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.
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.
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.
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.
Most pillows can be machine-washed to rid them of bacteria, mold, and odors.
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.
Time to go through those old insurance policies and contracts and put them in the right place.
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.
Trade out winter clothes for your new spring fashions. Wash garments before storing and put them in a zippered sweater or blanket bag.
Some charities provide pickup service and you may also get some tax relieving receipts!
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!
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.
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.
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 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.