Daylight Savings just sprung forward, and that means that spring is quickly approaching! That also means that spring-cleaning is steadfast on its way. Spring cleaning may be a burden to many, but after being locked away all winter it is essential to clean out to keep germs and dust from overtaking your home. Whether you love the purging and meditative aspect of spring-cleaning or you absolutely hate the work it takes, everyone could use some additional tips and tricks to lighten the load, shorten the cleaning time, and make their home spotless!
For this article, we will focus our spring-cleaning hacks on those places that are often forgotten…but could really use a good, deep cleaning. We’ll also give you simple and natural solutions, in keeping with HomeRev’s eco-friendly mission!
Sink and Garbage Disposal
Have you ever noticed a funky smell coming from your kitchen? The first thing you do is take out the garbage. The second thing you do is clean out your refrigerator. But the smell is still lingering… and getting worse by the minute! The unexpected, common culprit? The sink and garbage disposal drains! Food particles and germs can get trapped in your drain, leading to foul odors and unwanted bacteria in your sink.
The best cleansing solution is simple and natural. When cleaning out your garbage disposal, drop a few, small lemon zests and grinds down the drain. Boil a pot of water on the stove. Turn the garbage disposal on as you pour the boiling water down the drain. The hot water will burn off bacteria and the lemon will let off a citrusy aroma and help to clear any goop inside. For the sink drain, you should also use boiling water but with lemon juice (as opposed to chunks of lemon).
You can also clean the basin of the sink using that same lemon. Cut half of the lemon and dip the juicy part in baking soda. Then, hold the lemon’s peel and scrub the half of the lemon around the basin. This will help remove water and food stains while also eliminating any harmful bacteria.
Crown molding is one of the most neglected places in the house—but it’s also one of the dustiest! To reach these high-flying dust-collectors, wrap an old rag around the end of your broom, and secure it with an XL rubber band. This will let you reach up into the air and get at the different designs and intricacies of your molding. We suggest wetting the rag first so that it picks up the dust, rather than spreading it around and having the particles drop on you (this can exacerbate dust allergies and cause dirt to spread throughout the house).
Vents fill up with dust and grime quickly and heavily. But those tiny slits are impossible to fit in a finger, let alone to clean! The solution? Wrap a butter knife or frosting spatula with a thin rag or paper towel. Dip the rag in a solution of warm water and soap, and you’ll be able to clean that vent with no strain at all!
Blinds are also hard to reach, and they take a while to clean! If your blinds are primarily dusty, get a handheld vacuum with a dust brush attachment. Vacuum one side of the blind and then flip it over. Use the lightest setting and micro-vacuum tools to prevent any damage to your blinds.
If your blinds need a heavier duty clean, make a sock hand puppet! Put a sock on your hand and dip it into a solution of one part white vinegar and one part water. This will help you get in between those cracks while picking up grime and dirt (without drying out your hands). Vinegar and water are better for plastic blinds; for other materials, stick to warm water and soap.
It’s crucial to keep your cleaning machines clean. A dirty dishwasher will never clean your dishes fully! But don’t worry, you don’t need to get on your hands and knees to scrub your dishwasher sparkling. Deep cleaning is a simple, two-step process.
Ensure that there’s no food clogging the drain. Fill a glass measuring cup with white vinegar—about a cup full (depending on the size of your machine). Place the cup on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Run your dishwasher on the highest temperature and setting.
When round one is finished, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom shelf. Run the machine a second time. Voila! You have a grime-free and odor-free dishwasher that’s ready to clean your dishes more thoroughly and efficiently!
Pro Tip: Clean your kids’ plastic toys in the dishwasher overnight with a light detergent. Kids won’t even know they’re toys gone, and it will take no manpower on your part!
In the same vein, a dirty washing machine can’t wash your clothes properly! The process of cleaning your washing machine is similar to that of the dishwasher.
Begin your washer on the hottest water setting for the longest wash. As the tub fills with water, add a quart of white vinegar directly inside the basin. Then add a cup of baking soda.
In the meantime, leave the top-loader washer lid open. (If you have a front loader, close the door.) Clean in nooks and crannies using a small toothbrush dipped in white vinegar and water. After an hour, close the lid of the machine to allow the cycle to complete. Clean the top of the machine with a cloth or rag as you would any other surface.
Once the washer has drained, wipe down the basin with a warm, wet sponge to remove any lingering residue.
Under the Oven
Look under your stove and you may be shocked at all the gook, oil, and crumbs you’ll find! If you have a bottom oven drawer, pull it all the way out. If not, you may want to unplug your stove and move it away from the wall (with the help of a friend or family member). The best way to move a stove is to lift one side at a time and slide a piece of old carpet or a furniture mover underneath so it slides with ease.
You will want to sweep and vacuum up crumbs and particles first. You’ll then need to assess what the situation looks like. Are there a lot of deep-set stains? Is it dusty or oily? You can clean this area as you would the rest of your kitchen floor. Many people tend to bleach the area as an added measure. After cleaning, leave the stove out and unplugged overnight to let the area dry fully.
Spring-cleaning means cleaning on, under, and behind your bed to get rid of winter gunk. Spritz a mixture of diluted vodka and your favorite essential oil over your bare mattress using a spray bottle. The alcohol will kill any odor-causing bacteria, revitalizing your mattress. We like to add lavender essential oil to the mixture help with sleep and add an extra, aromatic scent.
How do you clean under and behind a heavy bed, though? You can use a long hose vacuum and push it around in a snakelike formation to pick up any free-floating particles. You can also use our crown molding tip for under the bed too! Attach a wet rag to the end of a broom, and use it to reach those harder to reach spots in the center of your bed!
Finally, don’t forget your ceiling fan. It collects a lot of dust and then spreads around those germs and particles every time it’s turned on! Don’t get up on a ladder and strain your back reaching for those fan spokes, though. Place an old pillowcase on a single spoke. Use the edge of the pillowcase to swipe down the upper part of the spoke. This will allow you to grab all of the dust in one fell swoop, and it will all fall into the pillowcase below!
Spring-cleaning can be reflective and relaxing, but those neglected, hard to reach places can cause stress and anxiety. So they often get left un-cleaned for years, causing health problems for your family and your house. Stick to simple, eco-friendly solutions, like our clean HomeRev products, to make your 2017 spring-cleaning less of a backache!