It is something that most of us at least try to do every year around this time; a little basic spring cleaning to clear away the clutter and cobwebs that have accumulated over the course of a long winter and brighten up our homes to usher in the first sunny days of spring. All too often though good intentions go bad and we never quite get around to completing the ‘big’ spring clean we had intended to undertake, mainly because we simply don’t have the time.
Fortunately there are some rather neat little spring cleaning ‘short cut’ you can implement that make getting some ‘proper’ spring cleaning done faster and more efficient. Here are just a few of them.
Rugs and Carpets
No time or money to splash out on a full professional carpet cleaning yet this year? That is OK. You can actually tackle many of the problem areas, even on carpets that see a great deal of foot traffic fairly easily by yourself.
What You Will Need on Hand :
A vacuum cleaner
Plain, lint free white cloths
A concentrated carpet cleaner and de-greaser. These are sold in almost all home stores and many grocery stores.
What to Do Next:
The first order of business is to determine which are the areas that really need the most attention. Probably these areas will include entrances, both to the home itself and to various rooms, dining areas and anywhere that kids and/or pets spend a lot of time.
Once you have identified these areas vacuum them thoroughly. If you are cleaning a rug vacuum both sides. Next, slightly dampen (not drench) one of the cloths with the cleaning solution. The vast majority of these products advise that you leave the solution to soak into the carpet/rug for about five minutes before blotting it – and the stain – up. However, check the specific instructions on the product you have chosen before you proceed. Finally use a hairdryer to spot dry the carpet to avoid leaving wet spots that can attract more dust and dirt and maybe even mold.
No one really likes cleaning windows, unless maybe if they are being paid to do so. Never the less if you actually want to see that spring sunshine and not a smushy mess of fingerprints it has to be done. However, follow this method and each window should take no more than fifteen minutes to get sparkling clean.
What You Will Need on Hand
A whisk broom, plastic is best
A Windex type solution – the kind that comes in a bulk size so that it can be attached to your hose, which is easily available at home stores.
A hose (duh!)
A bucketful of soapy water. Use only a few drops of detergent per gallon of water.
Clean microfiber cloths
What to Do Next:
Shut all of your windows (if they have been opened at all which in winter is unlikely) as well as any screen. and their screens. Heading outside, make use of the broom brush away as much dirt and debris from the screens you can reasonably reach.
Attach the Windex to your hose. Carefully spray the windows from a distance of around five feet. As long as you are using a decent hose the spray should be able to reach upper story windows without the need to haul out a ladder. Follow the bottle directions for rinsing.
Going back indoors, use a clean cloth, dampened with the soapy water to clean the screens as much as possible. Step back and admire your clean windows!
A spring cleaning session is quite probably the one and only time you actually pay much attention to the actual freshness and cleanliness of the mattresses that are in use in your home. Follow this easy cleaning process however and you will be pleasantly surprised by what a difference it makes
What You Will Need On Hand:
OxiClean Stain Remover
Plain white vinegar
Plain Baking soda
2 new tennis balls
Nicely fragranced dryer sheets
What to do Next:
Should your mattress have a cover remove it and and toss it right in the wash. Add some Oxiclean to pre-treat any stains and a cup of white vinegar to help deodorize it effectively.
Getting back to the mattress itself dust it all over lightly with baking soda applied via the sieve. The baking soda will need to stay in place for at least a few days to work its odor absorbing magic though, so do not brush it away. You can vacuum it up the next time you change your sheets.
Dry the mattress cover. When tumble drying add a few tennis balls to help fluff it back up up. When the cover is dry replace it on the bed, over the baking soda, and tuck a few scented dryer sheets under it for a rather delightful extra boost of spring scent.
Angelica Pinto is an artist, interior design lover and Realtor serving the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph, Ontario communities.