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Category:  Cleaning

Related Links:  | CleaningClutter Control |

Spring Cleaning

Spring What?

By Nikki Willhite

www.allthingsfrugal.com

 

It is that time of year again that we prepare for our spring cleaning. Is this something you do yearly, or does it sound like an old-fashioned concept? Just what is spring cleaning, and why do some people do it?

 

One reason is that the house can get pretty stuffy in the winter. In the spring we once again open our windows, air out the house, and shake the dust off the furniture.
 
It's kind of like changing the smoke alarm batteries when the time changes. You have to set a time to do it. There is dust accumulating on the top of your door frames. This is not something that you think about every day. Yet, it's your house, and you are responsible for keeping it clean. Spring cleaning is when we get out the ladder and climb up and wipe it off. Then when the wind comes whipping through the windows, it's not going to fly all over the place!
 
As I constantly repeat in this e-zine, if you take care of your things (which includes maintaining and cleaning), they will last longer, so you will save money. I have compiled a list of items that are good to put on your spring cleaning list. Some of these should be done more than once a year; but even once a year is better than letting them go even longer.
 
Remember, that spring cleaning is traditionally done over a period of a few weeks. Make a schedule and stick to it. You can use it year after year, making minor adjustments. Then you don't have to spend any time planning- just doing the work.
 
Spring Cleaning Checklist
 
General
 
*Dust all the hard to reach places in your home, such as ceiling lights, above doors, floorboards and above tall pieces of furniture. Don't forget under things, like your computer. Attach a fabric softener sheet to the end of a long pole and it is easy to do the floorboards without bending. Depending on your house, you may also be able to reach all the high areas also.
 
Be sure and start at the top when you dust. All the dust is going to fall, and after you do a room, you will want to vacuum it.
 
*Wash your walls, especially in the kitchen where grease and grime accumulate. The bathroom also needs a good cleaning. As to the rest of the house- painting is often easier. Washing down all the walls in your home can be a daunting task. Some people just spot clean them. Unless they are abused, they will be fine until the next time you have to paint.
 
*Wash your windows, and clean the screens. Take the screens down, and hose them off (both sides). Wash the windows using a squeegee or newspaper. Make your own cleaning solution. There are many recipes, but my favorite is to just add a few Tablespoons of ammonia, and a dab of vinegar, to a spray bottle filled with water.
 
*Clean window blinds. Vacuum drapes. You should have a special attachment with your vacuum to run over the fabric of the drapes. You can clean your blinds this way too. However, for a good cleaning you may need to take them down and soak in the bathtub. You can also lay them outside and wash down using the hose. Be sure and turn to get both sides. If you put them in the bathtub, add a little bleach to whiten the cords. Outside the sun should do it.
 
*Clean your carpets. It prolongs the life of your carpet to give it a good yearly cleaning. Check with your friends to see if they have a cleaning machine, or rent one from the store. A good place to buy a strong cleaning solution at a good price is a janitorial supply store
.
If this isn't an option, here are some other things you can do:
 
Sprinkle 2 Cups of cornmeal and 1 Cup of Borax on your carpet for 1 hour. Then vacuum thoroughly.
Or try plain baking soda in the same way.
 
*Remove mildew from walls, windows, bathrooms, etc. Just mix a Cup of bleach into a gallon of water and mix well. Apply to mildew and it will kill it. Use a spray bottle for large areas and a toothbrush for small places. Be sure and rinse when you are done.
 
*Polish your wood. A lot of people think you don't need to do this, as the wood is initially covered with polyurethane or varnish. However, this protective covering wears off. I've seen wood that has been maintained, and wood that has been left alone. There is a BIG difference. Keep the moisture in your wood, protect it from water, and it will keep it's luster and look like new. If it is not in too bad shape, you can sometimes bring back it's shine and luster by rubbing on Liquid Gold. It may even mask minor scratches and other light damage.
 
Here is a recipe for homemade furniture polish. Mix the ingredients well , apply to the wood and let sit a few minutes, and then buff smooth.
 
The juice from 1 lemon

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon water.

 
*If you have an silver or brass, polish it.

Here is one way to inexpensively and quickly clean your silver. Line a large pan with aluminum foil (no gaps). Add your silver. Make sure each piece touches the foil. Completely cover with warm water and add 2 Tablespoons of baking soda. Let set 10 minutes.

 
Kitchen
 
*Pull out the refrigerator, clean behind it, and check your manual to see if there is maintenance to do on the coils or other parts of the appliance.
*Clean the inside of your dishwasher. Add 1/2 Cup of Vinegar and run it though a cycle.
*Clean the drip pans under your stove burners.
*Empty the crumbs out of the bottom of your toaster.
*Clean the can opener, paying particular attention to the blade area.
*Clean tiles and grout.
*Sterilize all your phones. These are big breeders of germs- should be done often.
 
Bathroom and Utility Areas
 
*Clean shower and bath stalls, including grout. Attack your grout with a toothbrush and some vinegar. If your grout is dry and cracking, you will have to replace it or risk water damage.

*Clean your shower curtains. Put them in the washing machine with some vinegar. Lay in the sun to dry.

 *Clean the washer and dryer. Check the hoses for elasticity. Replace if necessary. Make sure dryer lint is being vented outside and not under the house (fire hazard).
 
Misc

*Turn mattresses. This should be done quarterly to extend their life.

Some of these things you can do once a year and forget about them. Get organized. Make your list and stick to it, adjusting it when necessary. You will save time and money- and your house will be healthier and more pleasant.

 

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Category:  Cleaning

Related Links:  | CleaningClutter Control |

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