Quick & Easy Spring Cleaning Projects: Products and Instructions
This post is designed as a companion piece to my recent post 31 Days: Quick & Easy Spring Cleaning Projects. In that post, I created the cleaning schedule; here, I share techniques on how to clean, to aid you in completing each activity.
Those projects were meant to be completed in just a few minutes. As such, you certainly don’t want to tack extra time onto each by having to gather a bunch of specialized tools and cleansers. We are going to keep it super-simple with just a few basic products.
Although plenty of big businesses will tell you otherwise, there’s absolutely no need to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning products in order to have a safe, sanitary home. All you really need is a big jug of white vinegar, dish soap, gentle shampoo, a soft toothbrush or two, and some good, soft microfiber cloths.
Let’s get to work!
A Complete Guide to How to Clean Everything
How to: Clean stainless steel appliances
Apply a small amount of either the vinegar or dish soap directly to the cloth, then rub the cloth onto the surface of the appliance. Use circular motions to cover the surface completely, spending extra time and pressure on resistant stains. Use a clean towel and a SMALL amount of either olive oil or baby oil to polish the cleaned surface. Wipe away any remaining residue with a clean, dry cloth.
How to: Clean the kitchen sink
Cover all surface areas with dish soap diluted with water. Let sit for several minutes, scrub, then rinse until all soap residue is gone. For extra grimy areas or tight spots such as the base of the faucet, scrub with a soft toothbrush with just a drop or two of dish soap.
How to: Determine expiration date of spices
Most spice cannisters have expiration dates, but if they don’t or they are hard to read, general guidelines for spice freshness are:
- Whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years
- Ground spices will stay fresh for 3 to 4 years
- Dried leafy herbs last for 1 to 3 years
How to: Clean an insulated cloth lunchbox
Surprisingly, most (not all) insulated cloth lunchboxes can be washed on the gentle cycle in the washing machine. They can also, of course, be washed by hand using a wet cloth and small amount of dish soap. However, you should always allow them to air dry – do not put them in the dryer.
How to: Clean the outside of a washing machine and dryer
Use a damp, soft cloth with a small amount of vinegar added to wipe down exterior surfaces. Tough stains can be removed by applying a thick paste of baking soda mixed with water, allowing it to sit several minutes, and wiping off. Small crevices can be cleaned with a soft toothbrush.
How to: Clean surfaces that are constantly touched
Door knobs, light switches, and other constantly touched surfaces should be wiped down with a mix of water and vinegar, or use a disinfectant spray for added sanitation.
How to: Remove spots from a television screen
Television screens scratch easily, so always wipe gently with a soft microfiber cloth and never use paper towels or other abrasive materials. Alcohol and ammonia are particularly damaging and should never be used.
How to: Clean TV remote controls and game controllers
First, remove the batteries before cleaning. Dislodge debris by holding the controller upside down and shaking or tapping gently against your palm to dislodge loose dust and debris. Wipe down with a microfiber cloth barely dampened with water and white vinegar. To clean around the buttons, use a dampened cotton swab or soft toothbrush.
How to: Clean fireplace glass
For a wood-burning fireplace, scrub the glass clean with newspaper and leftover ashes. Wipe in a circular motion to loosen the soot.
How to: De-gunk a wood banister
Murphy’s Oil is the tried and true method for cleaning dirty, sticky wood surfaces. Follow the directions on the bottle for proper dilution, and scrub with a clean cloth or mildly abrasive sponge.
How to: Clean bath toys
Place bath toys in a large bucket filled with a solution of 1 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of hot water. Soak for about 20 minutes, wipe with sponge or cloth. Squeeze any excess water out of toys. Allow airing dry.
How to: Maintain open drains in sinks, showers, and bathtubs
Note: these directions are for maintenance cleanings, not for clogged drains.
Loosen drain debris by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then dump in ½ cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Close drain if possible to keep the chemical reaction inside the drain. Allow to bubble for about 15 minutes. Pour a second pot of boiling water down the drain, or run very hot water from the tap for several minutes.
How to: Determine expiration dates of common makeup products
- Lipstick – 2 year
- Lipgloss – 1 year
- Mascara – 3 months
- Liquid Eyeliner – 6 months
- Pencil Eyeliner – 2 years
- Liquid Foundation, Blush, Bronzer – 1 year
- Powder Foundation, Blush, Bronzer, Eyeshadow – 2 years
- Concealer – 1 year
- Nail Polish – 2-3 years, or until it smells bad
How to: Clean makeup brushes
Dampen brushes with warm water. Add a few drops of mild shampoo or liquid soap and rub gently to create lather. Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse the brush under warm running water. Repeat as needed until brushes are clean.
How to: Clean hair brushes
Run a comb along the bristles of the brushes to remove as much loose hair as possible. Soak hairbrushes and combs in a sink filled with warm water and a squirt of gentle shampoo for about 20 minutes. Scrub the bristles and base of the hairbrushes with a soft toothbrush and a few drops of shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
If you haven’t already, be sure to print out your copy of 31 Days: Quick & Easy Spring Cleaning Projects and enjoy the satisfaction of crossing each day off the list! There’s nothing to keep you inspired quite like seeing your list shrinking with each passing day! Request your free download HERE.