Your day-by-day guide to spring cleaning

Home Improvements 2020-2-28
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Do one of these small jobs every day in March and you'll have a freshly spring cleaned home in no time.

Doormats

If you haven’t already, stop the dirt from even entering your home by doubling up on doormats. Place one outside of your door and one inside to trap any mud and debris before removing your shoes.


Windows

Clean all your windows on an overcast day so that you can easily see any smudges and marks as it’s much harder when it’s sunny. Start from one end of the house to the other and do inside and out. If you’re unable to reach any higher window, try using an extendable window cleaning pole or just call your local window cleaner round.


Kitchen sink

Give your kitchen sink a new lease of life by using drain cleaner (or bicarbonate of soda and vinegar) to get rid of any unpleasant odours, wipe down the stainless steel and taps with vinegar to remove any watermarks the to finish off, leave a slice of lemon in the plug hole to leave it all smelling fresh.


Microwave

Steam clean your microwave in the time that it takes to make a brew. Fill a large microwavable bowl with 250ml of water, add a couple of slices of lemon and a few tablespoons of vinegar and place inside. Put the microwave on high for a couple of minutes or until the water starts to boil then let it rest for 15 mins. Once you remove the bowl, it will be super easy to wipe down the inside without having to scrub.


Reusable bags

Since the plastic bag ban, many of us will now have a reusable shopping bag collection but after a little while, they might become grimy. Go through them and throw the ones that are machine washable in with your usual load and any others can be wiped down in the sink. Give them a little shakeout in the garden first to get rid of any crumbs that might be lurking in the bottom.


Worktops

Even if you’re religious when it comes to wiping down surfaces after use, dirt can still build up. Make your worktops sparkle again by giving them a good clean and polish. First, clear everything out of the way and use warm soapy water to remove or the grease and grime. Next crack out the granite and marble cleaning spray to really make them shine.


Chopping boards

When chopping boards start to look old and worn, they might show stains or smell a bit. Sprinkle salt or bicarb on the board then scrub with half of a lemon. This will help remove any food stains, odours and bring your chopping boards back from the brink.


Fridge

Deep clean your fridge and make it feel brand new again by fully emptying it out, washing all the shelves and drawers, giving it a good wipe down clear away any missed spillages or hidden gunk before restacking it. Give the outside a good wipe down for good measure.


Pots and pans

Now’s the time to sort through your pots and pans. Get every single one out and go through them to see if any need replacing, an extra scrub or to be donated - if you haven’t used it for a while, do you really still need it? Once you have reclaimed the cupboard space, you can then organise to make it easier to find the pan you’re looking for.


Oven

Be honest… how often do you really give your oven a good clean? Well don’t worry, you don’t have to get the professionals in. Grab a box of Oven Pride next time you head out to the shops and follow as directed. It’s worth noting that you will need a pair or marigold and to keep the kids out of way. Also, if you’re wanting to go a little further, here’s how to take your oven door(s) off so you can clean inside and out!


Cupboards

Kitchen cupboards are a magnet for grime, grease and dust so spend some time giving each door a good scrub. Use grease remover and disinfectant to remove as much grime as you can then go over with a cloth soaked in warm soapy water. To help prevent the build-up returning, and make sure you use an extractor fan or open the windows when using the hob.


Stainless steel

Those who have stainless steel in their house will know how annoying it can be when smudges, marks and water stains appear. To make them sparkle again, start by wiping them down with warm soapy water then use a microfiber cloth with a little bit of surface cleaner to really get the stains gone. Dry immediately with a clean microfiber cloth to prevent smudging.


Junk drawer

Tackle that junk drawer that everyone has been ignoring all year and bring some organisation to the chaos inside. Start by emptying it all out and giving the drawer itself a good clean. Then, sort through everything, throwing away everything you no longer need. Little boxes and bowls are a great way to organise all the miscellaneous things and to stop it getting cluttered again.


Shower curtain

Take down your shower curtain and throw it in the washing machine with bath towels and put it on a gentle cycle. Once it’s nice and clean, rehang it to allow it to dry out.


