Tag Archives: Cleaning

Your Weekend Spring Cleaning Guide

Ah! Spring is in the air! Time for spring break, spring fever, and spring cleaning? Ah, yes, along with turning the clocks forward and hay fever, spring cleaning is just another rite of spring that reminds us that nothing comes without a price. But before you totally decide that to throw your feather duster in the air, keep in mind that spring cleaning has its benefits. It increases productivity, it helps you to remove allergens from your home, it reduces stress, and it helps you focus. And, just think, it can also give you an excuse to ask that cute guy next door if he can help you change your light bulbs. Here’re some room-by-room tips to help guide you through your spring cleaning weekend.

Happy couple

Kitchen

  • Dust Refrigerator Coils
    Turn off your fuse box. Coils will be at the bottom of the fridge, under the grill. You can clean them by using the crevice attachment on the vacuum, or invest in a specialty refrigerator coil brush from your local hardware store.
  • Defrost the Freezer
    Turn off your fuse box. Empty your freezer and wipe it down with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda for each quart of hot water.

Living Room
Replace heavy throws, curtains and rugs with lighter weight ones

Take down heavy winter decor and store by rolling the material around an acid free tube. Then, wrap in a sheet of muslin or cotton and secure with a piece twill tape. Make sure to label each bundle so you will be able to identify everything when you take them out next year.

Woman cleaning window

Bedroom

  • Change Blankets and Flip Mattresses Over
    Flip your mattress over to make sure the wear gets distributed evenly. Swap heavy winter bedding for warm weather, lighter materials.
  • Clean Pillows
    Most pillows can be machine-washed to rid them of bacteria, mold, and odors.

Bathroom

  • Throw Out Expired Cosmetic Products
    Weed out your expired makeup products and discard in a plastic trash bag, kept out of reach of animals and children.
  • Update First Aid Kit
    A complete first aid kit should consist not only of ointments and bandages, but should also include emergency phone numbers, such as the one for the local poison control center.

Home Office

  • Organize files
    Time to go through those old insurance policies and contracts and put them in the right place.
  • Clean Computers
    Clean computer casings with a solution of one drop of dishwashing detergent for every one quart of water. Use cotton swabs to clean crevices in keyboards and wipe screens free of dust and dirt with a soft cloth or dry screen cleaning sponge.

Man cleaning

Closets
Trade out winter clothes for your new spring fashions. Wash garments before storing and put them in a zippered sweater or blanket bag.

  • Donate Clothes
    Some charities provide pickup service and you may also get some tax relieving receipts!

Outdoor Spaces

  • Clean Porch Ceilings and Walls
    Sweep up debris with a broom, wash walls with an all purpose cleaner and polyester sponge
  • Scrub Patios, Decks, Driveways, and Walkways
    Mildew spots can be treated using a deck brush dipped in a solution of one part oxygen bleach to 3 parts water.
  • Wash Outdoor Furniture
    Plastic wood and aluminum can be cleaned with a solutions of dishwashing liquid and water using a soft bristle brush.
  • Check Light Fixtures
    Wash covers and check for frayed wires and poor connections.

Feel better? We thought so! And how’s your new friend? Let us know how your exploits in spring cleaning turned out! We love to know!

The Magic of Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemons

With spring cleaning fever setting in, you’re probably taking a look at the collection of cleaners you have stored in your home and deciding which one is right for what task. However, you can take this frustration completely out of your spring cleaning by turning to more natural products that you already have in your kitchen. Vinegar, baking soda and lemons are three of the most effective natural cleaners that you can use in every room of your home to get your spring cleaning done as effectively and quickly as possible.

Baking soda

Baking Soda
One of the ingredients for your chocolate chip cookies is also a multi-purpose cleanser that can be used throughout your entire home. Bicarbonate of soda, as baking soda is also known, is a natural cleanser that has serious deodorizing powder and is a highly effective, and yet still gentle, abrasive. Try baking soda to:

  • Polish Your Silverware – To get your silverware sparkling, mix three parts baking soda to one part water. Gently rub each piece of silverware, rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Clean Plastic Storage Containers – Plastic storage containers make storing leftovers and making lunches a snap, but they have a tendency to stain quickly and retain food smells. For tough stains, mix four tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of warm water. Pour mixture into your plastic storage containers and let soak before cleaning. You can add a bit of lemon juice to the mixture for more potency and disinfecting.

