Freshen up your home using these tricksBy Brandpoint
Cleaning for the warmer months ahead is more than tidying up. It’s an instinctual tradition that helps cleanse your spirit, shake off winter and begin afresh. Here are some tips from cleaning experts to get you started.
Let the light in
Put on some uplifting music, then clean off the grime on your windows. Mix up a natural solution of two parts white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Fill a clean bucket or pot with cool water and add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Dip a sponge or microfiber cloth in the water and wipe down the window’s surface, starting at the top. Wipe down the window frame and sill, too. Then spray the window thoroughly with your vinegar solution (or commercial product). Use a clean cloth towel, paper towel or some black-and-white newspaper pages to dry the window, using a z-shaped motion.
It’s often easier to clear a room for cleaning and dusting when you set a time limit. Select one room, and set a timer for 10 minutes. Fill a laundry basket with items that need to be returned to other parts of the house, such as toys. Put trash in a garbage bag and future thrift store donations in a cardboard box.
Zoom with vacuum
Change any full bags first, and wipe down your vacuum and its attachments, if they need it. You can use a utility cloth to scrub the brush. Start to one side of a room, vacuum in an “M” pattern and work your way out of the room. (This pattern helps pick up dust and allergens and makes high-traffic areas less noticeable.) Use your attachments to clean baseboards.
Doing these tasks regularly can keep these home appliances running efficiently.
- Dishwashers: Once a month, check and clean the drain and wipe down the door seals and spray arm.
- Microwave: Clean the rotating microwave plate in the dishwasher each week. When needed, put a bowl of water with a few cut lemons in the microwave and run it for three minutes. Let it sit for five minutes before wiping down the inside.
- Coffee maker: Hand-wash the filter tray, exposed areas and crevices weekly, and run water with a bit of vinegar through it to clean the inner mechanisms. (This will make your coffee taste better, too.)
Capture fur, fight odors
If you have a dog or cat, thoroughly vacuum any furniture and pet bed that your pet uses. Arm & Hammer’s Pet Fresh bags and filters are among products that help capture pet dander and allergens, while neutralizing offensive smells.
If you keep pet wipes at the door, you can clean paws and stop mud in its tracks before it gets inside your home. Look for an all-natural product that will pick up dirt and moisturize paw pads at the same time. Also, stash a lint roller by the door to quickly remove pet fur from clothing as you step out the door.
More ways to spruce up your home