It’s that time of year again – the sun’s (very slowly) beginning to peer through the parting clouds, and you can finally shed at least one layer of clothing before stepping out of the house.
Nice as the start of springtime is, it’s also time for the annual spring clean. Love or hate it, it has to be done – so check out our hacks to make it run as smoothly as possible.
1. Invest in vinegar
Vinegar is a powerful, cheap and safe cleaning agent, and can be used to clean various household objects. Add a little to the dishwasher to make sure dishes come out sparkling clean. Finding it hard to get your glasses sparkling? Rub ‘em with a little vinegar. You can even add a small amount to the washing machine – it works wonders on stains (and don’t worry – the vinegary smell disappears as the clothes dry!)
2. Love those lemons!
Believe it or not, lemons can be used to remove the most stubborn of grime. If stainless steel is looking a little mucky and getting tell-tale signs of rust creeping in around the edges, take a lemon to it. Simply cut the lemon in half and rub one half over your taps and voila! Watch the stains disappear. The best bit? You’re left with a fresh, tangy, lemony scent, rather than the overwhelming chemical aroma of cleaning agents.
3. Store and find your bed linen easily
Does it take you a little longer than you’d like to dig out matching bed linen? After you iron your bed linen sets, try storing them in one of their pillowcases. That way, as soon as you open up the cupboard they’re kept in and see the pillowcase you’re looking for, you’ll know the necessary bits are all folded safely inside. Phew.
4. Fully utilise the dishwasher
Even though it’s called a ‘dish’ washer, it could very well be called an ‘almost-everything-washer’. Use it to its full potential – load in kids’ plastic toys, hairbrushes, fridge shelves, soap dishes – even your showerhead if it’s removable. Saves you time standing over the sink with a never-ending queue of objects!
5. Don a lone sock – on your hand
How annoying is it to have one sock that you just can’t find the pair of? Well, spring cleaning time offers the perfect opportunity to utilise this sock for a great purpose. Instead of using a feather duster to clean on top of high surfaces, the mantelpiece and even between slats of blinds, stick a sock on your hand and wipe away that dust.
6. Use a hair dryer to banish water rings on tables
We all know the irritation of finding a water ring on wooden furniture – how often do we have to utter the words “use a coaster”? But don’t fret – this little tip will banish those anger-inducing stains. Grab a hair dryer and heat the area steadily until the stain starts to disappear. When it’s just about gone, use a dab of olive oil on a cloth to give it a rub and wax the wood up a little. You’ll be amazed at how new that old coffee table looks after the Hairdryer Treatment!
7. Remove stray hairs with rubber gloves
Rubber gloves come in super handy – and not just for keeping your hands dry while you wash the dishes. They also stick to stray pet hairs on furniture, making it super-easy to remove them. Snap on a pair of rubber gloves and carefully rub down your couch, bed, cushions – whatever your furry friends have nabbed a nap on. Just make sure you have a bin nearby to quickly dust the hairs into, so you don’t drop them on the carpet after removal!
8. Heat a mug of water in the microwave to unstick food from the inside
It happens to the best of us – food magically seems to jump off plates and out of bowls in the microwave, stubbornly fixing to its walls. Don’t worry – we’ve got an effective removal method. Place a mug of water in the microwave, and heat for 1-2 minutes. Open the door, and take a cloth to the sticky walls. Watch as the baked beans/pasta Bolognese/“not sure what it is” wipes off with ease.
9. Lint rollers aren’t just for clothes
Lint rollers make great hair removal devices from coats, jumpers and tops – but what about lampshades and soft furnishings? They’re cheap and easy to find, and a quick whirl over your lampshades will quickly gather up all the dust that’s gathered over time. Simple!
10. Employ ‘The Six-Month Rule’ for decluttering
“But I love this dress, I wore it to my sister’s wedding”, we say, unable to remember exactly when that was. “I can’t throw out this plaid skirt – it was my favourite in college”. This is the reason decluttering – especially when it comes to your wardrobe – is so difficult. We attach sentimental value to clothing and can’t seem to let it go. That’s why employing what we call The Six-Month Rule is so handy when it comes to tossing old clothes.
Take an item of clothing. Ask yourself if you’ve worn it in the last six months (or three, if you can be that strong!), and if the answer’s no, chuck it in the charity pile. Don’t feel bad – someone else will love the item like it deserves – plus it frees up space for you to treat yourself later in the year…