Warmer temperatures and longer days bring the promise of spring . . . and the annual ritual of spring cleaning. If you’re looking forward to the sparkle of a clean house but dreading the time and effort that spring cleaning can take, check out these ten timesaving tips:
1. Socks can make handy cleaning tools. Put a pair of cotton socks on your hands to quickly clean blinds and dust furniture and baseboards. For particularly dirty surfaces, dampen the socks first with soapy water or with all-purpose spray cleaner. Throw the dirty socks in the laundry when you’re finished.
2. To save labor and time, clean rooms from top to bottom. Start with ceiling fans and light fixtures, then dust furniture before vacuuming or cleaning floors.
3. Use a long extension cord for your vacuum to save time and steps backtracking to unplug the machine from outlets.
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4. Put cooktop drip pans and oven racks in the dishwasher to clean them easily. If the items are extra dirty or greasy, spray with oven cleaner first and let the parts soak before running the cycle.
5. Use a squeegee on glass shower doors to prevent water spots, soap scum buildup, and streaks. Simply use the squeegee to wipe down the doors before exiting the shower.
6. Fill a spray bottle with half vinegar, half water, and a squirt of dishwashing liquid to make an inexpensive all-purpose cleaner for sinks, showers, tubs, tile, and other surfaces. Avoid using vinegar or chemicals on granite, quartz, or marble as it may dull some sealants (talk to your installer or manufacturer about cleaning recommendations).
7. Dampen rubber/latex gloves and run your hands over upholstery and draperies to remove pet hair and lint. Use a dry squeegee to pick up pet hair from rugs and carpets.
8. Use a damp (not wet) disinfectant alcohol wipe to gently clean cell phone screens, TV remotes, light switches, doorknobs, and other frequently touched objects.
9. Tired of bending and stretching to clean your shower or bathtub? Use a mop to scrub the tub, shower floor, and walls.
10. Line the tops of cabinets and refrigerators with parchment or wax paper to catch dust and grease. Simply remove and replace the paper for easy cleanup.
While you’re spring cleaning, be sure to replace all your household sponges with new, clean ones. Color code the rooms where each sponge is used, i.e., pink sponge for kitchen, blue sponge for bathrooms, green sponge for laundry room, etc., so you don’t mix them up. Consider investing in some microfiber cloths that can be used for many cleaning tasks and laundered between uses.