Spring is upon us, and while that means more energy to frolic, it also means more pollen in the air. For those of us who suffer from allergies, spring cleaning can feel like more of an obligation and less like an opportunity. But even for those of us who don’t, the cleaning ritual is one that shouldn’t go neglected, and might put more of a pep in your step when you finally get to go outside and enjoy the weather. And yes, cleaning is a chore, but why not make it easy on yourself? When you finally decide to jump into spring cleaning, keep the following tricks in mind and you’ll be finished in no time at all.
Use your lint roller – the right way.
Ditch the feather duster this season and opt for your lint roller. Sure, the former will leave your surfaces (temporarily) dust-free, but the same can’t be said for your air. Using a lint roller is a much more efficient way to dust your surfaces, and it won’t pollute your air in the process, since the dust will actually stick to the roller as opposed to just getting dusted right into the air. Plus, it’s super easy to use and can be used on multiple surfaces, like shelves, cabinets, lampshades and mantles, just to name a few.
Make use of plastic food wrap.
Your plastic wrap can do more than preserve your food — it can stop messes in their tracks, or even prevent them altogether. Try lining the shelves of your refrigerator with it, or even your counters before you start cooking. Any and all spills and stains will fall onto the wrap, and when things become too gross for comfort, simply peel it off, dispose of it, and start again. Now that’s cleaning made easy.
Dryer sheets are your new best friend.
If you didn’t already know, there are several ways you can use dryer sheets beyond making your clothes smell like a fresh summer rain. When it’s time to clean the bathroom, you can use your old dryer sheets to easily lift soap scum from your shower tiles. But maybe that’s not all you need; maybe you’ve got company arriving in ten minutes, your living room smells less than fresh, you’re out of Febreeze, and a candle just isn’t going to do it. No problem: just tape a dryer sheet over your fan or air conditioner and flip it on. Voila – you’ve got yourself a fast-acting air freshener. Dryer sheets can also be used for removing water spots, toilet rings, and keeping baseboards clean — and that’s only the beginning. When it comes to dryer sheets, the possibilities are endless. Talk about a game changer.
And so is white vinegar.
White vinegar has been long recognized as an awesome cleaning agent with multiple uses. In addition to removing pesky water spots, you can use vinegar to deodorize your refrigerator, lift carpet stains, steam clean your microwave, clean your coffeemaker and much more. White vinegar makes cleaning a true cinch.
Keep aluminum foil handy.
Aluminum foil is great for cooking, but did you know it’s a tool for cleaning, as well? In the event that you’re short a brillo or scouring pad, foil is a great substitute that won’t scratch your glassware. A clean, balled up piece of foil paired with dish liquid will quickly get rid of those stuck-on stains without compromising your dish.
Your dishwasher is for more than just dishes.
Are you fully utilizing your dishwasher? If you’ve been using it solely for your dinnerware, then the answer is no. Why not use it to clean your light fixtures, too? Believe it or not, removable glass (like domes, for example) that has become drastically dusty over time can be run through your dishwasher for easy cleaning. Just don’t forget to put them through a dry cycle as well, to avoid spotting.
Don’t throw away your old socks.
It may be worth it to keep old socks handy come cleaning time. If you put them on your hands, you can use them to dust what your lint roller can’t — i.e.: your blinds. When you put an old sock on one hand, give it a little splash of water, hold each side of the blind and run your hand across it. It acts like a DIY microfiber cloth. Repeat for all of the slats and you’ll have spotless, dust-free blinds in the time it takes you to say, “Where have all my socks gone?”