20 Spring Cleaning Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier
Spring cleaning. If you’re anything like me, the phrase probably inspires a combination of excitement (“yay, spring!”) and dread (“boo, work!”). No one can deny the attraction of getting the winter out of the way and enjoying a fresh and clean home. But getting there often seems daunting, especially if you are busy. Compounding our fears of spring cleaning are TV shows that insist we need to organize and clean out every room in the house. Do you have time for that? Do you have energy? Fear not. Here are 20 tips for spring cleaning that you can tackle one day at a time.
Use a Drill to Power Scrub the Shower
Want to have some fun scrubbing your shower and sink? Get your drill, buy a brush, and attack the brush to the drill. You now have a power cleaner that will scrub up any area quickly and effectively.
2. Use Fruit and Ice to Clean the Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal can be hard to clean, but it’s a necessary evil. Rotten food and debris can get caught inside, leaving behind some bad odors. You don’t need to buy special cleaning products. You can make your own. Simply use an ice cube tray. Fill each cube with water, vinegar, and a bit of citrus (from lemons or limes or oranges). After they are frozen, simply pop a cube in the disposal, run hot water over it, then turn on the disposal. The result will be a clean and deodorize disposal.
3. Tap the Power of Kool Aid for Your Toilet
Seriously! If you want to avoid harsh chemicals in your household, then you don’t need to look any further than your pantry. Take one Kool Aid packet and sprinkle it into the toilet. Use a toilet brush to scrub for a few minutes. Then go to sleep. (Again – seriously!) When you wake up, the bowl will be clean and fresh.
4. Clean Your Electronics
Hit your screens with ammonia-free spray, such as Mrs. Murphy or Method. But never spray your TV or computer or tablet screens directly. Instead, spray onto a soft cloth and then clean the screen. Dryer sheets have plenty of static-cling and they are soft enough to be used on all of your electronics. (Dryer sheets are the ultimate hack: they’re also good for dusting pictures and baseboards).
5. Dust Your Power Cords
No one enjoys dusting but it really needs to be done. Odds are, you have clean coffee tables and bookshelves, but you’re overlooking the dustiest areas of your home: your power cords. Look behind your TV and witness the dusty mess! How can you clean this efficiently? Use a slightly dampened paper towel or microfiber cloth. Many people can clean the cords with water alone. If yours are on the dirtier scale, then choose an alcohol and solvent-free cleaner. Always unplug the cords before cleaning them.
Don’t use a feather duster on power cords; it will only leave dust and debris elsewhere.
6. Tap the Power of Onions to Clean Your Grill
The grill tends to be something people ignore. How many times have you run a wire brush back and forth a few times and then cooked up hotdogs and hamburgers? Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of grease and grime on the grill grates. Here’s a tip: leave the grill on until it’s nice and hot. Then cut an onion in half, and rub the grill with it. Onions are highly acidic and the acid will break down the grease more effectively than water and a wire brush.
7. Clean the Washing Machine Door
The next time you use your washing machine, pay special attention to the door and rubber gasket. These elements can be filled with stuck debris and germs. This can cause mold and eventually lead to a bigger problem. Make sure you use a solution of apple cider vinegar and hot water to spray off the door and the rubber seal. Usually it helps to let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean with a washcloth.
8. Use Toilet Cleaner and a Toothbrush for Grout
Most people use bleach to clean the grout in the shower and bathroom. But bleach is not necessary to get a good clean and white sheen. Instead, simply use your toilet cleaner. For most grout, this will be enough. To be on the safe side, test a small strip of grout with the toilet cleaner to ensure that it doesn’t change to a strange color. The easiest way to scrub the grout is with an old toothbrush.
9. Focus on Smell
You should clean your ceiling fans almost the same way you clean your power cords. While you are up there, add some clean smells to your environment. Here’s an easy trick. Tape a dryer sheet to the blades and leave the fan on for a few minutes. The scent of fresh laundry will then waft through your home.
You can also use car air fresheners to cover pesky pet smells. Consider using a car air freshener by taping it to an air vent or even placing it next to your cat’s litter box. They might even thank you for it!
10. Clean Your Dishwasher
People usually forget to clean their dishwasher until it’s too late. That’s when the dishwasher breaks, won’t start, or dumps extra water all over the floor. Be sure to clean the vent at the bottom of the dishwasher. Most vents can be removed easily, and you can scrub them in the sink. Also make sure to remove any debris that is caught in the filter.
11. Remember Your Trash Can
Trash cans need cleaned regularly. This spring, make a point of emptying the trash can and scrubbing it out. You can use toilet bowl cleaner and a brush to efficiently clean the trash. If you don’t have cleaner on hand, a solution of baking soda and vinegar will work just as well. To make this process faster, take the garbage can outside and spray it down with your garden hose.
12. Use Your Microwave’s Heat to Clean It
Cleaning the microwave is a pain. We’ve all spent an hour scrubbing dried food from the inside of the microwave. Make this process easier on yourself by combining vinegar and water in a bowl and microwaving it until it teams. Let the bowl sit in the microwave and steam for 20 minutes. Then wipe it down with vinegary, or swipe it with a lemon. This makes the food come off with ease and also neutralizes odors.
13. Dust Your Blinds
Cleaning blinds is always tedious, especially when you don’t have time to take them down, clean them, and hang them back up. You can use a microfiber cloth to clean every blade, using a cleaner like Method or just vinegar and water. You can also use an old sock, or even attach the cloth or sock to kitchen tongs, which lets you slide over each blind efficiently.
15. Use Mayo for Water Rings
Frustrated by water rings on your coffee table and dining table? There’s an easy way to remove them. It involves taking a teaspoon of mayo, spreading it on the water ring and leaving it to sit for several hours, ideally overnight. The next morning, wipe away the spot and the water ring will disappear.
17. Clean the Shower Curtain
Shower curtain liners can get pretty disgusting. Most people simply throw them out once they start to mildew. However, you can simply clean your liner by putting it in the washing machine. You can run it with your laundry detergent, supplemented with a cup of vinegar. Let it run on the hot water cycle. After it is clean, hang it back up. It should be clean of stains and mildew (never put it in the dryer).
18. Don’t Forget to Clean the Lint Trap
Even when you are diligent about removing dryer lint from your dryer, dust and lint still accumulates. This is a common source of fires, especially when this builds up in the lint trap. This spring, make a point of using your vacuum cleaner attachment to clean the lint trap. If the hose is too big, tape a toilet paper tube onto the hose and use it to suck up the extra lint.
19. Clean Your Toilet Brush Holder
A toilet brush holder gets pretty gross, but few people take the time to clean it. Everything that is on your toilet brush ends up in the holder. Gross, right? The answer is to use some toilet bowl cleaner in the holder. At a minimum, put a half inch of cleaner in the bottom and let the brush sit in the cleaner. This will keep your holder smelling great and will keep bacteria at bay.
20. Make Your Dishwasher Your Secret Weapon
A dishwasher doesn’t have to be for dishes only. You can clean many other items in the dishwasher including: switch plate covers, hair brushes, plastic toys (without electronic parts or battery packs), glass light covers, sponges and dish brushes, and even ziploc bag. To be safe, turn off the heated dry function.
These tips should help you cut down on the cleaning tasks a bit and give you more time to do what you love, liking catching up on your Netflix queue.