It’s that time of year again! Time to open the windows and give everything in your house a good cleaning. Follow these spring cleaning tips to get your home ready for the warm weather.
Remember to include items like windows, blinds, and ceiling fans.
Washing windows on cloudy days may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually the best time to do it. On sunny days, the windows dry too quickly and will streak. You can make your own window cleaning solution using equal parts of white vinegar and warm water and one teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid. Use in a spray bottle or directly mix in a bucket.
Blinds are the ultimate dust collectors! Unfortunately, they’re also a pain to clean, so people often skip them. If you’d like to try tackling them during your spring cleaning this year, start by using an electrostatic duster. Then wipe with a microfiber cloth and a mix of warm water and vinegar. As a final step, you can wipe them with a dryer sheet to help repel dust.
Most people switch the direction of their ceiling fans on a seasonal basis. This is also the perfect time to give those fan blades a good cleaning. You can do this easily with an old pillowcase. Slide it over the fan blade and use its inside to wipe the blades clean. Repeat until the whole fan is done. All the dust is in one place and not flying through your room.
Couches and Upholstery
Different types of fabrics require different cleaning processes. Understanding these fabric codes will help ensure you use the right cleaner for your furniture and rugs.
W: Use water-based cleaning solutions.
S: Use dry-cleaning solvents. Do not saturate. Do not use water.
S-W: Use water-based cleaners or dry-cleaning solvents.
X: Use a vacuum or brush only.
Mattress and pillows collect more dust than you think. And dust mites can be an allergen trigger for many people.
Some mattresses have a yellow tint to them. This is usually caused by a build-up of sweat and body oils. Mix hydrogen peroxide and warm water plus 1/4 teaspoon mild dish liquid in a spray bottle to whiten it. Spray it on the surface of your mattress and work it in with a soft brush or terry cloth towel. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes and then spray with clean water. Use a clean towel to blot dry, then let the mattress air dry completely before putting on sheets. For particularly tough stains, you can add a little more hydrogen peroxide.
If dust mites are a concern, try using a steam cleaner that’s meant specifically for mattresses. This steam cleaner is excellent and can be used on a multitude of other surfaces with many attachments that come with it.
Down and fiber pillows can be washed with warm water on the gentle cycle in the washing machine. You’ll want to do an additional rinse to remove all the detergent and dry on low heat with tennis balls to restore fluffiness.
Foam pillows usually require hand washing and gentle detergent. Check the label before putting them in the washing machine.
The four-leggeds are great companions, but the fur does tend to get everywhere and can be tough to remove. These tips make it easier.
Run the rubber side of a window squeegee along the carpet or rug. Clean up the clumps of fur as you go and finish with your normal vacuuming process to remove any remaining pet hair on the surface.
Dampened rubber gloves can be used on furniture in much the same way as the squeegee on carpets. Pet stores also sell gloves and brushes with a rough surface to pick up pet hair on fabric.
Even if you clean and dry your knives before putting them away, it’s still a good idea to give your knife block a good cleaning once a year. To do this, submerge the block in one gallon of lukewarm water and one tablespoon of household bleach for two minutes. Then remove, turn upside down onto a towel, and allow it to air dry.
I can’t tell you how many times I put my daughters’ dolls and anything else that needed a “good cleaning” in the dishwasher. Work smarter, not harder! The dishwasher is the perfect way to clean a box full of plastic kid’s toys. Choose the crystal or quick cycle and skip the heated dry. For those beloved stuffed animals, check the tag. If they can go in the washing machine, put them in a mesh bag or pillowcase and wash on the gentle cycle.
Sometimes you need to fill a big bucket with water – one that doesn’t fit in the tub or sink. When that happens, try using a dustpan as a spout by placing it flat against your sink to transfer water to the bucket.
What questions do you have about spring cleaning? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to answer them!