In February 2017 we posted an article called Spring Cleaning Tips for Real People in which we shared nine helpful ideas for how to get your home in spit-spot shape even before Spring actually rolls around.
This year, we decided to add additional tips you’ll find helpful, some of which might even make it fun.
Cleaning without a break for long periods can be exhausting. However, if you break up your cleaning into manageable chunks, with short breaks, you’ll find you have the energy to keep going. Clean for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, and while you’re cleaning, don’t do anything else. Really focus on it. Then, take a five minute break. Sit down and rest, cool off with a glass of water, or check your email and social media. Then repeat the process. You should be able to do this for several hours and get a lot done.
Listen to Something Interesting
Cleaning tasks tend to be repetitive and don’t take a lot of brainpower. One great way to pass the time is to put on something to listen to, like music or a podcast. Music is probably the most common thing for people to listen to while cleaning, but you might prefer to enjoy an audiobook or a podcast. If you have difficulty finding time to read or to catch up on the news, this is a great time to do it. You can still work in cycles of 20 minutes with a five minute break. Just keep the audio going while you relax.
Clean Your Cleaning Tools
When you clean, you don’t want to spread bacteria and bad smells, but there’s no need to constantly replace your cleaning tools, either.
To disinfect a sponge and give it a little extra life, dunk it in tap water and put it on a microwave-safe plate, then microwave it for two minutes. Let it cool and squeeze it dry, and you’ll have killed about 99% of the germs.
Before you run your vacuum cleaner and attachments over the rug and furniture, unplug it, then fill a pot with warm water and a bit of mild dish soap. Dampen a cloth and scrub the underside of the vacuum cleaner as well as the attachments, then let them dry.
Pour clear, warm water in a mop bucket and rinse the mop head in it, using the side press to squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Replace the water a few times, until it runs clear when you squeeze the mop. Then, add two gallons of fresh warm water and one cup of white vinegar. Let the mop head sit in this for 15 minutes or so. Then, squeeze out the mop. Empty the bucket and fill it with warm, soapy water, and let the mop’s head rest in it for a half-hour. Use fresh water to rinse it again, and let it dry.
Have you ever swept a floor only to find you’ve added dust bunnies to it, thanks to the dirty broom? To get your broom clean, take it outside and whack the end against a sturdy tree. This should get most of the serious dust out of it. Next, let the bristle-end soak in a bucket of sudsy water for five minutes or so and dry it with a cloth, moving your hand toward the outside of the bristles. Put it upside-down in the shower to dry.
Clean Sinks and Tubs with Citrus
Nothing is quite as refreshing as the taste, or scent, of citrus fruit. It turns out that lemon, orange, and grapefruit can help clean your garbage disposal, sinks, and tub.
To refresh your garbage disposal, let the water run into that side of the sink and turn the disposal on. Drop-in orange or lemon peels and let them do the work of removing gunk and freshening your drain. To clean the tub or either sink cut a grapefruit in half and shake salt liberally onto the fruity meat of each half. Squeeze them over the basin, then scrub with a damp cloth to remove grime. Rinse thoroughly when done.
Clean Mold with Hydrogen Peroxide and Water
Mold is nasty to clean, but this home-brewed solution makes it easier. Make a mixture that contains one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide per one cup of water. Get a cloth wet with it and rub it all over the moldy area of your tub or shower, let it sit for 10 minutes or longer, then scrub it clean with a cloth or sponge. Wipe it clean with water. As you clean, wear dish gloves to protect your hands.
This works for common molds found in the bathtub and shower. If you find potentially dangerous molds elsewhere, seek a professional opinion.
Use a Microfiber Cloth on Your Computer Monitor
Today’s LED computer monitors are meant to be treated gently. Most of the time, you can get yours clean by simply using the microfiber cloth that came with it. The optic departments at major stores like Costco or Walmart will often give you a new microfiber cloth if you ask nicely. Rub it gently over your monitor to remove the dust.
If your monitor has become too grimy for this, then add this one thing. Mix ½ cup of distilled water with ½ cup of white vinegar. Dip the microfiber cloth into it and gently wipe the screen clean. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, do not use wipes made of paper, such as paper towels, toilet paper, or tissue paper. Use a gentle cloth or a fresh coffee filter.
These tips should help you get your home that much fresher for spring or any season. We welcome you to check out the many other articles here in the Renter’s Bent for additional advice on cleaning and organization.