Five Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks
The temperature is rising, the birds are returning, the air is feeling lighter, we feel it coming — spring is finally around the corner! With this exciting transition comes the great opportunity for spring cleaning. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to make this year’s cleaning blitz a little more thorough.
1. Safety first: clean your dryer duct.
An accumulation of lint in your dryer’s venting can pose a serious fire hazard. Many people aren’t aware that dryer lint is highly flammable. When it builds up inside the venting and is then exposed to high temperatures, it can easily ignite. One of the first things you should do when spring cleaning is to make sure that your dryer vent and wall exhaust are clean and free of obstructions. This is something you can either do yourself with a “lint eater” cleaning kit or you can hire a professional to do it for you. Not only will this reduce the risk of a fire but it will also improve the efficiency of your dryer, which should, in turn, reduce your energy costs.
2. That mattress needs cleaning too.
The average person spends approximately 2,500 hours a year in bed. How often do we really think about how clean our mattress is? Although we all remember to change our sheets regularly, very few of us go to the trouble of cleaning our mattress. Spring is a great time to do so. Start by stripping down your bed and vacuuming your mattress using the upholstery tool. Press firmly to get in into the small crevices, and make sure to sanitize the mattress with a natural disinfectant spray afterwards. The finishing touch: use a steamer to kill any dust mites on the surface, as those are not visible to the naked eye…. then vacuum again. Now flip and repeat!
3. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.
It’s time to pull your furniture away from the walls and vacuum behind and beneath it. Vacuum the areas behind your desk, your nightstand, underneath any standing tables or lamps. Get as much dust and dead skin (that’s what the aforementioned dust mites feed on!) out of your house as possible! However, don’t forget the most important part — vacuuming your upholstery. Your upholstery gets the most TLC, with the least amount of cleaning. Snap on the upholstery tool, and dig in. You won’t believe how much brighter your furniture will look.
4. Toys and stuffed animals
For cleaning your kids’ small toys, the dishwasher is your best friend. Plastic toys, especially those loved by small children, collect a large amount of bacteria. Luckily, those Lego pieces can be washed in the dishwasher on a quick cycle; just make sure you turn off the heated drying feature! As for stuffed animals and everyday blankets, check the care tag to see the best way to wash them and still maintain the integrity of the material. If unsure, throw them in a mesh bag in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Finish with a lint roller to minimize pilling.
5. Freshen shower drains and shower curtains
Most commercial drain cleaners contain highly toxic chemicals that end up in the water supply and can have negative impacts on the environment. In order to freshen your shower drains we recommend trying this all natural, environmentally friendly solution. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt. Pour this mixture down the drain along with a cup of heated vinegar. This will generate a foam-and-bubble response; let it sit for 15 minutes. Follow up by running the hot water for 15-30 seconds. This will clear away all the debris in the drain to encourage free-flowing drainage. Shower curtains can also be thrown in the wash on a gentle cycle. Let them hang dry before showering.