After what has seemed like a never-ending blast of winter, it's finally spring in Canada. And that means it's time to start spring cleaning!
Even though cleaning has become a daily if not weekly chore, the tradition of spring cleaning goes back centuries. In the Iranian culture, Persian New Year is tied to the first day of spring and is celebrated by thoroughly cleansing the home. And, in ancient Jewish tradition, the home is thoroughly cleaned to remove all traces of non-Kosher products in preparation for Passover.
Just as our reasons for doing a deep clean in the spring has changed over the years, so too have our methods. We no longer have to spend hours on hands and knees scrubbing away grease stains, mould spots, and all the dirt and dust that collects around the house.
To help you tackle your spring cleaning list this year, we've compiled our favourite cleaning hacks that will get your home sparkling before you know it.
1. Wait For The Sun To Go Down Before You Wash Your Windows
Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay.
For a streak-free shine, wait until the sun goes down or for the clouds roll in to wash your windows. Washing your windows on a hot, sunny day will result in them drying as you work. Cloudy days give you the right amount of time to wipe away all the water for the perfect finish.
But before you start washing, prep your windows by removing dust and dirt, and don't even think about using a squeegee if you don't know how to use one. Unless you're a professional window washer, your best bet is to use a microfibre cloth. That way you'll avoid making a mess or clouding up your windows.
2. Eliminate Dishwasher Odours With Vinegar
Ever made the mistake of tossing your buttercream-covered baking equipment into the dishwasher only to have the whole thing come out smelling like expired milk? No? Well, trust us, high-heat and dairy products don't go together. If you've made this mistake, the only thing that will save you is a big bowl of vinegar and a dash of baking powder. Yes, the all-natural cleansing duo will blast through grease, grime and even the foulest of odours.
To start, place a dishwasher-safe bowl of vinegar on the top shelf of your otherwise empty dishwasher and run the machine on the hottest (and shortest setting). Once the cycle is over, sprinkle a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the machine and run it again on the same cycle. When the cycle is over, open your machine and take a whiff. Not only will it smell clean and fresh, it'll sparkle too.
3. Flip Over Your Rugs For A Deep Carpet Clean
Image by Vedran Brnjetic from Pixabay.
You don't have to rent one of those big bulk carpet cleaners to give your rugs a thorough clean, all you have to do is flip them over. Freelance writer Geraldine Campbell swears by this rug cleaning hack she learned from her dad. Campbell's father recommends vacuuming your rug as you normally would, then flipping it over to vacuum the back. "This has the effect of sucking dirt out, but also (somehow?) pushing dirt from the front side of the rug," Campbell wrote on Apartment Therapy. "If you lift up your rug, you’ll see. (Warning: The first time you do this, it may be a little gross)."
The genius hack is perfect for people who live in small spaces and don't have the luxury of being able to shake out their rugs in their backyard. Note: we said backyard and not balcony. Most condo buildings in Toronto have rules against shaking out rugs on apartment balconies.
4. Sprinkle Some Epsom Salts On Kitchen And Bathroom Grout
The grout between kitchen and bathroom tiles can quickly become unsightly and is not so quickly cleaned. Save yourself the elbow grease by trying this tip from Molly Maids. Using a damp cloth, rub Epsom salts into the dirty grout lines and leave it to settle overnight. In the morning, wipe the lines clean with a microfibre cloth and watch the grease and dirt disappear. Molly Maids also recommends using Borax or hydrogen peroxide to whiten, brighten and deodorize the grout around your home.
Borax and vinegar can also help clean mouldy caulking, but if you've let your caulking go a little too long, you might just be better off replacing it altogether.
5. Revive Your Mattress With A Little Baking Soda
Photo by Ty Carlson on Unsplash.
We already told you that you should flip your mattress twice a year, and vacuum it to avoid bed bugs, but if you just want to get your mattress smelling a bit fresher, all you need is baking soda. Sodium Bicarbonate sucks up any lingering odours and moisture that may have seeped into your mattress. Simply sprinkle on the baking soda, leave it for half an hour or more than vacuum off all the powder. You'll probably sleep a lot better knowing your mattress is spick and span.
Bonus Tip: Use Toothpaste To Erase Wall Art
Got a little Picasso at home? You can support their creativity without having their drawing plastered on your actual walls. Instead of painting over their work, pick up a tube of toothpaste on your way home and brush over the drawings. You'll be amazed by how quickly they come out. The same trick can be used to remove scuffs on irons, shoes and chrome appliances — just don't use too much or it'll become pasty.
What's your go-to cleaning hack? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.