Let’s face it, spring cleaning isn’t the most exciting of prospects, whether you’re concentrating on a single room or your entire house. But what if we told you that you could halve your cleaning time and knock off early for a drink in the garden?
We spoke to a group of savvy bloggers about streamlining the spring cleaning process, and were given some great tips to help you dust, scrub and de-clutter your way to an immaculate interior.
The first set of tips (which come with photographic proof!) comes from Kerry, lifestyle and parenting blogger at Lived with Love:
Scrub the tub
Try this mixture for cleaning the bath and sink: combine one teaspoon of liquid soap and a couple of drops of antibacterial essential oil (eucalyptus and tea tree are great), to one cup of baking soda . Next, add water to form a paste, which should work a treat when sponging or scouring your bath or sink bowl.
Send the bath mat to the laundry
Many people put off cleaning their bath mats, but this is the time to do it. Most fabric shower mats will simply go in the washing machine, but rubber bath mats are best cleaned with chlorine bleach while still in the bottom of the bath.
Our second lot of handy hints (and this amazing image) come courtesy of Emma, thrifty owner of the Mums Savvy Savings blog:
Get the kids involved
I like to give each of the children two big bags. The first is filled with toys that are broken or now unloved – I sift through and decide whether they are for the bin, or in good enough condition to go to a charity shop or selling site. The second bag is for clothes that no longer fit or are no longer worn, which is this time divided between charity shops and little cousins.
DWY (do windows yourself)
I don’t pay a window cleaner: instead, the husband chooses to balance precariously on a ladder and do the job himself. However, if I spot streaks when that summer sunshine streams through the glass, I’m less than impressed! A 50/50 vinegar and water mix seems to do the trick though – we use it in a spray bottle and have a good squeegee wiper, which makes a big difference. I also use the same wiper and solution to clean the shower doors.
Speculate to accumulate
A steam cleaner is a really good investment as they do a great job of blasting really hot water onto practically any surface, instantly freshening it up. My steam cleaner makes easy work of kitchen cupboards and door frames.
Make the most of everyday products
Cola is a cheap and really effective household cleaner that does way more than just cooking your joint of gammon! Throw some down the toilet for a sparkling result – it’s much kinder to the environment than bleach.
Don’t forget fiddly bits
Keep your old toothbrushes stashed away, as they are so handy for cleaning awkward little bits and corners. The grouting around tiles and taps can be especially fiddly!
Being a teacher we also have a multitude of permanent marker pens. These can be a very quick and easy way to tidy up any furniture that has taken a bump and been scratched. Likewise, Tip-ex is ideal for touching up bannisters and skirting that is looking tired.
Emma at The Mini Mes and Me had some great advice where nasty smells and troublesome ovens are concerned:
Banish smells with homemade remedies
Any strange odours emerging from your home can be banished in no time at all. Smelly bins and litter trays are easily remedied by tipping a small amount of vanilla extract onto cotton wool balls, and leaving them nearby. This also helps to get rid of the smell of cigarettes, too.
If you want to freshen up your microwave, simply place citrus peel covered in a small amount of water into a microwavable bowl, then heat on high for two minutes before wiping down your microwave’s interior.
If it’s old trainers that are kicking out a stink, place baking powder into them in the evening and tap off any excess in the morning/before wearing.
Protect your oven
The oven is often seen to be the heart of the home, so getting some liners for it, which will catch any drips and splashes with ease, will keep it fresh and clean with minimal effort. To clean any glass though, including the windows, dab some vinegar onto newspaper and save ££ on branded products!
Pippa, blogger at A Mother’s Ramblings, also gave us some useful tips, this time about keeping pests at bay:
Leave no nook untouched
As part of your spring clean, throw out any expired food and other items you bought but never used, as these can be perfect food sources for moths, rodents and insects. When it comes to heavily-soiled carpets and rugs, however, call in a professional to clean them – even the smallest crumbs can act as sustenance for pests.
Rodents will often make their nests behind refrigerators, so don’t forget to vacuum refrigerator coils and sweep and mop underneath (when the appliance is unplugged)! Another favourite nesting place is the small spaces between junk stored in the loft – pests are happiest in undisturbed areas. Make sure that you sort through everything regularly, and ensure that any clothes you aren’t planning to wear for a while are perfectly clean, before storing them in sealed plastic bags or suitcases to prevent moths from nesting in them.
Do you have any of your own tips for spring cleaning success? We’d love to hear them – why not leave a comment below?