Natural Spring-Cleaning Hacks
With spring’s arrival, give all corners of your home a sparkly facelift with these fast, but effective, tips from SweepStars, who clean thousands of SA homes every week via SweepSouth’s home-services booking app. Try their top tips using everyday products that are easily at hand to add a fresh feel to your house this spring.
Kitchen cleaning tricks
Give coffee and tea mugs a refresh by removing old stains. Fill the mug halfway with white vinegar, then top up with boiling water. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, before washing well. Add gleam to stainless steel kitchen appliances like fridges and dishwashers by rubbing coconut oil or baby oil onto them with a soft cloth. Rid your microwave of old food splatters by placing a microwavable bowl filled with one-third vinegar and two-thirds water inside the microwave. Heat for five minutes until the microwave is steamed up. Baked-on food splatters will now be soft enough to remove with a quick wipe. If not, simply repeat the process. When you’re cleaning the insides of kitchen cupboards and cabinets, the trickiest bits are often the corners and areas around hinges. To reach them, use an old toothbrush dipped into the cleaning solution and, for really tight spots, try an earbud moistened with cleaner to help remove grime.
If your dishwasher smells funky, fill a mug with vinegar, place it in the top rack of an empty dishwasher, then run it for a normal cycle.
Vacuum cleaners often have a stale smell. Give yours a refresh by cleaning the hoses, filter, and canister with a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water. Rinse with water, then allow to dry. Next, pop a ball of cotton wool that’s been dipped into a fresh-smelling essential oil, like lemon or eucalyptus, into the vacuum bag for a fresh smell every time you vacuum. Remove any old chewing gum stuck to the carpet by drenching it with a thorough spritz of hairspray. The gum will harden, and you’ll be able to scrape it off with a knife.
Get rid of water stains on wooden coffee tables by applying Vaseline and leaving it overnight. The next day, wipe the mark away using the Vaseline. You can also try mixing equal parts vinegar and olive oil, then, using a cloth and moving with the wood grain, applying the mixture to the area. Use another dry soft cloth to buff it up.
Refresh your shower and get rid of soap scum and mould with a natural shower scrub. Mix three cups of water with three teaspoons of tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Spray on the shower walls and floor, leave for half an hour, spray again, then scrub to remove residue and rinse. Banish black spots of mould or mildew in your bathroom basin’s sealant by applying a paste made with one part lemon juice to one part bicarbonate of soda. Leave the paste on for two hours, then rinse off. To rid your drain of smells, mix half a cup of bicarbonate of soda with a quarter cup of salt. Sprinkle the mixture down the drain, followed by a cup of warm white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour hot water down the drain.
Bedroom curtains and pelmets are dust and allergen traps. Wipe down the pelmets, then use your vacuum cleaner on a low setting to give your curtains a quick once-over. If you have a clothes steamer, use it on your curtains once they’re dusted, to refresh them. Give your wardrobe a good clean before you pack your winter clothes away. Take out all the clothing inside the cupboard, vacuum up any dust then wipe down the inside with a mild water and soap solution to get rid of dust and dirty marks.
Once your clothes are packed back into the cupboard, place blocks of cedarwood on the shelves to repel moths. Sachets filled with fresh lavender or rosemary and hung from the clothing rail will also act as a moth deterrent, plus add a fresh scent to your wardrobe.
Giving your home a spring clean needn’t be a back-breaking slog - with just these few refresher tips, each room will have a new-season feel.