Spruce Up Your Home this Spring

After months of staying indoors and putting off those household chores for another weekend, spring cleaning is needed now more than ever. Luckily, we’ve gathered some tips and tricks to make it easier. So grab a rag and some baking soda and roll up those sleeves.

Illustrations by Alex Schloer

Illustrations by Alex Schloer

Organization: It can be overwhelming once you notice all of the projects that need to get done, so make a list. Start with each room, and prioritize which areas you want to tackle. Take it one room at a time. Donate items you no longer need. Put winter items in storage. Throw things away — old newspapers, mail, Halloween candy. Do you really need three sets of dishes? Just clearing clutter will make your home much more relaxing (and easier to dust!). Maybe it’s time for a yard sale?

Oven: Naturally, use water, vinegar and baking soda. Create paste with all three ingredients, remove the oven racks, and spread the paste in the oven to sit overnight. The next day, use a wet rag to wipe it out. Use a spray bottle of vinegar to get out the leftover residue, and wipe!

Dishwasher: Clean yours with a baking soda bomb. Mix two cups baking soda, three tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, and 20 drops essential oil into a mixing bowl. Once you reach the consistency of moist sand, use an ice cream scoop to form small rounds. Let these sit overnight, and clean your filter and any leftover food in the meantime. After the bombs harden, put them in the bottom rack. Place a mixing bowl filled with two cups vinegar and one tablespoon of detergent in the top rack. Run your dishwasher and voila!

fridgeRefrigerator: Wipe the dust that accumulates on your fridge’s refrigerant-filled tubing, or coils. Make sure to unplug it first and look at your owner’s manual for instructions. Clean underneath your fridge, and inside. Look at sauces and other items that are past their prime, and toss.

Carpet stains: For light stains, rub a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt with ½ cup white vinegar. After the solution dries, vacuum over it. With larger, darker stains, use the same mixture, but add two tablespoons of Borax. We all have those coffee and tea stains, but all you need is to blot the stain with equal parts white vinegar and water. (Also, make sure you try an inconspicuous area first to test your carpets’ colorfastness.)

Garage: First, declutter. If you have oil stains on the floor, soak them up with kitty litter, or cornmeal. Let it sit, and then sweep it up. Scrub stains with baking soda, and rinse with a power washer.

Bathroom fans: Clean the exhaust fan covers by removing and cleaning with soap and water. If the fan is dirty on the inside, unplug it. Then wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.

WasherWashing machine: Your machine has instructions to clean it — and some have self-cleaning cycles. There are products you can buy to clean it once a month. Don’t neglect this. Also, move your machines to sweep underneath and collect lost socks!

Windows: Mix equal parts white vinegar and tap water in a spray bottle. Wipe down windowpanes with a rag. Then work your way around to your window tracks. First, use your vacuum attachment to clean up any dirt. For the rest, you’ll need white vinegar. Grab a paper towel for larger areas and Q-tips to reach into corners and edges.

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