Springing into action: Tips for spring cleaners

Spring has sprung, but the annual rite may just be a little different this year. With the pandemic lockdown upon us, we might just have a little more time on our hands at home these days. We can finally get to the spring cleaning chores that may have been put off for some time now.

Traditionally, a thorough cleaning of the home was done in springtime to sweep out accumulated soot and grime from the wood-burning chimneys of yesteryear. Now, with the advent of central heating, spring just gives us a time frame in the calendar year that will get us to the habit of deep cleaning at least once a year.

NextHome spoke with Christina Loc, renowned interior designer and owner of Calgary’s Metro Elements boutique design store, for her can’t-miss tips on how to make the most of your efforts.

NextHome: What’s your “shouldn’t miss” tip for spring cleaners? What do you think the main objective should be?

Christina: Spring is an ideal time to consider doing a deep thorough cleanse for your home, especially, for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere. After months of living in hibernation with the windows shut and with little daylight, the spring season is a time for renewal and a refresh. The extra daylight and warmer weather should trigger more energy both psychologically and physically to get you moving and wanting to freshen up your space.

The “shouldn’t miss” or main objective of spring cleaning is to get to chores you can’t or don’t typically do during the winter months. While you may be doing weekly light-duty chores through out the year, like vacuuming and cleaning your bathrooms, spring cleaning is about using some elbow grease to get things looking fresh, shiny and new again.

NH: What should be the main area to target for spring cleaning?

C: For both single-family homes and condo apartments, I would say the target areas are very similar. It’s about finding the time to properly rinse and clean out your appliances and filters (including the bathroom fans and stove top hoodfans), getting behind crevices to dust and scrubbing down surfaces, sorting through seasonal items or things you are no longer using; things that are broken or expired.

NH: What are the essential cleaning products for spring cleaning?

C: Rubber gloves to protect your hands.

Microfibre clothes are great for wiping down surfaces and perfect for collecting dust.

Scrubbing pads, especially ones like The Original World’s Best Flat Pot Scrubber, that are safe for non-stick cookware, glass & ceramic stove tops, easy to clean and dishwasher safe. These pads are fantastic as the pad is rough for scouring power yet still gentle enough that it won’t scratch your chinaware. They’re great for getting grime off the exterior of your pots with a bit of baking soda, vinegar and water as well as bathroom tub surrounds and refrigerator shelves.

Cleaning product: this doesn’t mean you need to run to the store to buy a million cleaning supplies. In fact, simple ingredients around the home can be just as effective.

For a DIY, you only really need spray bottle(s) and a measuring cup plus the following ingredients: water, castile soap, vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol and essential oils. Mixing these in different combinations will yield glass cleaner, stain remover, disinfectant.

For example, an all Purpose Cleaner is composed of – 1 cup distilled water, 1 part vinegar, 1 tablespoon castile soap, 10 to 15 drops of essential oil.

Other essential items include a step stool or ladder, broom and pan, mop, bucket, vacuum, feather duster, paper towels, toothbrush or scrub brush and storage containers or organizers.

NH: Here are Christina’s tips for spring cleaning in the bedroom, kitchen, living room and garage.

Bedroom

Rotate your mattress and give it a good clean. Mix baking soda with essential oils and massage it on to your mattress and let sit for an hour. Vacuum up the baking soda concoction and see the amazing results – it will remove dust mites and rid bacteria.

Go through your closet and drawers to donate or throw out clothes you won’t wear any more including socks with holes in them. Throw out expired personal product like make up and body care.

Get behind the headboard and other furniture pieces to wipe off the dust on the baseboards and vacuum up those dust bunnies.

Kitchen

Empty cupboards and drawers to give them a good wipe down including your cutlery tray.

Wipe down the kitchen cabinets including the tops of them, handles and knobs plus the cabinet box housing the drawers as crumbs and miscellaneous items will fall behind them.

Wipe down and clean small appliances. This means emptying crumbs in toasters and de-scaling water kettles and coffee machines.

Clean behind and in between major appliances.

Run the microwave and dishwasher with a cup of water with half a lemon in it. Then, take the rinds and grind it through the garburator to deodorize and kill bacteria.

Take out the garbage and recycle. Take the bins and give them a thorough clean.

Living Room

Vacuum or take down the drapes to launder, air-fluff or dry clean as per care instructions. Dust blinds.

Remove upholstery and pillow covers plus any rugs. Take them outside to give them a good beating and let them sit out for a bit to air out.

Meanwhile, pull furniture away from the wall to dust and vacuum. Put furniture back. Vacuum sofa and chair crevices to catch crumbs and dust.

Dust lamps including shades, light fixtures, coffee table, side tables, shelving, accessories, behind TV and electronics. Wipe off dust on plant leaves.

Bring covers and rugs back inside.

Garage

Spring is a good time to clean the garage as the temperature gets warmer. The dirt and grime collected over the winter months.

Wipe down ceiling and walls to get rid of bugs and cob webs.

Sort through items that may have been stored in the garage and now have no use any more. Make sure to label

Organize tools and safely discard any chemicals you are no longer in need of (ie. paint, oils, antifreeze, aeosols).

Sweep and hose down the floor. This will especially help with the salt and other chemicals accumulated over the winter months that if unattended will cause the concrete to erode.

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