Shake that feather duster, folks!
We’ve found some tips to help you on your journey to a house you’ve never met.
Here are some of our favourite (and easily done!) cleaning tips to have everything sparkle in a way you’ve never dreamed of before. Be sure to get some elbow grease in there too, there’s no better cleaning liquid than determination!
Here we go, in no particular order:
Trap more dirt by using two mats, one outside the door and one inside. To refresh, hose off and air-dry mats. Vacuum indoor ones on both sides — going over the back will push trapped dirt out onto the floor where it will be easier to pick up.
Enough with the tomato sauce stains — this trick will make cleaning them easier. Place large microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of water and a chopped-up lemon, lime, or orange or several tablespoons of vinegar inside. Turn the appliance on high for several minutes or until the solution boils and the window is steamy, then let it sit to cool for 15 minutes before opening the door. Remove and wipe out the inside and outside with a sponge.
Reusable grocery bags cut down on wasteful plastic, but they can get grimy with time. Run your reusable bags through the washer regularly to remove any lingering food bacteria, turning them inside out before you toss them in. Pay attention to the bag’s fabric when selecting a dryer setting.
Run the cut side of a lemon over the board to remove food stains and smells. Want an extra cleaning oomph? Sprinkle it with salt or baking soda first.
You probably wipe down your fridge’s interior shelving regularly already, but don’t forget about the rest. Pop out the door shelves and bins, and wash in warm, soapy water to get rid of food bacteria and spillage.
Pots and Pans
Soften burned-on residue by adding water and dish liquid to your cookware and letting it simmer on the stove. Use Brillo pads to remove any remaining stuck-on bits. Ketchup (yes, really!) helps dissolve tarnish on copper pots and other copper cooking accessories. Just massage the red sauce over the surface and add a pinch of salt to your polish if you come across exceptionally stubborn spots.
If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning option, place a hot, wet cloth on top of burned spots to help soften the gunk. Then scrub with a heavy-duty pad and wipe dry.
To make this surface sparkle again (see ya, fingerprints), mix a solution of 1 teaspoon dish detergent and 1 quart hot tap water. Using a microfiber cloth, rub the detergent solution onto the marks in small sections, going with the grain. Rinse with clean hot water only, and dry immediately with a clean cloth.
Yep, you can wash a plastic or vinyl curtain in your washing machine. Do it on the gentle cycle with detergent and add a couple of bath towels for extra cleaning power. Then hang it to dry. To keep the curtain cleaner longer, spritz it a few times each month with a bleach-containing all-purpose cleaner. Then just let the shower rinse it off (before you hop in).
Getting rid of expired makeup, skincare, and hair products is a quick way to declutter. Not all products note an expiration date, but many say how many months the product will last after opening. “To stay on top of their expiration date, use a thin-tipped permanent marker to write on the date you opened it,” suggests organizing expert, Jeffrey Phillip.
To degunk your favorite foundation brush, squeeze a few drops of shampoo or dish liquid into your palm and rub the bristle tips into the soap, then gently work the suds through them. To rinse, hold the brush (bristles down) under warm running water. Gently shake over the sink to remove excess water, and lay the brush down on a paper towel to finish drying.
To freshen drains (not unclog them) and help keep them free-flowing, mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt. Pour the mixture down the drain, followed by 1 cup heated vinegar. It will foam and bubble. Let it stand for 15 minutes — longer does not work any better. Follow by running hot tap water for at least 15 to 30 seconds. This is especially good for seldom-used drains, like in a guest bathroom.
After all of those cozy winter reading sessions, your library (and likely your kid’s too!) is in need of a cleanup. Take a few minutes to organize your coffee table books, bedside novels, or favorite magazines. You can alphabetize, coordinate by color, or sort by size. And don’t forget to dust!
Spring cleaning season is all about focusing on the spots you forget about the rest of the year. Grab an extendable duster and attack ceiling fans, hanging and recessed lights, moldings and more.
Don’t overlook the convenience of your dishwasher. It can take on more than just plates, including your children’s (and pet’s) plastic toys. Just choose the crystal or quick cycle and skip the heated dry. For stuffed animals, check the care tag first and then gather in a mesh bag or pillowcase and throw in the washer on a gentle cycle. A quick once-over with a lint roller can help too.
It’s time to tackle bulky items you typically avoid, like pillows and comforters. You only need to clean these items two or three times a year, so they should be at the top of your list during spring cleaning season. But make sure you check the manufacturer’s label before tossing ’em into the washing machine.
Go through clothes and shoes from the season that’s just ended — and remove anything stained, in need of repair, or worn out. Make a second pass through spring and summer clothes as you take them out of storage. Try on anything you’re unsure about before giving it closet space.
Take everything out, toss trash, and organize items by category. Sort smaller items, like lipsticks, into little pouches or purse organizers, before you put them back inside. And wipe it down the exterior with a disinfectant wipe while you’re at it.
Yes, you have to clean your cleaners. Replace the bag, clean the dust cup, and replace or wash the filters. Snip threads snarled in the brush with scissors or a seam ripper.
Another cleaner that needs to be cleaned! Clear any dust bunnies stuck on your broom’s bristles by swishing the broom head around in warm, soapy water, or vacuum it with the end of the vacuum hose.
With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to get your outdoor furniture ready for lounging. To do this, add a squirt of dish detergent to a bowl of warm water, then wipe down tables and chairs. Finish it all off with a spray of water from the garden hose.
Thanks, Good House Keeping website, for the ideas and inspiration.