Ahhhh, spring! Bees are buzzing, flowers are blooming and I’m over here sweeping the floors. It’s spring cleaning time again.
This year, I’m searching for ways to cut to the chase and make my annual (okay, quarterly because kids) cleaning spree a little bit simpler. Plus, I’d love to find ways to make everything just a smidge more environmentally friendly.
Deep Clean Your House for Spring
To make your house sparkle, grab a few key supplies:
- white vinegar
- baking soda
- Bon Ami cleanser
- essential oils – lemon, lavender, citronella, etc.
- cloth dust rags
These are all products that are readily available in most grocery or big box stores. You can DIY your own dust rags from older t-shirts, cloth diapers or other soft clothes. We actually cut up diaper changing pad covers. The soft-yet-tough terry cloth scrubs off even the most stuck on of messes on the counters or walls. Yes, walls. Did I mention I’ve got kids?
Even with my sometimes messy kids underfoot, I actually use all of these cleaning techniques in my own house. And I keep on using them because they work!
Spring Clean Your Laundry Room
Start with your top-fill washing machine. Set it to the hottest and largest setting. Fill up your machine, then add a cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda. Close the lid and let it agitate for 3-5 minutes. Then open the top again and let it sit for a few hours. When time’s up, dip a dust cloth into the water and wipe down all the exposed parts in the drum.
On a front load washer, add the vinegar and baking soda before you start the machine. Then let it go through a complete cycle on the hottest setting. When it’s done, use a dust cloth to wipe down the rubber seal around the door.
If you have counters in your laundry room, wipe them down with a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and your favorite essential oil. Use just a drop or two of the oil to cut the vinegar smell. Spray onto the counters and wipe with a dust cloth.
Cut Grime in Your Kitchen
I don’t know about you, but my kitchen sink stinks to high heaven after a few days of heavy dishwashing. All the food and bits of stuff gets stuck down in there and just plain smells.
When it gets really yucky, I peel a lemon. Yup, a lemon. I drop a few pieces of lemon peel into the garbage disposal. Then I run the water really hot and turn on the disposal until it’s flushed through.
For a deeper clean in your sink drain, add 1/4 cup baking soda to the drain and pour in a cup or so of vinegar. It should bubble and foam. That’s the cleaning action! Again, run the water really hot or pour some boiling water down the drain to flush. You can use this strategy on any sink in your house!
To really clean your counters, sprinkle a little bit of Bon Ami cleaner and use a smidge of water to mix it into a paste. Follow the directions on the container to rinse your counters clean. You can also use Bon Ami to clean pretty much any non-porous surface in your home, from the kitchen to bathrooms!
Make Windows & Glass Sparkle
You know what makes windows sparkle? Vinegar.
If you’ve been tracking so far, you’ll have noticed that vinegar is a theme in eco-friendly cleaning.
Create a mix of vinegar and water. Spritz it onto your windows, mirrors and any other glass surfaces in your home. Wipe clean with a dust cloth.
Kill Mold ASAP
Mold and mildew just love to take up residence in my showers and on my kids bath toys. They get really slimy, really quickly.
When I’m looking to get rid of mold in the shower or tub (and anywhere else), I squirt a little bit of vinegar onto the moldy places and let it sit. Then I rinse it off with really hot water.
For really stubborn mold or mildew, make a paste with a bit of baking soda and water. Scrub the spots that need extra attention, then repeat the vinegar mold removal steps. Rise with hot water.
For bath toys, run a hot bath. We’re talking scalding temperatures. Add a good bit of vinegar and let the toys soak in the water for a while. Then add some baking soda and let everything foam up a bit. After soaking the toys a little longer, drain the tub and rise each toy in hot water. Let them dry on some of your DIY dust clothes.
Tackle Tough Floors
Finish your cleaning up with a good clean floor. Grab some more vinegar and add about 1/2 cup to a gallon of hot water.
While it cools off just a touch, do a quick sweep of your floors to get up all the big crumbs and dry messes. Then mop as normal with the vinegar solution.
You can cut the vinegar smell by adding a few drops of essential oils to your floor solution. Literally, just a drop or two will do the trick.
To freshen up your carpets, sprinkle baking soda over them. Let it sit for a while. You could do this as the first step in your spring cleaning routine. Or, if you know no one will mess with it overnight and before you start cleaning, sprinkle your carpets before you go to sleep.
When you’re ready, just vacuum up the baking soda! The natural odor absorbers in the baking soda will capture the yucky smells and leave your carpets springtime fresh!