Ah, spring. The weather is warm(ish), flowers are blooming, bunnies are everywhere … no, not the kind that hop around on four legs. We’re talking about dust bunnies―they’ve been breeding under your bed all winter, along with the mildew on the shower curtain and the mites hiding out in your mattress. But if anything is worse than dust mites, it’s spending the entire month of May cleaning your home.
We polled CLG staffers to compile our favorite DIY spring cleaning hacks. Choose a few favorites from our list and your house will be spick and span in no time.
- Clean your ceiling fan … with a pillow case! If the thought of cleaning your ceiling fans has never crossed your mind, there’s probably a good inch or two of dust up there by now. Slip a pillow case over each blade and gently wipe so that the dust falls into the case.
- Make your own air freshener. Cheaper and healthier than the store-bought stuff, start with a base of 3/4 cup water + 2 tbsp rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Then add your favorite essential oils. Tea tree oil is a favorite (10 to 20 drops) around here, and we also like “citrus mint” (10 drops of orange oil, 8 drops of peppermint).
- Dryer sheets: not just for dryers! Before you toss those old dryer sheets into the trash, try using them to wipe dirt off of your baseboards or water spots from your bathroom mirrors.
- Clean oily kitchen surfaces … with more oil! Sometimes you fry up some bacon and sometimes you get bacon grease everywhere. When soap and water doesn’t do the trick, try putting a little vegetable oil on a paper towel and wiping it across your grimy surfaces. Then use a clean paper towel to wipe up any residue.
- Clean your garbage disposal. That smell in your kitchen isn’t your trash―it’s your garbage disposal. Luckily, cleaning it is a snap. (We probably don’t have to say this but: DO NOT put your hands directly into a garbage disposal, even if it’s turned off. SERIOUSLY. NO.)
- First, fill your sink with a few inches of hot water and a squirt of dish soap. Turn on your disposal and let the water run through.
- Next, pour in two cups of ice cubes and one cup of rock salt. Run the disposal until all the ice is gone. The ice will help sharpen the blades in addition to removing food sludge.
- To keep it smelling fresh between deep cleanings, toss in citrus peels or a combination of vinegar and baking soda before running your disposal at the end of the day.
- Is there anything a lemon can’t do? You can’t put wooden utensils and cutting boards in the dishwasher but washing with soap just doesn’t seem to get them clean enough. Sprinkle your utensils with a good amount of coarse salt, then rub with a cut lemon until the salt has dissolved. Rinse well, then put them in the sun to dry. This will give them a deep clean and remove any residual odors.
- Used coffee grounds as a deodorizer. We’ve all heard that baking soda absorbs fridge odors, but did you know coffee grounds do the same thing? Place a small bowl of grounds in your fridge every two months or so to keep odors at bay. As if we needed another reason to drink coffee!
- Toss expired toiletries. If you’re still using the same lipstick from five years ago, you may want to toss it. Ditto for old sunscreens, dull razor blades, or any lotions and potions that smell “off” or have changed consistency.
- Clean your showerhead. If the only thing that comes out of our showerhead is clean water, why does it need to be cleaned? Because of mineral deposits, water stains, and rust. If your showerhead is detachable, you can run it in the top rack of your dishwasher. If it’s not, you’ll have to get creative. Fill a plastic sandwich bag with enough vinegar to submerge the head. Fasten it with a rubber band and let it soak overnight. Remember to remove the bag before you turn on the shower in the morning!
- Deep clean your tub … with half a grapefruit! Pour salt on top of the flat edge of the cut grapefruit and use it to scrub around your tub to remove grime. Can’t get to that mildew in the corners? Try soaking cotton balls in bleach instead. Put the soaked cotton balls into the corners while you clean elsewhere for 20 minutes. Remove them and the mildew should be gone.
- Clean out your closet. There’s no real hack to this one. The rule is simple: if you haven’t worn it in the past year, it’s time to toss it (or donate or consign or gift to a friend). It doesn’t matter what you paid for it, where you got it, or what you were thinking when you bought it. Cleaning out your closet is a great way to edit your wardrobe down to the things you truly love.
- Take care of your mattress. Despite the fact that we spend a third of our lives asleep, most of us don’t give our mattresses much thought. Take care of yours by giving it a thorough cleaning. First, vacuum the mattress using the appliance attachment. Next, spot-clean any stains with a paste of baking soda, salt and water (remove after 30 minutes, then dry with a hair dryer). To deodorize, sprinkle with dry baking soda, then vacuum up after an hour. Lastly, rotate and flip your mattress. It’s also a good time to wash your pillows (follow directions on the tag).
- Wash your shower curtain liner. When your plastic shower liner gets grimy, you don’t need to trash it. Instead, wash it on the gentle cycle with a few towels. Add your regular laundry detergent plus ½ cup baking soda and wash it in warm water. Add 1 cup white vinegar to the first rinse. Then hang it to dry (never put plastic liners in the dryer). You should be able to wash it several times before it needs to be replaced.
Wow. Your home never looked so good!
At Commonwealth Law Group, we’re not just spring cleaning wizards: We’re Richmond’s next generation of injury law. Our experienced personal injury attorneys and workers’ comp lawyers will fight for your rights if you’ve been injured on the job or due to the negligence of a person or other entity. Call us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation at 804.999.9999.