I am writing this blog for my own benefit, because I know if I write my spring cleaning tips in a post, it will be forever immortalized on The Teri Tome.
This way next spring, when I can’t find my spring cleaning checklist, I’ll know where to go!
Spring has sprung, and I know what that means.
I’ll be cleaning, and my husband will be…
…I know what I have to do, but I don’t really want to.
And I don’t really need a checklist, because I know the drill.
Wash the windows, wipe down all my ceiling fans and lights, change out the cabinet shelf liners, degrease the kitchen, give the refrigerator a full cleanout and clean up, wash the curtains, vacuum under the beds, tip-top the bathrooms, degrunge the grout, and so on and on and on.
I’m already exhausted and entirely turned off.
But I gotta do it.
And my husband?
He knows I gotta do it too…
So here are some tips:
Clean your glass shower doors: The easiest way to remove hard water stains and soap scum? Dryer sheets. Yep. Try it. Wet a dryer sheet and, working in a circular motion, clean the glass. If a film remains, simply wipe it off with a glass cleaner and some paper towel. You can also use dryer sheets (unused or used) to buff spots off mirrors and bathroom and kitchen fixtures. They also remove rings around the toilet and are great for baseboard cleaning.
Remove shower scum: Fill a dish wand with half vinegar and half dish soap. I highly recommend Blue Dawn. (Make sure the Dawn is blue.) Then scrub away. You can also use an old sponge, Dobie pad, toothbrush, or scrub brush and just dip into a cup of the same solution.
Degrunge your tiles and grout: First, sweep or vacuum. Mix warm water and powdered oxygen bleach to create a thick paste consistency. Not runny. (OxiClean is the best). Do not use regular bleach. It won’t work. Then apply the bleach paste to the grout with a sponge and let it sit for 5 to 30 minutes. For large surfaces, work with small areas so the solution doesn’t dry on the surface. Then take a scrub brush and zhoosh it around. (Or is it zhoozh?) Whatever. You get the point. Then rinse with hot water. As the grout or tile dries, it will brighten up without the hassle of heavy scrubbing.
Eliminate mildew from white grout: Try using a bleach pen. This method is tedious, but the payoff is worth it. Use the pen to draw the bleach into the grout lines. The pen allows you to target the grout without getting bleach all over the tile. Wait 10 minutes, and then rinse. For really mildewy grout, you may need a second application. It can also help to gently scrub the bleach into the grout with a toothbrush and then wait 10 minutes.
Remove stubborn toilet and bathtub rust stains: If you have a lot of iron in your water and struggle with rust stains in your toilet or bathtub, the perfect solution is a product called Acid Magic. Acid Magic is a user-friendly Muriatic acid replacement and is safer because it won’t burn your skin and has up to 90% fewer fumes. But make sure to take all the precautions you need to, like wearing gloves and safety glasses when using it. To clean rust from toilets and other porcelain surfaces, add three parts of water to one part of Acid Magic. Apply the mixture to the rust stains with a sprayer, brush, or foam pad, and watch the stain dissolve. Rinse with clear water. You can also use it at full strength for stubborn stains. Avoid getting the acid on metal parts because they can discolor.
Remove tough stains from vinyl flooring: If your vinyl floor has marks or stains that won’t come off, try using Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Using rubber gloves, dampen a white rag and rub it on marks and stains. Don’t use anything but a white cloth to avoid color staining.
Take advantage of your dishwasher: You can save yourself a ton of time by washing all kinds of stuff in your dishwasher. Be sure there are no plastic parts that won’t be able to withstand the heat, and run them through a “normal” washing cycle. Some examples of stuff you can run through your dishwasher on a “normal” cycle are: silicone oven mitts and trivets, toys, figurines, kitchen brushes, and sponges.
Hack for cleaning ceiling fans: Take an old pillowcase and spray the inside with Pledge, Endust, or any all-purpose cleaner. Slide the case over the blade and then slowly draw the fabric back. All the dust and dirt will stay in the pillowcase instead of flying everywhere.
Keep your refrigerator squeaky clean: Wash the interior with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda for every quart of warm water. Loosen hardened spills on fixed parts by wetting the area with the mixture, allowing the residue to soften. Use a toothbrush to scrub crannies.
