20 Spring Cleaning Tips To Refresh Your Home
The birds are chirping and the sun is shining, which can only mean one thing: Winter is over, and spring cleaning season is upon us.
Most of us dread spring cleaning, but if you tackle it now, it’s done for the year. So, get some gloves, put on some music, and get ready to refresh your home. The same can be said for your garage! Don't forget about this important space and see why your best off getting it clean now! We’ve found 20 ideas, tricks and tips from expert bloggers who know how to make spring cleaning a breeze.
Refresh Kitchen Cabinets with a Combination of Baking Soda and Vegetable Oil
You know that grime that forms on your kitchen cabinets, deep between the fine lines of the wood grain? It may seem impossible to ever get rid of, but Jillee at One Good Thing by Jillee has found a way.
Her method only requires ingredients you already have in your pantry: baking soda and vegetable oil. Blend the two ingredients (using more baking soda than vegetable oil) until they make a fine paste. Rub that paste over wooden cabinets, and they will look as good as the day they were installed.
Use Ice and Lemons to Degunk Your Garbage Disposal
Cleaning the garbage disposal sounds difficult because you can’t exactly reach into the thing. The writers at Apartment Therapy, however, have found that mixing lemons (or limes), ice, baking soda and white vinegar does the trick.
Mix ½ cup white vinegar and ½ cup baking soda. Then, cover your ice in salt, and pour it into the disposal. Finally, turn on your sink and place a halved lemon on top — the lemon will “help clean and deodorize your drain.”
Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Stains on a Microfiber Couch
That luxe microfiber couch you bought a couple of years ago sounded like a great idea at the time, but now it has a fine layer of dust and grime, and you’re not sure how to clean it because of the fragile material.
Erika at Living Well Mom simply uses rubbing alcohol and a scrub brush, a cleaning cloth and a spray bottle to clean hers. Just spray and then scrub until the stain comes out. Erika even uses this method to remove marker and pen lines on the couch that her young kids made (her before and after photos are pretty incredible, too).
Steam Clean Your Grout
Julia Berman at home improvement site Pro.com has tried several ways to clean grout, including using water and oxygen bleach or a mix of baking soda and vinegar. However, she notes that steam cleaning is “one of the most effective and environmentally friendly methods.”
You’ll want to gently clean tiles at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Berman warns that if any of the tiles are chipped or falling off, it’s best to avoid steam cleaning them so they don’t break.
Use an Iron and Dishwashing Liquid for Carpets That Look Brand New
Do you have dishwashing liquid and vinegar? If so, you’ve got what you need for this carpet cleaning method, courtesy of Courtenay at housekeeping blog the Creek Line House.
She suggests mixing just a squirt of dishwashing liquid with ¾ cup water and ¼ cup vinegar. Dip a cleaning cloth into this mixture, apply it over the stain and then put a hot iron on the cloth. Make sure to only use the iron for seconds at a time. When you remove it, the stain should be gone.
Coffee Filters Can Banish Smudges and Fingerprints
It’s almost inevitable that your smartphone, tablet, laptop and other mobile devices will end up smudged. Your TV and other screens may also have sets of fingerprints on them. While using glass cleaner and a cloth is a tried-and-true solution, the writers at Nationwide’s In the Nation blog suggest trying coffee filters instead. “The fiber in coffee filters may be gentle enough to rub [the smudges] away,” they say.
Enjoy Sparkling Windows with Your Own DIY Cleaner
Window treatments can be quite costly. Jen at crafting blog PinkWhen has concocted a DIY cleaner that’s far more affordable. You only need ¼ teaspoon olive oil, lemon essential oil or tea tree oil (at least 10 drops), ⅔ cup white vinegar and water. Jen recommends you wait until the weather is overcast to tackle windows because “cleaning them in direct sunlight can allow the mixture to dry too quickly and leave streaks.”. Additionally, if DIY is your specialty and your garage floors need updating as well, check out this useful article on DIY garage flooring ideas!
Use Essential Oil and Baking Soda for Clean (and Better-Smelling) Stovetops
Another handy DIY spring cleaning project is the stovetop cleaner that Kimber at the Pinning Mama swears by. Mix water with up to 3 drops of essential oil (she recommends the citrus variety) and 1 tablespoon of baking soda until it turns into a paste. Then, just rub that paste over your stovetops. When you clean it off, your stovetops will be grime-free and smell citrusy.
Get Your Grills Ready with Garbage Bags and Ammonia
If you plan on spending a lot of time outside grilling this year, get your grill ready with this method from sisters Sherri, Tracy and Debbie at Made From Pinterest. Grab a garbage bag and dump ammonia into it (they recommend 1 cup). Toss in your grill grate, tie the bag securely and let it sit overnight.
