Spring is such a brilliant season, and it can actually stay that way without the typical woes that come with Spring-cleaning if you follow a few handy hints. Below is a collection of tips from our own spring cleaning experience to bring you a handful of ways to make cleaning easier, more economical and, believe or not, even a bit of fun.
Set up a system
Whether you intend to do spring cleaning piecemeal during TV commercials or dedicate an entire weekend to the overall task, create a system that lets you break down each area into manageable chunks. Perhaps you want to tackle one room at a time or pick a specific task, such as cleaning windows or window blinds, and do them all throughout the house.
No matter which way you choose, pop in some of your favorite tunes to make the job seem less arduous and more fun. Music can also get you dancing while you’re wiping and dusting, burning off tons of calories from all that extra movement.
A good system for going room-to-room includes:
- Ending with the dirtiest item, such as the kitchen stove, so you don’t simply wipe dirt and grime around the rest of the room
- Moving top to bottom so all dust and crumbs fall to the floor for the vacuuming or sweeping finale
- Vacuuming, sweeping or mopping your way out of the room, staring in the farthest corners from the door to avoid unsightly footprints
A good system for any cleaning includes:
- Setting up a mobile cleaning station before you begin. Pack a bucket with a sponge, scrub brush, rags and any cleaning solutions you want to use then move it around with you.
- Making the task a game by trying to meet a specified time limit for any given task. Try setting a timer for 25 minutes and clean as rapidly and thoroughly as you can until the buzzer erupts. Take a five-minute break and repeat.
- Making friends with vinegar.
Make friends with vinegar
Just as a bubble bath is the universal solution for a drab mood, vinegar can be a universal cleaning solution for a drab home. All-natural and sweetly economical, vinegar can work wonders for much of your spring-cleaning.
Create two vinegar-based all-purpose cleaning solutions, one for stainless steel, glass, plastics and laminate surfaces and another for walls and painted surfaces.
- Stainless steel, glass and plastics cleaner: Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle.
- Wall cleaner: Blend ½ cup white vinegar with ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup ammonia into 1 gallon of water; funnel into spray bottle for easy use.
Your all-purpose cleaners can take care of a litany of cleaning needs, while you can use straight-
up vinegar for a host of others.
Use straight-up vinegar to:
- Get grease off fans, grates and air-conditioner grilles.
- Deodorize drains and garbage disposals.
- Clean your washing machine, adding two cups to an empty machine and running empty through a full wash cycle.
- Whiten grout with a vinegar-dipped old toothbrush.
- Make chrome and stainless steel sparkle by spraying on vinegar then buffing to brightness.
- Scare away mildew on tiles, fixtures, furniture and even clothing.
- Give sinks and tubs a bath with a vinegar scrub and cold water rinse.
- Wow your window blinds with a mixture of half vinegar and half hot water. Put on a white cotton glove, dipping fingertips in the solution and running along the tops and bottoms of the slats. Rinse fingers in clear water as needed.