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Spring is the perfect time to open your windows, letting fresh air and sunshine fill your home. Unfortunately, longer daylight hours may also cast light on the dust and clutter that’s piled up around your home during the winter months!
Though spring cleaning can be a hassle, you’ll be glad your home is tidied up before the summer heat arrives. Here are a few of our favorite assorted tips and tricks for helping you clean up your home quickly and more effectively.
Start with a Schedule and a Timer
Most of us avoid spring cleaning because getting started feels overwhelming. Before getting to work, look around your home and make a schedule. Which parts of your home do you not usually clean on a regular basis? Are there certain home improvement projects that you’ve been avoiding? Make these projects a priority on your to-do list. Decide which rooms, and which tasks, you’d like to complete first, and set a reasonable schedule for yourself. Try to approximate the time you’ll need for each room or task, and set a timer to keep yourself on a tighter timetable. Instead of trying to do everything in one day, set aside a set amount of time over the course of a few days or weekends. Remember to work from top to bottom, too, to prevent yourself from having to clean floors and other surfaces twice. By setting a timer, creating a practical plan, and sticking to a schedule, you’ll be more likely to get things done.
Get Rid of Pet Hair and Lint
If you have a pet, you know how much pet hair can get stuck to your carpets, rugs, and furniture. Instead of going through hundreds of lint roller sheets, invest in a durable, reusable lint roller. If you don’t have any sort of lint roller on hand, use a window squeegee to scrape pet hair off of household surfaces. By using a firm grip and repeatedly pulling the squeegee across fabric or carpeted surfaces, you can remove hair and lint nearly as well as a traditional lint roller, at a lower cost and without producing any paper waste.
Vanquish Problems with Vinegar
White vinegar is perhaps the most versatile home cleaning solution. A cup of distilled white vinegar, for instance, can be placed on the top rack of your dishwasher before running it, cleaning it and eliminating odors. Set another glass of vinegar in your microwave and run it on high for one minute. The steam created by the vinegar will make it easier to remove grime and old food splatters from your microwave afterwards. If your shower head has residue on it, soak it in vinegar overnight to remove the build-up. Dirty mops can also be cleaned by mixing a cup of vinegar with one to two gallons of water. After soaking the mop for 15 minutes, rinse it with water and let it air dry. To clean soap scum out of your bathtub, first coat your shower and tub with a 1:1 mixture of baking soda and water. Then, spray down all surfaces with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. After wiping down all surfaces, your bathtub will be clean and sparkling!
There are dozens of other cleaning tips involving the use of vinegar, as this powerful substance is ideal for cutting through grease, removing stains, and killing mold. Before getting started on your spring cleaning, invest in a bottle or two of vinegar! Cheaper and safer than most household cleaners, this is one home cleaning product everyone should possess.
Make Use of Your Dishwasher
Instead of cleaning household objects by hand, let your dishwasher do some of the dirty work for you! Many home items are dishwasher-safe. Plastic items like children’s toys, pet dishes, toothbrush holders, soap dishes, refrigerator shelves and drawers, and dish racks can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher. Hairbrushes, toothbrushes, dish-cleaning brushes and sponges can also be sanitized by a quick dishwashing cycle. Other bathroom essentials, such as tweezers, contact lens cases, and makeup brushes can be thrown in for a rinse, too. Many, many other household items can also be safely cleaned in the dishwasher. When in doubt, simply run a quick Google search to determine whether or not a particular object is dishwasher-safe. If it is, throw it in the machine and get back to the rest of your spring cleaning tasks!
Remove Dust from Vents and Blinds
You don’t need to invest in fancy cleaning wipes to remove dust from household surfaces! Old rags or microfiber towels can easily be used to help you dust off window blinds, air vents, and radiators. Simply wrap towels or rags around a pair of tongs or a butter knife. Slide the towel-wrapped tongs or blade along your blinds or between vent slats. Doing so will get your surfaces Swiffer-clean at a fraction of the price.
Wax Away Future Build-Up
Who would have thought that car wax would be a practical way to keep your home clean? Wax, however, is a surprisingly effective aid in preventing dust and grime from building up on household surfaces. After you’ve cleaned your stovetop, apply a thin layer of car wax to the surface. Buff your stovetop with a clean towel to make it look shiny and fresh. Your stove won’t just look better; it will also be easier to wipe future messes off of the surface! Apply a thin layer of wax to the tiles around your stove and sink to make these surfaces easier to clean, too. Repeat this trick on a monthly basis to maintain the effect.
Car wax can also be used to protect other surfaces. A thin layer of wax can help keep stainless steel surfaces from accumulating so many smudges and fingerprints, for instance. Outdoor metal and plastic furniture can also be protected by wax, preventing them from becoming so worn by the elements. A small amount of wax applied to other outdoor fixtures and surfaces, such as mailboxes, door handles, and light fixtures, can also prevent the corrosion that often occurs as a result of rain and snow. Simply put, car wax is a great tool for protecting surfaces both inside and outside the home!
There are hundreds of additional little ways you can make spring cleaning easier for yourself. Detailing them all could fill a textbook! To simplify your home cleaning process, simply run a quick Google search to discover other ways to clean particular rooms and surfaces in your home. By researching the best tools and techniques in advance, you can save yourself extra time and effort during the cleaning process.
Though giving your home a thorough cleaning may require a fair bit of work, your efforts will be worth it in the end! Grab your sponge, put on your favorite music, and start cleaning! When you’re finished, you can sit back and enjoy your clean and decluttered home!
Photo: © Leart / fotolia.com