If you’re anything like the author of this article, or just a regular human being, then you hate cleaning. Number one hack to spring cleaning your home? Hire a cleaning company. Done. You never need to clean anything ever again.
But if you’re the opposite of this author – that means you’re not lazy. That means you’re thrifty and wise. That means the following hacks might come in handy when you’re de-cluttering and polishing and reorganising your home this spring. First, a couple of tips:
1. Useful Things To Remember
- To avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again, work from the top down, inside to outside. Likewise, if you’re going to dust or shake anything out, do so before vacuuming or sweeping.
- Try not to stand your brooms on their bristles. It will change their shape over time and diminish their effectiveness. Instead, invest in a broom holder. They’re also more hygienic and take up less space.
- Do one room at a time to avoid a catastrophic failure in morale. The satisfaction of seeing one room sparkle will make the hard work feel like it’s worth the effort. Leave no job unfinished.
- When cleaning a room, start at the doorway and make your way around the room in whichever direction you prefer. Carry a trash bag with you and toss anything you need to. Stick to one task at a time, unless…
- If one task is taking up a lot of time, such as the laundry or the dishwasher, you may as well do something else in the meanwhile.
- Set some time aside beforehand to compile a mean Spring Cleaning Playlist. Good music will get you through it. Cleaning out the spaces we frequent most can be likened to cleaning out your mind.
2. The Many Uses Of Baking Soda
Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate) is a salt composed of sodium and bicarbonate ions. It has tons of uses, but here are some of our favourites.
- Place an open container with baking soda in your fridge to absorb any unpleasant odours. You could also use baking soda to make your own refrigerator deodourizer.
- Sprinkle some at the bottom of your bin and trash bag to help keep odours down.
- Three parts baking soda to one part water makes a great paste to clean silver with. Rub the paste onto each item, and then rinse with warm water and dry immediately.
- Smelly shoes? Baking soda! Shake some in and then shake them out before wearing.
- To clean oily hair brushes and combs, soak them in a solution of baking soda and water. One teaspoon in a small basin of water ought to do it. Rinse and allow drying.
- Avoid clogged drains by pouring a quarter cup baking soda into your drain and adding half a cup of vinegar. Watch it bubble then flush with hot water.
- Add half a cup of baking soda to your usual amount of laundry detergent to give you whiter whites and brighter colours. A lot of people put some on their toothbrush to whiten their teeth.
- Baking soda can also be used to deodourize carpets or mattresses. Sprinkle, leave for a little while and vacuum. Add some cinnamon to the baking powder to give your carpets a really nice, fresh smell.
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3. How To Get Wax Out Of Your Carpet
Got a romantic side to you, or perhaps you like throwing fancy dinner parties? Ever dozed off on the couch with the candles going? Well, if you haven’t burnt your house down by now, you might have a bit of wax to clean up. This trick works great on carpets, table cloths and most other fabrics.
- Get your iron out and set it on low. Then place a sheet of paper over the wax spot. Any kind of paper should do the trick, by the way.
- Place the iron onto the area with the wax spot for a few seconds.
- After a while, the low iron heat melts the wax, and you’ll see that the paper has begun to absorb it.
- Move the paper around a bit and repeat the process over and over until all the wax has been lifted. This should only require a single sheet of paper, no scraping or pulling or damaginf your carpet.
4. The Microwave Trick
- Slice up a lemon and put it into a microwave safe bowl with some water and a splash of white vinegar.
- Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on HIGH for five minutes.
- After that, let the bowl sit for a further five minutes. Remove it very carefully and then wipe down the interior of the microwave with a damp cloth. Any grime or food stuck there should come away clean without any hassle. Plus, it leaves your microwave smelling fresh.If the thought of using a dirty sponge to do your cleaning grosses you out – and it probably should – then here’s another microwave tip. Simply saturate your sponges with water and a bit of lemon juice and put them in the microwave on high for about two minutes. This will help sanitize and kill any bacteria contained in the sponge.
5. Cleaning Your Blinds
- For this tip, you’ll need vinegar and water in a bowl and an old sock. If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, a pair of tongs would work too. Begin by soaking the sock in the vinegar / water mixture.
