.

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  21. :Almost all I can point out is, I am not sure what to say! Except naturally, for the fiasnttac tips which are shared on this blog. I will think of a thousand fun strategies to read the reports on this site. I think I will eventually make a move employing your tips on those things I could not have been able to manage alone. You had been so thoughtful to allow me to be one of those to learn from your valuable information. Please know how great I enjoy the whole thing.

  22. Dryer sheets in the heater vent… That way every time the heat or ac come on it blows the smell through the house and also collects alot of yuck that the filter let through… Bonus!

  23. I love this site that I found!! I am deff going to keep on reading!

  24. I know I’m late to the game here, but I just wanted to show my “proactive fake” plan. If I’m feeling particularly lazy one day, I’ll text my husband that our daughter is having a temper tantrum and she’s just been miserable all day. He always suggests we just try to take it easy for the rest of the day. So when he gets home, if nothing is done, he isn’t surprised. If I accomplish something, he thanks me all night!

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