Rites of Spring: 12 Tips to Wash Away Winter Grime

in Apartment Living, Help Me Now! on by

Spring Cleaning

Winter is the time to snuggle up with soft, cuddly throws, eat comforting soups and stews, and enjoy the challenges of cold weather with friends and family. But when you hear the chirp of the first spring robin and can comfortably leave home without a jacket, it’s time to air out the rooms, quilts, and comforters and begin the process of spring cleaning. These tips will make your chores fly by!

Squeegee Away Pet Hair

That squeegee you use to clean your windows actually does double duty as a pet hair remover. Simply press the rubber against a floor or furniture surface and drag it towards you. Remove the buildup as you go, and vacuum the area when you’re done to catch the strays.

Shine On

When your stainless steel appliances and kitchen gadgets get that dull film on them, they make the entire kitchen look dreary and boring. To combat this, you’ll want to create a thin paste by combining one teaspoon of cream of tartar with a tad of tap water. Rub the paste on all your stainless steel appliances and wipe it away with a soft cloth to reveal the beautiful shine you fell in love with in the first place.

Organic Grill Brush

Summer is just around the corner in the spring, which means grill time is back! It’s never too early to clean your grill to prepare it for your first cookout. Generously spray the grates with undiluted white vinegar to release grease and food residue, and let it set for a few minutes. Then rub the grill surfaces with the flesh of half an onion. The acid will eliminate the residue, and you’ll be ready to build your first fire of the season.

Refresh Your Stainless Steel Sinks

Water spots can detract from the beauty of even the cleanest stainless steel sinks. Make yours sparkle by lightly coating the sink and faucet with water and sprinkling it liberally with baking soda. Eliminate stuck-on residue by adding a dash of salt on the baking soda.

Make Faucets Shine With Lemon

Faucets develop ugly build-up over time, especially along the base. Cut a lemon in half and rub it along the faucet from top to bottom. Squeeze lemon juice around the base. Wipe clean for a sparkling faucet and a very fresh aroma.

Save Time and Money with a Homemade Duster

Wrap a small terrycloth or microfiber towel over the bristle head of a broom and secure it with a strong rubber band or two. Instead of buying some pricey gadget that eats up disposable microfiber refills, use this tool to clean cobwebs and dust from high and hard to reach places. Spray it lightly with an all-purpose cleaner to make it even more efficient.

Organize Hidden Spaces

Small Lazy Susans and rotary turntables are great for keeping frequently used spices and dried herbs within reach on your kitchen countertop. These gadgets are also handy for organizing small items on your pantry and refrigerator shelves.

Coffee Filters Clear Things Up

Coffee Filters

Sometimes it seems impossible to remove pesky smudges and fingerprints from monitors and TV screens. Luckily, all you have to do is grab a coffee filter and gently apply it to these surfaces to eliminate the eyesores. The fibers in the filter are the magic ingredient.

Extra! Extra! Newspaper Outperforms Paper Towels!

Combine two cups of water, one-fourth cup white vinegar, and two teaspoons of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto a glass or mirrored surface and scrub it with wadded up newspapers. The ink in the newspaper print serves as a mild abrasive and leaves no streaks.

All Labels Matter

Unlike the ones found on clothes, many furniture labels don’t provide cleaning instructions or even list the item’s material contents. However, most include cleaning codes that will prevent you from ruining the furniture. Use these guidelines for safe furniture cleaning:

W: Only water-based cleaning solutions are safe.
S: Only dry-cleaning solvents are safe. Water and/or saturation will damage the material.
S-W: Both water-based cleaners and dry-cleaning solvents are safe.
X: Furniture is only safe when cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or brush.

Keyboard Rejuvenation

When your keyboard is lagging or you get 200 e’s instead of the single letter you wanted to type, you probably some have keyboard grime buildup. To get rid of it, turn the keyboard upside down and gently tap it on a flat surface to release crumbs and dust particles. Next, gently drag a cotton swab in between all the rows of keys, both vertically and horizontally. Invert and tap again. Grab a clean cotton swab, moisten it with rubbing alcohol, and repeat the dragging exercise. A few shots of compressed air will eliminate any remaining dust.

Clothes Dryer Sheets in the Kitchen?

The invention that keeps on giving is now helping out in the kitchen. To remove burnt-on spills on your stove top, generously moisten a few dryer sheets and lay one over each of them. After a minimum of 15 minutes, brush away the residue with ease and no damage to your ceramic, glass, or porcelain stove top.

If spring cleaning isn’t your favorite part of the season, these tips will at least let you get to the good parts faster. If you’re a clean freak, party on.

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