1. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Nearly every cleaning job in the house can be undertaken using one or a combination of these readily available and environmentally safe products: bicarb soda (aka baking powder), vinegar, lavender oil, lemon, borax, unscented soap (flakes or liquid), washing soda (sodium carbonate) and water. Not only will your purse thank you, but your house will be fresh, clean and chemical-free. You’ll find 10 easy DIY cleaning product recipes here.
2. Open Up Windows & Doors
Over the winter, our homes can suffer from a lack of fresh air and become stuffy and stale-smelling. A completely natural and effective way of airing out your house is to open your windows and doors on the next sunny day with a gentle breeze, letting out those winter smells and letting in the scents of spring. if you feel you need to add something extra for your home to smell pleasant, make your own natural air-freshener using bicarb soda and the essential oil of your choice.
3. Wash Floor Rugs & Curtains
Window and floor coverings can hold onto smells more than any other household accessory, so use the warmer days as a chance to give them a wash. Don’t do them all at once; rather, work through them a room at a time and combine the wash with a good dust and vacuum of the room in question. Always check the instructions before washing any curtains or rugs and preferably use a mild washing powder in warm or cold water (this saves on energy use as well). Try one of these easy DIY washing powder recipes to save money and reduce the risk of exposing your family to harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). And dry your curtains and rugs naturally, spread flat on racks in the sun or carefully hung from the washing line so as to avoid creases and curls.
4. Deep Clean the Oven
The best, cheapest and by far the safest way to clean your oven is with bicarb soda and water, mixed together until you have a paste the texture of toothpaste. Spread the paste over the sides, door, window and bottom of your oven and leave it overnight. In the meantime, soak the racks in the bath in hot water with dish-washing liquid and give them a good scrub with a non-abrasive brush or sponge.
When it comes time to wash the paste off, use a damp cloth and a plastic spatula if necessary, spraying vinegar on the residue to make it froth up and cut into any remaining grease. Keep wiping with your damp cloth until all the paste is removed and you have a clean, fresh-smelling oven.
5. Remove Scale From Your Kettle
You know how the inside of a kettle becomes brown and greasy over time? Well, that’s scale deposits left over from tap water after its boiled. But guess what? It’s incredibly easy to get rid of using just half a lemon. Simply boil a full kettle of water with the lemon and repeat a couple of times for best results. Before you know it, without any effort at all the inside of your kettle will be shiny clean and free of scale.
6. Wash Plastic Toys In the Dishwasher
If you’ve got kids, you’ll know just how filthy plastic toys can get over time, and how the grime seems to stick around, no matter how much you wipe them. For an easy, time-saving solution, wash the kids’ plastic toys in the dishwasher on a gentle cycle. You can even wash Lego this way, by putting it in a lingerie wash bag and laying it across the bottom rack. This is a great way to save water as well, as a dishwasher uses much less water than washing by hand.
7. Dust Those Pesky Venetians
Speaking of things that are difficult to clean, there’s probably nothing more frustrating than Venetian blinds. But the answer is so simple, you’ll find it hard to believe you didn’t think of it before. All you have to do is put an old sock over your hand, spray it with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, then wipe your hand gently along the slats of your blinds. The static from the sock picks up all the dust and the vinegar cuts through any grease and grime, leaving your Venetians looking like new.
8. Clean Your Shower Head
Like kettles, shower heads collect scale along with a whole lot of other deposits from the water running through them. This not only means these nasties are falling on you, but they also block the shower head and impact on the flow. To thoroughly clean out a shower head, tie a plastic bag filled with vinegar over it and leave it to soak overnight. In the morning, before you shower, run hot water through the head to flush out all the built up dirt and scale. You’ll really notice a difference in the way your shower head looks (nice and shiny) and the quality of your showers.
Spring is also a good time to clean your garage door and check for any issues, to ensure it's operating properly throughout the summer. Check out our post on the 'Dos & Don'ts' for cleaning your garage door, or call Best Doors on 1800 066 142 to book a garage door service or repair.