Friday, April 12, 2013

How to spring clean your house

How to spring clean your home ideas

How to spring clean your house tips. Clean your house every day? That’s what Donna Smallin, author of Cleaning Plain & Simple and seven other books on cleaning and organizing, recommends how to spring clean. “It’s the simplest way to minimize
housework,” she says. Thankfully, she’s not suggesting full-blown drudgery.

Shortcuts (let dishes air-dry, give cleaners time to work while you do something else) and prevention (invest in good doormats, ban food from bedrooms) can ease the load. And if you keep up with daily touch-ups, your spring cleaning is limited to just the extras. Here are eight chores you need to do only once a year.

How to spring clean Windows, Doors, Walls
How to spring clean
How to spring clean

WASH WINDOWS Be sure to pick a cloudy day. “If it’s too sunny, the cleaning solution will dry too fast and you’ll have streaks,” says Smallin. For a windowwashing solution, she combines ½ cup of sudsy ammonia (which is a specific type of ammonia), one pint rubbing alcohol, one teaspoon dishwashing liquid,
and one gallon of water.

SMART TRICK To determine whether streaks are on the inside or outside, wipe with vertical strokes on one side of the window, horizontal on the other.

SCRUB AND VACUUM SLIDING GLASS DOOR TRACKS It’s probably not the fi rst spot you’d think to clean, but you’ll appreciate having done it before the outdoor entertaining season gets into full swing.
Smallin suggests scrubbing the tracks with an old, dry toothbrush to loosen debris, then using your vacuum hose to remove it. Finish with a wet sponge. How to spring clean.

How to spring clean

You may overlook these surfaces on a daily basis, but once a year give them some attention. Wash
them with a sponge and a squirt of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.

SMART TRICK Try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (about $1.50 each; for spot-cleaning "Just
wet it, squeeze it, and wipe away fingerprints, scuffs, even crayon marks/' Smallin says.

How to spring clean floors

Deep-clean your carpet and rugs. To maintain a new carpet's warranty, you may need to have it cleaned professionally every 12-18 months, says Smallin. Otherwise, you can do it yourself; rent a deep cleaner or buy a professional-style model designed for home use. Smallin likes the Bissell PROdry carpet cleaner ($200;, because it leaves carpets and rugs dry in less than 30 minutes, so you don't inconvenience your family.


It takes some work, so enlist a partner: Move your sofa and chairs, roll up your area rugs, then vacuum the floors. As best you can, move your kitchen appliances away from the wall. "In some cases you can pull
them out enough that a vacuum hose will reach,' Smallin says.

Smart trick If your range has a drawer, remove it for easier vacuuming underneath.

How to spring clean Furniture, Fabric, Fixtures

Clean furniture Restore smooth leather with an upholstery cleaner and conditioner. Use a suede brush to perk up nubuck leather. For wood furniture, use Smallin's recipe to make your own all-natural cleaner and
polish: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle, shake well, and spray onto a microfiber cloth.
How to spring clean your house

How to spring clean  and freshen window treatments 

In all likelihood, your curtains and draperies arent dirty enough to launder. To clean, go over them thoroughly with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum.

smart trick "To remove dust from sheer curtains, put them in the dryer on low with a fabric softener sheet,' says Smallin.


Use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to dust fixtures and bulbs you can reach. For ceiling fans, skip the ladder and use the Oxo Extendable Duster ($18; To clean grimy bulbs, lightly dampen your cloth with vinegar. Caution: Be sure bulbs are cool to the touch and your hands are dry.

smart trick Stumped by how to dust corkscrew-type compact fluorescent lights and other irregular objects? Use an electrostatic duster (such as the Quickie Duster, $10,, which uses static electricity.


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