If the thought of spring (ahem, summer) cleaning has you overwhelmed, calm down. It's easy if you have a plan. Follow these simple tips and your place will look shiny and new?no expensive cleaning products or hard labor required.
- Start at the top. Cut a slit in an old tennis ball, slip it over the end of your broom handle and then secure a used dryer sheet over the ball. This handy extension arm will grab dust and cobwebs from high corners and ceilings.
- To shed some light, take the glass globes and hurricanes off of your light fixtures and wash away the dirt and grime. Add vinegar to the rinse water for a streak-free shine!
- Wash woodwork. Work from the bottom up to avoid streaking. A simple soap and water mixture will clean away fingerprints and dirt.
- Spring is a good time to flip your mattress. This will also force you to take off all bedding and clean it. Vacuum the mattress and box spring. A hint: Slip a couple of dryer sheets into the vacuum bag and it will release that fresh scent into the air as you work.
- Move furniture so you can deep clean behind and underneath. If you're working alone, slip the plastic covers from coffee cans under the furniture feet and slide with ease.
- Take down curtains and draperies to be cleaned and, while you have them down, go to work on the windows.
- You may know that denture tablets can clean vases and toilets, but did you know that they can clean your coffee decanter in no time flat? Fill the decanter with warm water and drop in a denture tablet when you start your dishes. By the time you're ready for it, the hard water marks and coffee stains will be history.
- Forget to pick up grease-cutting dish soap? No problem. Add a one-fourth cup of white vinegar to the dishwater and it will cut through all the grease.
- If your dishwasher doesn't seem to be getting your dishes as clean as you'd like, try boosting your detergent by adding a tablespoon of baking soda to the soap before running it through the cycle.
- No toilet cleaner? No problem. A couple of scoops of lemonade mix will leave a beautiful shine. Dump it in, swish it around and flush those stains away.
- Does it seem that no matter how hard you try you always have a little line of dirt left by the dustpan when you're sweeping? First, coat the dustpan with some paste wax. This will help the dust and dirt slide off easily. Second, get as much swept up as you can and then give that line a quick swipe with a damp paper towel to finish the job.
- Does it seem like no matter how often you clean the bathroom there are water spots on mirrors and fixtures? Keep a box of baking soda in the bathroom?a little on a soft cloth will buff those spots away with ease. Want an even faster fix? Wipe them away with a used dryer sheet.
- Keep nasty soap scum from building up on shower curtains by coating with a little baby oil. Just be careful that it doesn't drip on the floor; it's slippery.
Maintain that sparkle.Can you keep your home clean year-round and have time for everything else? Of course. I have a list to keep your home clean and your sanity in check.
- Start with the kitchen: Keep some rubbing alcohol and soft cloths under the sink. They give a quick, streak-free shine to kitchen surfaces.
- Do the dishes promptly. Nothing makes a kitchen look messier than a pile of dirty dishes and if you do them after each meal the job won't be as big at the end of the day. Then, give the sink a quick wipe and pop the sponge in the dishwasher to clean and disinfect it right along with the dishes.
- Next, the bathroom: Train your family to wipe the walls down after each shower. Leave a note if you have to. It will keep soap scum and hard water off the wall, which will eliminate a whole lot of scrubbing.
- Use area rugs, it is easier to throw a rug in the washer once a week than to clean up muddy footprints.
- The bedroom: Make the bed every morning; it makes the whole room look neater. Don't toss clothes on a chair or bed frame; hang them up or toss them in a hamper. A couple of dryer sheets in the hamper will keep it smelling fresh until laundry day.
- Finally, the family room: Before you go to bed clean up clutter and put it in its place, then you aren't saddled with hours of clean-up on the weekend. Store used dryer sheets in a drawer in the living room or family room as a dust cloth for furniture and electronics and no need for spray polish.
For more tips like these, visit Mrs.Fixit.com.