Ahhh, spring. As winter loosens its Herculean grip, we’re just itching to fling open the windows to bird song and fresh air. But warming weather also means something else. A time-consuming, laborious, no-fun annual event that we dread (and try our best to dodge) — spring cleaning.
But with these brilliant — albeit slightly weird — hacks, you can clean the house from top to bottom easy-squeezy. And there’s no need for an arsenal of expensive, chemically smelling supplies either. Because you already have everything you need.
Jump on the #WeDreadSpringCleaning train and employ these hacks to make your house sparkly and lemony fresh — so you can spend more time outside in the sunshine.
Hack #1: Get a Room with a View
Ditch the cleaning agents that inevitably streak your windows for something much simpler: warm water and white vinegar. This natural solution will leave your view crystal clear. Pro tip: Do this on an overcast day or the sun will dry the glass too quickly and you’ll never rid yourself of pesky streaks.
Hack #2: Keep Stainless Steel Shining
Smudgy fingerprints and hard water stains are right up there with streaks on the irksome list. Unless you have Kenmore® Stainless Steel with Active Finish™, give your appliances and faucets a shine every so often by wiping them down with a halved lemon.
Hack #3: Wash Your…Dishwasher?
Even your cleaning machines need a good cleaning. Put a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run your dishwasher on its hottest cycle. Then sprinkle baking soda in the bottom and run another short, hot cycle.
Hack #4: Dispose of Garbage Stink
We all know the garbage disposal doesn’t exactly come up smelling like roses. Banish the stench by filling ice cube molds with vinegar and small lemon pieces and freezing the tray. Toss these cubes down the drain every few days and run the disposal until they dissolve. Because you know what they say: when life gives you lemons, make lemon ice cubes (or something like that).
Hack #5: Sponge Clean, Clean Sponge
With all this heavy-duty spring cleaning, your sponges themselves will need a disinfecting. Pop them in the microwave, blast them on high for one minute and get right back to work!
Hack #6: Make It a Multipurpose Wash
Now that you’ve deep-cleaned your dishwasher, why not make it pull double duty? Load it up with everything but the kitchen sink, including plastic kids’ toys, pet bowls and hairbrushes and combs. Check out 8 Things You Can Wash in the Dishwasher … And 7 You Can’t for more dishwasher tips.
Hack #7: Start from the Inside…
The inside of your oven can get…a little gnarly. But all you need is 5 tablespoons of baking soda, 4 tablespoons of white vinegar and 5 drops of dishwashing liquid. The mixture will form a thick paste that, once spread over your oven and left to sit for at least 15 minutes, will take the rub out of scrub.
Hack #8: …Out
Once the inside of the oven is taken care of, get to work on the cooktop. Place each burner/grate in a plastic bag filled with ¼ cup of ammonia and leave them to soak overnight — preferably outside to avoid the noxious fumes. Then wipe with a sponge and voilà; it’s grate to be clean!
Hack #9: Wax On, Wax Off
Waxing your cooktop may not teach you the art of karate, but it will help you achieve kitchen Zen. Apply a thin layer of car wax and then wipe it off with a clean rag or paper towel. Not only will the wax polish your stovetop to a high sheen, but it will make future spills a nonissue.
Hack #10: Make Your Shower Sing
Dryer sheets might be gentle on clothes, but they’re tough on water stains and soap scum marring your shower doors. For tile grout, mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and get to scrubbing with a toothbrush or other small brush. If this sounds like punishment, just imagine how glintingly clean your shower will be!
Hack #11: Enjoy Sweet (Smelling) Dreams
Your sheets aren’t the only thing absorbing sweat and body oils as you sleep. But your mattress never gets washed. Eww! Spritz vodka mixed with a dash of your favorite essential oil and let it air-dry, or simply sprinkle baking soda. Now you can sleep easy.