Spring Cleaning Tips and Shortcuts

Author: Alecia Pirulis


Ah, spring! There’s just something about the crisp mornings, the sunny afternoons, the cheery yellow daffodils swaying in the breeze, the new brilliant green leaves unfurling on the trees, the birds chirping  … It makes you want to dig out the vacuum cleaner and dust rag and clean something.

… No? It doesn’t?

Well, if you’d prefer to be outside enjoying the warmer days rather than vacuuming behind the bed and washing the windows, then spring cleaning is a chore that you probably want to finish as quickly as possible. Here are some tips and shortcuts to get you out of your apartment and enjoying the beautiful weather in a hurry:

  • Denture cleaner works great for cleaning your toilet bowl! Just drop a couple of tablets in, leave them alone for a minute or two, and flush.
  • Before you dash out of your apartment to buy cleaning supplies, look in your kitchen pantry. Distilled white vinegar kills germs and prevents mold and mildew. Use it to clean your bathtub or shower, and mix some with water to wash your windows.
  • If you want clean, streak-free windows, don’t use paper towels – newspaper works better.
  • Don’t waste time scrubbing the dried-on bits of food from the microwave. Take a microwave-safe bowl and fill it with two cups of water and half a cup of white vinegar. Run the microwave for three to four minutes (full power), and leave it alone for several minutes. Remove the bowl (carefully- the water mixture will be hot!) and the microwave will easily wipe clean, thanks to the deep “steam-clean.”
  • If you use a little car wax on the shower tiles after you’ve cleaned them, the water won’t stick and your shower will stay cleaner longer.
  • Baking soda mixed with a little water is a great way to clean grout.
  • Instead of removing all of your curtains, washing (or dry-cleaning them), and hanging them back up, just rent a steam-cleaner and have them looking fresh and clean in minutes.
  • Make your own stainless steel cleaner (and furniture polish) with olive oil, some lemon juice, and a spoonful of vinegar. Wipe on the furniture and then buff off with a dry rag.
  • Before cleaning your kitchen cabinets, microwave your damp sponge for 20-30 seconds to help cut through the grease build-up easier.
  • Duct tape is great for removing pet hair from furniture – and even your car seats.
  • Use a plastic putty knife to remove dry soap scum from shower tiles.
  • Another great way to remove soap scum is with a dryer sheet sprinkled with little water.
  • High ceilings are great – until you can’t reach them for cleaning. Use a length of PVC pipe to connect to your vacuum cleaner hose to reach those impossible corners.
  • After cleaning the kitchen sink, take a sheet of wax paper and rub it over the faucet to prevent water spots and fingerprints.
  • To clean blinds, use equal parts water and vinegar mixed in a bowl.
  • Clean your bathtub with a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar (equal parts) and a dash of lemon juice. Apply it and let it stand for about half an hour, then rinse clean.
  • Coffee filters are great for cleaning your television screen and computer monitor.
  • Want to clean your oven racks but you don’t have any steel wool?  Remove the racks from the oven and crumple up some aluminum foil – use the ball of foil and some dishwashing liquid to get those oven racks squeaky clean.
  • A great way to remove scuff marks from linoleum? White toothpaste!
  • Get the dust off lamp shades by using a lint roller.