Spring is officially here, and while it might not look like it here in Michigan with all this fluffy white stuff STILL falling from the sky IN APRIL we thought we'd make life a little easier and compile a list of things to help you spend less time cleaning and more time playing.
The 'incubation' time might be long but your hands on time with these are SHORT. Believe us, they are worth the wait.
1. SHOWER HEAD CLEAN UP
Hard water can lead to a build up of minerals on faucets and shower heads disrupting flow. All you need for this hack is a sandwich size plastic bag, ~1 cup of white vinegar, and a rubber band. Simply fill the plastic bag with the vinegar and attach on the shower head with the rubber band, fully submerging. Soak for ~2 hours and wipe clean - good as new!
2. DISHWASHER CLEAN OUT
This one is so easy, just place a cup of white vinegar in an EMPTY dishwasher and run. It will clean out food particles and help clear mineral build up too!
3. CARPET REFRESH
Add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to plain old baking soda and sprinkle on your carpet. No essential oil? No problem plain baking soda does deodorizing on it's own. The longer the better for deodorizing affect, if you can let it sit overnight!
4. MICROWAVE CLEAN OUT
I don't know HOW this gets dirty, given there is a plate cover readily available for the microwave...but it does. Don't worry, simply add 50/50 water/white vinegar to a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Wipe down and your good to go.
5. STOVE TOP BURNERS
Now THIS is a tough one! But really, we promise this will take you less than 15 minutes to set up and you will thank us in the morning! Simply place burners in ziplock bags with ~1/3c ammonia (depending on burner size) and let these babies sit overnight. It's best to stick 'em outside or in the garage in case something leaks (yuck, fumes). Wipe down the next day, done and done.
6. COFFEE GRINDER
Ok, I admit it, I have a bag of rice sitting around designated for wet cellphone emergencies...and i've used is more than once! Bonus, this rice can be used to clean your coffee grinder. Say what? Yup, just put some uncooked rice in the grinder and GO! Dump the rice, of course, when your done.
7. BED REFRESH
Ok, this might sound familiar (ah hem #3) but did you know you can refresh your mattress using baking soda too? Yep, we usually vacuum, sprinkle baking soda, then vacuum. Again, the longer the better...but we like to sleep on our beds...so it's never an overnight thing with this one, usually 2 hours will do.
8. CUPBOARD GUNK REMOVER
I really hate thinking about heavy duty cleaning cupboard fronts, but it's gotta get done sometime! A wipe down wont always cut it. We suck it up and add this in our spring routine and you can too. This recipe is awesome for wood cupboards and trim because the oil conditions the wood. Our advice, use CHEAP olive oil. To make a 1C batch, add ~1/3C oil to ~2/3C baking soda and your done. Apply with a sponge or rag, or whatever...and wipe off.
9. TOOTHBRUSH CLEAN UP
This is a good one and SO easy, simply soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide for a couple minutes and rinse afterwards. Done and done! Also great to use during cold season.
10. BLENDER BENDER
Dang, this one is so simple should we even list it? YES! Because we love easy and know you do too. Add water to the dirty blender and a squirt of liquid dish soap and turn that baby on. Rinse and repeat if necessary.
11. COLA CLEAN OUT
Clean your toilet with a cola, pour it in let it sit for an hour and flush. You will be amazed at how well it removes stains. It does make you think twice about drinking it tho, huh?!
12. SPONGE CLEAN OUT
Sponges can harbor bacteria and all sorts of foul things. Keep 'em clean by simply soaking in 50/50 hydrogen peroxide/water for 10-15 minutes.
13. ADD A DAILY RULE
Ok this kinda sounds odd, we are talking spring cleaning hacks, right? Well this one is more of a practice to add to every day living which will help you all the time. The rule? Any time you move from one room to another, pick up something that needs to be 'put away on the way.' This could mean grabbing the cup someone left in the living room and sticking it in the dishwasher on your way to the kitchen, or putting the kitchen towel in the laundry room on the way to the bathroom. Either way, get everyone to start this practice, and little by little it will help!
We did say SPRING cleaning, and for us this can mean BIG clean outs. But, uhh, aren't these supposed to be 60 minutes or less? Yea yea, we hear ya! We could dedicate a whole post to decluttering tips, and hey maybe we will, but for now we are gong to keep things simple. Today we will focus on MAIL. Holy cow we get so much mail. One ingenious system is to sort immediately when you get mail into a few categories. We suggest, a 'his', a 'hers', a 'bills', a 'coupons' bin and put the junk mail in the recycling right away.
15. STUBBORN CARPET STAIN
So maybe you carpet is fresh smelling after #3, but there is still that stubborn stain from the 11th time little Johnny threw his food from the highchair. Never fear! Wet the stain with white vinegar, sprinkle with a thick layer of baking soda and let it soak. Blot with a cloth and let it dry, then vacuum it up.
16. BRIGHTEN YOUR FLOORS
Ok, so wanna brighten your floors but worried about using too much or too little cleaner? We've got your back! Mix 1/2C hydrogen peroxide with a gallon of hot water and apply to floors. This can be used on any type of floor surface because it's to mild.
Whooo whoo! You made it to the end! So glad you are still with us here. Let us know in the comments below if you've used any of these hacks, or if you have one you want to share.
This cleaner is gentle on your hardwood floors yet tough enough to clean those pesky paw prints, dried on spills, and suck up those dust bunnies.
1 Empty Gallon Container
1/4 C Vinegar
1/2 C Liquid castile soap
30 drops essential oil (optional)
In the 1 gallon container, first add the vinegar and liquid castile soap. We like Dr. Bronners lavender scented castile soap. If you have it, add the essential oil of your choice. We like lemon or orange mixed with lavender. The essential oils really do add an extra kick to the cleaning power of this solution. Now, fill remaining gallon with water and mix!
Shake it before each use, the mixture will appear cloudy...and will smell amazing. ENJOY!
Let's face it, not all those 'natural' cleaners are as non-toxic as we'd like. So called green solutions are popping up all over grocery store shelves making it easier for consumers to get green, or ride the green wave.
But buyer beware!
Some of these cleaners have less than appealing ingredients. Even something as simple as 'fragrance' can mean crazy toxic stuff. Don't get me started on 'fragrance'- these are so-called trade secrets manufactures are not required to disclose exactly whats in them. But do you really want to use a cleaner if you don't know what's in it? I sure don't! Besides that, I have found that artificial fragrances, which is what is typically used in commercial products, often trigger headaches, but this is not true for me when using natural fragrances like essential oils.
We originally posted this in our DIY recipes, and it's one of our go-to's. So easy and smells so good! In the recipe below, you could use only lemon or even add orange for a 'citrus' cleaner. The addition of the essential oils really adds a powerful cleaning ability to the water/vinegar mix- it really helps cut crease and get off stubborn gunk on the toughest of surfaces, like stove tops.
Perfect for general surfaces, even wood! We love it for spot cleaning wood trim to clean off gook and fingerprints. It's also great for cleaning wood floors.
4oz distilled white vinegar
15 drops lemon essential oil
20 drops orange essential oil
All you need to do is give it a shake and a spray! We recommend using glass bottles for cleaners that contain essential oils.