Amazing Spring Cleaning Tips for the 5 Most Used Rooms in Your Home
With the start of daylight savings freshly behind us (thank goodness) and the “official” first day of spring less than a week away, I think it’s safe to gear up for our favorite annual event: spring cleaning! Okay maybe everyone isn’t as excited as me about cleaning, but it’s such a pivotal time of year where we can once again bust open our windows and doors and give the inside of our homes a much-needed breath of fresh air and rid it of the dust and darkness acquired over the winter.
Therefore, this week’s blog is dedicated to providing you with creative tips you can use to make your spring cleaning event go as smoothly as possible by letting the product and tools do the muscle work for you. I’ve categorized the tips into the 5 most traveled rooms in your home: the kitchen, living/family room, laundry room, bathroom and bedroom. To kick things off, click here for a pdf of a serious spring cleaning checklist to keep you on task.
People may not even consider the coffee pot an item necessary to include in your deep clean, however, since many of us habitual creatures make our coffee and then head out for work shortly after, in doing so we are leaving behind our soggy wet coffee grounds in a warm dark place for hours on end. You don’t have to be a biology expert to know these are perfect conditions for mold and other organisms – all of which should NOT be a part of our morning brew. Thankfully there is a simple and effective way to start at square one without buying a whole new machine. Start by running vinegar and water (same amounts of each) through your coffee pot, turning it off half way through the cycle. Let sit for 30 minutes, and then finish the cycle. Follow by brewing plain water either 1 or 2 times with a new filter each time. Not bad!
Cleaning the microwave has always been one of my least favorite jobs – mostly due to the amount of effort required to remove the “mess” inside. Well, I'm here to tell you there’s an alternative way to clean besides spray and towels, which also does a lot of the work for you. Simply fill a bowl with equal amounts of water and vinegar and microwave the mixture for about 2 minutes. The water and vinegar will steam, softening whatever grease or grime may be inside. Wipe it down with towels and you’re all set.
This next tip I found on tiphero.com and below are the full instructions from the website.
Here’s what you need:
-A small bowl
And here’s what you do:
- First, remove the oven racks.
- Mix a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda with some water in the bowl. Create a paste that will be easily spread on oven surfaces.
- Spread the paste on the inside of the oven (baking soda will turn brown). Let it sit overnight (at least 12 hours).
- The next day, take a wet rag and wipe out as much of the baking soda paste as you can.
- Put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz on surfaces where you still see baking soda residue. Then wipe with a wet rag.
- Put the racks back in the oven and turn the oven onto a very low temperature for 15-20 minutes to let dry.
To clean the oven window:
- Make another paste out of baking soda and water.
- Apply the paste directly to the window and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Use a clean rag to wipe the window clean.
Similar to the microwave process, fill a bowl with vinegar and place it upright in your (empty) dishwasher. Choose a cycle that uses the hottest water possible to really get a deep clean. That’s it folks – and a heck of a lot easier than reaching around those obnoxious racks.
The Living Room
Many of us can simply do a quick vacuum and declutter of coffee or end tables and call the living room good-to-go, but for those of us who own pets, this becomes a slightly more compromising task for one main reason: hair. I found this cool trick to either more effectively or efficiently complete this job. Find a rubber glove and run it under water to get it wet, then all you do is run your hand with the damp glove over the surface of the couch. Some hair may stick to the glove, but for the most part you should end up with clumps of hair that are much easier to remove or vacuum rather than when it is scattered throughout and mashed into the fabric.
Unfortunately white baseboards are very popular these days and while they look great when clean or freshly done, they do require a little more maintenance since they make obvious every scrape, scuff or stain from everyday wear & tear. Thankfully there is a simple store-bought solution! If you haven’t tried the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers yet, you my friend are missing out on the show. These little white pads have un-ending potential and uses around the house – including making your light colored baseboards like new again!
The Laundry Room
Isn’t it funny how we often forget to clean the items we so heavily rely on to clean our other items? Maybe that’s obvious, but I think it’s fairly true. How many times have you deep cleaned your washer and dryer? The dirt must go somewhere! This process is a little more involved than what’s been covered so far, and there is a great step-by-step process from My Frugal Adventures found here. Maybe it’s time to make this a routine...
If build-up on your shower head is a recurring issue in your household, this next tip will make the hardware work like new again. Overtime lime and mineral deposits from the water build up on the shower head and can negatively affect water pressure and distribution. Without going through the trouble of taking the shower head off every time you want to clean it, instead fill a plastic bag (the Ziploc ones work fine) with your choice of lime remover such as CLR, or even vinegar will do the trick. Place the bag over the showerhead so that it is soaking in the solution and leave it for about an hour. After it’s done soaking, remove the bag and wipe clean. Simple and time-saving!
I believe in finding enjoyment in the small things in life – such as burrowing into a fresh towel after a hot shower. Sometimes, however, towels can develop a musty or mildew smell if they’re not dried properly or left wet for long periods of time in the washing machine. Yes, this means they can still smell even if they’re clean! Thank goodness for this next cleaning tip which will rid your towels of this smell. Our friend vinegar is back in action, simply pour a cup of ONLY vinegar into where the detergent usually goes and wash on the hottest cycle. Many suggest if after this step you still detect an odor to wash again with hot water only tossing in a half cup of baking soda onto the towels before the wash. Your towels will be spa quality once again!
Regularly washing your sheets, pillow cases and comforters is a no-brainer but washing the actual pillows can be overlooked. Another great post found on My Frugal Adventures goes into the finest details about how to wash your pillows. They can, and should be replaced every so often but regularly giving them a good wash will extend the life of your pillows greatly. The key here is make sure they are fully dry before putting them back in their cases!
This is another item that is frequently overlooked when cleaning your bedroom but, hey that’s the whole point of a deep spring clean, right? Now it’s clear you can’t exactly “wash” your mattress for obvious reasons, but you can freshen it up a bit and remove surface stains and odors using – you guessed it – baking soda! The only other ingredient is a small bottle of an essential oil of your choosing. Essential oils are a natural antimicrobial so it’s perfect for freshening up your mattress. Plus they smell good! This tip came from the website Popsugar and instructs you to add 10-20 drops of the essential oil into a full box of baking soda and shake to distribute the oil in the powder. Then, evenly sprinkle the entire box of baking soda over your entire mattress. All that’s left to do is vacuum up the powder! Do this in a circular motion to really massage the powder into the surface of the mattress. All done!