Cleaning hacks are beautiful things. They’re inexpensive, practical, and help to shortcut your way to a cleaner home. Dare we say it, they can even make housework enjoyable.
We’ve compiled our top 15 spring cleaning hacks for your enjoyment, using as many natural, eco-friendly ingredients and household items as we could think of.
1. CLEANING THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL
Cut up a lemon, lime, grapefruit, or other natural citrus fruit as a fragrant cleaner. Place a chunk into each mold of an ice cube tray, and top them all up with vinegar. These frozen little cleaning pods can be tossed into your garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh and clean.
2. CLEANING WATER STAINS
Slice a lemon in half and use the power of citrus to easily remove hard water stains and mold and mildew residue from shower heads, bathroom fixtures and countertops. Take the other half of the lemon and dab it in some baking soda as a great kitchen sink remedy for cleaning dirt and grime out of stainless/galvanized steel sinks. Scrub the lemon and baking soda mixture into the sink and rinse thoroughly. Dryer sheets are another great way to remove water stains from shower walls.
3. CAST IRON REVAMP
Although they provide exceptionally even heat and a non-chemical approach to cookware, cleaning cast iron pots and pans can be a real hassle. To maintain an all-natural cleaning regimen, use a dry sponge and coarse salt to liberate stubborn stuck-on food from cast iron. Season your wares by rubbing fat, or oil into the surface and bake the cast iron in your oven to season and maintain a sleek surface that will resist the buildup of rust on your expensive cookware.
4. AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING VENTS
Air return ducts and air-con/heating vents are notoriously hard-to-reach areas of the home, and as such, are often neglected. Over time they can accumulate huge deposits of dust and grime, even bacteria that is blasted throughout the house as soon as the air conditioner or furnace is turned on. To clean air vents, take a butter knife and wrap the end in a clean rag or microfiber cloth so that you can get into the nitty-gritty spaces of vent grates.
5. CLEAN ART
This one will sound weird - but paintings and other cherished artwork can be cleaned exceptionally well by halving a bagel (yes, a bagel) and gently rubbing the cut surface on the work. The bagel will pick up dust and dirt, and contains absolutely no chemicals or solvents that could potentially damage the paint of your favourite wall hanging.
6. DISHWASHER DEEP CLEAN
Give your dish washer a natural deep cleaning by placing a cup of vinegar on the top shelf and running a full cycle on the highest temperature. When it’s done, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the machine and run it again. You’ll open to a sparklingly fresh dishwasher ready to tackle your dishes.
7. GRIMY TOYS
Kids will be kids, and can come home with incredible amounts of dirt, bacteria, and grime on their little hands. To combat the perpetual spread of these germs, take their action figures and small toys, and place them in the cutlery basket of your dishwasher for a steam clean like no other. Do this overnight and they’ll never even notice that they’ve been missing! The dishwasher is also an excellent place to wash your baseball caps without running the risk of shrinking their size.
8. DESIGNER BOTTLES
This one isn’t so much the bacteria level or amount of dirt in your shower, but rather the aesthetic appeal of having uniformly clean bottles in your shower. To improve the look of messy shower shelves, invest in a few bottles and put your favourite shampoos and body washes in them to eliminate the struggle of balancing multiple different-sized bottles on tiny ledges.
9. TUPPERWARE AND PLATE ORGANIZATION
Organizing doesn’t get the attention it deserves when cleaning is discussed. Organizing your things means keeping them in line, and therefore appealing to the eye - as well as accessible. Putting a pegboard in your plate and pot drawers is a great way to help organize and keep your plates and tupperware in place. You’ll never go looking for a lid in a drawer full of mix-matched pieces again!
10. REFRESH THE MATTRESS
In a spray bottle, combine lemon juice and some vodka, then lightly mist your bare mattress. Leave it to air dry, and repeat a couple of times throughout the day. The alcohol will kill off any odour causing bacteria, and the lemon juice will leave the mattress smelling fresh and clean. You can even add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to change up the fragrance of your mattress - we recommend lavender, which can help induce feelings of relaxation and sleep.
11. COFFEE STAINS
Raise your hand if your home has a few coffee ring stains on the coffee table, kitchen counter, or even on coasters. We thought so. Stubborn coffee stains are easily managed by wiping down with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Alternatively, simply spray on some All Purpose cleaner and wipe down with a microfiber cloth.
12. LEATHER COUCH CLEAN/CONDITION
Cleaning a grease or oil stain from your elegant leather couch is easy with the help of baking soda. Leave the baking soda on the stain for about 10 minute before wiping away. The baking soda absorbs the oil and leaves the surface of your sofa crisp and clean.
13. TOOTHPASTE FOR WHITENING
The white soles of your running shoes are easily brought back to brand-new status by rubbing some whitening toothpaste into the soles and scrubbing with a clean rag, or a discarded toothbrush. Go to town on all those stains from grass, road grime and general wear-and-tear, then simply rinse with clean water.
The remnants of fun weekend painting projects can be cleaned by using a standard cleansing wipe. The alcohol content in the wipes softens the latex in the paint and enables it to be lifted clean from floors and work surfaces. If you don’t have acne wipe products, rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, will work just fine.
15. CEILING FANS
The trouble with dusting your ceiling fans is the rogue dust that often ends up either on the floor or on your beds, carpets, and furniture. The good news is you can alleviate this by cleaning the dust from the top of your ceiling fan blades simply by using an old t-shirt. Take the shirt and tie one of the sleeves into a knot. Then place the shirt on the blade and wipe. Any excess dust falls into the shirt itself. The same can be said for an old T-shirt.
Now it’s your turn! What are your favourite cleaning hacks? Let us know in the comments below, or send us a message on social media.