Lemon

Lemons
You’ve probably noticed that lemons and citrus are highly popular ingredients in many chemical cleansers. This is because lemons are a natural disinfectant due to their high acidity. You can use lemon juice on its own for things like wiping down a laminate counter (unless raw meat has touched the surface) or you can add it to the other two incredible ingredients above for DIY cleaning. Lemons can:

  • Clean Your Microwave – Slice one lemon and place both halves in a bowl of water and put it in your microwave. Microwave for 45 seconds to loosen any stains that may be in your microwave.
  • Remove Stuck-On Food – Pizza cutters, vegetable slicers and cheese graters are handy kitchen tools, but they tend to be difficult to clean because foods often stick pretty hard. Add some coarse salt to half of a recently juices lemon and scrub in hard to reach places where food gets stuck.

Vinegar, baking soda and lemon

Vinegar
Vinegar has been used for years as an all-purpose cleanser, and white vinegar is the best choice for cleaning purposes. Acetic acid, or white vinegar cuts through even the toughest grease, deodorizes stains and it is a natural disinfectant. Most white vinegars that are sold are available with five percent acetic acid, but you can look at natural health and home shops for vinegar with a higher concentration for more cleaning power. Use vinegar to:

  • Remove Carpet Stains – Stains such as those from animals or wine can be remedied using vinegar. First, you want to soak up as much of the liquid as possible using a sponge or a cloth, then mix one part vinegar and one part warm water. Let the mixture stay on the carpet for two to three minutes, then blot. Repeat this as necessary.
  • Clean the Windows – With the same one to one ratio of vinegar and water, you can pour it into a spray bottle to clean your windows. Pro tip, if you use newspaper, you’re less likely to get lint left behind on your mirrors or windows.

Alone these natural cleansers are effective, but there are also ways that you can combine them for even better results. Make your own all-purpose cleaner by letting lemon peels sit in vinegar for a few days, then add to a spray bottle for a natural citrus spray. When making your spring cleaning lists, you don’t need to add a bunch of bottles of different cleaners, simply head to your grocery store and stock up on these three incredible cleaning agents.

Cleaning with Essential Oils

If you’re planning your spring cleaning strategies this year, consider replacing your chemical cleansers with more natural products. Essential oils can be used to clean any area of your house that you need to tackle during your spring cleaning. Check out three of the most multi-purpose essential oils available and find recipes for creating cleansers with these oils below.

Lemon essential oil

Lemon
Lemon essential oil is perhaps the most commonly used essential oils for household cleaning. This oil is a natural antibacterial as well as a natural antiviral, meaning that it is perfect for nearly every surface and area of your home. You can use lemon essential oil to remove sticky messes such as tape residue or gum, to make your fridge smell fresher and remove tough marks like crayons on your walls. Mix 10 drops of lemon essential oil with ½ cup of olive oil for a homemade wood or leather polish. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a baking soda paste to make a super effective degreaser. One of the greatest things about using lemon essential oil is its light, fresh and clean scent. The scent of lemon can help lift your mood and make you happier, which you may need for seriously stubborn messes.

Tea tree essential oil

Tea Tree
Tea tree oil is commonly used in skin care to help fight acne-causing bacteria, but you can use its antibacterial properties to clean your home as well. Not only is tea tree oil antibacterial, it is also a natural antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral. Seriously, is there anything that tea tree oil can’t do? In a spray bottle, mix 15 drops of tea tree oil with one quart of warm water and use this to clean any surface in your home. For areas that require a bit more potency, like your toilet, mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups of warm water and use that to really disinfect. You can also take this spray mixture and spritz it around doors and windows, as it is a natural pest deterrent.

Lavender essential oil

Lavender
Lavender is one of the best smelling antibacterial essential oils there is and it can be used for a wide variety of household chores. You can make an all-purpose cleanser by adding 35 drops of lavender essential oil to a spray bottle containing two and one-half of a cup of water and one-quarter of a cup of witch hazel or vinegar. Mix well and use this spray on everything from your kitchen counters to your bathtub. If you have a pet, you know how difficult it can be to remove the odor and stains that occur when an accident happens. Add 15 to 20 drops of lavender essential oil to one box of baking powder. The mixture will clump when you add the oil, but you can work it out with a fork. Sprinkle this mixture on the carpet, allow it to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes, then vacuum it up for a fresh-smelling, clean carpet.

Going more natural with cleansers not only is a bonus for your health, but it is also super cost effective. Because essential oils are so concentrated, you don’t need to use too much of them at a time to see results. A word of caution, if undiluted, some essential oils can be irritating to the skin, so if you’re worried about a reaction, wear a pair of gloves to protect your skin. Start your spring cleaning with a healthy dose of cleaning power and aromatherapy when you use essential oils to clean your home.