- Slip an old sock over your hand (or tongs) – kind of like a sock puppet – and wipe down each individual slat on the blinds. Easy. After every couple of slats, dip the sock on your hand into the cleaner and squeeze it a bit to rinse off the dirt.
- If you have a second old sock, you can use this to dry off each slat once they’ve been cleaned. Using this technique is way easier than trying to clean it with a bulky dischcloth.
6. Cleaning Your Mirrors and Windows
Blackboard erasers are a great way to get rid of marks or streaks on any window. If you don’t have one – good old newspaper has always worked wonders on glass. Roll a sheet up into a ball and buff away. If you want to avoid getting ink on your hands (never seen this actually happen, but people have mentioned it) then a coffee filter works just as well. The term ‘DIY Window Cleaner’ might have you rolling your eyes and running back to your Windowlene, but we’ve got a great recipe. Two parts water to one part soap and one part white vinegar. That’s it. After spraying and wiping your windows down, rinse with clean water to avoid any soapy film staying behind. Rubbing alcohol will remove any old stickers your children might have decorated your lounge window with. When it comes to mirrors, we’ve got a trick that will keep them fog-free. Lather your bathroom mirror up with some shaving foam and wipe it clean with a cloth. Shaving foam doesn’t only remove smears, but also prevents your mirror fogging up every time you take a shower. The magic behind this is simple soap.
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7. The Hanger Trick
Wanna tackle your closet? There’s a simple trick to determine which of your clothing you actually use and what’s just taking up space. Start by putting all your clothing on hangers, with them hanging the wrong way – backwards. As you use something and put it back – hang it the right way. Give it two or three months. After that period, you should know what you really use and what’s disposable. Donate it to charity. If you’re hoarding any winter clothing or clothing for special occasions – vacuum sealing it all in a bag is a great way to save space. If you’re using drawers instead of cupboards – some people swear by stacking their t-shirts vertically, not horizontally. Also, if you’re like us and all your fitted sheets are rolled up in a ball in the top of your cupboard – here’s how to fold it properly:
8. Remove Water Rings With A Hair Dryer
If you’re living la vida loca and not bothering with things like coasters, sooner or later you’ll find nasty, pale rings all over your wooden surfaces. These are formed from condensation. Your glasses, bottles, beer cans, etc leave them behind over time and they’re an eyesore. Luckily, you won’t need to trash these. Just hold a hair dryer on the highest setting close to the ring and you should see it disappearing after a few minutes. Once it’s gone, you can rub in a bit of mineral or olive oil to recondition the wood.
9. Getting That Smoke Smell Out
- Charcoal helps to absorb the odour of smoke. Leave a bowl or two of charcoal in your room for a few days. Kind of like a morbid potpourri.
- Dust your furniture or car seats with baking soda and leave it overnight before vacuuming. This will help to absorb the odours.
- Kitty Litter, halved apples or citrus peel and even crumpled newspaper are also said to absorb the smell of smoke.
10. Cleaning Up Pet Hair
Cleaning up the carpet of hair they leave behind can be a tough job. If you don’t have a lint roller – a window squeegee is a fantastic tool to use. They remove pet hair from sofas in a matter of seconds. If you don’t have a squeegee, wrapping tape around your hand (sticky side up) can be used to remove hair or lint from your clothing. Another trick is to use a pair of rubber gloves. Give your furniture a rub down with the gloves on and your pet’s hair will stick to them. The faster the better – get some static going. Afterwards, just rinse them off under the tap outside.
Random Tips To Help You Along
- Pulling a stocking over the end of your vacuum can help you filter out any large objects you might have under your bed, such as lost earrings.
- A spare toothbrush for cleaning really comes in handy. Use it for grouting between tiles, hard to reach places, trimming and even scrubbing your keyboard keys.
- Lint rollers are a godsend. Invest in one. You can use it to clean your clothing, couches and even lampshades – which we tend to overlook in the spring.
- If you have a dishwasher, you can use it to sanitize your children’s plastic toys.
- Keeping your kitchen sink dry will keep it hygienic. Wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth after using.
- Lemon, baking soda, white vinegar and coarse salt are your best friends when it comes to cleaning your home. It helps to keep them around – and they work out way cheaper than most cleaning materials.
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