It’s important to do this job outside to prevent ammonia fumes from getting trapped in the house. The sisters suggest dumping the ammonia in an outdoor sink afterward and wearing safety goggles and gloves while doing so.
Use a Buffer for That Filthy Shower Door
Do you remember the last time you gave your shower door a thorough cleaning? If not, it’s going to show. The writers at the Family Handyman suggest using the same buffer you would for cleaning a car; you can always rent one if necessary. Take off your shower door (if you can’t, you have to be ultra-careful while cleaning) and then buff away soap scum and other grime.
Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent Using Kool-Aid
Megan at Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring shares her recipe for a super affordable dishwasher detergent. Pick up some Kool-Aid lemonade mix (5 packs), ½ cup kosher salt, 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda) and 1 cup Borax. Place these in a lidded container, shake them up and then pour in 1 teaspoon each time you run your dishwasher.
Banish Dust with Wax
If you put the time and effort into cleaning your air vents, you’re not going to want to have to do it again for a while. Luckily, the writers at Diyful have a simple solution for dust-free vents: Simply use wax.
Add some to a sponge and then rub the sponge over the vents, carefully getting all the corners and slats. Dust won’t stick on the waxy surface, and your vents will look cleaner longer.
Use Vegetable Oil or Mineral Oil to Remove Pesky Kitchen Splatters
You don’t have to stare at those unsightly oil splatters each time you set foot in your kitchen. The writers at Life Martini have come up a few useful ways to rid your walls of these splatters for good.
Apply some vegetable oil to a paper towel and wipe down the walls, dabbing at the vegetable oil with a clean paper towel until the original oil stains disappear. Mineral oil also lets you fight oil with oil.
And if these splatters are an ongoing problem for you, it might be time to look into making your own DIY backsplash.
Put Vinegar in the Microwave to Clean It
Cleaning the outside of your microwave sometimes only requires a wet paper towel and some cleaning product. But the inside? Well, if your microwave’s interior is stinky and stained, Gretchen Becker at Angie’s List writes that you should pour some vinegar in a cup and run your microwave for a few seconds. This will loosen up the residue so you can easily clean it with a cloth or paper towel.
Refresh the Color and Texture of Yellow Pillows with Soap and Tennis Balls
When’s the last time you really looked at your pillows without the cases on? These will naturally turn yellow and flatten from use, but you don’t have to keep buying new pillows every few months. Melissa King at SFGate has a far easier solution.
Mix 1 cup oxygen bleach, ½ cup borax and 1 cup laundry detergent and pour this in your washer with your pillows. Pour in hot water, wash the pillows, and then move them to the dryer. King recommends adding tennis balls to the dryer to restore plumpness to the pillows.
Use Cream of Tartar to Erase Dish Scratches
Over time, your silverware will leave visible scratches on your dishes. If your favorite set of plates is scratched, the damage isn’t irreparable. Julie at Frugally Blonde just uses cream of tartar, applying some to the plate and then rubbing at the surface with a wet cloth until it makes a paste. Rub the paste around the scratches and then rinse. Your plates should be scratch-free.
Pour Some Coca-Cola in Your Toilet to Clean It
Just as Kool-Aid can make for a cleaner house, so too can Coca-Cola. The writers at Life Cheating advocate for this simple method. Just grab a 20-ounce bottle of Coke, dump it in the toilet bowl and come back in 60 minutes. This gives the Coke ingredients time to settle. Then, use your toilet brush and clean away any soda residue, flushing when you’re done.
Bonus tip: “Because of the sugar in the Coke, it’s a good idea to scrub down the outside of your toilet and toilet seat with a wet rag,” they say.
Try Grapefruit as a Bathtub Cleaner
Another example of food that doubles as a spring cleaning aid is grapefruit. Kate at Your House & Garden suggests using it to clean your tub. Just cut the fruit and put salt on the halves. You can then use the grapefruit halves as scrubs, and the acids will be much safer than breathing in cleaning chemicals (and grapefruit smells better, anyway).
Use Alka-Seltzer for Tupperware That’s as Good as New
No matter how well you scrub your Tupperware by hand, eventually it’s going to be stained and possibly smell. The women at crafts blog Just 2 Sisters recommend using Alka-Seltzer tablets to combat the odor and stains. Fill the Tupperware with very warm water and drop in two tablets. Move the Tupperware to a safe place overnight, dump the water, and the container should look cleaner.
Make Granite Shine with Essential Oil and Rubbing Alcohol
Granite isn’t exactly cheap, so you’ll want those surfaces to look good for years to come. Go the chemical-free route by making the cleaning mixture Becky at the Mama’s Girls uses.
Combine citrus essential oil, liquid dish soap, water and 70% rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and shake. Then, simply squirt the mixture on your granite surfaces and rub with a cloth for granite that looks brand new.
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