Ease ‘spring cleaning’ woes Tips and tricks for a cleaner house

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured, Home & Garden

Published on March 25, 2020 with No Comments

Spring is here and so is the dreaded “spring cleaning’ for most. This year, try a few of these tips and tricks to cut down on your cleaning time and expenses, and help to make it a breeze.

Kitchens and Bathrooms Cleanup

Vinegar is a natural cleaner. Most people don’t know its true value and keep it hidden in the kitchen cabinet. But this spring, pull that vinegar out to make life a little easier.

In the bathroom, no expensive commercial cleaners are needed to get the shower doors and mirrors to sparkle. Www.easyhomecleaning.com suggests a mixture of water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol to leave a streakless shine. In a spray bottle simply combine 1/3 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and water. Spray on glass surfaces and wipe down with a clean white paper towel.

For the toilet, counters, sinks and faucets, white vinegar is essential. Simply apply the vinegar with a cloth allowing it to set for a few minutes before rinsing, and finish by wiping down the surfaces. After cleaning the tub and shower, www.easyhomecleaning also recommends coating the surfaces with an expensive car wax. If this is done only twice a year, it will help repel dirt and it will cut the overall cleaning time in half.

In the kitchen, add a tablespoon of vinegar to dishwater to help remove that stuck-on grease. Vinegar will also remove hard-water buildup on ice trays – just leave them in it to soak.

Lemons and lemon juice are also both a natural and environmentally healthy cleaner. Place a bowl of water with three or four slices of lemon in the microwave. Cook on high for 30 seconds to freshen the microwave, and the resulting steam also makes wiping it down a snap.

Is the garbage disposal and cutting board housing bad odors? If so, just add lemon. Pour a quarter cup of lemon juice into the garbage disposal; let it sit in the drain for ten minutes to absorb the odors. Rub halved lemons onto the cutting board and rinse with cold water to get rid of those embarrassing odors.

Fresh cut lemons can also remove light stains from a sink. For rust stains or darker stains, www.doityourself.com suggests creating a paste from borax and lemon juice. Then, simply scrub.

For a shiny stove top, clean it with rubbing alcohol instead of the usual commercial cleaner. For metals that will stand out from the rest rub them with raw potatoes, or save the water from boiled potatoes and dip tarnished silver in it when cooled to get that just-purchased sparkle back.

For that stained and grimy coffee maker, run vinegar through it to cleanse from the inside out, or let the pot soak in Coca-Cola overnight.

For more kitchen aide and cleaning tips visit www.doityourself.com.

Stains Removal

Stains can make a clean house look amiss, and are, unfortunately, almost impossible to remove if not caught in time. 

With almost any type of stain, the first thing to do is rinse with cold water. For juice stains, try to stay away from detergent which will make the stain harder to remove; instead, blot it with white vinegar. For soda stains, mix 1/3 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide with 3 cups water. Spray onto the stain and let stand for 10 minutes. Then rinse with a mixture containing 1/4 cup white vinegar and 3/4 cup cold water; blot dry.

According to www.easyhomecleaning.com, coffee stains in clothing and rugs come out best with egg yolks. Dip a cleaning cloth into a beaten egg yolk and rub into the coffee stain, rinse the stain with cold water and blot with a towel. If the stain remains, set the towel over it and place a firm object on top to lift the coffee out. Finish with a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar.

Have kids who like to color on more than just paper? No problem. For that colorful wall with the crayon marks that just won’t come out, use a hair dryer to heat the crayon wax. Then, simply wipe with a paper towel. They’ve moved passed crayons and to the magic markers? Use hairspray to remove the ink from almost any surface.


For Individuals who love to read, but can’t stand that musty “old book” smell, place several dryer sheets between the pages of the book and place it in a zipped bag for a few weeks. When you take it out, it will smell like fresh linen – or whatever dryer sheet sent was purchased at the time.

If you find yourself living in a sticky situation – with gum stuck everywhere – try pressing ice against it to harden the gum. Take a butter knife to loosen it and the gum should just pop off.

For the women out there who find runs in their pantyhose, turn that old stocking into a “Swiffer” mop. Simply cut off the leg – just under the panty line and just above the knee – and slide over a dust mop. It’s both reusable and cheap.

Finally, drop vanilla, orange or lemon extract onto cotton for a quick and easy air freshener. Stick the cotton in the kitchen or refrigerator for an easy deodorizer.

With any cleaning agent – even vinegar, peroxide, lemon or hairspray concoctions – it’s a good idea to test the product before using it on a large area.

For more tips and tricks of the trade visit www.doityourself.com or www.easyhomecleaning.com. And for those without computer access at home, stop at your local branch library where you can receive both access and help.


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