Practical cleaning tips are beautiful things. They’re inexpensive, simple, and help to shortcut your way to a cleaner home. Dare we say it, they can even make housework enjoyable. If you plan on personally getting down and dirty, herein are 11 practical tips to ensure your next spring clean is the best you’ve ever had.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any other tips too. Drop us a line or leave some thoughts below!
1. Cleaning the Garbage Disposal
Cut up a lemon, lime, grapefruit, or other natural citrus fruit as a fragrant cleaner. Place a small chunk into each cup of an ice cube tray and top them all up with vinegar. These frozen little cleaning pods can be tossed into your garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh and clean. If you live in an apartment with a garbage chute then lucky you, sip to number 2!
2. Cleaning Water Stains
Water stains? Yes, well the name is deceiving. Water stains form as mineral deposits in water build up over time and you end up seeing a discolouration in places like shower heads and bathroom fixtures. You can use simple household items to clean these. Simply, slice a lemon in half and use the power of citrus to easily remove hard water stains and mould and mildew residue from shower heads, bathroom fixtures and countertops. Take the other half of the lemon and dab it in some baking soda as a great kitchen sink remedy for cleaning dirt and grime out of stainless/galvanised steel sinks. Scrub the lemon and baking soda mixture into the sink and rinse thoroughly. Dryer sheets are another great way to remove water stains from shower walls.
3. Refreshing the Mattress
In a spray bottle, combine lemon juice and some vodka, at your own option spray a little in your mouth then lightly mist your bare mattress. Leave it to air dry and repeat a couple of times throughout the day. The alcohol will kill off any odour causing bacteria, and the lemon juice will leave the mattress smelling fresh and clean. If you want an extra burst of flavour you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to change up the fragrance when you clean your mattress (we recommend you avoid drinking your lemon vodka if you decide to add essential oils).
4. Removing Coffee Stains
Raise your hand if your home has a few coffee ring stains on the coffee or computer table, kitchen counter, or even on coasters. We thought so. Stubborn coffee stains are easily managed by wiping down with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Alternatively, simply spray on some multi-purpose cleaner and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Minor details contribute and complete a proper spring clean.
5. Deep Cleaning Your Dishwasher
Give your dish washer a natural deep clean by placing a cup of vinegar on the top shelf and running a full cycle on the highest temperature. When it’s done, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the machine and run it again. You’ll open to a sparkling fresh dishwasher ready to tackle your dishes.
6. Getting to Air Conditioning and Heating Vents
Air return ducts and air-con/heating vents are notoriously hard-to-reach areas of the home, and as such, are often neglected. Over time they can accumulate huge deposits of dust and grime, even bacteria that is blasted throughout the house as soon as the air conditioner or furnace is turned on. To clean air vents, take a butter knife and wrap the end in a clean rag or microfiber cloth so that you can get into the nitty-gritty spaces of vent grates.
7. Dusting and Wiping Ceiling Fans
The trouble with dusting your ceiling fans is the rogue dust that often ends up either on the floor or on your beds, carpets, and furniture. The good news is you can alleviate this by cleaning the dust from the top of your ceiling fan blades simply by using an old shirt. Take the shirt and tie one of the sleeves into a knot. Then place the shirt on the blade and wipe. Any excess dust falls into the shirt itself. If your shirts are too precious, then simply holding or tying a bag whilst wiping to catch the dust will work too.
8. Maintaining Your Leather Couch
Cleaning a grease or oil stain from your elegant leather couch is easy with the help of our old friend baking soda. Leave the baking soda on the stain for about 10 minutes before wiping away. The baking soda absorbs the oil and leaves the surface of your sofa crisp and clean.
9. Cleaning Grimy Toys
Kids will be kids, and can come home with incredible amounts of dirt, bacteria, and grime on their little hands. To combat the perpetual spread of these germs, take their action figures and small toys, and place them in the cutlery basket of your dishwasher for a steam clean like no other. Do this overnight and they’ll never even notice that they’ve been missing! The dishwasher is also an excellent place to wash your baseball caps without running the risk of shrinking their size.
10. Whitening Shoes with Toothpaste
The white soles of your running shoes are easily brought back to life by rubbing some whitening toothpaste into the soles and scrubbing with a clean rag, or a discarded toothbrush. Go to town on all those stains from grass, road grime and general wear-and-tear, then simply rinse with clean water.
11. Organising Tupperware and Plates
Organising doesn’t get the attention it deserves when cleaning is discussed. Organising your things means keeping them in line, and therefore appealing to the eye - as well as accessible. Simple actions like putting a pegboard in your plate and pot drawers is a great way to help organise and keep your plates and tupperware in place. You’ll never go looking for a lid in a drawer full of mix-matched pieces again!