The snow is melting, the weather is warming, and that distinctive spring aroma is in the air. This season is all about new beginnings and a fresh start. Most of us find ourselves wanting to bring that bright, airy feeling we get outside back into our homes, and that’s probably why spring cleaning is a tradition for so many families.
But a big spring clean can feel a little overwhelming. It feels like there are so many nooks and crannies to clean. When you get to the cleaning aisle, it seems like there’s a different cleaning product for every single item in your home, and that can feel overwhelming, too!
While we can’t shrink the spaces you have to clean (we would if we could!), we can save you the time and expense of having to visit that special cleaning products aisle in the store. If you take a look in your kitchen cupboards, you’ll probably find that you already have an ample supply of time-honoured cleaning supplies! These DIY cleaning hacks save you time, money, and they’ll also cut down your exposure to the strong-smelling chemicals in many modern cleaning products, so you won’t have to crack the windows on chilly spring days to air out after you clean.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Olive oil
- Essential oils (optional)
Dilute white vinegar with water (one-to-one ratio), stick it in a spray bottle, and it becomes a fantastic all-purpose cleaner. Vinegar is tough enough to get rid of dirt, soap scum and hard water deposits, but it’s gentle enough that you can use it on hardwood. And don’t worry about having your home smell like salad dressing – the scent disappears once the vinegar dries. But if you’re still not wild about having that vinegar smell in the air even while you clean, you can always add a few drops of essential oil (lavender or grapefruit work really well) to keep things smelling great!
When things need a really good scrubbing, baking soda’s where it’s at. It’s a great, safe substitute for commercial scouring powders. Most stuck-on stuff can be handled by simply sprinkling a bit of baking soda on a sponge before you scrub. For really stubborn gunk, add a little water to baking soda until it forms a paste and scour away!
Olive oil is great for cleaning household items that aren’t supposed to get wet. Try adding two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice for a wood polish that will keep everything from fireplace mantels to butcher blocks clean and conditioned.
Washing cast-iron cookware with soap and water is a recipe for disaster, also known as rust. Add a little coarse salt to some olive oil to create a scrub that will help you clean cast-iron pots and pans without the rust risk.
After using the microwave all winter long to heat up household favourites, a good microwave clean is a must! Put ½ a cup of water in a microwave-safe container, squeeze in the juice from one lemon, then drop both the lemon halves in as well. Put it all in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, then let everything stand for 5 more minutes. Take out the lemon mixture, then give everything a quick wipe, and you’re done! The best part? No scrubbing required!
What are your best tips and tricks for spring cleaning season? Share them with us over on the Zabiha Halal Facebook Page!