How to clean your oven: Cleaning your oven using vinegar and water steam is a straightforward process. Start by removing any debris and taking out the oven racks. Next, place a large, oven-safe bowl or pot filled with a one-to-one ratio of water and vinegar. Then, close the door and turn on the oven to 450 degrees. As the vinegar solution starts to boil, allow the oven to steam up for about 5-8 minutes. Then turn the oven off and keep the door closed for about 30 more minutes so the steam permeates all corners, softening and breaking down the stubborn grease and food particles. Then remove the pot and wipe the oven clean, taking care not to burn yourself.
Lint-free television and computer screen cleanup: Spray a touch of screen cleaner on a coffee filter and wipe away the dust with no lint worries.
Clean your blinds: Combine equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl and get a sock to put over your hand. Dip the sock in the solution and then run it over each slat of the blinds to remove any dirt or dust.
Remove silverware tarnish: Place sterling or plated silver in an aluminum pan. (It must be aluminum.) Sprinkle 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda over the silverware. Keeping the pan in the sink to minimize splashing, pour enough boiling water to cover the utensils. When the tarnish disappears, remove the silverware and buff it with a soft cotton cloth.
Cleaning hack for grimy pan bottoms: Sprinkle salt on the bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle baking powder on top of the salt. Next, squeeze some dishwashing liquid all over the bottom of the pan. Cover the bottom with tissues and pour 1/4 cup white vinegar over the tissues. Wait ten minutes and clean off the bottom.
Wash small neck decanters and pitchers: Fill the bottles with water, drop in a tablet or two of a denture cleaner such as Efferdent, and let stand overnight. Then scrub with a narrow nylon brush.
Shine your stainless steel appliances: For an impressively clean shine, put some rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth and wipe those annoying fingerprints away. You can also use a drop or two of olive oil.
Break up couch stains: Baking soda can help remove lingering smells and break up stains on the fabric. Start by brushing off the surface of the couch, then sprinkle baking soda on the area you want to clean. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then vacuum it up using the brush attachment.
Quick and easy way to clean up dust, dirt, and crumbs: Use a lint roller to pick up dust, dirt, crumbs, and pretty much anything in your house. It’s perfect for lampshades, drawers, tablecloths, carpets, and window screens. If you have fabric that needs a facelift, lint roller it!
Remove cabinet gunk: Mix together a solution of vegetable oil and baking soda, and then use an old toothbrush to scrub all that gunky stuff out of the corners of cabinet surfaces.
Get your rings to shine again: The safest way to clean an engagement ring or any other type of ring with precious metals is to mix warm water with a small amount of blue Dawn dishwashing soap and let the ring soak for about 10 to 20 minutes. Then use a soft toothbrush to make it sparkly clean.
Get rid of mold: Clean mold the same way you clean cuts. Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water. Wipe the mixture on the moldy spots and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Then scrub the area to remove all mold and stains, and wipe down the surface.
Cleaning hardwood floors: Make a magic solution by combining 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon castile soap, and 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol with 2 cups warm water. Then pour the mixture into a plastic spray bottle. Apply this cleaner over stained hardwood areas, wipe with a soft cloth, and you’ll be amazed at the shiny results. Take special care not to get your floor too wet while cleaning.
Cleaning porcelain tile floors: Start by sweeping the floor to remove any dust on the porcelain tiles. You can use a dry dust mop or a vacuum. Use a damp sponge mop and a solution of 1/4 cup of white vinegar to 2 gallons of water.
Deep clean quartz countertops: Wipe countertops clean with a damp cloth. Use a mild, non-abrasive detergent soap for deep cleaning.
Erase Scuff Marks: Clean off shoe scuff marks from vinyl flooring with a clean, dry tennis ball. A light rub and heel marks are erased.
Washing outdoor aluminum chairs: Combine blue Dawn with warm water and scrub with a Dobie pad. Then rinse very well.
Remove dirt and grime from Trex Decks: Combine an equal amount of water and white vinegar and use a soft cloth to remove dirt and grime. Rinse thoroughly after use, and do not leave the vinegar in contact with the surface. A nylon scratchpad or toothbrush can be used on harder-to-clean areas.
Remove stains from Quartz composite sinks: A wipe-down with a damp Magic Eraser works every time.
Magic Erasers are indeed magic. You can use them on pretty much anything.
Blue Dawn is the Bomb: Blue Dawn works miracles on most stains. Just take a white cloth and dab it with a touch of Dawn (only blue), then rinse it off and wait for the shockingly positive results. If you have larger areas to clean, use 3 parts water to one part blue Dawn Ultra.
Oh, and if I missed anything, please share your cleaning tips with me!
And if you have any brilliant ideas for how to get my husband to help me, fess up!