Cosmetics

Have a clear out of all cosmetics including empty bottles, expired products and ones that you bought but will never use. Most products will let you know how long they last before they expire, so the best way to keep on top of this is to write the opened date on using a permanent marker.


Grouting

If you have white grouting in your home then bring it back to life with a good scrub. Spray on some grout cleaner (follow the instructions) and watch as they become bright white again. If it’s still a bit dull, why not try some grout reviver to really bring it back.


Bathroom drains

Give your bath/shower drain a bit of TLC by raking all of the hair out (disgusting we know) and pouring down some drain cleaner or the bicarb/vinegar combo to make it fresh again. To prevent it from clogging up in the future, add a hair catcher over the drain opening.


Vacuum under furniture

Pull out all your big pieces of furniture and appliances and hoover up all the dust and cobwebs that have been hiding there. It might be worth getting someone to help with moving the heavier items as not to cause injury.


Curtains

Take down all your curtains and give them a good wash and let air dry by hanging them back up immediately to prevent creasing. It might also be worth putting them on a spin only cycle after the main wash so that there is no dripping when they’ve been rehung.


Bookshelves

Tackle your bookshelves by giving them a good dusting and reorganisation whether you put them in colour order, by title or by genre, this gives you plenty of opportunity to sort through and get rid of any that you no longer want. The same applies to those piles of magazines that you keep promising yourself you’ll get round to reading.


Ceilings

Sometimes it’s easy to forget to clean ceilings and lighting fixtures over the winter months but you’ll be surprised how much dust and cobwebs can collect. Grab your extendable duster and hoover and get cracking. It won’t take long and you’ll be surprised how much for a difference it will make.


Kids’ toys

Kids’ toys can harbour lots of germs but don’t worry, you don’t have to wash them painstakingly in the sink one-by-one. Load up the dishwasher, using a mesh bag for small toys or lego pieces and put on a quick cycle. For soft toys, put them in the washing machine.


Duvets and pillows

We all change our bedding weekly but duvets and pillows are not washed as often. Find some time to strip all the beds in the house and either take your bedding haul to the dry cleaners or toss them into the washing machine (check the label first) for a well-deserved clean.


Mattress

Get out the steam cleaner and give all the mattress a good deep clean then a spray of disinfectant before flipping them over to do the other side. This is a great way to get rid of dust and dead skin that accumulates over time.


Wardrobe

Now’s a great time to go through your clothes and have a good clear out of things that you longer wear, don’t fit or have just had their day. Get everyone in the family to do the same with their wardrobes and donate all unwanted items to charity. Not only will you feel good about helping the less fortunate but you’ll also be grateful for the reclaimed space.


Washing machine

Even though you might see your washing machine as self-cleaning, it doesn’t hurt to run a cleaning cycle using a washing machine cleaner to kill any lingering germs, remove lime scale if you live in a hard water area and remove any hidden dirt. Also, clean out the filter which is usually at the bottom of the machine.


Tumble dryer

If you have a tumble dryer then you’ll know how important it is to regularly clear out the link catcher after every use. Take it a step further and use your vacuum to collect any trapped lint from had to reach places to minimise any risk of fire.


Mobile phone

We bet you weren’t expecting this one on the list but with the number of germs that can be found on your phone, it’s always a good idea to give it a good clean with an alcohol wipe. This applies to other electronics and remotes as well. If you really want them super clean you can invest in a portable UV sanitiser.


Handbag/backpack

As soon as the weekend hits, grab your work bag and give it a good clean out of all those old receipts, water bottles, empty pens and scraps of paper. Once you’ve done this and reorganised it with the things you actually need, you might notice that it’s much lighter and easier to find what you need without having to root around.


Vacuum cleaner

You clean the house and car out with the vacuum but do you ever actually spend any time giving the vacuum a clean? Change the bag (if it has one) or wipe out the inside (if it’s an empty into the bin type), wipe the outside and add some vac freshener so it will stay fresher for longer.


Sweeping brush and mop

If your sweeping brush and mop are starting to look a bit worse for wear but not ready to be thrown away just yet, then try soaking them in a soapy disinfectant mix to get rid of all the dust and dirt. If they can’t be saved, just swap out the heads for new ones.

Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.

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