Spring Cleaning Tips
Break cleaning down into 10-minute chunks.
Sometimes, spring cleaning is a marathon—but it doesn't have to be. Instead, break tasks down into short, highly productive chunks of time. Here are four things you can spring clean in the next 10 minutes. Set your phone timer and make sure you stop once it goes off to reset. Ready, set, go!
Dust: Brush a dusting wand over all open surfaces. A few minutes to spare? Break out the furniture polish for a quick shine.
Clean doors and switch plates: Using a damp microfiber cloth, remove fingerprints,
smudges, and germs from light switch plates and doorknobs.
Dust ceiling fans: Place a pillowcase over the fan blade, then pull it toward you to collect the dust. After dusting, use a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water to clean off each blade. Then dry.
Baseboards: Use a microfiber mop to swiftly clear dust and debris from baseboards.
Adapt to your cleaning personality.
Some people are stress cleaners, while others are chore procrastinators. Identifying your cleaning personality is the first step to coming up with a plan or routine that works for (rather than against) you. For example, if you're an angry cleaner, go ahead and let that
emotion motivate you to tackle tough cleaning tasks, like scrubbing grout
Mix up your own all-natural cleanser.
Whether you're trying to clean with fewer chemicals or just want a backup for when you run out of your usual cleanser, it's a good idea to know how to mix up your own natural cleaning solutionsusing ingredients you likely already have around the house. Here's a simple recipe from Melissa Maker of Clean My Space, which can be used on quartz, granite, and marble counters, plus appliances and sinks:
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup rubbing alcohol
5 to 10 drops peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oil
1 squirt natural dish soap
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
2. Spray onto the surface and wipe with a clean cloth.
Deodorize your gym clothes.
For many of us, warmer weather signals not only the start of spring cleaning but also a renewed commitment to working out. The only problem: How to wash all those smelly gym clothes? First, rinse out your gym clothes right away. If you're at a gym, rinse them in the locker room, put them in a plastic bag, and then throw them into the wash as soon as you get home, along with a detergent formulated for synthetics.
Still stinky? Try soaking them in 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts cold water. If that doesn't work, consider switching to cotton blend workout clothes, which tend to release odors better than synthetics.
Make your trash smell better.
Cooked fish for dinner? Help your kitchen trash can smell a little more pleasant every day by placing a couple of dryer sheets (even used ones will work) on the bottom of the can. They will absorb spills and help mask odors.
Make shower cleaning second nature.
We have come up with several low-effort ways to keep a shower clean, and one method is to keep a squeegee in the shower so it's easy to remember to wipe down the walls. One reader, J.F. from Facebook, inspired us to take it one step further: "I keep a dish wand filled with equal parts dish soap and vinegar in the shower so I can scrub while I'm in there. Works like a charm!"
Use baking soda to refresh stained coffee mugs.
Fun fact: Did you know the Statue of Liberty was cleaned with baking soda on its centennial? You can also use baking soda to clean stained teacups and coffee mugs. Fill the mug with one part baking soda and two parts water. Let soak overnight, then rub with a sponge and rinse.
Dust blinds in half the time.
The beginning of spring makes us want to let the light in, which means it's time to clean our window treatments. Instead of tediously wiping each individual blind, use a cleaning tool that dusts multiple blinds at once, so you can get the job done much more quickly.
Clean the toilet without gagging.
Cleaning the toilet lands near the top of the most-dreaded cleaning tasks list. To make it a little less gross, invest in a swivel-head mop with a detachable pole, which "distances you from the beast," as we like to say
Clear gunk off your oven door.
If the inside of your oven door is caked with sauce splatters and baked-on food, try this
trick from Debra Johnson, cleaning expert at Merry Maids: "To de-grime the inside of the oven door (including the glass) without using chemicals or scratching, wet a scouring pumice stone, scrub, then wipe clean with a wet microfiber cloth."