Spring Cleaning How To's: 9 Hacks to Get Your Home Shining

cleaning supplies in bucket

Nothing feels better than saying goodbye to a long winter season. And it doesn’t even matter what climate you live in, there’s just something about the first day of Spring -- the fresh air, the warm sunshine, the realization you need to air out your home, but there are far too many dead bugs living in the window. Ok, maybe not the latter. But what a great reminder of the importance of proper spring cleaning.

Don’t get caught spending an arm and a leg on products. See what you already have at home and what you can make work. You may be surprised by the results some of these items can offer. Let's take a look at what the products are and what they can accomplish.

Window wash your way to a clear view

Your Grandma was right. Newspapers can be used to give your dirty windows a sparkly shine. But so can squeegees and microfiber cloths. Of course there’s always paper towels, but you might find this research interesting. Believe it or not, paper towels are not the best option when cleaning glass. That’s because the substances within paper towels can leave lint behind and streaks of their own.

Let’s move on to cleaning solution. Assuming Windex is not available or you want to test your own recipe, consider the following option, as recommended by Reader’s Digest: 2 tablespoons cornstarch, ½ cup ammonia, ½ cup vinegar, 3 quarts warm water. Mix well and put the solution into a spray bottle. In no time your windows will have the ultimate shine.

Clean your drains and garbage disposal

Cleaning your drains and garbage disposal on a regular basis will help keep them working smoothly and smelling fresh. Choose a natural remedy of one part vinegar to one part baking soda. And, follow up with hot water to flush out the residue.

Specific to garbage disposals, go one step further and drop a lemon rind into it. Then turn it on to further clean the disposal blade and to give your kitchen a lemony fresh scent.

Note: if you’re noticing serious or stubborn clogs while spring cleaning, don’t choose the DIY route. You’ll want to call in a professional so you can avoid any sewer system issues.

Deep clean those dusty blinds

Eliminate extra dust build up by spot cleaning your blinds with a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water. Start by leaving the blinds in an open position so you can wipe each one left to right. Once that’s done you can close the blinds and wipe them from top to bottom.

Of course if you have fabric blinds, you’ll want to try something as simple as vacuuming them. You can also look to have them dry cleaned.

Remove water marks on faucets and stainless steel

Stainless steel appliances often have “stains” believe it or not. The most common are water marks or fingerprints. But leave it to a lemon to clear those stains right up. The citric acid will help remove hard water marks on your faucets. You just have to mix the juice of a lemon with 3 tbsp of hot water and begin scrubbing. You can also use half of a lemon on stainless steel appliances. That lemon half is an easy way to scrub fingerprints off your refrigerator or grime off your oven.

Reduce laundry wrinkles and static electricity

Are you bothered by static electricity on your clothes, or wrinkled shirts because you had a bit too much laundry in your dryer? Or maybe you’re just not a fan of ironing? Well, here’s an easy fix. Run the cycle again (or just do this from the get go) and include a damp washcloth to the mix. The damp washcloth will reduce static and remove wrinkles.  

Say goodbye to candle wax drips

While knocking out your cleaning list, it’s not uncommon to have a scented candle or wax burner going -- just to sprinkle your favorite scent around your home. But be careful -- if you empty the burner or blow the candle out too fast, you may experience candle wax drips. If this happens, seek out the ever resourceful bottle of white vinegar and mix it with water. Use one part vinegar to one part water, and you’re ready to clean that dried up wax off your counter.

Freshen up your couch

Depending on the material of your sofa, baking soda can be an easy way to scrub it clean. Natural fiber couches can be wiped down with a dry cloth before sprinkling a bit of baking soda to clean it. Let the baking soda sit about 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up -- preferably using your brush attachment.

Just be sure you know your couch’s material before you being. You can easily ruin it by choosing the wrong cleaner. Check the label first, and see if it provides you cleaning instructions or even this cleaning key:

Upholstery Cleaning Labels

W: Use water-based cleaning solutions.

S: Use dry-cleaning solvents. Do not saturate. Do not use water.

S-W: Use water-based cleaners or dry-cleaning solvents.

X: Use a vacuum or brush only.

And remember, it’s never a bad idea to test clean a hidden spot of your couch first, just to be sure you don’t damage it.

Remove those annoying toilet stains

A lot of us drink Coca-Cola, but did you know that cola can also be used to remove toilet stains? It’s true, the three acids within Coke (carbonic, citrus, and phosphoric) will break down lime build up and water stains...among other stains. Just coat your toilet bowl with Coke, and let it sit for an hour if you can. The longer, the better. Once time is up, you can flush and voila. Your porcelain throne is back to being fit for a king.

Just don’t use Coke every time you clean your toilet. Overuse may stain the bowl. But definitely consider using it as you engage in spring cleaning!

Tip: if you have leftover Coke you’re no longer interested in drinking -- thank you, toilet -- it can also be used to:

  • Clean oil stains off garage floors

  • Remove grease from pots, pans, or even clothing

  • Clean tile grout

  • Remove bugs from your windshield

Get rid of clutter

Once you’ve completed your spring cleaning household chores, make time to sort through any cluttered paperwork. You may be surprised by how much you have lying around in your junk drawer or on your office desk. Should you happen to come across your mortgage statement, be sure to hang on to it and give one of our salary-based mortgage consultants a call. We can walk you through easy ways that can potentially save you $500-$1,000 a month. Maybe it’s removing mortgage insurance, locking into a lower interest rate, or even changing your loan term. We’ll take a look at options, walk you through what makes sense for your financial situation, and customize the right loan program to help you save the greatest amount. Just call (800) 910-4055.